The Japanese, it’s often remarked, try to avoid the sort of extreme, in-your-face confrontation more common in the West. A road rage incident became national news here recently because its violence — one party punching the other in the face through an open car window — seemed so rare.

What then to make of Minori (Minori Hagiwara), the laser-eyed protagonist of Ryutaro Ninomiya’s film “Minori, on the Brink”? Early on, we are introduced to two louche guys, Kei (Keitoku Ito) and Chihiro (Koutatsu Terabayashi), chatting about a recent konpa (mixer), as their chubby blonde acquaintance, Hirose (Yuki Hirose), listens. Two girls show up — and one, Minori, is steaming mad over Kei’s sexist behavior towards her nervously smiling friend Rieko (Rieko Dote) at the konpa. She kicks him, he pushes her and she shouts out “rape.” We are, we realize, not in another Japanese film where women stoically endure abuse from men.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.