The Eternal Zero (2013) Movie Script

Oishi Family Funeral
I never thought Grandpa would cry so much.
Never saw him like that.
Well, he loved her so much.
When you think about it,
Grandma sure had a happy life.
But she had a hard time in the war.
Her first husband died as a Kamikaze.
She was married before?
Wait a second. I never knew this...
Of course...
That was my actual father...
How come you're still in bed?
Are you confident you?! pass the Bar
this year?
Get lost. What do you want?
Don't you want to find out more
about Grandma's first husband?
After it came up the other day,
Mom said it'd been on her mind.
She didn't tell me. You go ahead...
Don't sulk, idiot...
It's your real grandpa. Surely you care...
Look, I haven't got my head around it yet.
It's the war's 60th anniversary next year.
Wouldn't this make a good book?
You're not hearing me.
I need to take my writing to a new level.
So that's what this is about...
Suit yourself. I'm going now.
Wait, wait! I'll pay you.
Oishi Residence.
You're still working
these pro-bono cases, Grandpa?
Lawyers make a ton of money
out in the real world.
So you're studying hard?
I knew it...
Flunking four years in a row
makes you reconsider.
Maybe the Bar just isn't for me.
It's probably lack of willpower.
I thought I'd follow your footsteps but...
Poor Kentaro...
We're not here to talk about this, eh?
You're the one who wanted permission
before digging deeper.
Deeper into what?
I didn't want to go poking around
behind your back.
It's okay.
I want you to know about him.
For your own sakes...
Kyuzo Miyabe, born Tokyo, 1918.
Joins Navy in 1934.
In 1945, killed in the East China Sea.
Didn't write a will. Left barely a trace.
He married Grandma in 1941.
Mom was born the next year.
But in their four years together, he was
at the front almost the entire time.
He died at the age of 26.
26 years old?
Same age as you now.
Why that look?
I can't read this...
That generation's handwriting
is just too sophisticated.
Where did you get this?
Found a bunch of veteran groups online.
Wrote to see if anyone knew Kyuzo Miyabe.
These are all the replies.
There are so many...
Hasegawa-san, you knew our grandfather?
I sure did.
We're trying to find out
what kind of a man he was.
That man
was the biggest damn coward
in the whole Navy.
All he cared about was survival.
What do you mean by that?
Exactly what I said.
Clinging on to life no matter what.
We pilots put our lives
at the nation's disposal.
But that wasn't the case
with Kyuzo Miyabe.
All he cared about was saving
his own damn skin.
The day I lost my arm
his plane barely had a scratch.
Not a single bullet hole.
After aerial combat like that...
it was an impossibility!
He failed to do his duty...
Sat out the fight miles away.
With all due respect,
he died on a Kamikaze mission.
That hardly sounds like cowardice...
I can imagine how he cried
as he realized
that was one duty he couldn't shirk.
Anything wrong?
Mom, can I ask...
Didn't you ever enquire about him?
I sure did.
I asked what my real father was like.
Your grandma would just smile
but said nothing...
Maybe it wasn't a very happy marriage.
Supposing he wasn't regarded
very highly...
Is that true?
Just for instance...
Supposing we find out
something like that...
It would explain
why she never spoke of him.
A disgrace to the Imperial Navy.
That's what they called him...
Always flew away from the fight.
We lost several bombers
because of his negligence on patrol...
Let's go home.
Our grandfather...
Was a total coward, right?
Where did you hear that?
Everyone says so.
They say he's a disgrace...
Go home.
I've nothing to say to you.
Wait a minute...
I told you to get lost!
Think about it. If he was a coward,
why was he in the Kamikaze?
You want to quit?
Mention his name
and they all say the same thing.
He only thought about himself,
he was a coward... A disgrace, even.
Think about it.
It's not worth getting yelled at...
Why get cold feet
just before another interview?
I'll stick it out one last time.
It's weird having his blood
in our veins...
A coward.
People said that about him, for sure.
But that was just inevitable.
Unfortunately for the Flight Chief,
he was a brilliant fighter pilot.
He was a good pilot?
The absolute best of the best.
With a guy like that leading you.
Of course you'd want him
blasting enemy planes left and right.
You'd get your hopes up.
But in his case,
he'd just soar away.
