Taiyō no uta (Midnight Sun)

Midnight Sun (film)

Song to the Sun

Directed by Norihiro Koizumi
Written by Kenji Bando
Starring Yui
Takashi Tsukamoto
Kuniko Asagi
Goro Kishitani
Sogen Tanaka
Airi Toyama
Music by Yui
Distributed by Shochiku Co.,Ltd.
(Japan)
Release date(s) June 17, 2006 (Japan)
Running time 119 min.
Language Japanese

Song to the Sun, known in Japan as Taiyō no Uta (タイヨウのうた, Song of the Sun?), is a movie directed by Norihiro Koizumi starring the Japanese artist and singer Yui. In the movie, she plays the role of Kaoru Amane (雨音 薫 Amane Kaoru), a 16 year old girl who has the rare skin condition xeroderma pigmentosum (XP), a disease that makes the ultraviolet radiation of sunlight potentially lethal to her. Yui’s character is partly based on herself, as she is a singer and guitarist, and she performs three of Yui’s songs in the movie; “It’s Happy Line“, “Good-bye Days” and “Skyline”. There has also been a Japanese TV drama based on the movie, starring Takayuki Yamada and Erika Sawajiri, along with a manga by Bandou Kenji also based on the movie by Minatsuki Tsunami. There is also a 2010 Korean Musical with Girls’ Generation‘s Taeyeon playing in the role of Kaoru.

Plot

This article’s plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. Please help improve it by removing unnecessary details and making it more concise. (December 2009)

Kaoru has Xeroderma Pigmentosum (XP), and is not allowed to be exposed to sunlight. She sleeps during the day and is active at night. She busks every night in front of a station playing guitar. Outside her bedroom window, she spots a high school boy with a surfboard. She watches him and his friends visit the ocean every morning, before going to sleep. One day, she introduces herself to him without letting him know about her illness. He is Kōji Fujishiro (Takashi Tsukamoto) When her cousin drags her home, they sit by her window while they watch Kōji meet his friends. Kaoru explains everything, and her cousin notes that she probably goes to the same school as him, and offers to spy on him for her.

Kaoru and Kōji at the bus stop

The next evening she sits by the bus stop. Kōji arrives on his scooter. Both embarrassed, they start talking and Kōji eventually promises to meet her and listen to her sing another night, at the start of the school holidays. When they meet up, another obnoxious street performer has taken her spot. Kōji decides to take her to the city, where after seeing the sights, she starts playing in a square. (YUI’s music video Skyline features this event). A substantial crowd gathers to hear her sing. Afterwards they watch the ocean, and Kōji asks her out.

Their date, however, ends abruptly as the sun breaks out and Kaoru flees home. Kōji is soon informed of Kaoru’s condition and is taken aback. For a while, Kaoru stubbornly refuses to see him. Kōji learns of a recording studio where Kaoru could record her debut single, and takes up small jobs to earn the money to pay for it. Her father, out of concern, invites Kōji over one night. At dinner, Kōji reveals his plans for Kaoru’s CD. As they walk home that night, the two begin to talk and Kaoru slowly realizes how much Kōji truly cares for her.

Kaoru and Kōji playing guitar

As her disease worsens, she loses feeling in her hands and is unable to play guitar. She assures Kōji that she still has her voice.

In the studio, she asks her family and friends to leave. She asks them to wait for the CD.

Time passes. As promised, Kōji brings Kaoru to the beach to watch him surf. The protective suit she had left hanging for years is finally used. By now she is in a wheelchair. She complains that the suit is getting hot. With a painful expression that fades quickly, Kaoru’s father tries to convince her that if she takes off the suit, it can’t bother her anymore, that she could run around freely. She declines. With that, she struggles to stand up and limps weakly toward Kōji. As she walks, she trips over the sand and Kōji rushes to catch her. She catches herself at the last minute, revealing that it was a feint and giggles at his surprised face.

Finally Kaoru is laid to rest in a coffin full of sunflowers. Kōji, Kaoru’s friends and family listen as Kaoru’s CD is finally released. In the final scene, Kōji rushes towards the waves, his mind replaying her voice.

Cast

Details

“Good-bye Days” (2006)Taiyō no utaTheme Song, “Good-bye Days”


  • Title: タイヨウのうた
  • Title (romaji): Taiyō no Uta
  • Also known as: A Song of the Sun (The Sun’s Song), Midnight Sun, A Song to the Sun
  • Genre: Romance, Human Drama
  • Theme song: Good-bye Days by Yui.
  • Insert song: Skyline by Yui.
  • Insert song: It’s happy line by Yui.

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