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While the cinema schedules in Japan at this time of year are traditionally filled with youth dramas and anime franchise flicks, there’s another, less celebrated seasonal staple: the late-summer drama.

These tend to be intimate, character-driven films with handsome aesthetics, where the sultry atmosphere is offset by an air of melancholy: think Mipo Oh’s “The Light Shines Only There” (2014) or Haruhiko Arai’s “It Feels So Good” (2019). They’re movies that remind us that, in Japan, summer is a season not only for the living, but for the dead.

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