Combat would start and he'd just climb.
Sit up aloft as a spectator from afar.
He just hated to be caught up
in the dogfights.
So of course they bitched about him.
Do you know the Zero fighter?
Not really...
The Zero...
Simply put, was an outstanding plane.
Excellent turning radius, fast
and very well-arm ed.
It also had incredible range.
Single seaters in those days
might fly several hundred kilometers.
The Zero's range was 1,800 nautical miles.
So it could fly 3,000 kilometers
with ease.
Your grandfather and the Zero fighter...
They were just an unbeatable combination.
Yet he'd just soar up and away...
The fact that they all called him
a coward...
That was just bound to happen.
1941 (16th year of Showa reign)
No. 66, undercarriage down,
deck hook clear.
Clear for landing!
Here he comes!
Steady, steady...
A real carrier landing's a far cry
from practice drills.
A choppy sea makes a ship
a bucking bronco.
Undercarriage down, deck hook clear,
clear for landing!
He's down!
That was superbly done.
He's from the 12th Air Group.
Were you carrier-based before?
No, this is my first time.
I just followed instructions.
I'm Kyuzo Miyabe, nice to meet you.
Petty Officer Izaki.
Don't start to admire Miyabe
or you'll be in for disappointment.
He's the biggest coward
in the entire Imperial Navy.
Thinks his life's the most precious...
We were plunged into intense training.
The infamous "eight-day week" regime.
In those days, I think
I can say without exaggeration,
our air force was the best in the world.
We had the best airplane
coupled with the best pilots.
Even in that company,
the Flight Chief's ability
was still a cut above the rest.
It wasn't long before those skills
were put to the test.
War in the Pacific had begun.
It was the attack on Pearl Harbor.
December 8th, 1941.
Cleared for take-off!
Banzai! Banzai! Banzai!
So then,
as we crested Barber's Point,
there was Ford Island.
All their battleships were lined up
like sitting ducks
as the pride of the Imperial Navy
slammed torpedoes into each one!
Then I saw the Arizona erupt
in a huge cloud of black smoke.
Like a massive volcano!
Chief Officer Miyabe!
Izaki, it's you.
Why so gloomy? Aren't you happy?
We didn't find a single carrier.
Without that,
I think today's mission was a failure.
What's more...
They say 29 planes didn't make it back.
I witnessed a plane hit the water.
In an instant' three lives blown to bits.
It's terrifying.
I don't want to die.
What's that?
What did you just say?
When he spoke of not wanting to die.
I remember I felt an intense loathing.
June 5th of the following year,
the Flight Chief's concern
at not having destroyed the US carriers
came back to haunt us tenfold.
The Pacific.
It was the Battle of Midway.
Midway Island
June 5th, 1942.
Those damn enemy carriers
still haven't been located.
Maybe they're running scared from us.
Look at our planes.
They're removing the torpedoes...
The higher-ups must've figured
the carriers are gone.
Enemy carrier group heated.
Switch out bombs for torpedoes.
- We just took them off!
- Give us a break.
Didn't you hear?
Replace torpedoes on the double!
We can't afford the delay.
We need to launch.
But bombs don't sink carriers.
That doesn't matter. We must strike first!
But we might as well sink them?
Then why switch them out
in the first place?
If it's carriers we're after
we should've waited with torpedoes.
If we're attacked now,
it'll be a disaster.
Air defense pilots, scramble!
Good luck.
I'm off.
To starboard!
No match for the Zero!
Dive bombers above!
They were decoy attacks.
That was my experience
of the Battle of Midway.
We'd lost our carrier.
So we ditched in the sea.
And we were picked up by our destroyers.
Father, that's enough for now...
Yes, you must be tired...
No, there's more I must tell you.
In the summer of 1942,
after a spell in the rear,
we were sent out to Rabaul.
The cream of the crop
of the Imperial Navy's pilots were there.
Forming the esteemed Rabaul Squadron.
Miyabe-san was soon promoted
to Flight Leader.
Myself and a man named Koyama
were selected as his wingmen.
How can you stand this guy?
Constant inverted drills...
Our blind spot's below.
He's just being vigilant.
In that case he's overdoing it.
We're the laughingstock.
Our orders are to serve with him.
It can't be helped, right?
