Asakusa Kid is a 2021 biographical comedy-drama film that tells the story of Takeshi Kitano, a legendary Japanese comedian. The movie is adapted from Takeshi’s own book of the same title, released in 1988. Actor Yuya Yagira plays the role of Takeshi Kitano, while Yo Oizumi and Nobuyuki Tsuchiya play the characters of Senzaburo Fukami and Kiyoshi Kaneko, respectively. Take and Kiyoshi form a comedy duo called Two Beats and perform Manzai, a traditional Japanese-style stand-up comedy, where the duo bounce punchlines off of each other.
The movie’s plot revolves around Takeshi’s journey to becoming an accomplished comedian despite his humble beginnings. In 1972, Takeshi worked as a lift guard at a theater-cum-strip joint in Asakusa, Tokyo – the France-za. The place was managed by Senzaburo Fukami, a well-known comedian in Asakusa, whom Takeshi admired. One day, Takeshi watched Fukami perform on stage and was amazed by his talent. Takeshi expressed his desire to become an entertainer like Fukami, but Fukami’s reluctance to train him stemmed from Takeshi’s lack of performance skills.
One day while in the lift, Fukami showed Takeshi some tap dance moves. The experience inspired Takeshi, and he took it upon himself to learn the craft seriously. Despite encountering many challenges, Takeshi managed to become an accomplished tap dancer with a little guidance from Fukami. Fukami is Takeshi’s mentor and, over time trains Takeshi to become a true entertainer with a wise mindset, not only on stage but in everyday life. Fukami believes that Takeshi has the potential to achieve great success in the entertainment world.
The emergence of television made theater performances at the France-za to become less popular, and more people opted to visit the strip joints instead. Nonetheless, Fukami refused to give up and continued performing in the hope that the situation would change. His persistence eventually pays off, and Takeshi’s and Kiyoshi’s act, Two Beats, begins to gain popularity. Fukami realizes that it is time to leave and makes sure that Takeshi is equipped with his skills to face the competitive outside world. Takeshi later meets Kiyoshi Kaneko, who becomes his comedy partner, and the duo proves to be phenomenal.
As Two Beats becomes more famous, they even get a chance to appear on television. Meanwhile, upon feeling proud of Takeshi’s achievements, Fukami sells the France-za and takes a job at a nearby factory. However, while taking pride in Takeshi’s accomplishments, Fukami suddenly dies in a fire at his residence.
In conclusion, Asakusa Kid is an inspiring movie that chronicles the story of Takeshi Kitano, a phenomenal Japanese comedian who rose to the top despite his humble beginnings. The film highlights Takeshi’s dedication and passion for becoming one of the greatest entertainers of his time. Its captivating storyline and outstanding cast performance make it a must-watch for fans of comedy-drama and anyone looking for a dose of motivation.