Arc (2021) - full transcript

In the near future, Rina lives as a wanderer, after leaving her child and home town at the age of seventeen. She then meets Ema, head of the BodyWerks division at Eternity, a major cosmetics corporation. BodyWerks are actual body sculptures of the deceased, preserved as if they were living, a technology that is available to the public to overcome their loss of their loved ones. Meanwhile, Ema's rebellious brother and brilliant scientist Amane begins research using this technology to stop aging among the living, granting them immortality. Through Ema and Amane, Rina gains new insights and embarks on a journey to become the first immortal in human history. - stop by if you're interested in the nutritional composition of food
17 years old

19 years old

Good evening. May I?


Are you gonna dance or what?

Dance, baby.


What's your problem?

Drink it up!

Fuck off!


Your youthfulness can be of use.

Come to my office if you're interested.

Eternity Inc.
Director of BodyWerks
Ema Kuroda

It's soft.

They are all real.

Bones, organs... They are all there.

Eternity captured in death.

Follow me.

I'II show you the BodyWerks studio.


Put down your backpack.

Kanako, show her around.

It's 2A-1.

Follow me.

We scan each body, as you've seen.

Next we install a bolt into the most appropriate point.

Then we drain blood from each body for embalming.

Finally, we are ready for plastination.


We pose each body in a particular position

and inject synthetic resin for solidification.

Every BodyWerk is different.
Head tilt, hand angle and the gaze.

Each host leaves traces of their lives.

Ema is a genius.

She can breathe life into
a body with her plastination.

What a weird expression
to describe the dead, though.

A special ritual only Ema can do.

Come back tomorrow if you are serious.


- Here's the list for today.
- Thanks.

Good morning, Ma'am.
I wanted to thank you for...

Speak with action, not with words.

That's our rule.

Was it your father's wish?

He had a weird religious belief
and didn't want to be cremated.

It was his last wish
so I want to respect it.

He's what's called
an alligator snapping turtle.

It's my husband
who passed away recently.

Can you preserve the brain and organs?

Exactly what kind of posing
do you prefer?

He didn't tell us.
What's popular now?

I want him to sit in front of his piano
as if he's playing.

With his fingers on each key.

She's cuter when she opens her mouth.

I want her to pose like this, see?

Can you make me look younger again?

I don't want to look old when I die.

I've had this fascination
with mummified kings and monks.

I feel like I found something that
surpasses them.

I understand I'll never get him back.

But there are moments
I feel he might come back.

And so.


I fully understand...

He's not coming back.


Watch me carefully.

Cleanse the body with a sponge.

Spray antiseptic solution
on the gauze...

and wipe.

Let the liquid seep into every pore.

Your turn.

You won't like the feel at first.

Kinda like that.

Don't touch with your bare hands!

Always wear gloves
when you touch the body, got it?

Not hungry.

Our job is much more demanding
mentally and physically than you imagine.

Do me a favor and eat.

What is this crap

It's good once you get used to it.

But it gets even better with this.

How is it?

What is it?

Not bad, huh?


Study Leonardo da Vinci's
drawings carefully. Ema.

Your mirror neurons are interfering.

Your nerve cells resonate
with the corpse in front of you.

You'll get used to it.

Bodies are just objects.

Why do you think
people yearn for plastination?



Resistance to death.


by treating dead bodies
thoroughly as objects,

you can liberate yourself
from the fear of death.

The moment you are able to do that,
quite unexpectedly...

transcendental beauty will begin
to reveal itself.

There'll come a time
when you will understand.

This hand is very eloquent.

Whoever it is,
the artist is talented.

How would you know that?

Ema sees BodyWerks as a way
to overcome death for humans.

But one day,

I'll think of a different way
to overcome death.

Like how?

In a way...

I want to make time stop
while we're stiil alive.

As if we're riding a space shuttle
at the speed of light.

Are you going to be an astronaut?

There you are, Amane.

What happened?

The boy told me
he wants to be an astronaut.

He is Ema's younger brother.