Then when a fight develops,
he soon leads us away...
I want to fight the damn Yanks.
Yet he's picky about the little stuff.
Makes a huge fuss
about the tiniest engine glitch...
irregular vibrations at high revs.
Please take it apart and check it again.
All the mechanics steer clear of him.
Do you train like this everyday, sir?
Combat days, too?
How come?
Look what I got sent.
It's my wife and daughter.
When things are tough
and I want to quit, I look at this.
My death will hardly affect the war.
it would change their lives immensely.
For that reason,
it's vital for me
to survive and make it home.
Is life really that important?
Wanting to make it home...
To put that into words,
in that day and age,
was simply unthinkable.
I guess you had to live in those times
to appreciate what I'm telling you.
In other words,
our grandfather
was that much in love
with his wife and child?
We didn't use words like love...
But it was for their sakes.
He was so frank about wanting to survive.
For men of my generation
that's an ample declaration of love.
It wasn't cowardice at all...
But not long after that
staying alive
became easier said than done.
The bitterest battles of war befell us.
The struggles for Guadalcanal
and the Solomon Islands.
In these battles, the Imperial Navy
would lose its greatest asset,
most of its highly-trained pilots.
All hands, back to command center.
Today's raid is canceled.
You've got a new mission.
Those dastardly Allies
have attacked one of our airfields
just as it was completed.
They killed the tiny construction crew
and snatched it right from under us.
Our new mission
is to bomb their forces on Guadalcanal.
It's a matter of revenge.
At ease.
To your planes!
270 nautical miles to Shortland...
That makes 540...
Then 20 more...
560 nautical miles.
Impossible. We can't fight at that range.
What did you just say?
Why are you always whining?
Show some damn spirit!
It's bad for morale. Keep your mouth shut.
Flight Chief...
Why did you say that?
Are you familiar with Guadalcanal?
Not at all.
But I know what 560 nautical miles are.
Three and a half hours to get out there,
eyes constantly peeled for the enemy.
With the fuel needed for our return,
we'll only have 10 minutes
of combat time over the target.
I can just picture
the kind of fight it'll be.
5 hours later.
It was just as he had said.
What's wrong?
I'm going back.
He wants to ram into the enemy.
You mustn't!
Don't do it!
Please, sir...
We made it!
Goddamn it...
We'll get a rescue. Hold on!
Be patient!
At that map reference,
there was no trace of
Petty Officer Koyama.
What's wrong?
But in that area,
I saw many circling sharks.
Why not let him sacrifice himself?
Rather than death with the sharks,
slamming into the enemy
would've been far more worthy!
There was still hope at that point.
- You really thought he'd make it?
- I don't know!
But I know suicide is final.
Dying's easy. It's living that needs guts.
There's no point...
It's obvious we won't survive the war.
If my plane gets shot up,
please let me make an honorable sacrifice.
Izaki, don't you get it?
Don't you have family?
Won't anyone grieve if you die?
Answer me, Izaki!
My parents are in the provinces.
Is that all?
A younger brother, too.
You're saying
they won't be sad if you die?
Then you must not die!
No matter what, do your utmost to survive!
That was the one and only time
the Chief ever raised his voice at me.
For that reason,
his words have always stayed with me.
Those words came back to me
in the period after we'd left Rabaul.
In 1944, at the Battle of
the Philippine Sea,
one of the waiting Grummans
punctured my fuel tank.
I figured my time was up
and I was going to crash
into an enemy plane.
BM We...
"Izaki, don't you get it?"
The Chief's voice echoed in my head.
I put myself into a steep dive
and got away safely.
When my fuel gave out
I ditched successfully in the sea.
Then swam through the sharks
for nine hours straight.
I almost gave up so many times.
But each time
the Chief's voice came back to me.
No matter what, do your utmost to survive!
As I stared death in the face,
the meaning of those words
finally hit home.
Thanks to that, I'm here now.
If it weren't for the Chief,
my daughter wouldn't have been born.
Only nowadays
can I say it openly.
In choosing to live by that code,
the Chief was the strongest among us.
Because of that, he stuck to his beliefs.
In no sense was he a coward.
Yet in the end,
he never saw
his wife and child again, right?
No. There was once, after Pearl Harbor.
