Once every several decades, a red comet becomes observable from the Earth. High school student Jun hears of a curious theory that a time paradox will induced by creating a strong magnetic field when a comet passes. Together with his companions in the astronomy club, he sets about creating a “comet core” which will have the same strong magnetic field as the comets which hurtle through space. Gratifying days pass uneventfully. Jun is surrounded by companions who will immerse themselves in something so trivial; and beside him is his childhood friend, Hana. In fact, the realities of the comet really don’t matter. And there is certainly not a single thing he hopes for.
It’s difficult to say if the intriguing yet deceptively simple-sounding premise of director Takei Yuri’s feature-length debut can be labeled “lo-fi sci-fi”, but the final line of the synopsis leads one to think the movie may be worth viewing to find out whether or not the statement is true.
Online film site Cinefil.tokyo commented that “Takei Yuri, who timelessly succeeds the bloodline of Japanese 80s cinema in Obayashi Nobuhiko and Somai Shinji among others, depicts an adolescent sci-fi ensemble drama revolving around an astronomy club…which evokes vibrant memories of those days when uncomfortable silences made the heart beat fast.”
Considering the proliferation of 80s-style content across all film industries as young filmmakers discover and tap the era for inspiration, these words can lend some reassurance with regards to what The Red Comet Club is setting out to tell and in what vein. Conversely, being compared to such luminaries will undoubtedly shoulder Takei with perhaps undue expectations, but it will be interesting to see how he takes on the challenge in his subsequent movies.
The Red Comet Club picked up the Gemstone Award and the Cinema Fan Award at the PFF Award 2017 as well as the Runner-up Prize at the 29th Tokyo Student Film Festival.