n 1993 Kanao and Shoko are a Tokyo couple awaiting the arrival of their first child. Although both have studied art, Kanao works as a shoe repairman which doesn't stretch his rather laid-back style and Shoko works in a small publishing firm. Their home life is marked by some clashes between her attempts at regimentation, including scheduling their sex life on a calendar, and his flirting with other women. Kanao is offered work as a courtroom sketch artist and becomes a witness to the most sensational murder trials of Japan through the next 8 years. He must cope with the ugliness and breakdown in civility he encounters. Shoko also re-discovers her artistic side as she confronts the dark side of life when struggling with depression over the loss of a child and the dysfunctional aspects of the lives of her mother and brother.

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