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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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.

Tomorrow I will Date with Yesterday’s You (Japanese Movie 2016)

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Movie Rating: 9/10

Based on the novel by Takafumi Nanatsuki – Boku wa Ashita, Kinou no Kimi to Date Suru (Tomorrow I will Date with Yesterday’s You) was made into a live action film starred by Fukushi Sota and Komatsu Nana. Their roles as Minamiya Takatoshi and Fukuju Emi are characters that would bring forth a love that transcends through time making romance itself not just a simple coincidence but an act of fate that the universe has conspired.

Takatoshi meets Emi in a train for the first time and yet he felt that he had fallen in love at first sight. Plucking the courage to ask her name and confess his feelings, he chased after her on the train platform and talked to her. After that fateful encounter, they began to date and spent their time together happily. One day Takatoshi discovers something about Emi, a secret that she has been keeping all along.

This movie reminds me of 50 first dates and The Tale of Benjamin Button but in a very different and more complicated way. That’s all I could say for a spoiler free introduction. I would write an indebt review about this, but the rest of my thoughts would be under the spoiler tag below.

Tomorrow I Will Date With Yesterday’s You is a compelling and poignant movie to be exact, definitely worth the 1 hour and 50 minutes of screen time. The first few part of the movie seemed very odd at first. Even the first scene would seem peculiar for a simple romantic movie but as I gradually continued to watch, everything started to make sense. The lead female character seemed to be shrouded in mystery while the male lead simply Tomorrow I Will Date With Yesterday’s You (2016).mp4_001018560looks hopelessly in love, but those things did not deter me from watching it because as boring as it may sound as I write about it in summary, the movie is very interesting. The pacing of the love story is a bit fast than the usual Japanese shows, which caught me off guard. I wasn’t really expecting a love confession at the get go, however it was a detrimental element in the whole point of the movie. So even though it seemed fast, there was a drawback… and that’s another part of the film that made it more fascinating.

Tomorrow I Will Date With Yesterday’s You (2016).mp4_001023940The characters portrayal of Fukushi Sota and Komatsu Nana as Minamiya Takatoshi and Fukuju Emi was great. It felt like they were made for the roles, their acting wasn’t over the top and made me feel connected to each person. They had this bittersweet way of acting that made me feel melancholic about their characters and yet the same time happy. I liked how Emi’s personality was bubbly and yet tears off as fast as a raindrop and there’s the seemingly clueless Takatoshi who’s simply too much in love to notice anything else Tomorrow I Will Date With Yesterday’s You (2016).mp4_002124374.pngabout his girlfriend. Aside these main characters, there’s that one special supporting character that’s worth mentioning – Kaminoyama Soichi , he’s one of Takatoshi’s sempai in the university and acts as his best friend and older brother. I liked the fact that he gives Takatoshi great advice in love and life. The guy acting this character, Higashide Masahiro is a veteran actor even though he looks young.

Overall the movie was a great watch. I loved the mystery factor and I did rewatch it immediately again because I wanted to pinpoint the clues that I had missed out during the duration of the film. Music wise it was alright, along with cinematography. Those things aren’t that much important to me though while I was watching because I was too engrossed with the characters that those two aspects of the movie simply made the whole thing better than it already was. It was like reading a book and I there’s great background music while the book had awesome pictures in it to give at least a good visual about what I am reading. I’m recommending this movie for those who are looking for a romantic watch mixed with mystery and pure love.

*MAJOR SPOILERS*

Highlight to see text below.

Now… as I dive into details, I’m guessing that whoever is reading this would have watched the movie. IF NOT – I HIGHLY SUGGEST TO WATCH THE MOVIE FIRST. The point of the movie is the mystery aspect. The film would lose its purpose if the mystery is gone.

So the secret about Emi is that she lives in a different timeline than Takatoshi. It’s like being in a different dimension but once every five years, they are able to meet for 30 days when the moon turns full. Another complicated thing about their meeting is that Takatoshi lives in the future, while Emi lives in the past. Does that even make sense? It will be explained in the movie but I would like to put it here because I still can’t believe that I have been succumbed into watching a romantic movie that was actually mixed with fantasy and sci-fi. And that’s in a very subtle form. Anyway… Emi lives her days with Takatoshi backwards, meaning she forgets the day she spent her days with her boyfriend and she ages younger while Takatoshi lives his days forward, keeping all the memories of them together thus making the title of the movie a very literal and appropriate one. That’s why I compared it to 50 first dates because Emi forgets everything after a day, while in Benjamin Button he ages backwards which is the same as Emi.

It’s a two dimensional thing and having two star crossed lovers makes a bittersweet ending. However, despite that sad note of not being able to be together forever, at least fate gave them a chance to be together as lovers even for a short time. That’s the part that made me love this movie the most because it simply tells people to live at the moment and love while it actually lasts.