I'd almost forgotten about this movie, but I came across a trailer for it and figured I'd write about it before I forgot again.
I've never actually read anything by Miura Jun, who did the original manga, and is somewhat notorious; with Kudo Kankuro adapting the work I'm sure justice was done, but it may simply have been done two or three decades late. I imagine there are still ways to make 'musicians have identity crisis after signing with record label' movies and not feel old hat, but Tomorowo Taguchi proves to be as conventional a director as he is unconventional an actor, and it has that generic indie movie feel. Taguchi and Kankuro are both musicians themselves, so they clearly believe in the whole rock music versus commercial package theme, but the movie is at it's best in the more oddball moments -- like the main character totally losing his shit at a girl who claims she hates rock -- or when it buckles down and just plays music. Like the main character playing a song he's written to the ghost of Bob Dylan.
The ending flare out on live television is satisfying stuff, and I certainly liked the movie -- ultimately it just does a really good job of treading extremely familiar ground. Given the state of Japanese music, perhaps it is a message worth yelling a little louder there.