Before The Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi


Translator: Geoffrey Trousselot

Ebook 227 pages

Published September 19, 2019 by Picador

Rating 3,5/5

Well, the rating might be more than 3,5 if I hadn't watched the movie. The movie has different title, that is, Cafe Funiculi Funicula, in the book, it's the name of the cafe where the story takes place. All the aspects in the movie were there in the book. There are some differences, though, that I can tolerate, and I think it's better. Some changes in characters are there, too. You know, I watched the movie around April 2019 and the book was first published in December 6, 2015. I never thought I could read the novel. I have a habit that if the movie is based on a book, I tried my best to read the book first before watching the movie version. The same goes to manga adaptations. But, since Japanese novels are hard to find in Indonesia, not to mention the translated ones, so I think I could go watching the movie without reading the book. Who would have thought that a friend of mine sent me the ebook last October 2020? Well, I'll gladly read it and try to sync it with the movie version.

For your information, I really love the movie that I could recall all the details in the movie while reading the book. One thing I forgot is the name of the characters 😅. Oya, I wrote the movie review in my blog here completed with some photos from the movie.

I wonder if time travel would really happen one day. If it really happens, what would you do? Would you go to the past or go to the future? But remember, there are some rules you have to go through before you time travel:

1. The only people you can meet while in the past are those who visited the cafe.

2. There is nothing you can do while in the past that will change the present.

3. There is only one seat that allows you to go back in time.

4. While in the past, you cannot move from the seat.

5. There is a time limit, that is, as long as the coffee is still warm. (You have to go back before the coffee gets cold).

Those are the rules you have to undergo, so, are you up to that? Previoulsy, there were bunch of people who wanted to go back in time as soon as the urban legend spread by newspaper. The cafe called Cafe Funiculi Funicula was quite popular with that urband legend.  But sooner, there were fewer people got interested in going back in time due to the rules.

But not for Fumiko. She was wondering to go back to see her boyfriend on the day he said that he would go to America to pursue his dream. Her pride stopped her to say what she wanted to say to Goro, her boyfriend. No wonder, she insisted to go back even though she knew whatever has happened would not change the present. 

Similar to Fumiko, Kohtake was a married nurse who now took care of her husband suffering from Alzheimer. For some time, Fusagi, Kohtake's husband had been a regular for the cafe. At first, he didn't give a damn on the urband legend, but as soon as he was losing his memory, it appeared to him that he wanted to go back. There must be something he wanted to fix in the past. 

Another regular of the cafe who wanted to go back in time was Hirai. For almost 3 years, she had avoided meeting her little sister due to her longing to bring her back to their hometown to take care of the family's inn business. Never had Hirai thought that she would lose her little sister as soon as she avoided meeting her on the day she gave her a letter. She knew that going back in time would not make her little sister back to life after the accident, but meeting her for the last time might heal her deepest regret for all this time.

In the movie version, Fumiko an Goro were childhood friends who kept on having relationship with others but at the end, when it's time for broken heart, they comforted each other. In the book, Goro and Fumiko had been dating for 3 years without any commitment in the future. It's understandable that Fumiko was eager to confirm their relationship. 

There was a change character in Fusagi and Kohtake in movie version. Fusagi was the nurse who later took care of Kohtake suffering from Alzheimer. Either way,  the story between these two was heart breaking. 

Hirai's story and her little sister, Kumi, was the only similar thing in the book and the movie. Their dispute and Hirai's misunderstanding took that long that made Hirai almost abandon the rules to drink the coffee before it gets cold. 

One thing I was glad was removing the love story between Kazu and a college student in the movie version. I don't know why the movie had the character while in the book, the college student was replaced by Kei, Nagare's wife. Nagare was Kazu's uncle. Kazu was the only coffee maker that would bring the customer to the past. It might be one of the rules inherited in the family. Kei and Nagare had more touching background story than Kazu and the college student. LOL. 

The time travel happened in the movie and the book might be similar. The difference is the book has the descriptive experience of someone who happened to time travel. While in the movie, the aroma and the sound of coffee pouring in the cup is like the sound of hypnotizing that transported someone to the past. Once again, if I hadn't watched the movie, I might have enjoyed the descriptive sensation of traveling back in time. But the movie is more vivid for me who is a visual one. Looking at the color of the coffee, the smoke from the coffee pot and the sound of pouring into the cup is kind of therapeutic for me. Plus the background music added the sensation for putting someone to the past. I don't know if the transportation to the past is merely the soul or the flesh and bone of someone. In the movie, the traveling back in time is like plunging into the sea of memory with some humming of people attending in the cafe showing that the clock is reversing to the target time, a week ago, a month ago, or others.

The book has 3 volumes. I just finished the first one that was adapted into movie. But the book has no information about the figure occupying the seat, the only seat that would transport someone to the past. I hope that the second book would focus more on how the cafe had the magic of time travel. Unfortunately, I don't see any translated work for book 3. It was released in September 2018. I know, it takes time to publish the translated book, not to mention publish it to other countries with various languages. Well, just wait and see. 

The movie poster released in 2018

The movie trailer with Kasumi Arimura as the main lead

0 Response to "Before The Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi"

Post a Comment

Iklan Atas Artikel

Iklan Tengah Artikel 1

Iklan Tengah Artikel 2

Iklan Bawah Artikel