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Jdoramas & movies

Dec 11, 2014 by Mia Uchida 0

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"Say ‘I love you’" is a Japanese manga by Kanae Hazuki.  It was adapted into a movie starring Haruna Kawaguchi and Sota Fukushi.  It’s ridiculously romantic.  

One line summary: A high school girl who doesn’t trust anyone, starts opening up to people after falling in love with the right guy.  

It’s always a struggle to watch a manga be adapted into a feature, especially because the manga is so much longer.  There’s way more character development that a 2 hour movie couldn’t possibly ever account for- for instance, the main character Mei doesn’t just suddenly become Miss Popular- there’s some struggle for her to make a friend, and find herself, so to speak.  

I’m also a little bit iffed out by stories where characters just kiss all of the time.  There’s a funny segment about how the hero of the story, Yamato, wards off Mei’s stalker by kissing her.  Because clearly, that works better than calling the police, etc. 

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The reviews are generally positive on iTunes, and I’d definitely say that the first review is spot on.  ”Neither good nor bad” 4 stars.  However, it’s uplifting and hopeful, and just peachy.  

You can find  好きって言いなよ。 only on iTunes Japan, and iTunes Japan gift cards are available through JapanCodeSupply.

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Nov 30, 2014 by Mia Uchida 0

I recently watched a terrifying movie: 

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Confession is a Japanese thriller about a female middle school teacher, who takes revenge on two of her former students because they killed her daughter.  It’s a simple premise with some very f*cked up characters. 

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You can scroll down a bit or go through previous posts to see that I reviewed a moviecalled The Snow White Murder Case.  Well, The Snow White Murder Case was based on a novel, and the same author wrote the original story for Confessions.  I was curious to see what else the mastermind behind The Snow White Murder Case could conjure- I really enjoyed the film, you see.  Unfortunately I don’t have access to the text, but at least I have iTunes Japan and Japan Code Supply for my media needs.  

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I think one of the more disturbing thoughts for me, was to imagine a middle school student not just knowingly, but willingly kill an innocent little girl.  The movie definitely emphasizes the fact that she was helpless, and grew up under pretty unfortunate circumstances.  For instance, her father was terminally ill and her mother raised the girl as a single mom.  Meanwhile, the students who responsible for her death, came from privileged and loving (?) backgrounds. I added a question mark because…well, you’d have to see the movie to know why I would do that. 

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I think one of the greater points also made, was how the Japanese state laws protecting minors really holds adults involved in the child’s life accountable.  It’s hard to say at what age a person stops being a child, and the entire story definitely has some insight on that subject.  Some people really never grow up, while others are forced to mature much quicker.  

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Ultimately, I don’t know if I even liked the movie.  Still, as seen above, a lot of the film was shot with a very dark and grey tone, yet the stills are pretty haunting and memorable.  I watched Kokuhaku with my sister, and she asked me if I had any nightmares.  

The worst thing about everything the characters do, is how far the teacher will go to teach a lesson.  I mean, is she really above it all if she stoops down to the level of the murderers? That’s a hard call.  

Here’s a trailer with English subtitles: 

You can find 告白 only on iTunes Japan, and iTunes Japan gift card is available through JapanCodeSupply.

Oh, and just for the record, the female teacher from Kokuhaku, or Confession, played Elsa in the Japanese Frozen.  TALK ABOUT VERSATILITY yo.  The actress Takako Matsu even sang “(レットイットゴー)”Let it go”.  

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Nov 24, 2014 by Mia Uchida 0

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The Snow White Murder Case' is a 2014 murder mystery film directed by Yoshihiro Nakamura.  It’s been consistently ranked in the top 100 of the iTunes Japan movies, so I gave it a go.  I mean, how could it hurt?  It’s got an IMDb rating of 7.4.  

The premise goes something like this: a beautiful OL (office lady) is found dead, with multiple stab wounds.  Her body is completely charred.  A news reporter jumps onto the case when he has a lead, creating little news reels that has the attention of the whole nation.  Some of the interviews may or may not be true.  All fingers seem to be pointing at one woman as the murderer.  

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I think this movie really got the whole Japanese society portrayal thing to the T.  The twitter back and forth trolling is spot-on, and so’s the bullying problem (it’s actually the leading cause of suicides, and boy, it’s a major issue in Japan).  The soundtrack is really beautiful and chilling too.  I’m not sure how I feel about the weird cheesy violin backdrop (by the ‘Serizawa brothers’), but it’s definitely appropriate. 

Towards the end I was screaming “NO WAYYYyyyyyY!” because the whole story’s wrap-up really comes from left field.  I knew that the moral of the story was all “You don’t know who you can trust” and “Everyone tells a version of the story that’s most convenient to them”, but DUDE.  Like, what?  And the murder motive?  You don’t even know whether to laugh, or just…GAH! 

Anyways, this entire film is highly recommended.  I think it’s great that the movie doesn’t actually take place in Tokyo, but near Tokyo.  It’s totally realistic and the acting is great.  My only serious problem is that the girl who’s supposedly behind all of this, is played by Mao Inoue, and she’s supposed to be “ugly” “dull looking” “hideous”.  SHE’S NOT! Enough Japan, stop raising the standards of beauty higher and higher!  

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The film is based on a novel by successful author Kanae Minato.  She’s won a number of book awards, and her other work ‘Confessions’ became a feature film as well (also available on iTunes).  I didn’t know that until just now, writing this blogpost, and ‘Confessions' actually has a higher rating on the Japanese iTunes chart than 'The Snow White Murder Case'.  It also has a 7.9 rating on IMDb.  Hmmm.  Maybe that'll be the next blogpost…

Here’s a trailer (Japanese cut with English subtitles):

You can find 白ゆき姫殺人事件 only on iTunes Japan, and iTunes Japan gift cards is available through JapanCodeSupply.

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