I have been watching some Japanese Movies lately mostly ones based off of a manga. They are kinda like their own genre and often tend to be high school dramas. I find it is harder to find subs for movies especially Japanese movies. They are from various years and I just briefly wanted to talk about them.
The first one I watched this month was called The Anthem of the Heart which is based on an anime with the same title. The premise of the story is about a girl named Jun Naruse who learns that her words have ruined her family so she believes that an egg fairy puts a curse on her and is unable to speak. After that whenever she tries to speak she is plagued by a terrible stomachache. Once she attends high school people seem to just ignore her until she is forced to join a committee by her teacher. She want to refuse but she hears Takumi making music and she feels compelled to join the committee and take part in creating a musical that could express her thoughts and what is stuck in her heart.
So there are parts of this movie that are interesting and compelling but it seems super unrealistic. The idea that since she was a child she has not been able to speak and her Mother just seems angry at her but doesn’t deal with the problem by getting her help. I don’t think a school would be able to have a student that doesn’t speak without wanting to get her help. I know that psychological help is taboo in Japan it still doesn’t seem that realistic. Also I don’t really think that she has never tried to sing anything until high school, to me that seems impossible to think you would never sing along to a jingle or song, even by accident. I have not seen the anime so maybe they express things differently and in a more realistic way that the movie doesn’t seem to cover? I did enjoy the characters and the love triangles were interesting. They did not give enough time to really develop the love triangles since the confession at the end was surprising to me since they gave little time to the two of them developing affection for each other.
I did like the music in this movie, it was interesting how it mashed the songs together and I thought the acting was believable. I don’t think this is the best fantasy high school movie that I have seen but it had some interesting thoughts and feelings portrayed in the movie.
The second movie that I watched was Kyo Koi Wo Hajimemasu (Love for Beginners) 2012. It is based on a manga which I did read. I really think it makes a difference whether or not you have read the manga before the movie. When you read the manga you know the story line better and understand the characters better and the movie will feel rushed since it only has a limited time to tell the story. So yes the story was very fast moving and it seemed to feel really rushed but it was a cute movie. I obviously liked the manga better but it is interesting to see the manga story line in a live action version.
The movie is about Hibino Tsubaki who is considered old fashioned and tends to dress in an unattractive way but she is very good at styling other people’s hair. There is a male Tsubaki that she meets in high school who seems to have a problem with the way that Hibino Tsubaki is acting and declares that she is his and no one else can touch her. So it is a bit of typical idea of a girl going through a makeover by taking off her glasses (Big eye roll) and becoming the perfect girl for the popular boy that could have any girl that he wants. So I don’t think that this movie has a lot of depth but it is more of a fun movie that doesn’t make you do any thinking. It is okay, but not the greatest of movies.
I think I preferred reading the manga!
The third movie I watched was Sakurada Reset 1 and also Sakurada Reset Part 2. It is two different movies but I will talk about them together they were both released in 2017. It is based on anime and light novel. The plot of the movie is that within the town of Sakurada people are able to possess special abilities and will forget them in they leave the town. It is mainly about Kei Asai who is able to remember everything and works together with Misora Haruki who is able to reset the town for maximum of three days after she saves the time. Kei is able to remember everything even with the reset while most people aren’t able to remember and never know that the town has been reset. They get involved with the Administration Burea that monitors all the abilities and they become a part of a bigger picture where they need to save the town.
So I found these movies a bit hard to follow because I have not watched the anime or read the books. Some of the abilities were confusing to me but it left me wanting to watch more. I think it is confusing since they redo the same day over and it is hard to keep track what day you are on. I am happy they did another movie which I think a lot of manga turned into movies need to do to tell the story to the best it can. I found the use of the abilities interesting and really made you think about how everything is connected and it really drew me in. I thought the plot was really interesting and wanted to keep watching more! I am starting to watch the anime because I want to understand the story better and usually after watching a movie I have no desire to watch the anime. So I think they did a good job in getting people interested in the story.
I would recommend these movies if you like the fantasy and interesting story lines that mind you can be a bit confusing or maybe that is just me !?
The fourth movie I watched was Orange which again is based on the manga with the same name. I have not read the manga so I don’t know how they compare to each other. This drama is a fantasy school drama. It is about Naho Takamiya who is in high school and on her way to school she gets a letter from herself from ten years in the future. The letter contains details about what will happen to her this year and she wants to make some different decisions so that she can correct some mistakes that the future Naho has made. The events she wants to change seem to be around a new transfer student Kakeru Naruse and about a bad event that seems to involve him.
I really like time travel type movies and this one is very interesting with sending mail to your past self. I enjoyed the way that the story was developed and found it interesting thinking that past events can have such a profound effect on our future. It is a simple story and yet has some complex thoughts and feelings that come from watching it. I think because we all have things that we wish we could change about our past. I found this movie very moving and I thought the movie was well done and I don’t really have anything negative to say about it.
I really liked this movie and would recommend it although there are parts that made me very sad!
The Fifth movie I watched was Daytime Shooting Star (Hirunaka no Ryuusei) which again is based on the manga with the same name. This movie is a again a high school movie which is about Suzume a high school girl that moves in with her Uncle in Tokyo because her father is moving to Bangladesh because of his job. She hasn’t lived in a a big city so she gets a bit lost and runs into a man that helps her to her uncle’s house. She later finds out the man is to be her homeroom teacher Satsuki Shishio and she starts to develop feelings for him.
So this movie is great for those who like teacher student romances! I did read the manga before watching the movie but it had been a long time and I didn’t remember what happened at the end so I still found the ending surprising. I liked this movie it was interesting and the romance keeps you guessing about who she is going to choose. All the actors are cute and I thought the acting was decent. Of course the manga goes into more details and you feel you get a better idea of the characters as the movie is always rushed. So it may not feel as developed as one would like when it comes to the relationships but I think it was sweet and cute movie which was enjoyable.
I really liked the ending more than I thought originally in the manga!
The sixth movie I watched was Hyouka: Forbidden Secrets which was first an anime Hyouka. The movie is about Hotaro Oreki who in his first year of high school and his sister writes and tells him that he has to join the Classic Literature Club or else it will be dissolved and that he has to save it. When he joins he meets Eru Chitanda who is a girl who is always curious and she asks Hotaro to solve the mystery of the words that her Uncle told her about the club Hyouka. Hotaro can’t seem to say no to Eru and so he tries to put together the pieces about what happened 33 years ago.The movie focuses on the first couple of episodes of the anime Hyouka except that it focuses and goes deeper into the mystery of Chitanda’s Uncle. I have to say even though I watched the anime it has been a while and I completely forgot about the mystery of Eru Chitanda’s uncle and I really liked how they went deeper into the mystery although it still makes me sad that they can’t really get to the bottom of what happened to her uncle. I wish that they would do another movie and have more mysteries for Hotaro to solve!
I know that a lot of people didn’t like the choice of actors for the characters but I didn’t think they did a bad job picking them. It is hard to convert from anime to live action because there is a charm with anime and the way the characters can act and then transfer to live action and try not to make it to silly and cartoony. I didn’t mind the actors though and I think they had the essence needed for the characters in the movie. I think if you like trying to figure out mysteries that you will like the movie and it will make you interested in watching the anime.