Princess Jellyfish (Japanese Movie 2014)

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Movie Rating: 8/10

Kurashita Tsukimi is a shy woman obsessed with jellyfish but has a talent for makingPrincess-Jellyfish-5-1024x576 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.

657703The 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 inPrincess_Jellyfish-008 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.

Princess-Jellyfish-1-1024x576As 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.

PHOTOS ARE NOT MINE. CREDITS TO THE OWNER.
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Love for Beginners (Japanese Movie 2012)

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Movie Rating: 7/10

20120425_kyokoiHibino Tsubaki is a high school student who has a low self esteem and tends to dress like an old-fashioned lady. Due to this, she is often teased in school. Despite being occasionally bullied, she has a talent for styling other people’s hair but not her own since she does not have the confidence to make herself look pretty. One fateful day, her life makes a hundred and eighty degree turn when she gets herself involved with the popular Tsubaki Kyota. A boy who had commitment issues and yet seemed to be drawn to Tsubaki despite her odd personality.

As a manga adaptation, the movie wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. It was simple kkwh8and cute but not really something to be excited about. In my opinion, it was pretty average… if only they could have replaced Matsuzaka Tori with someone better, I would have appreciated the movie much more. I’m deeply sorry to his fans, but I’m only trying to be honest with my own opinion. I feel like cringing every time I see him interact with Takei Emi, her acting is quite wasted alongside the guy. He would probably have done better if he removed the idol image in his role… then maybe I would have liked him more. I hope he has improved though, since this film was set last 2012.

Setting those comments aside, what I enjoyed about this film was the movie theme; that is in which the characters where trying to come into terms with change, finding their own path and deciding for their future. Sometimes I wish this was as simple as it is in real life… but then again, this is a shoujo manga adaptation, so maybe the mangaka artist was inspired by someone from reality.

Over all the story was really shoujou-ish, cute, fluffy and mixed with adolescent love-life problems. I did enjoy the music as well, it gave a good vibe throughout the movie, adding more cute to the already cute. I probably would not be re-watching this film, but I would recommend this to viewers who are looking for manga adaptations and hope they could pass their own judgement on the film, whether they compare it to the original or not.

PHOTOS ARE NOT MINE. CREDITS TO THE OWNER.

The Fallen Angel (Japanese Movie 2010)

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Movie Rating: 8/10

~Synopsis~

“No Longer Human” tells the story of a young man who has felt since childhood utterly alien from others around him. Since that time he has learned to put on a face to hide his alienation. He feels incapable of belonging to the human society, especially so by society’s refusal to take him seriously. He then follows a descent into alcohol, drugs, & suicide …

Yozo Oba (Toma Ikuta) was born into a wealthy family in Tsugaru. As a child he practiced smiling to hide his true feelings and to get along with others. His classmate Dakeichi found out about Yozo’s eccentric behavior and told others about him. But Dakeichi also told Yozo a strange prediction about his life … that he will become popular with the ladies and draw beautiful pictures.

During Yozo’s high school years he moved to Tokyo. In Tokyo he meets Horiki (Yusuke Iseya), a guy six years older than him. Horiki is known for being a player and one day drags Yozo to the Blue Flower Bar run by Madame Ritsuko (Michiyo Ookusu). At the bar there is poet Chuya Nakahara (Go Morita) who proclaims “war is brown like the color of shit”. Yozo doesn’t say anything as he takes in the environment.

Yozo starts to drink more often and starts to live the fast life like Horiki. Like Dakeichi’s prediction, Yozo also becomes popular with the ladies and always has a woman next to him. But, Yozo starts to become sick of this lifestyle.

At a cafe, Yozo meets Hisako (Shinobu Terajima) a women who lets him drink without paying. Yozo senses that Hisako feels a heavy sense of loneliness like himself. One day Yozo and Hisako attempts to kill themselves out in the Sea of Kamakura. Hisako dies, but Yozo survives. His family then takes Yozo to a sanitarium.

Excerpted from: AsianMediaWiki

I have initially put this movie on hold, since I wasn’t really ready to handle a depressing film as per the initial summary I’ve read at Avistaz but I’m glad I finally got to watch it. The movie is mostly slow and has a really complex story line. Despite that, the portrayal of the actors was top of the line, it felt realistic and they have nailed each character with so much fervor it could actually affect the way you think of the movie.

Upon watching, I feel like the main character Yozo Oba has lived such a bleak existence. He had no sense of purpose and I felt bad for him as he trudged on with his life not knowing where to go, what exactly he wants to achieve or simply not knowing how to live in happiness. Near the end of the film though, there was a glimpse of a little fulfillment and joy in his desolate life, but it didn’t actually last long. Things simply happen and life was being a bitch to him.

Music wise, it was melancholic and enough to make the film into what its tone should be but it’s not something that has wowed me enough to remember it. I’m having second thoughts on re-watching it, probably I will in the far future if I wanted to re-analyze my own life if it has indeed become as depressing as Yozo Oba.

Overall, I would suggest that if someone would decide to check this movie out simply because Ikuta Toma is their bias, think again. It’s not romantic, it’s also devoid of anything funny because this film can sap the happiness out of you like it did for me and lastly it has a heavy atmosphere all throughout its run time. That said, I’m still recommending it because it happened in real life, it is a beautiful memoir and it has fantastic actors to back it up.

Photos are not mine. Credits to the owner.