When the Akagi was docked at Yokosuka.
He told me
he took the time to visit his home.
Miyabe Residence.
What's wrong?
Nothing's wrong at all.
But if you're coming home,
please at least let me know.
Sorry about that.
Docking at Yokosuka
was strictly top-secret.
Where's Kiyoko?
So you're Kiyoko, huh?
Look, Kiyo-chan, look...
It's your father.
She's so tiny.
How's the temperature?
Matsuno, help me!
What's the matter?
Not to worry...
Pooping in the bath shows character, eh?
She's obviously at ease with you.
Isn't that right, Kiyo-chan?
Is it nice to bathe with Dad?
All right, then...
I'll see you soon.
take good care.
I'll be back.
I promise.
Even if I lose an arm,
or lose my legs, I'll be back.
Even if I die,
I'll still come back to you.
Even if I have to be reborn,
I'll be back by your side, without fail.
That's a promise.
I've got terminal cancer.
Half a year ago,
the doc gave me three months.
For some reason,
here I am, still hanging on.
Why has it been this long?
Now I finally get it.
It was so I could talk to you.
To tell you all about the Chief.
Your grand kids are here.
Can you see us?
You know...
I want to find out more.
I need to know everything...
"To return to my wife and child,."
"I must survive no matter what."
To know he said that
is more than enough.
But then to find out we actually met...
it doesn't make sense.
Why would he become a Kamikaze?
Takanori Takeda,
War Veteran & Self-Made Millionaire.
May I talk with you, sir?
You again? I told you he's busy.
I'm researching the life of Kyuzo Miyabe!
Please behave yourself.
Kyuzo Miyabe?
Hold everything...
My morning meetings are canceled.
Thank you.
You remind me of him.
I remember him very well.
He was our ight instructor
in the cadet reserves.
It was 1945
and the war was going terribly.
Students had been exempted
from military service.
But they roped us in
with their "Student Mobilization Act."
We were physically fit
and used to studying
so we were ideal fodder for their plan.
So we began intensive flight instruction
in order to become naval aviators.
But there was no training
in air-to-air combat.
Can you guess why?
From the very start, we were
only being trained as Kamikaze.
Of course we had no way of knowing that.
But at the end of the course,
just before deployment,
we all got Kamikaze volunteer forms.
The shock of holding those in our hands
was beyond imagination.
but Within a few days
all of us had volunteered.
No - Yes Takanori Takeda.
Kamikaze Special Attack Squadron.
Nearly half
of the 4,400 Kamikaze fatalities
were officers
of the student reserve like me.
Yes, sir!
Watch out for crosswinds on landing.
Yes, sir!
That's it. Dismissed!
At ease.
To your planes.
Instructor Miyabe, sir.
Will I be passed today?
You failed.
How come?
My dive practice went perfectly today...
I was surprised. You did really well.
Then why don't I pass? Please explain!
You failed.
Failed, failed, failed.
When the hell will he pass me?
At this rate we'll never get to war.
From what I heard,
he used to flee the dogfights,
completely useless.
So that's why he was sent to the rear?
What a nuisance...
I heard a rumor
that in the Philippines,
he refused to join the Kamikaze.
This gets worse and worse...
In other words, he's a damn coward.
Yet he has the nerve to fail us.
He can't abide us being better than him.
Is that Kamikaze claim true?
Who knows?
It'd be typical of a coward like him.
No. 38, diving!
No. 51, diving!
It's Ito.
Here he goes.
The dead reserve officer
was lacking in warrior spirit.
How dare he wreck a precious plane?
Throwing your life away before combat
is disgraceful and disloyal
to our military.
Lieutenant Commander.
That's not correct.
Ensign Ito was an excellent cadet.
He was not a disgrace to the service.
Goddamn you...
Ensign Ito was an excellent cadet!
What gives a rat like you
the right to say that?
I heard the rumors.
You purposely fail these boys.
Don't want them to be Kamikaze, eh?
A fine attitude
when our nation's survival is at stake.
You're a disgrace!
Getup, damn you!
Instructor Miyabe, sir?
Are you all right?
It was pretty tough.
Enemy at 3 o'clock!
Hang in there!
Are you safe?
Why were you so foolish?
You're important to Japan.
