37 Seconds (Movie)

Title — 37 Seconds
Available on — Netflix
Production Country — Japan
Release Date — 2020
Trapped by society and familial obligations, a young manga artist goes on an unconventional journey for sexual freedom and personal liberation.

🪶 Story & Synopsis

Yuma, a twenty-three-year-old manga artist with cerebral palsy, is the heart and soul of the Japanese film “37 Seconds.” The story revolves around her journey towards self-discovery and independence, despite the challenges posed by her disability and overprotective mother. Portrayed by Mei Kayama, an actor with cerebral palsy herself, Yuma’s character is both delicate and resilient, embodying a quiet strength that resonates throughout the film.

The movie opens with a glimpse of Yuma navigating her way through the bustling streets of Tokyo in her wheelchair, her youthful face belying the depth of her experiences. Raised by a single mother who has devoted her life to Yuma’s care, the young artist yearns for creative expression and personal freedom beyond the confines of her home.

Yuma’s talent for manga artistry is discovered by her childhood friend Sayaka, now a successful influencer and manga artist, who publishes Yuma’s work under her own name. This dynamic presents a complex dilemma for Yuma as she grapples with the desire to claim credit for her art while also navigating her evolving friendship with Sayaka.

As Yuma strives to carve out her own path in the world of manga, she is confronted with the challenges of balancing familial responsibilities with her aspirations for independence. The film delicately explores themes of identity, creativity, and sexuality as Yuma embarks on a journey of self-discovery, seeking to define herself on her own terms.

Through poignant storytelling and heartfelt performances, “37 Seconds” offers a rare and refreshing portrayal of disability, capturing the nuances of Yuma’s experiences with honesty, warmth, and empathy. Director Hikari’s poignant narrative invites the audience to witness Yuma’s transformation as she navigates the complexities of life, love, and art, ultimately finding her voice and agency in a world that often underestimates her.

🧑 Cast & Crew

Mei Kayama, Misuzu Kanno, Shunsuke Daitoh, Makiko Watanabe, Yoshihiko Kumashino, Minori Hagiwara, Shohei Uno, Yuka Itaya, Kiyohiko Shibukawa, Eita Okuno, Haruka Imou, Toshinori Omi

Actor Role
Mei Kayama Yuma Takada
Misuzu Kanno Kyoko Takada
Shunsuke Daitō Toshiya
Makiko Watanabe Mai
Yoshiko Kumashino Kumachino
Haruka Imou Yuka
Toshinori Omi Furuya
Minori Hagiwara Sayaka
Yuka Itaya Fujimoto
Kiyohiko Shibukawa Pimp
Eita Okuno Hide
Shôhei Uno Iketani
Yuri Ono Editor of Weekly Boom
Shizuka Ishibashi Physical Therapist
Kotaro Torii Cool Guy
Daichi Kodaira Neet
Moctar D Cosplayer
Seiko Ozone Sayaka’s Mother
Nobu Morimoto Police Officer
Nanami Kawakami Porn Star
Yoshihisa Gai, Yoshiteru Kawata, Yuya Nagamichi Gay Bar Staffs
Ciccone, Sugar Lu, Bouillabaisse Drag Queens

💬 Reviews and feedback

Lights, camera, action! Get ready to embark on a cinematic journey like no other with “37 Seconds.” This movie is not your typical blockbuster with big explosions or high-speed car chases. Instead, it offers a unique and refreshing take on disability, wrapped in a blanket of honesty, warmth, and empathy.

Imagine diving into a pool of emotions where every stroke of the brush paints a picture of resilience and determination. Mei Kayama shines bright like a diamond in her portrayal of Yuma Takada, a 23-year-old artist with cerebral palsy who dreams of making a name for herself in the world of manga. Yes, you read that right – Mei Kayama does have cerebral palsy, adding an authentic touch to her performance that resonates deeply with the audience.

Plot and Themes:

  • At the heart of “37 Seconds” lies a story of breaking out of comfort zones and embracing one’s true self. Yuma’s journey is not just about pursuing her passion for manga but also about seeking liberation and exploring her own desires.
  • The film delicately navigates themes of self-discovery, independence, and the universal longing for acceptance. It sheds light on the challenges faced by individuals with disabilities while celebrating their unwavering spirit.

Acting and Characters:

  • Mei Kayama’s performance as Yuma Takada is nothing short of mesmerizing. With each subtle expression and gesture, she breathes life into the character, capturing the essence of vulnerability and strength with grace.
  • The supporting cast complements Kayama’s stellar portrayal, adding depth and authenticity to the narrative. Each character feels fleshed out and contributes significantly to Yuma’s transformative journey.

Direction and Cinematography:

  • Hikari’s direction infuses the film with sensitivity and nuance. The camera becomes a window into Yuma’s world, capturing intimate moments with poignancy.
  • The cinematography beautifully encapsulates the emotional landscape of the story, enhancing the viewer’s connection to Yuma’s inner turmoil and triumphs.

