Japan’s biggest box office hit of the year is a sparkling time-travel comedy. Based on the hugely popular comic book by Mari Yamazaki, THERMAE ROMAE brings modern Tokyo face to face with ancient Rome in a culture clash that you have to see to believe.
Few things in life are as comforting as a good bath. No one knows this better than Lucius (Hiroshi Abe), a thermae architect in ancient Rome who designs glorious bathing complexes. When Lucius loses his job, a friend invites him to a public bathhouse. As he goes underwater, his travels forward in time begin. Resurfacing in a bathhouse in contemporary Japan, Lucius is flummoxed by the "flat-faced clan" who inhabit this strange new world, but he’s also amazed by the great innovations of their bathing culture. By traveling between ancient Rome and modern Japan, Lucius implements what he has learned and becomes recognized as a genius. But will the Romans accept all of these wild inventions? And will Lucius’ lusty wife lose her patience with his repeated absences?