Kotoko, a teenage girl who just entered high school, does not have any friends. School life, home, and even TV have been far from enjoyable for her lately. At school, the seat behind her is empty. Seto Sachi, the frail girl who sits there, is recovering from an illness in a hospital. Although they have never met, Kotoko knows her by her nickname “Satchan”.
When asked by her mother whether she has made any friends at school, Kotoko tells her that she has made a friend named “Satchan.” From then on, Kotoko starts spending time with Satchan, an imaginary friend born out of a lie. The streets they walk, the parfait they ate together… Kotoko’s high school life means nothing without Satchan.
Then one day, she finally meets the real Satchan in person – but at her funeral.
Writer, director and editor Ogawa Sara is also an actress whom you might have seen in Innocent 15 or The Sacrament which garnered her a Best Actress award at Moosic Lab 2017. She is currently a student at Waseda University studying film under Kore-eda Hirokazu. She cites Neon Genesis Evangelion series creator/director Anno Hideaki and Obayashi Nobuhiko as a few of the inspirations for this short which seeks to blend high school subject matter with bold, eccentric filmmaking “that might not be necessarily understandable for mainstream audiences.” [Asian Movie Pulse interview] With a solid awareness of her filmmaking peers and a background also in front of the camera, Ogawa could become a double-edged filmmaker; one of the rare instances in Japan an actress also directs and/or moves into directing. Whether she will be able to maintain such a career should she pursue Obayshi’s philosophy is something Indievisual will be watching closely.