Naoyuki Morita (Kazuo)
After the divorce of his parents, Kazuo returns with his mother to the town where he spent his childhood in. In his first day as a transfer student, his childhood friend Kazumi, coincidentally becomes his classmate. She began spurting embarassing stories of them as children, how they took naps together, how he wet his pants and promising to be married to each other when they grow up. Kazuo tries to avoid her but Kazumi keeps on clinging and hanging around him, eventhough she already has a boyfriend.
While visiting Kazumi's house, her parents told her to bring Kazuo to the spring to refresh his childhood memories because he seems to have forgotten everything about them.Messing around beside the spring, both of them fell into it and as they came out, their bodies have switched. After that, everything goes crazy as they tried to live each other's lives since they cannot fully explain to their families what happened.
Although the movie is a funny comedy in the first half, it becomes a melancholic drama on the second half as Kazuo, in Kazumi's body, started to manifest symptoms of a serious illness that threatens his life...in her body...coz you see..the switching...oh, you get the picture. In the end, Kazumi professes her love for Kazuo and is happy to die for him. In fact, they are both willing to accept the same fate for each other.
The movie ends with a note "...human life is short, but the stories they leave behind lasts forever. To the youth of today, what stories are you going to leave behind?"
The english title of the dvd is "Switching: Goodbye Me". But the direct translation of the title is "Transfer Student: Goodbye You". It seems they took some artistic liberties in titling the movie. The 'Goodbye Me' part came from the night they were alone together, saying farewell to their bodies, seeing their bodies for the last time. Saying "Goodbye, me".
The cinematography and sound mixing of the movie is very good. The angles and transitions makes for a smooth flow of the story as the insight on the different characters are developing.
I was also impressed with how well and cute Misako and Naoyuki played out each other's personality in their own persona. I was especially amused on how Misako acted out Kazuo's character, the way she walks, her speech pattern, her personality were totally different in her 'Kazumi' role. Naoyuki also did good but did not potrayed Kazumi's energetic personality and overactive imagination that well. Based on their overall performance, these two are actors to watch out for in the future.
Here are some links about them:Tenkousei's official site
Misako's Dramawiki profile
Misako's yahoo blog