Sion Sono presents a musical love story between a man and his pet turtle in Love & Peace. Ryoichi Suzuki (Hiroki Hasegawa) is a timid 33 year old office worker, who dreams of being a famous rock star, while also pining for his co-worker Yuko (Kumiko Aso). Ryoichi buys a pet turtle named Pikadon, to whom he shares his big dreams with. However, Ryoichi is forced to reluctantly flush Pikadon down the toilet, after his co-workers laugh at him. Ryoichi turns his grief into a song aimed towards Pikadon, which ends up being a huge hit. Meanwhile, Pikadon finds himself in Lost & Found Heaven, a magical underground haven for lost toys and pets, looked after by the mysterious old man Pa (Toshiyuki Nishida).
Love & Peace is a heartwarming and adorable comic musical fantasy from director Sion Sono. The film’s central protagonist of Ryoichi Suzuki believes that the whole world is out to get him, with his pet turtle Pikadon being his first real meaningful connection. This connection becomes the song “Love & Peace,” which Ryoichi writes for Pikadon, but is then misinterpreted as an anti-war protest song and results in Ryoichi being recruited into the band Revolution Q and quickly becoming a huge rock star.
Love & Peace is a highly enjoyable mix of rock musical and comic fantasy. The film’s central song “Love & Peace” has an extremely catchy melody that will likely end up being stuck in your head at the end of the film. I’ll keep the film’s more fantastical elements a surprise for the most part, though I will say that the film builds up to a very larger-than-life climax. With Love & Peace, Sion Sono has created a very heartwarming story, which will likely leave you with a huge smile on your face and maybe even shedding a couple tears.