Based on the eponymous manga for girls by cartoonist Kiriko Nananan, the film follows the ups and downs of four female friends in Tokyo looking for love and trying to cope with the responsibilities in their lives. The main characters, impeccably played by four powerful actresses, are modern, self-sufficient women and their stories are told with mild irony and a dash of melancholy. The result is a movie that is lighthearted at times, a little sad at others, crazy and sometimes serious, but always special, that investigates the psychology of its characters and offers an accurate depiction of urban Japan, thanks to its director’s know-how. While many overly ambitious directors struggle to tell even one fairly comprehensible story, Yazaki skillfully weaves a powerful depiction of not one, but four women, creating an indissoluble and moving whole that doesn’t succumb to sentimentalism. —AsianMediaWiki
Hitoshi Yazaki (b. 1956, Kajikazawa, Japan) founded a film club (for shooting short movies) with Shunichi Nagasaki while studying screenwriting at university. In 1979 he and Nagasaki (a pioneer on the independent 8mm scene) founded their own production company, and in 1980 Yazaki completed his feature debut Afternoon Breezes (Kazetachi no gogo), which in Japan became a sensation of non-studio filmmaking, and even made it into foreign distribution. He achieved similar success with March Comes in Like a Lion (Sangatsu no raion, 1991), his first commercial feature. In the new millennium he shot the four-hour drama The Girl Who Picks Flowers and the Girl Who Kills Insects (Hana wo tsumu shôjo to mushi wo korosu shôjo, 2000) and adapted the manga by Kiriko Nananan entitled Strawberry Shortcakes (Sutoroberî shotokeikusu, 2006). —Karlovy Vary IFF
This is kind of reminiscent of the Korean film "Take Care of My Cat", though far more depressing. While title and poster art allude to playful escapism which modern youth tends to favor, it's actually a trap layed out to confront them with disenchanting reality not unlike the urban alienation expressed in Tsai Ming-liang's films. Certainly one of the most accomplished and relevant Japanese films of the past decade.