The whole plot of Words Bubble Up Like Soda Pop revolves around two characters who express their warmth through music and poetry (Haiku). While the love story of Cherry and Smile is heartwarming and nostalgic, the side plot of Mr. Fujiyama and his obsession with finding a record he lost pulls at your heartstrings.
Initially, we find Mr. Fujiyama to be an eccentric senile old man who screams his Haiku instead of reciting it. We find out more about his character and understand that his peculiarity comes from a place of heartache and longing for his deceased loved one. Watch the trailer here.
Remembering That You’ve Forgotten Your Memorable Times
As the plot progresses, we find out that the empty pink record holder he carries with him all the time has a deeply emotional and romantic significance for him. Fujiyama reminisces about all the precious memories he has lost. But he still remembers that listening to the lost record one more time will make him recall all his precious memories!
He tearfully talks to himself about how he has listened to this record the most and how he never wants to forget. Through the blood, sweat, and tears of Cherry and Smile, we later find out that the record’s artist is Sakura Fujiyama, who produced Yamazakura when she was merely 22 years old.
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Fujiyama’s daughter later tells them that Sakura is her mother, Mr. Fujiyama’s beloved wife who passed away when she gave birth. All the pieces of the puzzle fall into place and we get to sympathize with the pain and poignancy of the old man.
They resolve to find the record, which they do after a lot of hard work. But Smile breaks it into pieces and shards when she tries to straighten it. Fortunately, however, they later find another record in the day centre they’re working at when they’re preparing for the Daruma dance.
The Daruma Dance, Yamazakura, and Fujiyama’s Remembrance
Read this to know more about Cherry and Smile: Words Bubble Up Like Soda Pop: What’s The Meaning Behind The Names Cherry And Smile?
The Daruma Dance is performed by the patients and staff at the day centre every year at the local festival. However, in this year’s Daruma Dance performance, they play Sakura Fujiyama’s song instead of the usual old folk song.
When the first line of the first verse starts playing, Mr. Fujiyama recalls everything and a teardrop falls down his cheeks. We get to see glimpses of the beautiful heartrending romance of Fujiyama and his beloved, Sakura as Fujiyama walks down memory lane listening to the beautiful lyrics and melody.
The lyrics of the song touches you with a pang of nostalgia and youthful romance. Named “Yamazakura”, the song is performed by Taeko Onuki. Here’s the lyrics of the song:
Remember back to those days
When we lived in a dream
And to our meeting of chance
It was a miracle from this world
On that day at the concert venue
We fell in love as if struck by lightning
The key that opens the gate to my heart
The one and only key
Wings that guide us to freedom
The dream that we once let go of
Becomes a rainbow bridge
The poetic phrases and words hit you hard and evoke strong emotions of warmth and longing for your first kiss, your first romance. The theme of this song complements the larger narrative and themes of the entire movie Words Bubble Up Like Soda Pop.