Yuma (Mei Kayama
), 23 and living with cerebral palsy, sketches intricate sci-fi vistas as she dreams of breaking away. Her caring but protective mother (Misuzu Kanno
) insists on sheltering her under her watchful eye. At the same time, Yuma is an accomplished artist collaborating on a manga series with her YouTube star cousin (Minori Hagiwara
), who opts to keep Yuma hidden from the public eye and treat her as a ghostwriter.
Patiently and empathetically observed, 37 Seconds
marks an impressive narrative debut from Hikari
. She gradually expands the scope of Yuma’s explorations until her travels take her further than she could ever have anticipated. Although Yuma’s search for physical, creative, and sexual autonomy suits a broad canvas, Hikari maintains an intimate focus on her protagonist. Kayama is extraordinary as Yuma, holding the center in what deserves to be a breakout performance.