四月は君の嘘 [2016]

Your Lie in AprilRomaji: Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso
English: Your Lie In April
Director: Takehiko Shinjo
Writer: Naoshi Arakawa (manga), Yukari Tatsui
Release Date (original): September 10, 2016
Runtime: 122 min.
Distributor: Toho

Plot (asianwiki):
Kosei Arima (Kento Yamazaki) won numerous piano competitions while under the strict watch of his mother. He was known as the human metronome during that time. Since the death of his mother, Kosei Arima has been unable to hear the sound of his piano. Kosei Arima then meets Kaori Miyazono (Suzu Hirose) through childhood friend Tsubaki Sawabe (Anna Ishii). Kaori Miyazono plays the violin and has a free sprit. Since meeting her, Kosei Arima is able to face the piano again. Meanwhile, Kaori holds a secret.

Cast:

Suzu Hirose as Kaori Miyazono   
Kento Yamazaki as Kosei Arima
Anna Ishii as Tsubaki Sawabe
Taishi Nakagawa as Ryota Watari
Yuka Itaya as Hiroko Seto    
Rei Dan as Saki Arima
       

I Say…

Yesterday marked the Philippine premiere for the live action movie Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso, lit. Your Lie In April. It was adapted from the 11-volume long manga by Naoshi Arakawa and also had an anime version previously aired last quarter of 2014 until the first quarter of 2015. The movie was released in Japan last September. We were very lucky to be given the chance to see it locally in its original form, with subs, spreading enough feels as it is. I’ve read the manga beforehand and fell in love with it. It’s not just a typical love story after all. Not much skin ship, no third parties or cheating boyfriends… stuff that most love stories require nowadays. Kimiuso played a different ball game.

For those who read the manga (like me), do not expect the movie to be a hundred percent like the one close to your heart. The slight difference didn’t make the movie horrible. It still matched the same feels the manga is quite known for. A job well done for Hirose Suzu’s performance as Miyazono Kaori, I guess. She still had the person behind me snotting in no time. No doubt about Yamazaki Kento’s performance on this one for in this genre, he is starting to be king. Maybe the only challenge they both had to take was being efficient music prodigies in front of the camera. The moves are hard to fake if you haven’t trained or observed enough.

Due to the overwhelming response of Filipino fans who are just longing for Japanese movies to make it here, now is the chance to prove that these movies can be sold here too. The popularity of Japanese films has already spread all over the country and what a good way to show support to our favorite artist is to head on to the movies and watch them. Kimiuso is currently under “limited time only” status and showing dates highly depend on the number of movie goers. If everything goes well, there might be a chance to view more quality Japanese films here in the coming months.

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I Remember You [2015]

I_Remember_You_promotional_posterAlternative Title: Hello Monster
Hangul: 너를 기억해
No. of episodes: 16
Running time: 70 minutes
Release: June 22, 2015 – August 11, 2015

Cast:
Seo In-guk as Lee Hyeon / David Lee
Jang Na-ra as Cha Ji-ahn
Choi Won-young as Lee Joon-ho / Lee Joon-young
Park Bo-gum as Jung Sun-ho / Lee Min
Lee Chun-hee as Kang Eun-hyuk
Jun Kwang-ryul as Lee Joong-min

Plot (wikipedia):
Genius profiler Lee Hyun returns home to Korea after something from a case he’s been sent triggers a memory he thought he’d lost forever. Unbeknownst to him, one of his team members, Detective Cha Ji-an, has been investigating him for some time. She is aware that his father was murdered and his brother disappeared under mysterious circumstances involving a criminal named Lee Joon Young — whom they both want found and incarcerated. Each seeks to unravel the other, unaware that they’ve been drawn into a dangerous game of cat and mouse by a master player and that both truth and evil are closer and far more twisted than they think.

I Say…

Hurray for 2016! I’m back & I promise or at least do my best to blog again. My first drama for 2015 is I Remember You.

You can tell it got me hooked right? I Remember You is one of the Korean dramas I have been trying to find time to see last year but can’t due to various reasons. Thanks to the long holiday vacation I’ve had time to catch up with my dramas and books. Now on to what I think about the series.

