Synopsis by Jonathan Crow
Veteran director Nobuhiko Obayashi spins this nostalgic tale about a fledging rock band during the 1960s. The film centers on average school kid Chikura Fujihara (Yasufumi Hayashi), who, at the movie's onset, is playing the violin until he is gobsmacked by what is on the radio -- the Ventures' "Pipeline." He promptly dumps Brahms and decides to start a band. The problem is that few people have heard of rock & roll in rural Japan in 1965. In his new high school, he joins the Music Club where he meets a bespectacled youth named Shirai Seiichi (Tadanobu Asano), who not only is a big fan of rock, but actually plays a guitar. Soon after, the two enlist the shorn headed son of a Buddhist priest named Aida (Yoshiyuki Omori) as a bassist and the buck-toothed brass band refugee named Okushita (Taketoshi Nagahori) as a drummer. For a brief time, the band -- named The Rocking Horsemen -- gains some regional fame after debuting at their school's festival show. As high school nears an end, everyone in the band knows it is finished -- Shirai and Okushita are going to work in their respective family businesses and Aida is going to become a man of the cloth. Only Fujihara, who is going to college in Tokyo, dreams of something bigger.