He's likely to inherit
Eternity in the future.

They are here.

Please have a seat over there.

You stay here.

We truly appreciate this.

I have read your files.

About your child, yes?

Here's a photo.

It's the image of our boy in her belly.

You'll have to leave him with us.

You'll be okay?

If I could...

I would put him back into my belly.

I don't want to lose him ever again.
I want to keep him near me forever.

Please help us.


Excuse me.

These are the files
for today's interview.

I'll put it right here.

I want you to handle that couple.

Are you going to or not?

I will.

One more thing.

Stay away from Amane.



loved touching things.

I used to believe

touching things was a way

to know the shapes of things

or people's feelings.

When I held him for the first time,

he felt so small and fragile.

I expected this feeling would turn...

into something else.

Something like love gushing out of me.


that emotion just didn't come.

He was right in front of me.

This scrunched-up,


and tiny creature.

I was supposed to keep him alive.
All by myself.

The fact

just horrified me.


You don't own your baby.

And the baby...

He doesn't own you.

Live your own life.

Don't get trapped.

Now I see how little I understood Ema.

It was the next morning that I learned
she had been removed from her post.

Here are your visitor badges.

Pin them on so we can see.

Everyone has fun at BodyWerks!

Here is our studio.

This is where we do plastination.

Plastination is a technology where
body fluids and fats from the dead

are replaced with plastic resin.

Our advancements in
this evolutionary technology

have made BodyWerks a global brand.

Here she comes.


30 years old

Rina, a minute please.

Any last questions about plastination?

I have one.

Go ahead.

Are you trying to rebuild human bodies
into something immortal?

Actually, such rumors
have been around a long time.

And maybe it's because

that's what we all
secretly wish for, no?

What would you do?

That's the point.
You make the choice.

Long time no see.

You do look like you've been
on a space shuttle and back.

How many bodies
do you work on per day?

About 20.

Quite a lot.

We have more people working here now.
I only handle a few.

You confront dead bodies
every day

to stop their death forever
before they start to decay.

But it also stops time
for those who are living.

The first victim is Ema.


this technology will be vital
for my research on anti-aging.

Has Ema agreed to your idea?

I'll come back again.

Breaking news.

Cosmetics giant Eternity

that conducts research on
telomeric initialization technology

has been authorized its application
on humans by the Ministry of Health.

The technology is expected to
inhibit the aging process

thereby offering the prospect of
immortality to humankind.

Now a word from Amane.

As reported by the media,
my 5-year research on anti-aging

at Max Planck Institute is
near its completion.

Here's my argument.

Living organisms are net meant to die.

Certain types of jellyfish and protozoa
don't even have life-spans.

Death has become unnecessary.

This paradigm shift will take time
but as our-name Eternity...

Don't flatter yourself, Amane!

What you're trying to achieve

is not evolution.

It's devolution.


is against our father's ideals.

You'll have to leave.

She's fine. Ema?

Let's get out.

Please excuse us.
I'll leave it to you.


Shall we resume?

Mr. Sasaki?

Who is she?

Someone who I used to love.

I've been working on her
for 20 years

and I've only got this far.

It's daunting.

In the end, a corpse is just a corpse.


Death is not the opposite of life.


is a part of life.

A survey conducted by
the Ministry of Health has revealed

over 90% of the public
wish to receive anti-aging treatment.

However, with its current capacity

Eternity can only accept
0.8% of the applicants.

There is public outcry about
how the lines are drawn.

No to the anti-aging!

It's her.

We know your tactics.

Anti-aging isn't for us poor, right?

It won't bring happiness to humankind.
You'll pay the price.

Tell the witch what it is.

Over here!

Have a seat.

The first-aid kit...

is here.

Anti-aging technology.
How real is it?

It's already real.

But strangely,

people seem more afraid of
immortality than death.

You may be right.

Unlike our executives

I have no fear of risks.

Whether they be religious or scientific.



The completion of this technology will
divide humankind into two groups.

Those who get to board the ship
and those who don't.

