["Back for the Future I Had With You"] Tv series (1999 Japan; vt I'll Be Back; vt Back to Our Future). NTV. Directed by Tōya Satō. Cast includes Tsuyoshi Dōmoto, Kimiko Endō and Yukie Nakama. Written by Tetsuya Ōishi. Ten 45-minute episodes. Colour.
Dying of a heart attack at midnight on New Year's Eve, 1999, washed-up supermarket shelf-stacker Atsushi (Dōmoto) finds himself back in 1995, intact, and with all his previous memories. In a plot that draws in equal parts on Groundhog Day (1993) and Lola rennt (1998 Germany vt Run, Lola, Run), he re-lives the late 1990s repeatedly, experiencing a series of Alternate Worlds in which he settles down with one of several potential Miss Rights. He also pieces together the circumstances not only of his apparently inevitable death, but also of that of his mother, and comes to realize not only that he has a secret nemesis, but that this figure is also re-living the same Time Loop.
Beginning as a relationship sitcom that employs genre forms to good effect, Kimi to Ita Mirai no Tame ni exploits the longer potential of the television serial for all it is worth, allowing Atsushi's decisions at various Jonbar Points to play out at leisure. Although unreleased in English, foreign sales materials for the show included the alternate title I'll Be Back, in hommage to the Terminator films. The Japanese title, however, seems designed to imply resonances with Back to the Future (1985). [JonC]
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