I Am a Monk tells a story of a young man who has to continue his grandfather’s legacy after he passes away. The only problem is that Susumu’s grandfather was an Abbott at Eifuku-ju Buddhist temple. In Yukinori Manabe’s film debut, the audience is brought on a journey with Susumu in his struggle with his newfound position. In trying to adapt to his new position, Susumu humorously tries to stay connected with his previous life while finding meaning in his new life. Soon he has to prove to himself and his community that he is worthy of the title of Abbot.
Audiences will be pleased with Yukinori Manabe’s ability to capture the real emotions felt by individuals who are trying to find their purpose in their life and profession. The film excellently shows how life can go from being light-hearted to tragic in one sudden moment. However, what truly matters in the end is how one reacts to those moments.