“Hana and Alice” is a 2004 Japanese teen drama that portrays a friendship between two girls, including the elements of comedy, drama, and love story. It is a feature film (135 minutes) directed by Shunji Iwai, based on a series of short films (2003) distributed on the Net for the 30th anniversary of Kit Kat in Japan.
Hana Arai (Anne Suzuki), a junior high-school student who takes ballet lessons with her friend Tetsuko Arisugawa (nicknamed Alice) (Yū Aoi), falls in love at first sight with a high school boy Masashi Miyamoto.
Hana and Alice enroll at Masashi’s high school. Hana joins the Rakugo (Japanese traditional comical storytelling) club because Masashi is a member of the club.
Alice is recruited by a model agency at Harajuku, Tokyo, and starts taking auditions.
Hana misleads Masashi into believing that he lost his memory and forgets that she is his lover. Hana makes Alice pretend his ex. They are stuck in a strange triangle relationship because Masashi fell in love with Alice.
The highlights are clear and beautiful images shot by HD digital camera, and Yū Aoi’s ballet scenes.
This movie includes some quotations from old anime works, such as Osamu Tezuka’s “Astro Boy” and Isao Takahata’s “The Great Adventure of Horus, Prince of the Sun”.
Direction, screenplay, and music by Shunji Iwai.
The animation film “The Case of Hana & Alice” (2015) is the prequel to this film.