You mustn't die.
No, it's you who must survive.
To live and do good work
for the sake of Japan.
It was my negligence...
I completely understood
that cadet's motivation.
Soon after, I was sent
to the Tomitaka Base in Kyushu
and I never saw Miyabe-san again.
When I heard he'd died as a Kamikaze,
I was distraught.
He was one person
who should have survived.
Why did he become a Kamikaze?
I don't know.
The anguish of the Kamikaze
is only known to those
who went on the final missions.
Between us reserve pilots
and those who didn't return,
there's a vast gulf in the mental ordeal
we went through.
I clearly remember the feeling,
as we stood watching our friends go.
Try though I might,
I'll never be able to forget it.
Are you working now?
I keep trying for the Bar.
But I'm ashamed to say I'm a bit lost...
Don't you worry.
You've got Miyabe's blood in your veins.
You'll find a great job.
Live life to the fullest, for his sake.
I never imagined I'd see the day
that I'd meet the instructor's grandson.
Maybe he ditched on some island...
Why did you volunteer?
You're me. Buddy. Where are you?
It's not a school field trip.
What about Saipan, then?
Don't be cheap. To impress
the chicks, it's gotta be Hawaii.
Hawaii, yeah, perfect.
We'll go to Hawaii.
Was I supposed to dress smart?
We invited girls,
you can't look like that.
No way!
We're discussing which resort
to take them to.
Be a team player, don't let us down.
Saipan or Okinawa...
Or Hawaii!
Sorry to be late.
Please, sit down.
Nice to meet you...
Not ancient history again...
Can you afford to waste time on that?
Whatever. To each his own.
Goes to show suicide bombers
aren't a new thing.
Do we have to talk about this?
Pardon me, but don't equate
terrorists with Kamikaze.
They're the same, all brainwashed.
That's not right.
Kamikaze targeted aircraft carriers,
powerful military weapons.
Totally different from terrorists
targeting innocent citizens.
It's not exactly our kind of conversation.
You're nitpicking details.
I mean the basic concept
of throwing life away for an ideal.
From a foreign perspective,
Kamikaze and suicide bombers are the same.
They were just nationalist fanatics.
Now, wait a minute...
Listen, I've read a bunch
of Kamikaze books.
They took pride in just wasting
their lives for their country.
It was a romanticized form of heroism.
No. That's exactly where you're wrong.
It's okay, we understand.
You lost touch with yourself
after failing the Bar.
This is your escape
to solve your identity crisis.
You're completely wrong!
What the hell?
Don't get so worked up.
Terrorists or not,
it has nothing to do with us.
Exactly. We're here to have fun. Drink up.
Sorry, I've got to go.
What a pain in the ass.
That sword has tasted human blood.
What time do you think it is?
About Kyuzo Miyabe...
I mean, my grandfather.
Please tell me what you know.
You seem to have changed your tune.
you called your grandfather a coward.
So I figured I had nothing to say to you.
You've learned a few things since then?
But one question remains unanswered.
Why did a man like Miyabe
sign up for the Kamikaze?
I knew full well how he longed for life.
at the very end of it all,
he turned his back on that very desire.
That man...
God, how I hated him...
1943 Autumn, Rabaul.
I loved the dogfights.
I came alive amid the clouds.
I wouldn't have minded death
in a hail of enemy bullets.
The more vicious the fight,
the more my blood thrilled.
I imagined myself
a master swordsman of old.
but Amid that intense combat
there was always one
heading home untouched.
He was obviously avoiding the fight.
Yet he was supposed to be
this amazing pilot.
I could hardly bear the sight of him.
Warrant Officer Miyabe, I have a favor...
What is it?
Can we go up for a mock dogfight?
It's unnecessary. Petty Officer Kageura,
you're a fine pilot.
I've heard that the Chief's skill
is unrivaled.
- Please show me...
- I decline.
Is it a waste of your time?
Are you so sure you won't lose to me?
Got you at last, Warrant Officer Miyabe.
Here I go.
How on earth...
Shoot me!
I shot you, now you shoot me!
Shoot! Kill me!
I won't make excuses for myself.
I did the unthinkable.
Why didn't my bullets hit him?
He appeared to be flying straight
but was actually yawing slightly.
