All About Lily Chou-Chou

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All About Lily Chou-Chou (Rirī Shushu no Subete) is a Japanese live-action movie that was directed by Shunji Iwai. Iwai is known in Japan for being an excellent director, writer and documentarian. All About Lily Chou-Chou was released in 2001. It was meant to be an accurate portrayal of the difficult lives some high school children in Japan have to face day to day.


The movie is about two friends: Shusuke Hoshino and Yuichi Hasumi. In junior high, Hoshino was one of the best students in the entire school. He was an excellent kendo athlete and had a beautiful mother. He was also picked-on constantly by his fellow classmates. Yuichi, his best friend, was always the quiet one. He became obsessed with the music of a strange musician known as Lily Chou-Chou. Hoshino changes when he gets to high school. He suddenly becomes manipulative and dark, taking pleasure in ruining the lives of his former friends. He becomes everything that he swore he would never become. A student named Shiori Tsuda believes that Hoshino has changed so much because of his parents divorcing.

Yuichi, Hoshino’s shy and faithful friend, ends up becoming roped into Hoshino’s gang. He is often called upon to do Hoshino’s dirty work and finds comfort only when he is able to stop and listen to Lily Chou-Chou. Yuichi suddenly gets assigned as a mentor for Shiori. Hoshino has black-mailed Shiori into a practice known as enjoi kōsai. Enjoi kōsai is a form of high-school prostitution, where young girls are paid to go on dates with much older men. They often are made to perform sexual acts against their will. Yuichi has a hard time dealing with this new turn of events and decides to run off to Tokyo to see a Lily Chou-Chou concert for himself. While he is at the concert, he sees somebody that he never expected to see.

Misc Info

In the movie, the story is told not only on the screen, but also in an internet message board. Characters from the story post on the board and tell the story through their eyes. The names are all changed, however, and it is left up to the audience to try to figure out which character has which name.

In the movie Kill Bill, Quentin Tarantino, a fan of Japanese films, used a song from Lily Chou-Chou. The song is called Kaifuku Suru Kizu, and is used in the scene where the Bride views the sword collection of the master sword maker.

During the movie, there really was a concert filmed. Hundreds of extras were cast, and each one was given an index card. On this card was detailed information about how the character that the extra plays would be feeling.

Before filming began, Iwai started an internet novel called Lilyholic. He pretended to be numerous different characters on the board and actually managed to get quite a bit of information for his movie from the bulletin board posters.

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