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Fly Me to Saitama

Tonde Saitama
dir. Hideki Takeuchi
Japan 2019, 107’
Polish premiere
Japan 2019
Duration: 107’
director: Hideki Takeuchi
screenplay: Tomokazu Tokunaga (na podstawie mangi Mineo Maya)
cinematography: Sohei Tanikawa
editing: Shinji Kawamura
music: Face 2 fAKE
cast: Fumi Nikaido, GACKT, Yusuke Iseya, Brother Tom
producer: Hiroki Wakamatsu, Shinya Furugori
production: FILM
language: Japanese
colouration: colour

Film description

Life is life, so certain people are born in exciting metropolis and others – in some remote town that brings in mind only embarrassment and mothballs. The latter situation is well familiar to the inhabitants of Saitama, a prefecture within two-hour drive from Tokyo, infamous for its extreme temperatures and lack of access to the sea. The Sugawara family are leaving this place, heading for the capital where their daughter’s engagement ceremony is going to take place. The girl is especially looking forward to moving away, which her father can hardly understand. The travellers are on the verge of a quarrel when the radio broadcasts a play about the fight for independence of Saitama.

The story is set in an alternative reality of the year 19xx. Tokyo has established a complex surveillance system which detects illegal migrants from Saitama and sends them back home. The despised people are waiting for a hero who will give an impulse to an uprising and liberate them from oppression. Mysterious Rei who arrives in Tokyo, supposedly from the United States, seems a likely candidate…

"Fly me to Saitama" is a film adaptation of a manga from the 1980s which required advance creativity levels from its authors. It worked out brilliantly – various in style, full of controlled chaos and absurd humour close to Monty Python’s, the comedy about animosities between the Japanese from different regions still ensures a good laugh also to those who have no idea about the geographical subtleties of the Cherry Blossom Land. The film, which portraits the Japanese province with tenderness and humour, provides a relief from the solemn air of the Out of Focus section.

Marcin Krasnowolski

Hideki Takeuchi

Born in 1966, a producer and director working for film and television. An author specialized in well-received crazy comedies based on manga stories. Known for two parts of "Thermae Romae" (the stories about Lucius, an architect from the ancient Rome, who travels back and forth in time between his homeland and contemporary Japan) and musical "Nodame Cantabile".

Selected filmography:

2006 Nodame kantabire / Nodame Cantabile (serial TV)
2012 Terumae romae / Thermae Romae
2014 Terumae romae II / Thermae Romae II
2019 Zabierz mnie do Saitamy / Tonde Saitama / Fly Me to Saitama
2019 Lupin no Musume / Daughter of Lupin (serial TV)

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