Ubisoft Presents Fantasia 2008
Gachi Boy: Wrestling With a Memory

Gachi Boy: Wrestling With a Memory

(Gachi bôi)

Canadian Premiere

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Director: Norihiro Koizumi
Screenplay: Masafumi Nishida
Cast: Ryuta Sato, Osamu Mukai, Saeko, Asako Asaoka, Chihiro Okudera
Producers: Masahiko Oda, Chikahiro Ando, Mayumi Akashi
Distributor: Fuji TV


Igarashi seems to have it all. He’s young, cheerful, friendly and blazingly intelligent. Though he still has one full year of university remaining, Igarashi has already passed the bar exam and is well on his way to a career as a high-powered lawyer. But Igarashi has one major problem—a serious accident a year before has left him with no short-term memory. He cannot learn anything new and gets by only with the help of detailed notes and photographs taken every day and left for himself to find in the morning. Clearly his dream of becoming a lawyer is impossible now, so what is Igarashi to do? Become a masked wrestler, of course!

Yes, kids, GACHI BOY is a film that combines the central plot device of MEMENTO with the classic lovable-underdog sports movie—a bizarre combination but, by god, does it ever work. Quirky, laugh-out-loud funny, laced with typically Japanese melodrama and good old-fashioned root-for-the-little-guy pathos, GACHI BOY comes at you from all angles and does it so well that I dare you to not stand up and cheer when Igarashi steps into the ring for his final confrontation. You’ll come to this one for the hysterical sight of scrawny Japanese university students donning masks and costumes and stepping into the ring—a comic goldmine used to its full potential—but you’ll walk away cheering the heart of the piece.

—Todd Brown