Yoshihiro Nakamura is an odd man out among contemporary Japanese filmmakers. All of his films as a director, including his 2009 international breakthrough “Fisshu Sutori (Fish Story),” are intended first and foremost as entertainment, not art. At the same time, they are often philosophical investigations into the nature of reality, seemingly inspired by geneticist JBS Haldane’s observation that “The universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose.”
This combination is not common in an industry whose commercial films are mostly either humanistic dramas, manga-esque fantasies or some combination of the two. At the same time, Nakamura is less a sui generis creator than an adaptor of others’ work, especially the fiction of Kotaro Isaka, which has inspired four of his best films.