The movie which is based on the same-titled bestseller novel by Sumino Yoru which was ranked No.2 in the 2016 Honya Taisho, is set in two time frames. Hamabe and Kitamura will be playing the past of the leads while Oguri and Kitagawa will be playing characters in the current era. The story features the heroine Yamauchi Sakura (Hamabe) who is suffering from a serious illness in her pancreas and the only person who knows about her illness is the lead character "Boku" (I) who is Sakura's classmate (Kitamura). As the story shuttles between the past and present spanning 12 years, it talks about the death of people dear to you and how feelings are conveyed through something more than words. 12 years later, Boku (Oguri) becomes a teacher at his alma mater while Kitagawa plays Sakura's best friend Kyoko who is about to get married.
Hamabe commented that even though the title of the story is rather alarming, it actually is a sad story with deep meaning so she thinks that it is a movie worth watching with someone important to you. Oguri who watched the completed movie in the screening room, said that this was the first time he had cried so much while watching a movie he acted in. As such, he feels that this is a movie which will convey the innocence and purity of the story and cleanse the viewers' hearts. He also revealed that before he received the offer to act in this movie, he read the novel in one day during the filming of his other movie "Museum". Oguri recalled that he had to film scenes of him being illegally confined by the culprit so there was nothing else to do other than read during the breaks. However, he didn't expect to be brought to tears by the story and was crying so much in that room where he was confined in.
With regard to the scene where Kyoko had to read the letter from Sakura, Tsukikawa arranged for Kitagawa to read a blank piece of paper during the rehearsals so that the actual scene could be completed in one take. As such, when Kitagawa heard Hamabe's voice reading the letter, she was able to cry during the scene and couldn't stop even when Tsukikawa had shouted "cut".
As for Oguri, he said that it was tough having to write with his right hand on the blackboard even though he is actually left-handed. In order to make sure that his handwriting was legible, he practised writing with his right hand for one month. As for the biggest change for him in the past 12 years, Oguri jokingly said that he used to get a lot of roles where the characters were either plain or delicate emotionally but he's been playing strong people and heroes of late.
In line with the movie's theme of being touched across the span of 12 years, the cast's photos from 12 years ago were shown during the event. Hamabe provided a picture of when she was 4 and remarked that she was a crybaby then. As for Kitamura, he said that he was very cheerful back when he was 7 and joked that he became broody a few years later. Kitagawa showed a photo taken when she was 18 or 19 in the fashion magazine "Seventeen" while Oguri gave a photo of when he played Hanazawa Rui in the drama "Hana Yori Dango" and jokingly said that it was the period when he looked "sweetest" which led everyone to laugh.
Sources: Eiga.com / Sponichi / Oricon 1 / Oricon 2