A directing debut of a famous Japanese screenwriter Hiramatsu Emiko (*1967), a five-times winner of the Japan Academy Prize for Screenplay of the Year, who was for years a part of a creative tandem with director Yamada Yōji, opens an unusual perspective on the phenomenon of Japanese animal shelters. Kanzaki Shōji, an animal lover and former animal attendant in a zoo, lands by a twist of fate a job at a municipal public health centre – the job description being putting stray dogs to sleep. The rules are strict: if no new owner is found for a dog within seven days, it’s put to death. Kanzaki tries his best – but can a single man put a break on remorseless machinery? Can children brought up with love to animals reconcile with their father’s line of work?
The film received large response in Japan, not only for its qualities (including outstanding acting of Masato Sakai in the leading role), but also for its theme based on a real story, which in a concentrated form reflect many specifics of Japanese society. There is exceptional for one more aspect – it happens to be Shōchiku studio’s first film in 50 years to be directed by a woman.