I want you to come on board with me.

Are you taking Rina with you?


Do you remember when Mom died?

Dad wouldn't let anybody
touch her remains.

Day after day,

he would weep over her corpse

even though she started to decay.

There was nothing we could do for him.

Seeing Dad's reaction got you...

fixated on plastination, right?

But disguising death as life is wrong.

I just wanted to live with you
and share the same moments.


with you.

Why are you looking at me so sadly?

I won't get on your ship.

But that's my decision.

You have no need to feel guilt.

Not even a bit.

Few hours remain until the New Year.

This year has been
a milestone for BodyWerks.

Its value has surpassed
the beauty of its artwork

but is now a vital technology for
achieving the beauty of eternal youth.

Have you seen Kanako?


Okay. Thanks.

Good to see you, Rina.


I love this work.
The red is perfect.

Thank you. Enjoy the party.

Thank you.

Let's make a toast to...

our beautiful and brave lady
who is leading us in this evolution.

To our great artist Rina!
And to our eternal youth!



How are you feeling? Better now?

Much better.

Are you really going to leave?

That's what I'm thinking.

I couldn't have come
this far if it wasn't for you.

I'm not strong enough to live like Ema.

I don't think you are too, Rina.

I must be going.

Sorry Nana.

So sorry.

The New Year is about to start.

Still working?

You are, too.

Care for a drink?

If you're having one.

What do we make a toast to?

To my son.

It's his birthday.

He should be 13.

What's his name?

I don't know.

I abandoned my own son

before I even named him.

Will you marry me, Rina?

Come on board with me.

Tell me.

Do you want to have kids?

That would be nice but...

I honestly don't know right now.

I can never let myself
make the same mistake.

Couldn't we overcome
that mistake together?

I don't want to keep you waiting

while I find the answer to that.

I'll be waiting.

Even if it takes forever.

I know you refused his offer.

But you deserve to be
the first beneficiary

of this technology.

I am...

I'm sick and tired of living shackled
to this body.

I am free.

I won't let myself get trapped.

Dear Ema,

I was 19 years old
when I started working for you.

A t the time I was helplessly ignorant

and helplessly hopeless about life.

But after I met you,
I was able to learn a lot by facing death.

You told me that
if I could treat dead bodies as objects

transcendental beauty
will begin to reveal itself.

But gradually since then

I've come to realize the beauty
of living in the moment

and want to live it
to its fullest potential.

I have chosen

to take the next step forward
into a new humankind.

Not with my words, but with my actions.

Farewell, Ema.

We are now entering an era
in which we overcome aging and death.

Living hundreds of years
with eternal beauty of youth.

"Till death do us apart."

This line will soon disappear
from wedding vows.

You don't have to hurry.

We'll have all the time in the world.

For years we've been
improving piastination,

which replaces blood and fat
with synthetic resin.

We now have a new technology
of injecting

telomeric initializing cells
instead of resin.

Think of them as
controllable cancer cells.

They will continue to divide,
indefinitely, safely, and stably.

The plastination technology
enables the circulation of

new cells and the existing cells
in the human body

to prevent its aging process.

Please look at the document...

Excuse me.

Death gives life meaning

because it is inevitable for humans.

Without death,
will we find meaning in life?

As to your question...

That will be...

corrected as "for humans in the past."

The idea that death gives life meaning

was designed to console humans
without a choice of immortality.

It was just anti-immortality propaganda.

I will prove this true with my life.

I hope that answered your question.

89 years old

I'm home.

Good morning.

Nana. You're up already.

Is she asleep?



Thank you.

Just this morning

Toki passed away.

I'm sorry.


She passed on very peacefully.
Just like Kanako.

It's good to hear that.

It's your day off.
Would you like something to eat?

No thanks. I'll get some sleep.

Thanks as always.

My pleasure.

32 years old

On this island

I want to build a place
for those who didn't get on board the ship.

Whether it was their choice or not.

People like Ema.

That's a wonderful idea. It really is.

