Movie Rating: 8/10
Kurashita Tsukimi is a shy woman obsessed with jellyfish but has a talent for making things out of cloth. She lives in a dorm house along with other women who have their own quirks. They are somehow separated from society and mostly called an “Otaku” due to their specific hobbies. One day Tsukimi rescues Koibuchi Kuranosuke, a cross dresser whom she has mistaken as a real woman. When she took Kuranosuke to her home, things started to change little by little up until they are about to loose their house due to realtors trying to oust the neighborhood for business purposes. Kuranosuke tries to convince everyone to step up and urged Tsukimi to create something out of her obsession.
Watching this movie was like opening a plastic wrap with a bunch of gummy bears. It was sweet, colorful and full of fun.
The movie may seem nonsensical or rather another “Make Over” concept at first, but gradually, the fun starts when the cross dressing male lead Koibuchi Kuranosuke gets more involved with the female lead Kurashita Tsukimi and her housemates. I think that’s where the story line actually picks up. Kuragehime may not have a great romance aspect into it, but it does give hints as to whom the character’s heart actually belongs to. The portrayal of an Otaku in this film is also quite a bit over rated to my taste but then there’s Kuranosuke who by the way is trying to hide the fact that he is a male cross dressing as a female so as not to be hated by Tuskimi’s housemates who thinks he is a girl… so that actually became a redeemer factor for me. The story revolves around this simple story line made complicated by the characters themselves. Though there may be additional conflict inserts along the plot line, it didn’t give much impact to the overall feel of the film.
Acting wise, I really enjoyed the fact that the main lead is comfortable wearing female clothes and actually looks good in it. Compared to other cross dressed actors I’ve seen, Suda Masaki nailed his role, he never once looked like he was a trying-hard-wannabe-cross-dresser. It was fun watching him punch the air in excitement, dress up Mitzuki in pretty clothes and walk like a model while speaking in a male voice. The way he acted spelled FUN all over the place. Then there’s our female lead, Mitzuki. Nounen Rena who portrayed this character (with her glasses on) looked so much like Aoi Miyazaki from the Movie – Tada Kimi Wo Aishiteru. Sorry, I had to insert that because I really found the resemblance quite astounding! Aside from that detail, I found myself liking her character. It wasn’t as strong as the male lead, but it was cute enough to compliment Masaki along the way.
As for the other supporting actresses, I found each characters lovable: Banba (afro girl), Mayaya (Bangs Girl), Chieko (Doll Girl) and Jiji (Old Man lover girl). The person who caught my attention though was the afro girl. I really find her fetish for trains a bit odd, but her other skills like photography, having a keen eye, attention to details… those things made her really interesting. Oh! Her BIG Afro wig was a big plus too. Aside from these girls, I will have to insert Kuranosuke’s brother – Shu Koibuchi and his ever faithful driver Yoshio Hanamori (played by my favorite Mokomichi Hayami-san!!!). Their tandem in this movie is funny, despite the over-acting in their part, I still find the slapstick comedy funny.
Music wise, I find it endearing and catchy, it also made me check out the band which was SEKAI NO OWARI. Ironically upon listening to their music they have the same feel as the American Band: Owl City, and when I did my research they already had a show together! That piece of information was really awesome. Another trivia about SEKAI NO OWARI, they are also the same band who sang the OST for Attack on Titans (but it’s such a shame the movie wasn’t up to my expectations).
Over all, this will be worth your time if your mood is into a feel-good-funny movie with bits and pieces about Otakus, Gender Bender and Fashion.