Is it in our heads?

A review of Parasite in Love (moderate spoilers)

In a dark room, crammed with computers and devices, Kengo Kosaka prepares his revenge against the world: a malware that will disrupt all communications on Christmas Eve. He remembers the suicide of his parents when he was 8 years old, the mockery at school, being rejected… Kengo washes and scrubs his hands frantically for his panic fear of dirt and germs (mysophobia) means he has no place in this world.

Somewhere else, lying in a park, Hijiri Sanagi reads a book. She meets children, she hates them and the way they stare at her. Hijiri simply cannot stand being looked at and observed (scopophobia), she has shunned herself from the outside world by wearing a headset all the time. Her memories are the inquisitive eyes of a grandfather, a scientist who told her as a child that she was sick, just like her mother, because a parasite lives inside her brain. Hijiri thinks she will die but does not panick, she lives with it.

How could these two young people possibly meet? Yet… Izumi, a mysterious man who seems to know a lot of things, contacts Kengo and forces him to not only meet Hijiri but to take care of her. After a difficult beginning that gives rise to scenes where tragic-comic dialogues and special effects are sometimes disturbing, the feeling of love emerges. Both of them aspire to do normal things, like everybody else… but is this mutual attraction the work of the human heart or the product of the influence of parasites living in their brains? Kengo is also infected.

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Parasites on Friday

The latest promotional activities for Parasite in Love, the new movie from director Kensaku Kakimoto: new extended trailer, special interview article on, film stills (outtakes), other interviews, TV appearances etc… Now it’s just 2 days to go before the nationwide theatrical release on Friday 12.

The interview with director Kakimoto and his two leads, i.e. Nana Komatsu and Kento Hayashi, is quite remarkable. It’s a long one but really worth reading, an in-depth take on their thoughts about solitude, the anxieties the covid crisis brought about, the status of minorities, the way the actors faced challenging roles… you will find below a translation of short selected excerpts.

I made ‘Parasite in Love’, which is not a common love story, but a film about two people who can’t lead a normal social life. (Kensaku Kakimoto)

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Late Fall Early Winter Mags

In order to promote Parasite in Love, co-stars Kento Hayashi and Nana Komatsu have been busy for several weeks, providing printed and online magazines with interviews. Kensaku Kakimoto‘s new movie is set for a nationwide release in Japan on Friday November 12.

Magazines List: Welfare Labour (November issue) – Anan (November issue) – Cinema Cinema (November issue, #95) – Da Vinci (December issue) – GQ Japan (December issue) – Jelly (December issue) – Nihon Eiga Navi (mook Vol.96) – PHP Special (December issue) – Spoon* (*Kadokawa, December issue, #144) – Location Japan* (*Rakuten books, December) – Non No (January 2022 issue). Unless specified, all clickable links redirect to the mag’s page on Amazon Japan (opens a new window)

Spoon (december issue)

Back in 2010, that is eleven years ago (!) teen model Komatsu Nana had her first mag cover with Spoon. Now a woman, a well-known model and a much sought-after actress, she makes the cover of the December 2021 issue with co-star Kento Hayashi. The two discuss their latest film together: Parasite in Love.

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Promoting Parasite in Love

Two weeks to go before the official release of Parasite in Love on Japanese screens, nationwide. 153 theaters have been selected so far. Several stage greetings events have also been decided (list there) like on Saturday November 13 at the Grand Cinema Sunshine in Ikebukuro, Tokyo, actress Komatsu Nana will attend.

Though TV appearances might occur at some point, a few days before and after the theatrical release, the current promotional campaign focuses on printed and online magazines. Today, Biz Life Style has released a short Kento Hayashi/Nana Komatsu interview, this webzine issue is available as a free pdf file: Biz #155.

Great interview of Parasite in Love Director Kensaku Kakimoto on Creators Station. If you can handle Japanese a bit it’s a very interesting piece, really worth reading as he develops not only on the process that led to the making of his latest film but also on his background. Kakimoto-san has a solid experience as a video maker for many CMs and music clips…

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Hijiri, a Parasite in Love

Three weeks to go before the theatrical release of Parasite in Love all over Japan on November 12. This Kadokawa Pictures film is directed by Kensaku Kakimoto. Theme Song by Awich, 13 other artists contributed to the soundtrack. As the first reviews begin to surface, here is a collection of Hijiri pictures and vidcaps from the teasers and trailers.

Plot (roughly translated from the Official Site): Kengo Kosaka (Kento Hayashi) is a young man who has lived his entire life being unable to get involved with others because of his extreme germ phobia. One day, he receives a weird request from a complete stranger to make friends with Hijiri Sanagi (Nana Komatsu), a high school student who is out of school due to gaze phobia, and take care of her.

Kosaka is annoyed by Sanagi’s devious attitude, but then he begins to sympathize with her as he realizes that she is trying to hide her own weakness. The two lonely people, who wished for the end of the world, eventually fall for each other and fall in love…

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