That's a wonderful idea. ‘It really is.



Melos, come this way.

Where's your mouth?

Haru, it's lunchtime.
Wash yowr hands.


There you go!

50 years old

Rina, are you ready?

In a minute.

Thanks for waiting.

Let's get going.

Goocl mowing.

Good morning.

Bon appétit!

I got some bad news.

I apparently have
a special kind of genetic abnormality.

What does that mean?

It means it's interfering with

my anti-aging treatment.

There's more.

The aging rate of my cells
has suddenly accelerated.

In my estimation,

the time I have left is...

2 months.

That's all we can disclose for now.

Bring in Amane!

Give us answers!

Where is he?

Do you expect
any more similar cases?

We don't know for sure
at this moment. I'm sorry.

We demand an explanation.

We'd like to inform you that

the treatment may not work
for people who received it

in their 40s or above.

It depends on tihe individual.

We appreciate you all for coming today.
This conference is over. Thank you.


Amane? Are you all right?

Please have a seat.

Before he decided to
receive intensive chemotherapy,

he chose to deep-freeze his semen.

What to do with it is totally up to you.
That's how he put it.

Welcome back to our show!

We lost two residents last week.

We now have 42 residents here
at Amane 's'Garden.

It's getting lonely around here.

Let's keep our heads up,
as we welcome new friends

to our island this week!

Good morning, Haru.

Good morning.

Good morning, Daddy.

Good morning.

Good morning, Yuri.

Good morning.

Thank you for your time.

My name is Ukai. I have one daughter.

This facility is named Amane's Garden

after its founder, Kuroda Amane.

The residents live here free of charge.

We are proud of our
state-of-the-art medical facilities.

We promise our residents a
peaceful departure when the time comes.

I appreciate it.

Why didn't you receive the treatment?

What is it called? Genetic mutation?
I had it.

You don't get scared if you can
die together with everyone else.

Money was the biggest problem.
I had to give up on the idea.

What about your families and loved ones?

There were many who said
they would refuse treatment.

But the vast majority of them got the
treatment. That was a surprise.

I would say 100% of my acquaintances.

My mother did not receive the operation.

But I did.

I still have an occasional tinge
of regret.

How desperate I want to live.

But I couldn't have
paid the 250-year loan either.

Maybe it was better this way.

Everyone here went through
similar life experiences.

This island is almost exclusively for
the Old Generation.

I don't spend much time
thinking about death for now.

I'm keeping my optimistic view of life.

Will you tell us
why you chose this facility?

My wife Fumi was diagnosed
with terminal cancer.

We wanted to spend our remaining time
peacefully in a place like this.

You can be rest assured.
We'll do everything we can for you.

Actually my late mother
spent her last days here.


Is there any reason why you did not
receive an anti-aging treatment, Rihito?

Was it genetic abnormality like Fumi?

No. I chose not to.

Do I need a reason for that?

Not at all. I'm sorry.

Do you have other family members?

We have no children
so it's just the two of us.

I see.

Amane's Garden

I don't eat any foreign food.
Like cheese, for example.

If I can choose what I eat..

Toki's keepsakes
for anybody to take.

Please take it if you like it.


You can have it.

Thank you.

A clockwork toy.

- What is yourname?
- Haru.

Haru... A great name.

What's yours, Mister?


Nice to meet you.

Nice to meet you too.

Can the Sakamotos stay
on the first floor?

Yes, should be okay.

So that's done.

What about Ms. Tsukishima?

- 1st floor?
- Yes.

Ms. Ukai?

Why hasn't Rihito moved
in with his wife?

He said he would get himself
a cabin near the fishing port.


He is a bit unusual.
He refused the anti-aging treatment.

Is that true?


Excuse me.

It's beautiful.

I'm sorry. Bid I wake you up?

No problem.

Good. May I do your check-up?

Of course.


Call me Rina. I feel awkward
when I'm called doctor.

Rina, then. You are much older I am.

You can tell?

Let me guess. You're about to turn 100.

