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13 March 2013 @ 02:52 pm
Kirishima, Bukatsu Yamerutte yo  
Hi everyone! It's been a while. I got really busy so I haven't posted anything lately. I have managed to watch stuff however, I was too lazy to write my reactions down. lol


Moving on to "Kirishima, Bukatsu Yamerutte yo', my excitement for this movie has not waned since I first heard about the production for obvious reasons > Kamiki Ryunosuke "neechan" fan and I love that he is working with Ohgo Suzuka again♥ Plus, the talented Hashimoto Ai and basically other underrated young actors like Shimizu Kurumi and Ochiai Motoki.

Anyway, I'll just write down the plot then give my reaction since the movie has yet to be subbed.

Basically, the movie is about Kirishima, an 'elite' and the captain of the Volleyball team has quit his club and the movie shows how his friends, team mates and school mates react to the news. He is considered an elite as he is the most popular guys at school thus, belonging at the top of the social hierarchy.

Not an exaggeration but this is really long. Like, wtf how the heck was I able to write this?! I hope it didn't bore but feel free to skim through. lol

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The movie started on a Friday with the manager of the Volleyball Club crying at the faculty room after hearing the news about Kirishima. It was then divided in to multiple point of views retelling the story of the events on that Friday. At first it may seem confusing but as more point of views were revealed the story started coming together. After that, the story proceeded to show real time events on Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Honestly, not a lot of things happened in those days but I appreciate that it was done subtly.

I have only seen "Permanent Nobara" last year from the works of Director Yoshida Daihachi, as it was chosen to be shown here in our country at a Film Festival, but I can already sense his style coming through Kirishima. He has the ability to make ordinary events in life more engaging. Maybe it's just me, because I have very limited knowledge in Japanese Films, but I felt engaged by the way he showed the story of ordinary characters and their ordinary lives. In Permanent Nobara, it was the lives of the customers of the Nobara Parlor while in Kirishima, it was the students of this school. I haven't read the book Kirishima, which was written by Asai Ryo in his university days in Waseda. But as I have researched, the book Kirishima was divided into the multiple POVs of the characters just as shown in the movie. I believe that it is the perfect material for Director Yoshida's style. He has easily become one of my favorite directors.

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I really liked the cinematography most especially the scenes taken at the rooftop, where the audience can see an overview of Kochi Prefecture. I also like the slow pacing. It really takes it's time to tell the story but at I did not feel bored or dragged. As I have said above, I was really engaged with the characters and their environment. The background music used fits the movie perfectly especially the scene at the climax. I also like the use of silence in the film where you will just take in the scenery and the characters. The editing was also very good as the story flowed from the beginning to a very good climax and delivered a strong finale.

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The acting is what really brought the movie to life. It definitely wouldn't have the same effect if mediocre and overrated young actors were cast. All of the actors and actresses that were cast were very talented from veterans to underrated young actors to newcomers with high potential. I believe that every single one of them deserves a break after this movie. I definitely enjoyed each and every scene where the characters interact whether it's within their group or with those outside. I really love this cast and I look forward to seeing all of them in various projects.

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Obviously, I already know what I would expect from child prodigies *clears throat* '天才少年 tensai shounen' and '天才少女 tensai shoujo' respectively (excuse me for the proud stage "oneechan" mode XD), Kamiki Ryunosuke and Ohgo Suzuka since I have seen their works from when they were little so I knew that they would deliver. I really really love seeing them work together because they have great friendship and chemistry and they both know how each other works, so their scenes come out wonderfully. Indie films really suit both of them. They already have 2 together (this and Tooku no Sora ni Kieta which was directed by Yukisada Isao in 2007) and hopefully, I'd be able to see them together in another indie film soon!

The underrated young actors would really make you wonder why they are still being casted as support to those who are far more mediocre in dramas, seriously. The newcomers were really good and managed to surprise me. I honestly didn't feel that someone was a weak link or that someone overshadowed the others.

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Kamiki Ryunosuke plays Maeda Ryoya, the timid head of the Film Club, or should I say Director/Kantoku as he is addressed by his club mates. The Film club is the lowest class in the hierarchy. Their club room is a small space off the club room of the Kendo Club. As members of the film club, they get made fun of and also get chosen last at PE. It's not the first time that we see Kamiki in a role where he is being made fun of or "bullied" in a role but the way he portrayed Maeda was refreshing. I think Maeda's mannerisms helped a lot. His scenes with Kasumi were adorable, btw.

