A film on the earthly magic of falling in love, Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s Asako I & II is the brilliant screen adaptation of Tomoka Shibasaki’s bestselling novel, Netemo Sametemo. When Asako (Erika Karata), a shy student from Osaka, meets Baku (Masahiro Higashide) at a photo exhibition, it’s love at first sight. Baku is a mysterious and gorgeous-looking young man, but he likes to disappear when the mood strikes him. Then, one day, he’s gone for good. Two years later, Asako, now working as a server in a Tokyo coffee shop, spots Ryohei (also Higashide), a young sake executive who looks exactly like Baku — to the extent that Asako is convinced she’s found her lost lover. But Ryohei is a very different person: he has no secrets, he is honest and kind-hearted, and he will love Asako with a faithful, protective love, destined to last forever — the kind of love that’s so reassuring it might even be scary.