Tomoki Sakai (Kento Hayashi) is your average junior-high student.
Fascinated by the diving skills of Yoichi Fujitani (Sosuke
Ikemaytsu), an elite athlete born into a family of former
Olympic divers, Tomoki joins the Mizuki Diving Club (MDC)
where Yoichi trains. However, the club is in the red, and
its very survival is under question. Beautiful Kayoko Asaki
(Asaka Seto) has just returned from the US and joins the club
as a new coach, with the mission to save MDC. Her goal is
for the club to produce an athlete capable of competing in
the Olympics. She brings in Shibuki Okitsu (Junpei Mizobata),
a skillful diver with a wild streak from Tsugaru. His volcanic
personality and fierce competitiveness change the atmosphere
in the club. Meanwhile, Kayoko discovers that Tomoki possesses
a unique ability called “diamond eyes” and inspires
him to begin serious training. Tomoki, Yoichi and Shibuki
have to overcome personal problems, and struggle through conflicts
and setbacks in the sport to achieve their dreams. Can they
make it to the Olympics? What is the mystery of the “diamond
eyes”? What do the boys see from the edge of their physical
hot summer of three boys hooked on the thrill of diving is
about to begin.
So this reviewer isn’t the best looking dude amongst his fellow columnists, nor is he the fittest guy among them – so you can only forgive him for having to sit through this sports movie about, hold your breath (no pun intended here), diving. Sigh, imagine having to sit through 115 minutes of a Japanese sports movie where the three male leads are, sigh, better looking than him; and sigh, have leaner and meaner bods compared to his flabby physique.
Ah, the torture!
But this slight discouragement did not prevent him from reviewing this uplifting movie as objectively as possible. So he pressed on, watched the movie until the end credits began rolling, before he penned this writeup. The story plays out like a typical feel good movie where the protagonist defeats all odds to make it to the glorious finale where he can proudly showcase his diving skills, and ahem, his lean and mean bod (stop the jealousy from seeping in already!). He is accompanied by two pals who set out with him on this journey of competition and sportsmanship. Oh, and guess what, these two dudes are also good looking, lean and mean (sigh, there’s a reason why certain people are movie stars and others are not).
To the seasoned viewer, this movie will not provide any surprises or innovative ideas when it comes to storytelling. Who doesn’t know that the picture will end on a happy note? Who doesn’t know that despite the initial competition between the guys, they will end up being good friends? Who doesn’t know that behind those struggles, there actually lie true sportsmen who will do their loved ones proud?
Kento Hayashi, Sosuke Ikematsu and Junpei Mizobata are the three young and pleasing actors who take on the role of the three divers chasing their dreams at the dive pool. Each has his own unique charisma, and each will appeal to different girls differently. Now that we have addressed the female viewers’ objectives of watching this movie, we shall talk about the impressive production values. The camera angles and shots are exceptionally extraordinary – you have to see it to experience the awe inspiring efforts that went into this production.
Ultimately, what makes this agreeable production extremely watchable is its very positive approach in engaging audiences into reflecting about themes of friendship, sportsmanship, and most importantly, that anything is achievable as long as you go the distance. Sounds like a fairy tale? Definitely – because in real life, this reviewer doesn’t think he’ll ever look so good standing on a diving board in a pair of swimming trunks.
This Code 3 DVD contains no extra features.
The disc’s visual transfer accentuates the remarkable camerawork, and the movie is presented in its original Japanese soundtrack.
Review by John Li
Posted on 23 June 2009