So my bullets, heading straight
seemed to drift off to the side.
He was testing me.
From that day on,
life became precious.
I would survive
until I could shoot Miyabe down.
This I swore to myself.
Our military situation got worse.
We pitted all our strength
in the Battle of the Philippine Sea.
Only to suffer the annihilation
of our Navy
and lose Saipan on the perimeter
of our national defense.
The enemy gathered,
then moved on the Philippines
and Okinawa itself.
With the Japanese military's back
to the wall,
a strategy of insanity emerged...
The Kamikaze...
When I first heard of it
I was horrified.
Had things already reached rock-bottom?
Against overwhelming odds,
I'd gladly risk my life.
But the Kamikaze had no odds.
To succeed meant to die.
It shouldn't be called a strategy!
If that was the best we could do,
I knew Japan would lose.
Then I got a new deployment,
far away from Miyabe.
I was sent to the Kanoya Base in Kyushu.
I was a Kamikaze escort.
Ordered to guide them
to the enemy eet then return.
There' for the second time'
I was reunited with Miyabe.
But the Miyabe I met there
was no longer the guy I thought I knew...
1945 Kanoya Air Base.
Flight Instructor Miyabe...
Teranishi... Yamada... Kagawa!
Fully recovered?
Walking tall now, eh?
What you saw
is the Kamikaze strategy.
Those we lost today
were all my students.
Every single day,
I witness the same thing.
What are those kids supposed to achieve?
The enemy planes are far superior
to the Zero now.
Their anti-aircraft fire gets better
by the day.
Today, again,
barely anyone made it near an enemy ship.
Not a single one of them
ought to be dying like this.
These kinds of guys should be
the survivors
for the good of Japan's future.
Yet even though I say this...
I don't do a thing for them.
In a situation like that...
It can't be helped.
Don't make it so simple!
How many lives was that today?
Cover fighters must protect the Kamikaze.
Our duty is to shield them at any cost!
And yet...
And yet I ran away!
I left them to die!
My survival
is at the cost of their sacrifice.
Thanks to their deaths,
I'm able to live on...
What should I do?
What on earth...
What do I do?
What do I do?
What do I do?
So my grandfather signed up
because of that experience?
I don't know.
Seeing him that day,
it was like he was prepared for death.
Everything about him projected that.
Like he was no longer of this world.
Around that time,
even us veteran pilots
were pressured to volunteer as Kamikaze.
But there was no way I was going.
I thought it was a senseless way to die.
Then one day
on the Kamikaze flight roster,
I saw Miyabe's name.
Kyuzo Miyabe.
What's going on?
Why are you on a Kamikaze mission?
How dare you!
Objecting to a superior's decision?
Tell them how veteran pilots
mustn't throw their lives away!
We've seen the reality of the Kamikaze!
Barely anyone gets near the target!
It's a senseless death, you said!
It's all right, Kageura.
It's all right...
I then swore with all my heart
I'd protect him until the very end.
I wouldn't let a single bullet
scratch his plane.
I'd shoot down anyone who came near.
If I was out of ammo,
I'd ram my plane into them.
But in the end...
I lost sight of him again...
On the day of the mission
we were still 100 miles from target
when we ran into an enemy ambush.
In the midst of it all,
my engine started playing up.
I spotted Miyabe heading away
and I tried to follow him,
wanting to accompany him.
But I couldn't keep up...
And suddenly his plane was out of sight.
There was one other thing.
On the day he flew,
he chose an old Type 21 Zero,
over his usual Type 52.
He switched with another pilot
just before departure.
Why was that?
I've no idea.
But he was adamant
about taking the older plane.
Maybe out of nostalgia
for the Pearl Harbor days...
But this story
has a strange ending to it.
The Type 52 he switched out
developed engine trouble.
It never made the target
and ditched offshore.
You mean to say...
The pilot of that plane
survived the war?
Soon after that, Okinawa fell
and Kamikaze operations came to a halt.
How terrible...
If he hadn't switched planes,
Grandfather would've survived?
Nobody knows.
But it's certainly possible.
So, he had a final chance
at surviving the war
but ironically, he gave it away?
Why on earth...
I wish
I could've gotten to know him.
On that day,
the day of his mission,
the look on the face
of the man in that old plane
wasn't that of someone going to his death.