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Ohgo Suzuka plays Sawajima Aya, the quiet head of the Band Club, or should I say the Manager/Buchou as she is addressed by her club mates. She's very simple and likes to observe her classmates. Her favorite person to 'observe' is Kikuchi Hiroki. Ohgo has he ability to powerfully convey emotions through her eyes. It's been one of her known qualities since she was little and I think she did a great job especially since her scenes were emotionally charged. By the way, she has moved to Alpha Agency from Catamaran and has announced it via twitter last January 31/February 1.
[Mini Rant: Personally, I was very happy with the news since this would mean they might be able to get her more projects. I like what Catamaran has done for her over the years but she is still seriously underrated. She deserves lead roles and she barely gets them. Lead roles which some actresses easily gets but somehow fail to impress.Anyway, I hope she continues to do more indies with Kamiki. /end of mini rant]

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Hashimoto Ai plays Kasumi, a member of the Badminton Club. She's friends with the popular girls and belongs to the higher class. She was classmates with Maeda in Middle School so they share a past. She is also passionate about movies well, maybe not as passionate as Maeda. Since she belongs to the higher class, Kasumi's interactions with Maeda are limited and she is often a witness as her friends make him an object of their ridicule. Hashimoto is a rising star who continues to prove that her star will definitely continue to shine. I'm very happy to see her expanding to different genres now instead of being stucked with dark genres.

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Higashide Masahiro plays Kikuchi Hiroki, who is a non-participating member of the baseball club. He is also very popular and often hangs out with his friends and plays basketball with them. Hiroki is Kirishima's best friend but he was also among the few who was last to know that Kirishima has left the Volleyball Club. Prior to Kirishima, Higashide was modelling and Kirishima was his first acting stint. He was chosen among the 600 people who auditioned for the role. In my humble opinion, he surprised me a lot. I did not really know what to expect from him here but he did a really good job in portraying his character. Of course, since a few dramas had started airing before I saw Kirishima, I managed to get a glimpse of what he can do but he honestly surprised me here in this movie. I wish him all the best and I look forward to seeing more of him.

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Ochiai Motoki plays Ryuta , Hiroki's friend and has a special relationship with Kasumi. I have seen him in various roles in different dramas and movies before so I know that he is talented and underrated. Hopefully, he'll get his well-deserved break after this.

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Shimizu Kurumi won Amuse Agency's talent audition/search in 2007 and said that one of the reasons that she auditioned was because she looked up to Kamiki. I'm glad to see that they finally got a chance to work together. She also wanted to become an actress like Ueno Juri. I remember seeing her first as Hayashi Kento's little sister in Mioka and in my opinion she has grown a lot. In the movie, she plays Miyabe Mika a member of the Badminton Club and Kasumi's best friend who is also Koizumi's classmate and admirer. Miyabe Mika actually has her own spin off that was aired in Wowow which was also included in the movie's DVD. I don't have my copy yet but I'm eager to see the spin off. She is a really promising young actress, in my opinion.

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I honestly haven't seen Taiga in a role prior to this (he was on those dramas that I avoided but it's not his fault) but he delivered a very convincing performance as Koizumi who, doing his best to fulfil his duty as libero which was the position that Kirishima left despite his shortcomings.

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Yamamoto Mizuki plays Kirishima's girlfriend, Riisa. She portrayed a role that can be considered an 'ice princess'. She was always looking cool and sophisticated despite the secrets that she and her best friend is hiding. When the news that Kirishima has quit the club and possibly jeopardising her position in the school's social hierarchy, you can see her breaking down slowly underneath that cool exterior.

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Matsuoka Mayu plays Riisa's best friend and Hiroki's girlfriend. I don't think the name of her character was mentioned. She looks very timid and shy from pictures that I was very surprised that she was able to pull off a bitchy role.
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I haven't seen Asaka Koudai, Maeno Tomoya, Suzuki Nobuyuki, Fujii Takemi prior to this but as newcomers I felt that they were able to perform well. The cast all seemed to get along well off screen so hopefully all of them will get to work together again someday. Kamiki said in an interview that all of them were required by Director Yoshida to do a report about their characters as a hidden setting like their character's upbringing and family life which wasn't really in the book. They can take hints from the novel but they had to recreate the characters from scratch. I think that this is a really good idea to set up their characters for the movie. The young actors also did work shops and it's evident that the results were fulfilling.

In conclusion, I think that Kirishima is indeed a great movie and is deserving of all the awards that it has received so far. It was a movie that used a high school setting for an issue that is evident in our society. Despite the youthful facade, it actually tells a mature story that mirrors our world: that people are categorized in classes and are supposed to conform to be able to fit in. Also, belonging in a certain class warrants a certain treatment from others. It is something that can be stopped/changed if one person recognizes his/her need to change or to just simply accept himself. At least, this message comes across to me. I will definitely put this in my list of favorite movies. Congratulations on everyone involved in the film and to the author of the book. I'm sure that they are all proud of this work even before they received all these recognitions.

Also, Eric Paroissien has announced that he will be doing the subs! It should be out soon!

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I really liked that aside from like a total of 10 seconds of screen time, we did not see Kirishima despite the story revolving around him. He wasn't exactly shown in the book either but I still think that it was a good idea to keep his identity and the reason why he left the club a mystery until the end. I had a feeling that Hiroki was a parallel of what Kirishima has been through. Hopefully, when the subs come out it'll be clearer.

I also liked that it didn't really end nor was able to tie up loose ends but by the time the movie was over somehow, I felt really satisfied. It's a bit hard to explain. Some people may not like that but for some reason I think it was tastefully done.

