Child star Yumi Adachi headlines this cinema adaptation of the wildly popular, ludicrously maudlin television drama of the same name. In the TV show, young doe-eyed Suzu (Adachi) is beaten by her evil stepfather, harried by classmates, and stricken by the untimely death of her mother. Yet through it all, she retains her optimistic pluck. The film opens with the now homeless Suzu stealing a little Christmas cake so that she and her loveable dog, Ryu, can enjoy a little holiday spirit. Soon, she finds herself ensnared in a dastardly circus that takes in street kids and forces them to perform. The circus is run by the thin-lipped, pinched-nosed Isogai (Yosuke Saito), who recently married Suzu's depraved aunt, Kyoko (Rumiko Koyanagi), whose hatred of kids rivals only Joan Crawford. Yet all is not sheer horribleness for the young protagonist; she befriends Minoru (Koichi Domoto) and Megumi (Takako Sakurai), a brother and sister trapezee artist duo with congenital heart disease. Fearing that they might lose their top act, Isogai prevents them from seeking the medical attention they need to stay alive. Their father, a money-grubbing politician, refuses to acknowledge them, much less pay for an operation. But plucky Suzu has a peach of a plan that's sure to work: She will send her dog Ryu to find her doctor friend, who lives several hundred miles away, and somehow convince him to help the adorable moppets.
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