All about Lily Chou-Chou [BR-RIP]

  • Movie: All about Lily Chou-Chou
  • Romaji: Riri Shushu no subete
  • Japanese: リリイ・シュシュのすべて
  • Director: Shunji Iwai
  • Writer: Shunji Iwai
  • Producer:
  • Cinematographer
  • Release Date: October 6, 2001
  • Runtime: 146 min.
  • Language: Japanese
  • Country: Japan


Yuichi (Hayato Ichihara) is a withdrawn young kid, just starting junior high school. He lives with his pregnant hairdresser mom, her boyfriend and her boyfriend’s son in a rural area. He’s tormented by bullies at school and by loneliness internally. The only place he can find solace is within the music of Lily Chou-Chou and her fan website Lil-philia that Yuichi runs.

Through the website he is able to express his feelings about life through his adulation of Lily Chou-Chou’s music. He spends his time talking with other members of Lil-philia and becomes closest to a person that uses the online name Blue Cat. Although they have never met in real life, the bond that they share runs deeper than Lily Chou-Chou’s music.

Yuichi explains that if he had died during the summer of 1999 (two years ago) he might be happier than he is now. Yuichi went on a trip to Okinawa during the summer of 1999 with his closest friends, including class president Shusuke Hoshino (Shugo Oshinari). During their trip, Shusuke Hoshino encounters a near death experience after falling into the water. Also, while they are on the trip Shusuke’s parents divorce. Shusuke returned to school for the fall semester as a completely different person. That’s when the bullying began for Yuichi.


  1. Production on the film began in Ashikaga, Tochigi Prefecture on August 13, 2000 and ended on November 28, 2000.
  2. On April 1, 20001, Shunji Iwai went live with his internet novel, in the form of a website called Lilyholic, where he posted messages as several characters on the BBS. Readers of the novel were free to post alongside Iwai’s characters and interact with each other, indeed this BBS is where some of the content from the movie comes from.
  3. Premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 7, 2001.
  4. Soundtrack of Lily Chou-Chou was written and arranged by Takeshi Kobayashi, with vocals by the singer Salyu. The soundtrack also makes heavy use of the classical music of Claude Debussy.