Directed by Isao Yukisada

Frustration, laughter and rage
– all in Osaka dialect!

Child actress Mana Ashida is a national idol, known for her adorable smile and prodigious acting talent. In this film and in her first starring role, Ashida plays the slightly eccentric, dark heroine Kokko. Adorable as ever, she portrays a tough third grader with a thick Kansai accent, bursting with energy on the big screen.

Director Isao Yukisada’s hit films include “Sekai no chûshin de, ai o sakebu” and “Parade.” Although this is Yukisada and Ashida’s first collaboration, he has deftly drawn out a new dimension of the young actress.

“THE ROUND TABLE” is based on a novel by the same name by the popular author Kanako Nishi. She has also written bestsellers “Sakura”, “Yellow Elephant” and “Fukuwarai” and is considered a rising star.

While limited to a radius of a few kilometers, third grader Kokko’s world is packed with “Why?” One minute, she’s frustrated, the next minute she’s laughing her head off, then heaving a deep sigh…Does this sound familiar? This story is meant to resonate with adults, as it was written for adults. For all the grown-ups who’ve experienced the trials and tribulations of third grade.

This summer, “THE ROUND TABLE” will deliver a precious gift that you may have forgotten.


She has a big, boisterous family, brimming over with love

But Kokko’s heart yearns for “solitude.”

Third grader Kokko (Mana Ashida) lives in a small Osaka apartment with seven other family members. Her mom and dad, grandpa and grandma and three big sisters… (triplets!) Everyone adores Kokko. But Kokko is sick of her picture-perfect, happy life. She’s enamored with the idea of “solitude” and yearns to be different. To Kokko, that’s the ultimate “cool.” She idolizes her classmate Megumi Koda who appears one day wearing an eye patch, and Pak, who she discovers is a South Korean national, and her best friend Possan, a stutterer.

It’s summer break and between the ordinary and not so ordinary days, little Kokko’s big adventure begins. Grandpa teaches her a magical word “imagine.” And with that, Kokko slowly embarks on a journey to becoming a “grown up…”

Running Time : 113 minutes