In writing I still haven’t checked its viewership status but maybe it went well. Psychopath dramas are all over Korea. They could be used to it. Romance is just a subplot and the drama focused on the growth and characteristics of a psychopath. It’s kind of messed up how they think but they’re brilliant people. How can they imagine so many ways to kill people? Freaky but yeah, wow. Sorry about that. Cha Ji Ahn & Lee Hyeon didn’t get too mushy but you’ll know that there’s this spark that ignited the kind of relationship they have. They’re living their lives & taking care of each other while playing mind games with murderers.

Next, the way their policemen think. They’re not perfect ones since they commit mistakes and get involved in crimes themselves. But their coordination is good… at least TL Kang’s unit.

Lastly, how come all victims get stabbed? I came up with a theory, that maybe guns are limited in Korea & that it is a sure ball if you stab the victim instead of shooting them. It is safe to say that I Remember You is quite good, not just because of Seo In Guk. It successfully unlocked my psychopathic tendencies.

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane [2006]

10322664_871100446237480_2498033517098188260_nAuthor: Kate DiCamillo
Illustrator: Bagram Ibatoulline
Publisher: Candlewick Press (2006)

About (Goodreads):

Once, in a house on Egypt Street, there lived a china rabbit named Edward Tulane. The rabbit was very pleased with himself, and for good reason: he was owned by a girl named Abilene, who treated him with the utmost care and adored him completely.

And then, one day, he was lost.

Kate DiCamillo takes us on an extraordinary journey, from the depths of the ocean to the net of a fisherman, from the top of a garbage heap to the fireside of a hoboes’ camp, from the bedside of an ailing child to the bustling streets of Memphis. And along the way, we are shown a true miracle — that even a heart of the most breakable kind can learn to love, to lose, and to love again.

I Say..

The real reason for acquiring a copy of this book has something to do with my obsession for You Who Came From The Stars. This book, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, mirrored all of Do Min Joon’s feelings throughout his stay here on earth. Both Edward Tulane and Do Min Joon dared to know love…something they both refuse to acknowledge.

It appears like a child’s book up front and inside yet the emotions seem all so grown-up to me. Pellegrina’s little spell on the cold hearted China rabbit for not giving back Abiline Tulane’s love haunted him everywhere he went. Then again, it was love which ended the miraculous journey and dragged him where it all began.

Kate DiCamillo is one of the best storytellers I have encountered. This book held my heart for quite a while. The ending was such a nice surprise I almost cried 🙂 Thanks a lot, Do Min Joon for introducing a book so unforgettable.

Kanojo wa Uso o Aishisugiteru [2013]

The_Liar_and_His_LoverAlternative Title: The Liar and His Lover
Director: Norihiro Koizumi
Writer: Tomoko Yoshida, Norihiro Koizumi
Manga-ka: Kotomi Aoki
Release Date: December 14, 2013
Distributor: Toho

Cast:
Takeru Sato as Ogasawara Aki
Sakurako Ohara    as Koeda Riko
Takashi Sorimachi as Takagi Soichiro
Shohei Miura as Shun Sakaguchi
Masataka Kubota as Shinohara Shinya
Kouki Mizuta as Ono Kaoru
Koudai Asaka as Yazaki Teppei

Plot (Asianwiki):

Set within music field, “Kanojo wa Uso o Aishisugiteru” depicts a love story between a 25-year-old sound engineer and 16-year-old high school student Riko, who possesses a gifted voice.
25-year-old sound engineer Aki (Takeru Sato) is a member of popular band “Crude Play,” but right after the band decides to make their major record debut Aki quits the band. But, Aki provides his music to Crude Play under the name of producer Soichiro. Aki begins to date Riko (Sakurako Ohara), whose father runs a fruit and vegetable shop. Riko doesn’t know about Aki’s background, but she likes to listen to him hum. Riko is in a band herself, with childhood friend Yuichi and Sota. One day she is scouted by producer Soichiro.

 

I say…

To be quite honest, I’ve had hesitations before watching this movie. I’m not so sure if it’s because I haven’t read the manga or I am afraid of disappointment since this is a movie in between Ruroken. But I have to watch. Definitely have to watch because it’s Sato-san 🙂 So I did. After that I think I am going to read the manga until the last chapter, and it didn’t bring about disappointment even though it’s not a Ruroken movie. You could just look up all the movies he did and notice one thing: manga adaptations. All of them came from different genres. For me this means Sato-san can easily step up or down and transform into any character you would want him to be.

