Toronto Japanese Film Festival 2018: Our Review Of ‘Tremble All You Want’

Toronto Japanese Film Festival 2018: Our Review Of ‘Tremble All You Want’

Tremble All You Want’s heroine, Yoshika (Mayu Matsuoka), may be well into her twenties but the film still has a coming-of-age vibe. Director Akiko Ohku takes a simple premise – an awkward loner leaves her comfort zone – and twists it into a quirky, yet relatable story.

Yoshika is quite the romantic even though she’s never been in a relationship. She loves the idea of love and lets everyone around her know it. She shares details about potential suitors wherever she goes; with a server at a dinner, with an old lady on the bus; and with a fisherman at the local pier. Most peculiar, though, is that Yoshika is no social butterfly. Speaking to strangers is out of character. She never outgrew her socially awkward stage in middle school when she drew secret cartoon versions of Ichi (Takumi Kitamura), the boy she crushed on. Now she’s grown up and ready to make a move on Ichi, but a second suitor named Kirishima (Daichi Watanabe) arrives and complicates matters.

Tremble All You Want takes place in mundane locations – dull offices, tiny apartments, cramped buses – and features a muted colour palette. Despite this grounded look, the film features its share of playful moments. In one scene, an aggressive suitor literally goes up in a puff of smoke. And in another, Yoshika leaves her body to walk toward the camera and break into a musical monologue.

This film doesn’t feature the warm fuzzy moments we see in similar movies. Yoshika’s romantic encounters are one-sided and don’t develop any sense of intimacy. Instead, the story focuses on Yoshika coming to grips with what love is versus what she wants it to be. Quite unusual for a genre content to churn out the same feel-good stories time and time again.



TUESDAY, JUNE 12, 2018, 7:00PM

  • Release Date: 2017
This post was written by
Victor Stiff is a Toronto-based freelance writer and pop culture curator. Victor currently contributes insights, criticisms, and reviews to several online publications where he has extended coverage to the Toronto International Film Festival, Hot Docs, Toronto After Dark, Toronto ComiCon, and Fan Expo Canada. Victor has a soft spot in his heart for Tim Burton movies and his two poorly behaved beagles (but not in that order).
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