Summer Time Machine Blues

Back to yesterdayc over and over again!

The irrepressible energy of youth collides head on with the theory of relativity in a uniquely exhilarating and uplifting comedy about time travel directed and produced by mega-hit maker, Katsuyuki Motohiro. Shuttling repeatedly between two days in the lives of a group of college students, gSummer Time Machine Bluesh is a roller coaster ride of a story filled with plenty of crazy loops and mind-bending curves.

Film Katsuyuki Motohiro continues to solidify his reputation as the hottest director in Japanese cinema with gSummer Time Machine Blues,h his first project serving as both producer and director. In the wake of his phenomenally successful gBayside Shakedownh series of feature films gBayside Shakedown 2h (e03) having become the highest grossing live action film in Japanese history - Motohiro turns his creative talents and hit making magic to a pet project he started nurturing in the summer of 2003, an adaptation of a stage play by theatre troupe Europe Kikaku called, gSummer Time Machine Blues 2003.h So enamored was Motohiro by the play, which drew packed houses during its Tokyo run, that he immediately volunteered to collaborate with the writers to produce a screen adaptation.


It began as just another hot midsummer dayc August 19, 2005. Five male members of the gSci-Fi Research Clubh play baseball on a university campus field in the sweltering heat. They are Shunsuke Koizumi (Daijiro Kawaoka), Takuma Komoto (Eita), Yuu Niimi (Yoshiaki Yoza), Daigo Ishimatsu (Tsuyoshi Muro) and Jun Soga (Munenori Nagano). As they hurl wild pitches at each other, mishandle simple grounders and repeatedly whiff at the ball, Yui Itoh (Yoko Maki) of the photography club tries in vain to capture the boys in Pulitzer Prize-quality action photos. Nearby, stray dog and club mascot, Kecha, pokes around the field looking for something to dig up. When an errant baseball goes sailing into the stone statue of a local pagan deity at the edge of the field, the boys decide to call it quits for fear of angering the gods.

The gang returns to their air-conditioned Sci-Fi Research Club, which serves more as a cluttered graveyard for scrapped toys, games and trinkets than a laboratory for gscience fictionh research. In the back room, another photography club member, Haruka Shibata (Juri Ueno), busily prepares for the clubfs upcoming photo exhibit by developing poorly composed close-up shots of Sci-Fi Research Club faculty advisor and assistant professor, gJoseh Hozumi (Kuranosuke Sasaki). With wash basins and towels in hand, the five young men head to the local public bath. During the course of their ablutions, one of them, Niimi, notices to his horror that someone has stolen his precious Vidal Sassoon shampoo! When the five boys leave the bath house, Niimi continues to stew about his shampoo while Ishimatsu parts with the rest so he can cycle into town and find more fun clutter for the club house. Komoto, too, runs off to buy two advance movie tickets, which he hopes he can use to entice out Haruka, on whom he has a secret crush. But when he returns to the Lab, he finds everybody waiting for him and expecting him to perform a dancec bare naked! gAre you really going through with this?h one of them asks. gThis ought to be good!h blurts another. Something strange is going on. As an utterly perplexed Komoto tries hard to fathom the situation, Koizumi swings his arms in excitement only to cause someone behind him to spill cola all over the air conditioner remote. The weirdness is only beginning.

A time machine from nowhere!

Itfs just past noon the next day, August 20th, and the sun rays beat mercilessly down on the world below. The boys sit lethargically in a room bereft of air conditioning, languishing in the humidity as cicadas buzz mockingly outside. The only way to turn on the air-conditioner is with the remote, but that is now broken and in the hands of their advisor, Hozumi. Little do the boys know that he has already pulverized the device in a fit of frustration. Meanwhile, Komoto finds a moment of privacy with Haruka and tries to invite her to a movie. But in a reprise of the odd events of yesterday, she reluctantly refuses him for a reason that leaves him completely befuddled. gI canft do that to your girlfriend,h she responds sadly as she leaves. gWhat girlfriend?h Komoto mutters. Everyone returns to the club room to find a strange young man with gmushroomh haircut standing there. gIs this the Sci-Fi Research Club?h he asks. gYesc who are you?h The young man grows panicky and bolts out of the room. Shrugging it off as just another geek interested in joining the club, the boys prepare to go about their ordinary business of goofing off when suddenly they spot a metal object in the corner of the room. Equipped with a chair and various dials, they surmise itfs a time machine. gSomeonefs idea of a joke?h gMaybe that mushroom-headed geek left it.h

Soga gets on the machine and jokingly tries it out. But the split second he lowers the lever, he is bathed in a bright warping light and vanishes into thin air! The rest of the gang stands flabbergasted. As they start a search for their missing colleague, the light returns and a horrified looking Soga re-materializes. gIs this today?h he screams as he scrambles off the machine. He tells the others that he has just traveled back in time to exactly 24 hours ago where he saw himself and the rest playing baseball outside. His story is then verified by Yui Itoh when she produces a photograph she had taken the day before which captures Soga peering out from the buildingfs doorway. gThat would meancthe time machine is real!h The group reexamine the machine and sees that it can only travel forwards or backwards up to a maximum of 99 years. Everyone agrees they donft want to see the future so they decide to test the machine out by traveling back to yesterday, again, with the simple objective of bringing back the not-yet-broken air-conditioner remote. Though only built for one passenger, Niimi, Koizumi and Ishimatsu crowd onto the machine and vanish.

