Though it’s a time of life that many people will recall with nostalgia, in reality, being 14 is a drag: a hormone-ravaged purgatory, caught between the comfortable certainties of childhood and the privileges and freedoms afforded to the fully matured.

Tsubame (Kaya Kiyohara), the protagonist of Michihito Fujii’s “The Brightest Roof in the Universe,” has a few added concerns. As her father and stepmother prepare for the arrival of their first child together, she feels her own place within the household is under threat. She also has boy problems at school and is infatuated with her college-aged neighbor, Toru (Kentaro Ito), though she’s already having second thoughts about the overly affectionate birthday card she just dropped in his mailbox.

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