P.S. I already know that I'll be seeing this in the big screen soon at our Annual Eiga Sai. :DDD
kurikuribebikurikuribebi on March 13th, 2013 11:06 am (UTC)
I think I'll have to check this out. Above all, what caught my attention was how plain looking everyone was. They all look so normal. In a lot of movies, I find it hard to relate when the cast is amazingly gorgeous and going through certain problems because realistically, I feel people like that wouldn't have the certain problem they ere experiencing.
Katkat_desu on March 14th, 2013 12:44 am (UTC)
Yes! I forgot to point out how normal they all look and the movie really had that normal highschool atmosphere. It's very refreshing to see specially in this genre. Give it a try. ^^
.....: 【Blue Exorcist】• ⌈cheeky⌋bokunostation on March 13th, 2013 02:15 pm (UTC)
Hime was really good in here despite having only so little lines. actors/actresses who can work things out without having to open their mouth are amazing :)
this movie, I have to agree, moved on very slowly but it wasn't the boring kind of slow. it's actually a really simple cinematography, almost like watching it from the raw camera file itself, which is just good and breathtaking. hashiai is sort of like suzu; they both can play dark roles really nicely but they're also real talent when it comes to portraying "soft", genuine roles like this. kamiki, of course, is another tensai haha
the fact that now masa and shota are in one drama make me happy. there's this silent squeal that makes me go "omg masa with kamiki and now he's in one drama with sometani" haha
do tell/review the story of mika once you get the dvd xD
ouch, that moment when mayu and masa kissed and suzu was like "uh oh i should go away" ;A;
wait a second. the top left screenshot by the four panel, is that asaka?! oh man i didn't recognize him like wow dude,your face changed lol
Katkat_desu on March 14th, 2013 01:13 am (UTC)
Yes, very few. She's amazing!

The cinematography really is stunning. I have read that they used a 35mm camera to shoot it and that it's rare to see a movie using a 35mm camera these days. I don't really know much about cameras but it does feel raw.

Yess! I'm so happy that they are working together on xxxholic! Masa's agency is doing a good job making him work with more experienced actors. He can learn a ton from them!

Yes! That kiss!!! It's hard to act out those expressions. I realized how perfect Hime is for the role. She's like the only one that can do that from the roster of young actresses right now. That was very difficult. (;w;)

Yup. That's him. lol
lontongstroonglontongstroong on March 16th, 2013 05:14 am (UTC)
After I watched this movie with subtitle, I was very surprised why Ohgo didn't win even a single newcomer award at any awards after her performance here. This is her best performance so far (of course with superb and unmatched, signature nonverbal skill), she managed to outperform anyone here, including Kamiki. Her expression when she saw Matsuoka and Higashide's characters kissed was simply pure class. Not even Shida Mirai or Fumi Nikaido would ever able to replicate that expression (at their level now). Totally underrated.

About Higashide, he reminds me of Nao Matsushita (Gegege no Nyobo) in terms of playing style. Somehow he's like what Matsushita would become if she is a guy. A little weaker in nonverbal (OK, I can still tolerate it since he's new in the business) and still to work hard to act with his eyes, but still very, very promising.

Matsuoka also shows good performance, she definitely has potential to improve her acting ranges (which is her best aspect now). From a timid to bitchy characters in one show with limited screen time, she's a talent to look out. And Shimizu, she's a real deal, looking forward for Mika Miyabe SP to be released in the internet. What a plethora of wonderkids this show has!!!!

Edited at 2013-03-16 05:17 am (UTC)
Kat: Epic Shockkat_desu on March 16th, 2013 08:27 am (UTC)
I have finally seen the movie with the subs last night.
I was very surprised why Ohgo didn't win even a single newcomer award at any awards after her performance here. This is her best performance so far (of course with superb and unmatched, signature nonverbal skill), she managed to outperform anyone here, including Kamiki. Her expression when she saw Matsuoka and Higashide's characters kissed was simply pure class. Not even Shida Mirai or Fumi Nikaido would ever able to replicate that expression (at their level now). Totally underrated.
DAMN. I AGREE. I was surprised how come she wasn't even nominated as best supporting actress in different awards. Non-verbal acting is totally her forte, actually even Kamiki admires this. There's just so much power in her eyes. For her not to be given enough projects to work on really disappoints me specially seeing actresses her age getting them left and right.

Now that you pointed it out, Higashide does remind me of Matsushita Nao but as a newcomer he still has a lot to improve so we will see in a few years. ^^

Matsuoka is really a talent to look out, I was really surprised with her specially seeing the movie with subs. I was looking for the Miyabe Mika SP online but I couldn't find it. I'll try to share it here once my DVD arrives. :)

This movie has a lot of underrated talents looking forward to seeing them more in the future.

lontongstroonglontongstroong on April 10th, 2013 04:05 pm (UTC)
BTW, any idea when will the DVD package arrive? Can't wait to see Mika Miyabe SP >
Katkat_desu on April 10th, 2013 09:52 pm (UTC)
Oh Sorry. My seller hasn't contacted me about the DVD. She hasn't replied to my emails yet. She's probably too busy. (>_<;)