Will altering the past destroy the future?

The three boys arrive to see themselves playing baseball the previous day, and begin congratulating each other on their time-traveling success. They spot the remote control unit, still pristine and intact. They grab it and prepare to leave but are gripped by an overwhelming desire to stick around and have some fun. They decide to tail their past selves, unnoticed, to the public bath house. Meanwhile, back in the present, the rest of the group grows worried. gWhatfs taking them so long?h It is then that the stranger with the mushroom haircut returns and introduces himself as Tamura (Chikara Honda), a Sci-Fi Research Club member from 25 years in the future, who also arrived at the building one summer day in 2030 to find the time machine just sitting there. gWhere is it, by the way?h asks Tamura. gI should probably be getting back.h Komoto and the rest of the gang sheepishly apologize for the machinefs temporary absence and decide to give their fellow future alum a tour of the town in the meantime. Tamura is surprised to see how little the town will change over 25 years but comments that the local movie theater, which was frequented by his mother - also a graduate of the school - is now a convenience store. When asked if hefd like to see her, Tamura jokes, gBetter not. It might discourage her from wanting children and alter the future.h Everyone has a good laugh until they begin to seriously ponder the ramifications of that observation. gWill changing the past change the present and future as well? Overhearing their conversation is their advisor, Hozumi, who after years of specializing in the study of Einsteinfs relativity theory has concluded that time travel is impossible. gEven if it were possible, which it isnft,h he asserts, galtering the past would result in paradoxes causing the destruction of everything.h The group rushes back to the club in a panic only to find the time machine waiting for them with a note pinned to it reading: gHurry and join us!h Komoto and Soga board the machine with a new mission - to set things back to the way they were before they wipe themselves and everyone out of existence!



Stray dog befriended by the Sci-Fi Research Club members who canft stop digging.

Takuma Komoto
gSci-Fi Research Club memberh and leader figure. Has a secret crush on Photography Club member, Haruka Shibata.

Born December, 1982, Eita began his career in modeling, appearing in many television commercials. From 2001, Eita began landing acting roles in television dramas until his big breakthrough in the 2003 series, gWaterboysh (Fuji TV), followed by his critically-acclaimed role in the 2004 TV drama, gOrange Daysh (TBS). Currently starring in the made-for-DVD drama, gTokyo Friends.h Feature film credits include gBlue Springh (f02), gAzumih (f03), g9 Soulsh (f03) and gDensha Otokoh (f05).

Haruka Shibata
Charming, easygoing Photography Club member who is fond of movies and taking close-up portraits of people.

Juri Ueno
Born May, 1986, Juri first drew media attention when she appeared in Clearasil commercials in 2001, leading to roles in popular television dramas, gTeru Teru Kazokuh (f03, NHK),gOrange Daysh (f04, TBS) and gEngineh (f05, Fuji TV). After appearing in the feature films gJosee, the Tiger and the Fishh (f03) and gChirusoku no Natsuh (f04), she landed a lead role in the popular 2004 film, gSwing Girls,h which won her Rookie Of Year at the 28th Japan Academy Prize. Her upcoming films include gKame wa Igai to Hayaku Oyoguh and gWarau Michael,h now in post production.

Yuu Niimi
ci-Fi Research Club member and devoted user of Vidal Sassoon shampoo who never quite figures out whatfs going on.

Shunsuke Koizumi
Sci-Fi Research Club member and biggest goof-off. Canft stop taking but serves as group mood maker.

Daigo Ishimatsu
Sci-Fi Research Club member and self-appointed pun-maker. Has a habit of cluttering the club with items hefs picked up around town.

Jun Soga
Sci-Fi Research Club member and underclassman of the group, which means he gets forced to do all the dirty work. Tends to get a little too excited.

Akira Tamura
A ggeekh with a mushroom haircut who has traveled back in time from the year 2030 but who behaves and appears more like someone from the past.

Yui Itoh
Motivated, headstrong photography club leader who fancies herself a photographic artist and aspires to eventually wresting the club room out of the hands of the Sci-Fi Club.