Shun Nakahara spins this understated tale about a group of schoolgirls dealing with stage fright and their own blossoming sexuality. Set hours before an all-girl high school drama club premieres its annual production of Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard, the film opens with Kaoru Shiromaru (Miho Miyazawa) in the clubroom alone with her boyfriend who kisses her neck. She hustles him out of the room just as her classmate Yubuko Shimizu (Hiroko Nakajima) saunters in. The boyfriend accidently leaves behind a pack of cigarettes and a lighter. While Yubuko flaunts school regulation by sporting a perm, the real rebel of the group is Kiko Sugiyama (Miho Tsumiki), who was seen smoking cigarettes in a coffee shop instead of attending school. While the teachers debate whether or not to cancel the play because of Kiko's disobedience, Chiyoko Kurata (Yasuyo Shirashima), who has a major role in the play, is suddenly overwhelmed by stage fright. While her best friend Yubuko tries to comfort her, Chiyoko seethes with jealousy over the closeness of the two friends.~ Jonathan Crow, All Movie Guide
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