It was the Wok of a man heading home
back to his family.
You want to know who survived
in his plane?
If he's still alive, I'd like to meet him.
To ask him what it was like on that day.
The squadron roster.
Thank you very much.
I don't need thanking.
That's all that I've got to tell.
Drive the kid home.
My sister's coming to pick me up.
I see.
I've always loved young guys.
What on earth's he doing?
You're soaked to the skin, you fool.
What's wrong?
It was Grandpa...
It was our Grandpa
in the Type 52 that ditched.
It was Grandpa.
What does that mean?
Kenichiro Oishi.
I knew I'd have to tell you about this.
Matsuno said there was no need
to tell the children,
but I always planned on it.
That day has finally arrived.
I first met Miyabe-san
at the Tsukuba aviation school.
That person who risked his life
to save Miyabe-san then
was you, Grandpa, right?
When he stood up for Ito's honor,
I pledged then and there,
I'd stake my life to protect that man.
1945 Naval Hospital.
This is all I have to give you now.
My wife fixed it up for me.
- I can't take something so precious.
- It's fine.
I want you to have it.
Her name's Kiyoko. "Kiyo" is in "pure."
She's really beautiful.
No, my wife is Matsuno.
Kiyoko is the baby.
She was born after Pearl Harbor.
For her sake, I don't want to die.
Oishi, my friend...
If the war were to end, what'd you do?
I wonder...
Don't you think about it?
Tell me, please. What is it?
If I were to survive,
I'd like to do something to help people.
That kind of thing, maybe...
Fingers crossed, then,
that you get that chance.
Instructor Miyabe!
Teranishi... Yamada... Kagawa!
Fully recovered?
Walking tall now, eh?
Instructor Miyabe?
You better now?
Yes, thank you very much.
That's good news.
No, it's not...
Believe in the immortality of the spirit
and the eternal truth of our cause.
Pray for success.
To your planes!
Tomorrow at dawn,
these selected men
will attack the enemy fleet at Okinawa.
That's it.
At ease.
Kenichiro Oishi.
I'm fine.
Teranishi and Yamada went already
so I'm prepared.
More importantly... Look.
Kyuzo Miyabe.
What's going on?
Nice idea...
That looks pleasant.
It's strange...
The cool of the water...
The wind in the wild flowers...
Trivial stuff like this
now seems so precious.
I'd never considered what lies ahead
for Japan or for my family.
Never even thought about
what happens after death.
When we're gone
I want this country to continue.
Children of today
and generations beyond that,
how will they speak of this war?
My head is full of such thoughts.
In years to come
what kind of country will Japan be?
Remember our slogan
"Certain Death, Certain Victory."
Pray for success.
Ensign Oishi, I have a favor.
Won't you switch planes with me?
But don't you fly a Type 52, sir?
Why would you chose to fly
the older model?
The Type 21 is the first Zero I flew.
If it's going anyway I'd like to take it.
Won't you indulge me
in my last whim?
No way!
Miyabe-san didn't come back.
But I'm here.
just his fate...
That's not it!
As soon as the war ended,
I went looking for Matsuno
to talk about what happened.
their old neighborhood in Yokohama
had been obliterated by firebombing.
No one in the area knew where she'd gone.
A friend in the Health Ministry
helped me track her down.
But that was well after the war
and two years had passed.
Matsuno was living in a shack in Osaka.
Raising a child single-handed
was proving to be a struggle.
I'll be back.
I promise.
Excuse me.
My name's Kenichiro Oishi.
During the war, your husband
was very good to me.
I'm his wife. Thank you for those words.
Not at all...
I'm the one
who should be grateful.
H was heart-breaking for me.
To think the two people
Miyabe-san so wanted to protect
were surviving
in such appalling circumstances.
I told her about Miyabe-san
switching planes with me
and how I survived as a result.
I was prepared for this.
I'm sorry.
It's my fault.
It was his fate.
It wasn't your fault.
That's not right!
The fact that he gave up his plane
can't have been just a coincidence.
After my emergency landing,
I looked down by my seat
and I found this,
a note and this photograph.
As he sat in his Type 52,
I reckon.
Miyabe-san discovered the engine fault
then placed these things inside
for me to discover.