Do I act like an old woman?

Not at all.

Then how?

Your footsteps.

My footsteps?

Everyone carries their own texture
or weight in their footsteps.

I can tell the age of a person
by hearing it.

I didn't know someone
so young would be here.

I'd say five as she looks?

Steifs my daughter.
Haru, say hello to Fumi.

- Hello.
- Hello.

What can I do for you?

I used up my sketchbook.

All right. I'll come by again.

Say goodbye to Fumi.


- Excuse me.
- Bye bye.

I can hear the sound of waves.

I heard you got yourself
a cabin near the port.

Yes. I was on
a fishing trawler for many years.

You were?

Where were your fishing spots?

It depended on the season.

We went wherever we could find fish.


It's not an easy job
to make a living out of.

I'm sorry.

I don't mean to be intrusive but we can
provide a room for a family member too.

It'll be better for Fumi if you're here...

No, we're fine with the way things are.

We actually prefer it this way.

I Can drive you home.
It's quite a long walk.

Thanks but no thanks.

This is good.

Eating fresh fish would get you
3 months in jail, right?

It's worth doing time
when it tastes this gotM

Is that boat over there yours?

Yeah, it used to be.

You can have it if you want.

Good morning, Haru.

Good morning.


Haru, over here.


Kitty cat! So cute.

Cute she is.

Will she look at us?

- She won't.
- She won't?

Good morning.

Good morning, Haru.

Look! A ship!


- Can you see it?
- Yeah.

Look at all the flags.
Aren't they wonderful?

Haru, there are ship over there, too..

Take them off.

Isn't it wonderful?


Many things just need to be fixed
to start working again.

Excuse us for the intrusion.

Thank you.

Is that Toki's?

I couldn't help feeling nostalgic.

If only we could develop the film.

Why take photos at all?
Nothing changes now.

Evem if you don't change,
the world does.

You're a different person today
from who you were yesterday.

He's pretty geosl, isn't he?

He captures your expressions so well.

Because he's so in love with me.

How did you two meet?

Nothing special at first.

He was one of the customers
at a place I used to work.

He always came alone at night.

He had such a leneseme look in his eyes.

That was my first impression.

Is that so?

Six months later or so,

I bumped into him
on a street after my shift.

That night we kissed for the first time.

I knew then and there

I would be with him
for the rest of my life.

You know what I mean?

You had a hunch.

Exactly. I had a hunch.

Are you seeing somebody?

Like dating?

I forgot what it was like.

You don't forget that easily.

When you meet somebody special...

Are you telling me

you can tell from his footsteps?


According to the latest statistics,

the global birth rate
has hit an all-time low-of 0.2.

As the number of suicides increases,
its legalization is being considered...

Nana, I'll put this week's
IV bags right here.



Anybody here?


H a ru!



Happy birthday, Rina!

Hello, Rio,I.

Glad you madte it.

My husband too.

Are you Nana?

It's like having Kanako here with us.

A lot of Mom's friends say that.

For sure!

Your old studio will be torn down soon.

There's no demand for
human BodyWerks anymore.

The demand for the technology
is now here.

It's such a waste.

BodyWerks are actually quite beautiful.

You have to go to a museum
to see them now.

Happy 90th birthday!

It's Melos.

-Your turtle? - That's right.

Is this your mom?

Yes. Rina.

Draw some pictures.

Draw what?

Your mom.

I'm not good at drawing people

How about a house?


Let me see...

You're good.

Am I?

Everyone has fun at BodyWerks!

We detect no problems whatsoever.

The genetic concern on Amane's sperm
has had no effect on Haru.

Which means her
anti-aging treatment wiill work?


You need to come here regularly
for check-ups, though.

That's a relief.

This was your answer
to Amane, right?

Giving birth to Haru.

My answer?

I don't know.


When I look at Haru,

there are moments when
I can feel Amane's presense.

Her fingertips...

her hairline...

or the particular angle of her mouth
when she smiles.

Amane's passing was a huge loss.

