This offbeat drama from Japan concerns a tourist attraction, the Asahiyama Zoo in Hokkaido, with the dubious twin distinctions of being the northernmost menagerie in its country and drawing a pathetic number of visitors each day. Given its lack-of-popularity and long history of poor management, the Asahiyama desperately needs more competent staff. Salvation arrives in the form of new hire Yoshida (Yasuhi Nakamura), a kindly fellow who experiences a more intimate connection with insects than he does with people, thanks to many miserable years as a social pariah and victimization by bullies. Yoshida feels a close connection with Takizawa (Toshiyuki Nishida, a man trying passionately to skirt around permanent closure in the face of escalating debt. Deeply touched by Takizawa's efforts, Yoshida rallies additional zoo personnel to revitalize the institution - and the staff hits upon a breakthrough idea, the "Behavioral Exhibition," that may just set the zoo on the path to international acclaim and permanently deliver it from financial woes.
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