Anyone who has ever been in a long-term relationship knows that there are often sacrifices that come with that. In the case of Cutie and the Boxer, it's Noriko who has chosen to set aside her own creative goals in order to be the support system that her family needs. The various roles she plays in the film—wife, mother, partner, confidante, nemesis, and muse—ultimately show her to be a true partner. Art is their profession, but marriage is their life. It's this relationship that is the heart of the film.