Asako I & II

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Asako I & II
Asako I & II.png
Film poster
Directed byRyūsuke Hamaguchi
Screenplay byRyūsuke Hamaguchi
Sachiko Tanaka
Based onNetemo Sametemo
by Tomoka Shibasaki
StarringMasahiro Higashide
Erika Karata
Music byTofubeats
CinematographyYasuyuki Sasaki
Edited byAzusa Yamazaki
Release date
  • 14 May 2018 (2018-05-14) (Cannes)
  • 1 September 2018 (2018-09-01) (Japan)
Running time
119 minutes

Asako I & II (寝ても覚めても, Netemo Sametemo, "At All Hours") is a 2018 Japanese romance drama film directed by Ryūsuke Hamaguchi,[1] starring Masahiro Higashide and Erika Karata.[2] It was selected to compete for the Palme d'Or at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival.[3][4] It is based on a 2010 novel by Tomoka Shibasaki about a woman who falls in love with two men who look the same but act completely differently.[5]


Asako, a young woman who lives in Osaka, has a relationship with Baku for a while. Baku suddenly disappears, and they lose in touch with each other.

Two years later, Asako lives in Tokyo and works at a coffee shop. She encounters a businessman named Ryohei, who works at a nearby Japanese sake company. He resembles Baku.

Five years later, Asako and Ryohei live together happily, accompanied by a cat Jintan. Asako learns that Baku has become a famous actor and model. Asako decides to marry Ryohei.



Higashide, Karata, and Hamaguchi at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival.

The film was screened at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival in competition on 14 May 2018.[6] It was released in Japan on 1 September 2018.[7]

Critical response[edit]

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 71% based on 21 reviews, and an average rating of 7.5/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Asako I & II's high-concept premise is anchored by thought-provoking themes and confident, compelling work from director Ryusuke Hamaguchi."[8] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 62 out of 100, based on 9 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[9]

Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian called Asako I & II "an amusing essay in amorous delusion."[10] Yannick Vely, writing for Paris Match, praised Hamaguchi's sympathetic portrayal of characters but suggested that some plot twists might appear forced to Western viewers.[11] Eric Kohn of IndieWire wrote: "It's refreshing to see a high-concept movie that doesn't assume every love story has to reach a tidy conclusion, and implies that some happy endings are best left open-ended."[12]


  1. ^ "ASAKO I & II". mk2 Films. Retrieved 13 April 2018.
  2. ^ Blair, Galvin J. (7 May 2018). "How Ryusuke Hamaguchi Took a Novel Approach to a Big-Screen Adaptation". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  3. ^ "The 2018 Official Selection". Cannes. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
  4. ^ Debruge, Peter; Keslassy, Elsa (12 April 2018). "Cannes Lineup Includes New Films From Spike Lee, Jean-Luc Godard". Variety. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
  5. ^ Dalton, Stephen (14 May 2018). "'Asako I & II' ('Netemo sametemo'): Film Review Cannes 2018". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 18 September 2018.
  6. ^ "「新しい才能出現」との声も…「寝ても覚めても」". Yomiuri Shimbun (in Japanese). 16 May 2018. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  7. ^ "感情揺さぶる鮮烈ラブストーリー 映画「寝ても覚めても」". Tokyo Shimbun (in Japanese). 30 August 2018. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  8. ^ "Asako I & II". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  9. ^ "Asako I & II". Metacritic. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  10. ^ Bradshaw, Peter (15 May 2018). "Asako I & II review – Japanese romcom flips the gaze to tell the same old story". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 September 2018.
  11. ^ Vely, Yannick (15 May 2018). "Asako 1 & 2 de Ryūsuke Hamaguchi – la critique". Paris Match (in French). Retrieved 17 September 2018. Alors, oui il faut accepter certains rebondissements qui peuvent apparaître forcés aux yeux occidentaux.
  12. ^ Kohn, Eric (14 May 2018). "'Asako I & II' Review: An Inventive New Take on Relationship Problems — Cannes 2018". IndieWire. Retrieved 26 October 2018.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]