Penguin Fufu no Tsukurikata (Blu-ray release 2013-3-13) is not about penguins.  It tells the story of a Japanese woman, married to a Chinese man, moved to the beautiful Ishigaki Island and began their new life there, and the Chinese husband applied to become a Japanese national.  [Not really a spoiler] At the end they changed the family name to sound like “penguin”.

The movie shows that the island is a refreshing place with nice people.  A subplot about inventing a tasty chili oil using only local ingredients is fairly interesting, but finished abruptly and is underdeveloped.  The rest of the movie explores the relationship of the couple but the portrayal is bland and weak.  The climax is unfortunately even weaker.  The framing story of the movie is the naturalization examination interview, but the reason for going through the naturalization in the first place is far too unconvincing.  When I was watching it I thought such an illogical reason could never happen in real life.  However, doing my post-movie research I discovered that this is actually a real story, with real people in the real place, and real chili oil that is really famous and popular.

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