Out of 5000 applicants it was Sakurako Ohara who got to play as Koeda Riko. Lucky girl indeed, as she got to kiss Sato Takeru thrice 🙂 Being the focus of the story, she didn’t act like a newbie at all. The sweet image suited everything well. I love her stage presence and all… as far as I know it was her real singing voice. I guess that became her “X Factor” to be chosen as Koeda Riko. My heart stopped for the scene Ogasawara Aki played for her and then she started to sing her own rendition of “Sotsugyo“. My focus on the movie started to intensify from here onwards. Maybe this is what they call “effective acting”. It made me want to read the manga right there and then.

Takashi Sorimachi was hateful enough and it made me laugh that this hateful guy used to be Onizuka-sensei (GTO, 1998). He will always remain Onizuka-sensei to me, though.

The music greatly influenced all moods and emotions of the movie. This movie came with a good soundtrack that you will surely search for right after. I just did, and it is currently playing as BGM, in writing. Being in my favorite scene, the acoustic version of Sotsugyo became the most “abused” song on the track list as it brings back all the “feels”.

I haven’t read a single negative review about the movie, and it made me think where all the hesitations [to watch the movie] came from. It was a good one. Make sure to hang on and finish the roll of credits. The best is yet to come. You’ll know why!

Summer Wars [2009]

summer-warsDirected by: Mamoru Hosoda
Produced by :   
Nozomu Takahashi
Takuya Ito
Takashi Watanabe
Yuichiro Saito
Screenplay by: Satoko Okudera
Story by: Mamoru Hosoda
Studio:  Madhouse
Distributed by:    Warner Bros. Pictures
Release date: August 1, 2009
Running time: 114 minutes

Voice Actors:

Ryunosuke Kamiki as Koiso Kenji
Nanami Sakuraba as Shinohara Natsuki
Mitsuki Tanimura as Ikezawa Kazama
Sumiko Fuji as Jinnouchi Sakae
Ayumu Saito as Jinnouchi Wabisuke

Synopsis (MyAnimeList):

When timid eleventh-grader and math genius Kenji Koiso is asked by older student and secret crush Natsuki to come with her to her family’s Nagano home for a summer job, he agrees without hesitation.

Natsuki’s family, the Jinnouchi clan, dates back to the Muromachi era (1336 to 1573), and they’ve all come together to celebrate the 90th birthday of the spunky matriarch of the family, Sakae. That’s when Kenji discovers his “summer job” is to pretend to be Natsuki’s fiance and dance with her at the birthday celebration.

As Kenji attempts to keep up with Natsuki’s act around her family, he receives a strange math problem on his cell phone which, being a math genius, he can’t resist solving. As it turns out, the solution to the mysterious equation causes Oz, the program that controls nearly every aspect of life to be hacked into, it’s up to Kenji and his new “family” to stop the hacker before it’s too late.

I Say…

I think I am looking at sci fi flicks in a different perspective lately. Summer Wars is another movie to remember from Mad House, producers of other biggies like The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Paprika, Perfect Blue, Mai Mai Miracle etc. Aside from being sci fi, it has drama, comedy, and suspense content… a complete package for any anime fan, even for the not so anime fan. I am so glad to have browsed through an anime review site with positive write ups for this movie.

In this tech savvy generation, we are highly dependent on the internet and gizmos that are capable of multitasking. One click of the button does it all, no sweat. Decision making a whole lot easier and convenient with the help of all these. After watching Summer Wars I realized that we have grown too complacent of the liabilities. As much as technology can ease our everyday burdens, it can also be a cause. We are our own weapon of mass destruction with the help of too much technology. It is scary, to know someone might hack an entire account and disable it… worse may be to take over your identity. After watching this film I believe it can be very possible.

