‘All Lives’ Japanese Movie Ending Explained & Recap: Did Naruse Have A Daughter?

There are lots of Bollywood movies all about making the most of your final days by finding peace before you die. Films like The Sky is Pink, October, and The Salvation all talks about the same message: To live your life to the fullest while you can. But what about those who had lost everything and everyone, and are now just waiting to die? That’s the story of the Japanese movie All Lives, directed by Ryuichi Hiroki. It’s all about Dr. Sakura and his patient, Naruse. Naruse’s in a lot of pain from his terminal illness, and he’s ready to end his life. But instead of trying to talk him out of it, Dr. Sakura suggests that if Naruse truly feels that way, he should die at his will. But before that Sakura encourages him to make the most of the time left. And their journey in All Lives will make you laugh and cry, and that background score will really make you emotional. These characters? You’ll instantly connect with them from the moment they hit the screen. So, what happens to this doctor-patient duo? Let’s find out through the recap and explainer of Netflix’s All Lives.


Spoilers Ahead

Why did Dr. Sakura write his resignation letter? 

From the moment Dr. Sakura appeared on the screen, you could feel the pain he carried inside just by looking at him. You see, Dr. Sakura used to be a renowned surgeon. But one day, in the middle of an operation, his hands started shaking, and he forgot how to hold a scalpel. After that incident, his life changed. His wife, who used to brag about him being a renowned surgeon, felt embarrassed. She left him, taking their kids with her. And that hit Dr. Sakura hard. He started believing he was a failure. Now, he was just a regular doctor at Kanto Medical Hospital in Japan. But there was this patient, Naruse, under his care. Naruse was dying. He was tired of the pain, tired of hospital life, medicines, and procedures. He knew that there was maybe just three months left for him to die, and it was too much for him to bear. But their doctor-patient relationship melted your heart.


Naruse called Dr. Sakura “Dr. Youngster” because he looked like a little child, he believed, and Sakura called him “Old Man,” of course, because of his age. He thought Sakura, with his own struggles, might understand him better. And he was right. Sakura knew what it was like to watch someone fade away. His own mother went through it. He believed dying alone in a hospital room, surrounded by machines and tubes, wasn’t the way to go. Meds could only do so much but couldn’t make someone live forever. So, Sakura told Naruse to write down things he wanted to do before he died. And you know what Naruse said? He wanted to feel the wind on his face again, something he hadn’t felt in ages stuck in those hospital walls as The windows in the hospital were tiny, barely letting in any air. And that’s when Sakura went into action. He handed in his resignation letter, released Naruse from the hospital, and they hit the road in his van. They were off to explore Japan, hitting Naruse’s favorite spots. But before they went, Sakura grabbed two vials of potassium from the hospital meds. Just in case.

Why did Naruse tell Yuri not to visit him again? 

Dr. Sakura and Naruse hit the road on their bikes, feeling the wind rushing against them. Then, they hopped into their van and headed to a beautiful lakeside spot, where they stayed for two days. Those days were magical for Naruse. You see, he’d spent so long cooped up in a hospital room, battling pain, that after experiencing the sunrise, the fresh air by the lake, the green trees, and the mountains, and eating delicious sausages, he felt alive again. Suddenly, dying didn’t seem like the only option anymore. Dr. Sakura was right there by his side, easing his pain, giving him his meds, and talking to him so he did not feel lonely. Sakura himself was a lonely soul, without anyone to share his burdens with. Spending time with Naruse gave him a sense of purpose and made him feel less alone. They talked about life, duty, and why living sometimes feels like too much pressure. It made Naruse wonder how much pain Sakura was carrying inside. Sakura confessed to Naruse that he had brought potassium vials with him. If Naruse ever felt too much pain and wanted to die peacefully, Sakura would help him, kind of like euthanasia, but in a gray area legally. But to Sakura, it felt like the right thing to do.


After some days, they revisited Naruse’s old locale. They visited his school, where Naruse shared tales about his past and how he regretted not pursuing his true passion: writing. While having tea in a local shop, they bumped into Yuri, Naruse’s childhood crush. Together, they talked about their old school days and as night fell, they climbed to the rooftop of the school. They saw fireworks and everything seemed so perfect after a long time. Then, Naruse finally confessed his feelings for Yuri, and she confessed hers too, as she was so young and did not have the courage to say these things back then. But now that she is old and divorced, it felt like the perfect moment, but then reality hit. Yuri didn’t know about Naruse’s illness. His pain came back, and they had to leave. Back home, as Yuri and Naruse shared their first kiss, it made him realize that it might also be their last. Naruse didn’t want Yuri to see him suffer. He cherished this moment, grateful for her warmth and affection. As they parted ways, he held onto the memory of it, where he was once again thankful to be alive.

Did Naruse have a daughter? 

Until now, we thought Naruse was all alone, with no family by his side. But then he confessed that he has a daughter, and they haven’t seen each other in years. She lives in Sendai City. Off they went to meet her, and as they did, we caught a glimpse of Naruse’s past. He had walked away from his wife and daughter when she was just a little girl. He didn’t even show up for his wife’s funeral because he was hurt that she’d moved on without him. But he’s happy to see that his daughter has a family now.


But the story doesn’t end here. Remember how Dr. Sakura brought two vials of potassium? Well, it turns out, one was for Naruse, and the other was for himself. Sakura was ready to end it all. In those last few days, he had become so dependent on Naruse because he had no one else. Now that Naruse was ready to die, Sakura decided to join him. But Naruse couldn’t bear the thought of it. This world needs doctors like him, who not only heal bodies but also understand the pain their patients went through. Naruse begged Sakura not to give up, to let go of the past, and to look forward to a bright future where he could be a hope for patients like Naruse. Naruse didn’t want to die with potassium in his system; he wanted to pass away in the hospital bed under Sakura’s care. Thankfully, the hospital authorities saw Sakura’s potential and threw away his resignation letter. Until Naruse’s last breath, he remembered the taste of the sausages Sakura made for him, and even that grumpy old man died with a smile on his face. Taking Naruse’s advice to heart, Sakura decided to stay on at the hospital, working in the relief care specialist team for terminally ill patients and researching euthanasia. Who knows what he’ll achieve in the future? But one thing’s for sure: He’ll make a real difference in the lives of those who need it most.

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Sutanuka Banerjee
Sutanuka Banerjee
Sutanuka, a devoted movie enthusiast, embarked on her cinematic journey since childhood, captivated by the enchanting world of the Harry Potter series. This early passion ignited her love for movies, providing an escape into the magical realms of cinema. She is currently pursuing a master's degree in media science, combining her academic pursuits with her unwavering passion for the silver screen.

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