The Drudgery Train

  • Comedy, Drama
  • 1h 54m
  • 2012

Gruff middle school dropout Kanta Kitamachi (Mirai Moriyama) works as a day laborer and spends his money on cheap booze, peep shows and second-hand paperbacks while overdue on his rent. A perpetual loner with no social skills, Kanta unexpectedly hits it off with a new, easy-going co-worker around the same age (Kengo Kora) who tempers Kanta’s worst habits and helps him pursue his unrequited crush on a cute bookstore clerk (Atsuko Maeda). Adapted from a novel set in 1988 Tokyo, The Drudgery Train is an unconventional coming-of-age tale and class-inflected character study that manages to upend every expectation of its unlikely yet likeable hero, directed by slacker comedy auteur Nobuhiro Yamashita (Linda, Linda, Linda).

  • Winner, Best Actor, 2013 Kinema Junpo Awards
  • Best Newcomer (Makita Sports), 2012 Blue Ribbon Awards

“Superb.” —The Chicago Reader

“A throwback to… [Yamashita’s] black comedy beginnings, but deeper as a character study and more adventurous as a film.” —The Japan Times

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In Japanese with English subtitles