Everything seem to have started with Kenji Koiso, but the characters all have their equal share in the story. In the end, Shinohara Natsuki became the most favored character after her display of hanafuda skills. And if not for Jinnouchi Sakae, their spirits will never be as high as can be. I so love the scene while they all held on to their gadgets and mobiles to play Koi-Koi with Natsuki. The family that “plays” together, stays together, indeed.

summer_wars_family_tree

Colorful [2010]

ColorfulAlternative Title: Karafuru
Director: Keiichi Hara
Screenplay: Miho Maruo
Author: Eto Mori
Studio: Ascension (animation); Sunrise (production)
Distributed by:   Tōhō
Release date: 21 August 2010
Running time: 127 minutes

Voice Actors:

Kazato Tomizawa as Makoto Kobayashi
Jingi Irie as Saotome
Akina Minami as Hiroka Kuwabara
Aoi Miyazaki as Shoko Sano
Akiyoshi Nakao as Mitsuru
Kumiko Aso as Makoto´s Mother
Katsumi Takahashi as Makoto´s Father
Michael as Purapura

Synopsis (MyAnimeList):
“I” died and was kicked out of the cycle of reincarnation because of the sin “I” committed. An angel told me that “I” won a lottery and he gave me a chance to remember the sin. My spirit possessed the body of the 14-year-old boy Makoto, who committed suicide and “I” tried to recollect my memory. “I” felt distressed by the terrible circumstances of Makoto and the fact that “I” was borrowing his body. “I” have started to realize that people are hurting each other because the world is too colorful to distinguish the true color of themselves from others.

Based on an award-wining first person narrative novel by Mori Eto. The movie won several awards in Japan.

I Say…

Colorful is a very intriguing and dramatic movie. The protagonist, Kobayashi Makoto is one lucky soul to be given a second chance to live. He refuses the opportunity in the beginning of the story, so I thought, how grave could the events of his past life be? Through Pura Pura, the “lucky soul” who got Kobayashi Makoto’s body found out why he even thought about killing himself. Being lonesome is fatal. As the story progressed, Makoto finally saw the beauty of life with his family and new found friend Saotome.

People who commit suicide are still unknown creatures to me. Life is full of torture and hardship. One will never be brave enough to face it with death.

Review: Momo e no Tegami [2012]

Momo e no TegamiDirector: Hiroyuki Okiura
Story by: Hiroyuki Okiura
Studio: Production I.G
Distributor: Kadokawa Pictures
Release: Sept 2011 (for TIFF)
               April 21, 2012 (Japan cinema)
Running Time: 120 mins
Voices:
Karen Miyama as Momo
Yuka as Ikuko
Toshiyuki Nishida as Iwa
Koichi Yamadera as Kawa
Cho as Mame

Plot (wikipedia):
Momo Miyaura is a shy and imaginative 11-year-old girl who is suffering because of her father’s recent death and the resultant extreme changes in her life. From the big city of Tokyo, Momo’s family moves to her mother’s childhood home, a remote island named Shio. Momo does not adapt well to her new surroundings. Her father left her an unfinished letter containing only two words, “Dear Momo”. As she tries to make sense of these two words and guess what her father was trying to tell her, some strange incidents occur on the island, which is otherwise tranquil. People’s orchards are ransacked by an unknown person, and some of their prized belongings start to go missing. Momo also starts to hear strange sounds coming from the attic in her house.
Momo’s mother refuses to believe Momo about the strange sounds from the attic, so Momo herself embarks on an adventure to discover the source of these disturbances. During her investigations, Momo meets up with Kawa, Mame and leader Iwa, a group of imps, each of which have a different personality. In addition, Momo discovers that the mysterious two-word letter from her father is connected to all the strange occurrences, and to her arrival at Shio.

I say…

Not long after moving into their new home, peculiar incidents occur, and Momo’s life story  after her father’s death begins.

The GuardiansMomo e no Tegami deals with the untimely death of a loved one and the process of moving forward. The sudden appearance of the three demons (or Guardians so they say) gave reason for Momo to lighten up a bit. I find Iwa, Kawa and Mame adorable in spite of being ill-mannered and having terrible faces . Later on you will find out their true purpose for suddenly hanging around Momo and Ikuko, as the story moves on. And through this movie, we will learn how strong the Japanese believe in the after life and the power of the unseen.

Although not as equally magical as Studio Ghibli movies, you might want to give this a try. It didn’t became my favorite, but it’s not that bad.  The drama is good enough to take you away. The pace may be a bit slow but everything was explained before the movie ends, even the intriguing title that it has.