Antti "Zombie" Autiomaa does two things well: play the bass guitar and drink. After several months' sleeping on the streets of Istanbul, he returns to Helsinki where he's called into the army but discharged on mental health grounds after adding turpentine to the officers' soup. Zombie lives bleary-eyed in an apartment off his parents' house where his lonely, unemployed father suffers from heart disease. His girl-friend Marjo has taken up with a hairdresser but comes back to Zombie. His friend Harri hires him as a roadie for his band "Harry and the Mulefukkers" then gives him a chance as a bass player. He has his girl and he has a gig, but can Zombie put the bottle down?
It’s 1982, and Taeko is 27 years old, unmarried, and has lived her whole life in Tokyo. She decides to visit her family in the countryside, and as the train travels through the night, memories flood back of her younger years: the first immature stirrings of romance, the onset of puberty, and the frustrations of math and boys.