regarded by students and faculty alike as geniuses. Yet they embody two opposing attitudes towards creative talent: Hagu is naive, humble, and idealistic, while Morita is arrogant, egotistical, and prematurely jaded.
Morita, an eighth-year student with no plans to graduate, is invited to open a solo show at a prestigious local gallery. The gallery owners remind him that "this is business" and that his work is "a product." Morita is well aware of this; regarding the cute winged-bunny figurines he seems to make by the dozen, he comments, "that's the crap that sells all over the world." The centerpiece of Morita's show is a giant wooden sculpture, carved with a chainsaw, called Hole-Ridden Tree. Hagu points out that he overworked the sculpture, and Morita agrees that he ruined it but places it in the show anyway because, basically, he is too lazy and indifferent to redo it. Hole-Ridden Tree sells for five million yen, and Morita is celebrated on a trendy television news show.
Hagu, by contrast, is an abstract painter of large, brightly colored canvases in a time when "abstracts aren't hot." Professor Koda (Ginpuncho) encourages Hagu to enter a prestigious international art contest but warns her to stop painting abstracts--she will be "crushed by the weight of her own talent," Koda warns, if she tries to fight the trends in the art market. "I've seen so many talented artists disappear through recklessness and willfulness," the prof laments. Professor Hanamoto (Masato Sakai), on the other hand, values Hagu's naive commitment to pure art: "Once in a while, let them dream for all of us," he suggests.