Eye On

Beyond the Blue

Beyond the Blue Feature

“Blue Mail” is a letter you receive from your future self. Is it a hopeful message? Or is it sad tidings of misfortune? A young man, Kagari, and a runaway girl, Yuki, meet under trivial circumstances. Both are burdened by a pain they are unable to forget but believing there must be something more ahead of them, they set out for Tokyo. Along the way their past and secrets catch up with them.

Hiro Kenichiro has an interesting history. After studying abroad in Texas, he graduated from high school and entered Osaka University’s School of Dentistry. But while there, he began studying 3D graphics at Digital Hollywood and has since been involved in the production of many music and promotional videos. His filmography lists a number of independent shorts and features he’s been making since 2012, including two in English. Though he has been decorated for some, others are competent study pieces; Hiro gradually improving by consistently making movies. Beyond the Blue seems to the first fruits of such labors as evidenced by its competition berth at the 15th SKIP City International D-Cinema Festival. In the rundown of SKIP City’s lineup that year, I mentioned how its concept was reminiscent of Greg Egan’s ‘The Hundred Light Year Diary’. What awaits the two protagonists as they head toward a possibly irreversible future, or if that future is mutable, is perhaps the very essence of adolescence itself.

Filmed when he was 21 in the summer of 2017, Hiro performed the roles of director, screenwriter, cinematographer, lighting, editor and VFX creator. It co-stars Imou Haruka, a talented young actress who has been busy of late and her appearance alone is worth giving Hiro’s movie a look. Beyond the Blue is tentatively scheduled to open in Japan on January 11th, 2020 and interestingly enough is 7 minutes shorter than its SKIP City presentation. Check the official page (in Japanese) for more visuals.

View his filmography at his homepage here.