Score and Production Design:

  • The score complements the narrative seamlessly, evoking a range of emotions from hope to heartache. It serves as an emotional anchor that guides viewers through Yuma’s poignant journey.
  • The production design creates an immersive experience, transporting audiences into Yuma’s world with meticulous attention to detail. From vibrant manga illustrations to subtle set pieces, every element adds depth to the storytelling.

Binge-watching Tips:

Binge-watching Tip: If you’re looking for a film that tugs at your heartstrings while offering a fresh perspective on disability representation in cinema, “37 Seconds” is a must-watch. Grab some tissues because this emotional rollercoaster will take you on a heartfelt journey unlike any other.

As you delve into “37 Seconds,” ask yourself: How does this film challenge traditional stereotypes surrounding disability? What does Yuma’s story teach us about resilience and self-acceptance?

If you enjoyed “37 Seconds,” consider watching ‘The Diving Bell and The Butterfly’ for another poignant tale centered around overcoming physical limitations through creativity.


In conclusion, “37 Seconds” is not just a movie; it’s an emotional odyssey that invites viewers to witness courage in its purest form. Through Mei Kayama’s compelling performance and Hikari’s deft direction, this film transcends boundaries and leaves an indelible mark on your soul.

So grab your popcorn, open your heart wide, and let “37 Seconds” sweep you off your feet with its poignant storytelling. Trust me; this cinematic gem is worth every second of your time!

Rating: 9/10

Pros Cons
Rare and refreshing depiction of disability Not a fast-paced movie
Actress with cerebral palsy in lead role R-rated with hot & heavy sex scenes
Emotional and touching storyline Requires attention to follow the plot
Exploration of liberation and self-discovery No big explosions or action sequences


  • 37 Seconds - Wikipedia

    37 Secondsis a 2019 Japanese drama film written and directed by Hikari. The film features actress Mei Kayama, who has cerebral palsy, as 23-year-old Yuma Takada, a talented artist who wants to make her name in manga. A sympathetic magazine editor (Yuka Itaya) tells Takada her art is technically proficient but betrays her lack of worldly experience. Criticizing her depictions of sex as unconvincing, the editor tells the young woman, who uses a wheelchair to get around, to lose her virginity and then return.

    37 Seconds
    Directed by Hikari
    Written by Hikari
    Produced by Hikari

    Peter Maez

  • 37 Seconds | Rotten Tomatoes

    37 Secondsis a rare and refreshing film that depicts disability with honesty, warmth, and empathy.

    37 SecondsWhere to Watch37 Seconds

    Watch 37 Seconds with a subscription on Netflix.

    What to KnowCritics ReviewsAudience ReviewsCast & Crew

    HikariDirectorMei KayamaYuma TakadaShôhei UnoActorMakiko WatanabeActorShizuka IshibashiActorMinori HagiwaraActor

  • Review: Netflix's '37 Seconds' explores a woman with cerebral palsy's life

    23-year-old Yuma Takada (Mei Kayama) is creative, talented, loved, and excited for the future. She lives in Japan with her mother, and works as a Manga artist for her cousin, hoping to make it on her own. She has cerebral palsy, a condition that affects her mobility. But in a so-called media representation renaissance where people with disabilities arestilllargely underrepresented,37 Seconds, directed by Hikari, aims higher than the inspiration porn that often shows people with disabilities “inspirationally” “overcoming” them, though it has its own faults.DIRECTOR/CREATOR: HikariSTREAMING: Netflix

  • 37 Seconds - Teaser Trailer - YouTube

⚠️ Explanation (Spoiler)

In “37 Seconds,” the Japanese drama film, we follow the journey of Yuma, a young woman with cerebral palsy, as she navigates the desire to be known and accepted, and ultimately takes control of her life. Yuma, living under the shelter of her overprotective mother, yearns for recognition for her work as a manga artist. Despite facing setbacks and rejection, her determination to be acknowledged only grows stronger.

After facing disappointment in the manga industry, Yuma decides to explore new experiences, including delving into her sexuality. This leads her to take charge of her life, symbolized by a moment where she showers independently in her hotel room. Through her newfound independence, she forms genuine friendships and discovers a sense of acceptance she never experienced before.

As Yuma rebels against her mother’s constraints and seeks to break free from her sheltered life, she embarks on a journey to meet her estranged father, only to discover he has passed away. However, she learns of a twin sister in Thailand and decides to meet her. The meeting is initially awkward, but as they interact, they both realize the importance of self-acceptance and understanding.

The film beautifully portrays Yuma’s growth and self-discovery, highlighting her journey towards independence, acceptance, and finding her place in the world. Through her experiences and interactions with others, Yuma learns to embrace herself and her disabilities, ultimately leading to a sense of liberation and empowerment.

👪 Parents Guide & Age Rating


Age Rating and Parental Guide for “37 Seconds”

Age Rating: “37 Seconds” is rated R for mature themes, sexual content, and language. This movie is suitable for viewers aged 17 and above.