Ensign Oishi, if by good fortune
you survive this war, I have a favor.
If my family falls on hard times,
please help them.
Please forgive me. I should have died.
Please leave.
I beg you. Go away...
I tried to do all I could.
I visited them when I had time.
Go buy yourself a soda.
May I?
No, you can't.
Please, don't worry about us.
Miyabe-san would never forgive me.
Please accept this.
It's not much but...
I cannot, Oishi-san.
I simply can't.
It's cold, huh?
Every payday, I'd head to Osaka.
Matsuno was reluctant to take it.
But I just kept visiting.
I regarded it as my sworn duty.
Thank you.
Come here!
Such pretty flowers.
Can you reach?
No, I can't.
- Did you touch them?
- I didn't.
You didn't, huh?
Are you okay? Here...
I got wet.
Wipe yourself.
Don't want to.
Come here...
You mustn't catch cold.
Did you have fun?
Again! Again!
How come you're so kind to us?
he once saved my life.
Even so,
it needn't be at the cost
of your private life.
You've more than fulfilled your duty.
We can't keep depending on you...
No, that's not all...
It was duty at first.
But then coming here
became a source of joy.
Helping you both in any small way I could
gave me a reason to keep going.
Let me just say it.
When I first saw you I fell...
I don't deserve to be here.
Please don't go.
I finally understand.
My husband
fulfilled his promise to me.
He once told me,
"Even if I die,."
"I'll still come back to you.
"Even if I have to be reborn,."
"I'll be back by your side, without fail."
Now you're here with us.
Miyabe did it.
He fulfilled his promise.
He wanted to survive so desperately...
Then why...
I can't put it into words.
I don't think it can be expressed.
One thing I do know...
That man did not fear death.
The only thing that he was afraid of
was any threat to your well-being.
The duty of those of us who survived
is to ensure their deaths aren't in vain.
To keep telling their stories.
we got married.
Between us,
Miyabe-san was never mentioned again.
By the same token,
never once was he forgotten either.
Who could've imagined
that you'd both been through so much?
We're nothing special.
In those days,
everyone had a similar story.
Everyone kept it to themselves
and carried on as if nothing happened.
That's what it means,
to have survived a time of war.
In another 10 years,
our generation will be almost gone.
It's a great relief
for me to tell this story
to you both.
A strange thing happened once.
It's important that you know everything.
Soon after the war,
I was taken advantage of.
A yakuza thug
was forcing me to be his mistress.
At one point, someone came to my help.
A man risked his life for me.
I saw him...
He stepped forward,
holding a blood-soaked sword.
He threw his wallet towards me.
"Get on with life!"
he said.
At the time, it seemed
as if Miyabe had come back to help me.
Who was it?
I never saw him again.
I fled here with Kiyoko.
I have no idea who he was or from where...
I should've come to you sooner.
I shouldn't have left you alone.
If only I'd found you earlier.
I wonder
who that man was,
In years to come,
what kind of country will Japan be?
I'll survive no matter what,
to return to my wife and child.
For me, survival is more important
than anything.
Fingers crossed, then,
that you get that chance.
Izaki, don't you get it?
We must endure the unendurable
to pave the way for a grand peace.
Don't quit on me!
Don't leave me, Miyabe.
To safeguard the Imperial State.
Please forgive me.
Biggest coward in the whole damn Navy.
Why did Miyabe join the Kamikaze?
He should've been the one to survive.
That's what it means,
to have survived a time of war.
For men of my generation,
that was an ample declaration of love.
Miyabe did it.
He fulfilled his promise.
Hamma Mum.
Mao hone.
Gaku Hamada.
Hirofumi Arai.
Show Someya.
Takahiro Mum.
Tatsuya Ueda.
Kazue Fukiishi.
Jun Fubuki.
Min Tanaka.
Gaku Yamamoto.
Mikijiro Hira.
Isao Hashizume.
Isao Natsuyagi.
Music: Naoki Sato.
Theme Song "HOTARU" performed by
Southern All Stars.
Based on "Eien no Zero" by Naoki Hyakuta
published by Ohta Publishing Co.
Takashi Yamazaki, Tamio Hayashi.
Director! Screenplay! VFX
Takashi Yamazaki
Kennedy Taylor