T

he story concerns a boy called Shuji, growing up in a rural area of Japan where the community is divided into "Shore" and "Offshore" - the latter so-named because it is built on reclaimed land. He meets a few main characters, besides his family, that shape his development - gangster Oni-ken (Susumu Terajima) and his hostess girlfriend, an ominous-looking Catholic priest and his congregation-of-one, the troubled and rebellious teenage girl Eri - who also becomes Shuji's classmate and the object of his adolescent affections. Life in the Shore/Offshore community is not a bundle of joy - the impression is of a community and lifestyle in decay, with the only hope of rejuvenation being a gangster-funded hotel development project that doesn't exactly inspire the locals either. It's an environment that does not fill its young inhabitants with much hope or inspiration.

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