I Wish

  • PG
  • Hirokazu Koreeda (2011)
  • Jpn (SUB)
  • 123 min
I Wish
Film Review
Reviewed By
4 out of 5

Few directors capture childhood with more fidelity, insight and lack of sentimentality than Hirokazu Koreeda, and he depicts its hopes, joys and bitter disappointments with typically acute detachment in this delightful adventure. Twelve-year-old Koichi (Koki Maeda) lives with his mother Nozomi (Nene Ohtsuka) and grandparents in the Japanese city of Kagoshima, which is dominated by a smouldering volcano. The boy dreams of reuniting his family, sorely missing younger brother Ryunosuke (Maeda's real-life brother, Ohshiro), who lives in the north with their musician father Kenji (Joe Odagiri). Koichi becomes convinced that passing bullet trains have the power to grant wishes, and he persuades Ryunosuke to venture across the country to test the myth. The Maeda boys (an established comedy duo in their own country) excel in their roles as the contrasting siblings, but it's Koreeda's subtly elliptical storytelling and measured control of character, locale and pace that makes this so engaging.

Plot Summary

A 12-year-old boy lives with his divorced mother, while his brother lives with his father in a different part of the country. When a bullet train line is built connecting the two towns, he starts to believe that when the first trains pass each other, a miracle will occur - which he hopes will reunite his family. Drama, starring real-life brothers Koki and Ohshiro Maeda. In Japanese.

Cast and crew


Koki Maeda
Ohshiro Maeda
Nozomi, mother
Nene Ohtsuka
Kenji, father
Joe Odagiri
Kyoko, Megumi's
Yui Natsukawa
Mr Sakagami
Hiroshi Abe
Ryoga Hayashi
Kanna Hashimoto
Rento Isobe


Hirokazu Koreeda

Other Information

Japanese +subtitles
Theatrical distributor: 
Some swearing.
Available on DVD and BluRay
Released 8 Feb 2013
Certificate PG