Thermae Romae

Based on the best-selling manga series, Takeuchi’s comedic fantasy centers on Lucius (Hiroshi Abe, STILL WALKING), a bath designer in ancient Rome whose career is in decline due to his inability to innovate. Dejected, Lucius goes to relax at a public bathhouse, where a drain-turned-time-portal lands him in a “sento” (neighborhood bathhouse) in modern-day Japan. Stunned by the modern inventions around him, including hair dryers, laundry baskets, and fruit-flavored drinks, he returns to Rome bursting with ideas and soon finds himself commissioned by the Emperor Hadrian. Meanwhile, tailing Lucius in his travels through the millennia is aspiring manga artist Mami (Aya Ueto), enchanted by the sudden appearance of this Roman god and eager to make him her own. For his role as the time-traveling bath designer, Abe won the Best Actor Award at the 2013 Japanese Academy Awards. “Cheekily entertaining.”—Variety.

Appears in: Japanese Currents

Genres: Comedy