Of Japanese movies about star-crossed young lovers there will never be an end. The mostly female audience never tires of them, decade after decade. The genre has hardly gone extinct in the West either, though fans now tend to like their romantic fantasies spiced with everything from moody vampire heartthrobs (“Twilight”) to splashy musical production numbers (“Glee”). Here they still like them straight, made with the age-old ingredients of fated partings and tragic deaths.
With all the opportunities for practice, local filmmakers have polished genre conventions to a fine sheen, nearly always working from a hit manga, novel or TV drama. The resulting products are as sure a bet as anything in show business.