I’d call Flying Colors / Biri Gyaru (Blu-ray release 2015-11-18) a sports movie without sports – it takes the sports movie formula to apply to a true story about a bottom-of-the-class schoolgirl persevering and overcoming obstacles to get into a prestigious university, after being inspired by a cram school teacher.

Even though watching somebody taking an entrance examination is inherently not interesting, especially when compared to watching any kind of sports, this movie more than makes up for it to become an unbelievably inspirational and heart-warming package.  Its perfect execution contrasts the protagonist with her little brother, who is forced to pursue their father’s unrealized dream of getting into pro baseball.  Family plays a significant role here and enriches the emotional core of the movie.  There are suitable comedies in it to give the movie a pleasant tone, although some jokes are wordplay on Japanese vocabulary that cannot be understood by those who don’t read Japanese (me) – but this does not affect the enjoyment of this movie at all.

Even though I’m not a parent, I believe parents can get important insights on how to motivate their children by watching this movie.