Gene abnormalities are now treatable.
Even the age 40 limit would be...

Can I ask you something?

About people over 40
being eligible for treatment.

Are we in the clinical phase already?

If so

may I recommend someone for your list?

A resident from your facility?

Rina, of all people,
you should understand.


Even if it was possible for the elderly
to become immortal,

it would be a difficult world
for them to adapt to.

Is it impossible?

Anti-aging treatment technology
is not just about Eternity or us.

Even if...

we're talking about my son?

There they are.

Don't be scared.

I'm here...

to ask you something.

Was it because of me that you decided
not to have the anti-aging treatment?

It had no meaning to me.

That's all.

Tell me the truth.

That's how I wanted it.
It has nothing to do with you.

It might not be too late.

I'm sure Fumi

doesn't want you to die if you can live.

I know I don't.

So could you please think it over?

You don't understand anything.

Will you leave?

I never thought you hadn't had
the anti-aging treatment.

I never imagined
you could die before me.

We're done here.
Now go.

- But...
- Get out!




I've always wanted to come here.

Thanks for bringing me.

My pleasure.

I love the scenery from here too.

When I'm here...

I feel like I've been left alone
in this world.

Only humans have eternal lives.

Everything else in nature
has a beginning and an end.

It's as if we've been left out.

It makes me wonder

whether we have evolved or devolved.

I know somebody who
said something like that.


Haru's missing.



Where is she?

Nana, you go that way.

Have you seen Haru?


Thank you.

What should we do?

Let's go down to the port.

What if something's happened to her?

It'll be all right. We'll find her.
She isn't reckless.

She probably wanted me to fix Melos.

I can't thank you enough.

I didn't do anything.

She was putting on a brave face
when I found her walking.

Can you take her home?

Of course.

I met you once.

When I visited BodyWerks
on a school trip.

For an instant, our eyes met.

But you didn't recognize me.

I kept on waiting for you.

"My mother will come back for me."


you didn't come back when Grandma died.

And then Grandpa died.


I realised what a fool I've been.

Then I met someone.

It was Fumi.

That's when

I was truly born into this world.

At last

I got my life back.

It's your turn now. Live your own life...


Around here.

Okay? Here goes.

Thank you.

- Can I close it?
- Sure.

Let's say a prayer.

Thank you, Melos, x

It's fun!

Are you okay?

Rihito's coming.

Fumi, are you all right?

Let me prop you up on some pillows, Fumi.


You'll be all right.

It's all right.

You'll be all right.

All right.


Please get some rest.
I'll take care of her.

You'll be all right.

Happy birthday.

When I'm born again...

promise me

you will

find me.

In less than 2 months,
Fumi passed a way.

Six months later,

Rihito went out to sea by himself
and never came back.

Seri, come over here and help me!


135 years old

You're late.


can I have some tea?

- Seri, pour some tea for Rina.
- Sure.

Have you decided
the subject for your paper?

My subject was always going to be
about my Grandma Rina's life.

- There you go.
- Thank you.

Uncle Rihito's camera was not broken.
The film inside was fine too.

- Really?
- What were on them?

That's a secret.

I still think

it's wrong to choose death
when you can live forever.

Don't you agree, Mom?

My time will come.

I didn't accomplish everything
I wanted to do.

I didn't see all that there is t® see.

I didn't learn all that there is to know.


I'll die with more experience
than anybody could wish f®r.

That's how my life will be an arc

with a beginning and an end.


the first woman to have
the chance to live forever,

will also be the first to give that up.

You're right.

Seri, hurry up!

Wait up!

What's the matter, Haru?

I still

don't want you to die, Rina.

Death gives meaning to life.

It's a myth fabricated
by the ancient people.

Even if that's so...

it's a myth...

that I believe in.

Let's go.


Grandma's, here.


Coming to get you!

Guys, over there!



OKADA Masaki




Directed by ISHIKAWA Kei

Written by

Music by SEIBU Hiroko


Subtitles by USUI Naoyuki
Subtitles Produced by AURA