100 Yen Love (Hyakuen no Koi) is the story of Ichiko Saito, a destitute woman in her early 30s who has no career, no husband or kids, and no obvious goals in life. Through an unexpected relationship between her and the man that she would see at the boxing club when walking to the convenience store, Ichiko decides to take up boxing as a way to cope with the pent up rage that seems to be the only part of her that we see in the movie.
In this review, I discussed three qualities that make 100 YEN LOVE a good entry for Japan in the Foreign Film section of the Academy Awards. I touch on the topics of Sakura Ando’s acting, the film’s overall plot structure, and how the black humor of the film works in its favor.
SPOILER ALERT: There is a spoiler alert around the 7:25 minute mark. I suggest that you skip to the 8:22 minute mark to avoid any spoilers.