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With his black suit, ever-present sunglasses and air of entitlement, hit novelist Yosuke Mikura (Goro Inagaki) comes across like a cut-price Marcello Mastroianni. Women swoon wherever he goes, but a ginger-haired, poetry-quoting vagrant he finds slumped in an underpass is more to his tastes.

That would be Barbara (Fumi Nikaido): a booze-guzzling manic pixie dream girl, literary muse, sex object, sorceress or all of the above. First conceived by manga pioneer Osamu Tezuka during his edgy early-1970s period, she’s been brought to the screen by the artist’s son, Macoto Tezka.

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