Parental Guide: Parents should be aware of the following content in “37 Seconds” before allowing their teenagers to watch:

  • Sexual Content: The movie includes scenes depicting sexual expression and self-discovery. There are references to sexual awakening and themes of intimacy.
  • Language: Expect the use of strong language and profanity throughout the film.
  • Themes: The movie explores mature themes such as disability, independence, love, and forgiveness. Parents should be prepared for discussions on these topics with their teenagers.
  • Violence: While there is no explicit violence, some emotional scenes may be intense and emotional for younger viewers.
  • Positive Messages: “37 Seconds” offers a poignant and heartfelt portrayal of a young woman’s journey towards self-discovery and independence. It sheds light on the experiences of individuals with disabilities.

Overall, “37 Seconds” is a thought-provoking and emotional film that can spark important conversations about identity, relationships, and personal growth. Parents are encouraged to watch the movie first to determine its suitability for their teenagers based on their maturity level and ability to process the themes presented.

📺 Streaming and where to watch

streaming service extra information
Netflix 37 Seconds can be watched on Netflix with a subscription. It is available on Netflix basic with Ads.

❝ Quotes and Cult

  • 37 seconds, well used, is a lifetime.
    Mr. Magorium
  • We breathe. We pulse. We regenerate. Our hearts beat. Our minds create. Our souls ingest.
    Mr. Magorium

🤖37 Seconds Reddit Talks

37 Seconds: A Nuanced Exploration of Disability and Independence

“37 Seconds” is a poignant and intimate Japanese drama that defies expectations and offers a refreshing perspective on disability. The film follows Yuma, a 23-year-old woman with cerebral palsy, as she navigates the challenges of young adulthood and strives for independence.

A Sensitive and Empathetic Portrayal

Unlike many films that focus on disability, “37 Seconds” avoids sentimentality and instead presents a realistic and nuanced portrayal of Yuma’s life. Director Hikari sensitively captures the complexities of her experiences, showing both the challenges she faces and her resilience in the face of adversity.

Independence and Overprotection

A central theme in the film is Yuma’s struggle for independence from her overprotective mother. Yuma longs to live her own life and make her own decisions, but her mother’s well-intentioned attempts to protect her often stifle her growth. The film explores the delicate balance between love and control, and the importance of allowing individuals with disabilities to live fulfilling and autonomous lives.

Mei Kayama’s Authentic Performance

The film’s success is largely due to the remarkable performance of Mei Kayama, an amateur actress with cerebral palsy. Kayama brings authenticity and depth to the role of Yuma, capturing her vulnerabilities, determination, and quiet strength. Her performance challenges stereotypes and offers a refreshing and genuine representation of disability.

Critical Acclaim and Audience Response

“37 Seconds” has received critical acclaim for its sensitive and empathetic portrayal of disability. It has won numerous awards and has been praised for its realistic and nuanced storytelling. Audiences have also responded positively to the film, commending its honesty, emotional depth, and the powerful performance of Mei Kayama.

Topics of Discussion

On social media platforms like Reddit, “37 Seconds” has sparked discussions on a wide range of topics, including:

  • Disability and Representation: The film’s realistic and nuanced portrayal of disability has generated conversations about the importance of authentic representation and the need to challenge stereotypes.
  • Independence and Autonomy: Yuma’s struggle for independence has resonated with viewers, leading to discussions about the rights of individuals with disabilities to live fulfilling and autonomous lives.
  • Overprotection and Parental Control: The film’s exploration of overprotection and parental control has sparked debates about the delicate balance between love and support, and the importance of allowing individuals to make their own decisions.
  • Mei Kayama’s Performance: Kayama’s authentic and powerful performance has been widely praised, prompting discussions about the importance of casting actors with disabilities in roles that authentically represent their experiences.


“37 Seconds” is a thought-provoking and emotionally resonant film that offers a nuanced and sensitive portrayal of disability. Led by the powerful performance of Mei Kayama, the film sparks important conversations about independence, autonomy, and the need for authentic representation in storytelling.

Top discussions

❓ Frequently Asked Questions

Is 37 Seconds worth watching?

37 Seconds is a rare and refreshing film that depicts disability with honesty, warmth, and empathy. It offers a unique perspective on life and is definitely worth a watch.

Does Mei Kayama have cerebral palsy?

Yes, Mei Kayama, the actress in the movie, has cerebral palsy. She portrays the character of 23-year-old Yuma Takada, a talented artist aspiring to make a name in manga, in the film.

What is the movie 37 Seconds about?

37 Seconds is a 2019 Japanese drama film written and directed by Hikari. It follows the story of Yuma Takada, a young woman with cerebral palsy, torn between her family obligations and her dream of becoming a manga artist, as she navigates her journey towards self-determination.

How old is Yuma in 37 Seconds?

Yuma Takada, portrayed by Mei Kayama, is 23 years old in the movie. She is a manga artist living with her mom and cerebral palsy, facing the challenges and desires of a young woman striving for independence.

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