Category: Japan

Handsome Suit

Comedy, Japan, 2008
Director: Tsutomu Hanabusa
Muga Tsukaji ... Takuro Ohki
Keiko Kitagawa
Shosuke Tanihara

Story line:
A kind-hearted but ugly looking and almost revolting man who owns a small noodle shop, he was selected by the suit company owner to try out his latest invention - The "handsome suit", once you wear it, you become handsome instantly. So he was taking advantage of his new look to pursue dreams that would not have been possible otherwise. At the same time, he is still trying to find his true love, would he succeed? What would he learn from this?

My review:
Very cheesy story, but never mind, have a good laugh watching it anyway. And yes the movie is trying to make a point, don't judge someone by his/her look, again a bit clich?, again never mind still a enjoyable film

Suspect X 嫌疑犯X的獻身

Japan 2008
Director : Hiroshi Nishitani
Masaharu Fukuyama ... Manabu Yukawa
Kou Shibasaki ... Kaoru Utsumi
Kazuki Kitamura ... Shumpei Kusanagi
Yasuko Matsuyuki ... Yasuko Hanaoka
Shin'ichi Tsutsumi ... Tetsuya Ishigami

A murder case that becomes a mind game between two genuises, one tries to cover up for the real murderer and the other tries to find the truth. The two genuises are actually classmates 17 years ago and respect each other. Will the truth ever be revealed? Why does a top genius go to such length to protect a murderer?

This is not a story of suspense because the truth was already laid out in front of the audience, this is a story of human relationship that will drive people to do the extreme to protect each other. An entertaining and interesting story that also has a twist.

Cyborg She, 僕の彼女はサイボーグ

我的機械人女友 / Boku no kanojo wa saib?gu

Japan 2008
Director Jae-young Kwak
Haruka Ayase ... Cyborg
Keisuke Koide ... Jiro Kitamura
A sci-fi romantic comedy, of a man in his old age and close to his dying years made a human-like robot in the form of a beautiful young girl and send her back in time to meet his younger self, to save him from a series of fatal disaster and to save innocent people from crime and accidents. He fell in love with the robot but does the robot love him back? What sort of disasters await him? Will she be able to save him every time?

I like this movie a lot, it is a fun comedy. Haruka Ayase played a very cute robot. The story is also touching and there was an interesting twist in the end. But I won't spoil it for you.

5 centimetres per second

Japan 2007
A 3-episode romantic cartoon about a boy an a girl in their teens who were best friends and went to the same school got separated when the girl moved to a new school. Their love for each other suvive the long distance and they were long to see each other. Their brief reunion made their love grew stronger but is it enough to last?

A very high quality cartoon with beautiful graphics and a lovely story.

L Change the World

Horror, Thriller, Japan 2008
Director: Hideo Nakata

Kenichi Matsuyama - L
Shunji Fujimura - Watari
Mayuko Fukuda - Maki
Sei Hiraizumi - Dr. Koichi Matsudo
Renji Ishibashi - Shin Kagami
Yuta Kanai - Tamotsu Yoshizawa
Youki Kudoh - Dr. Kujo
Bokuzo Masana - Asao Konishi
Kiyotaka Nanbara
Megumi Sato - Hatsune Misawa
Masanobu Takashima

L saves the world again on a separate mission...

Building on the Character "L" from Death Note, this is a story about the last 23 days of L since he signed his own death warrant by writing his name into the "Death note".

The Machine Girl (Kataude mashin g?ru)

Action, Horror, Japan (2008)
Director: Noboru Iguchi
Asami ... Ami Hyuga
Y?ya Ishikawa
Ry?suke Kawamura ... Yu Hyuga

When Ami's brother was bullied to death by a gangster group, she is determined to get her revenge at all cost, even costing her arm and beyond. With the help of a couple, Ami fitted a machine gun to her amputee arm and continued to take on the bad guys

My Review:
Japanese style of violent cartoon, except this is played by real actors. The whole movie is so violent and graphical that it is seriously not for people with a weak stomach. It is so exaggerated that it is almost funny.


Director: Masayuki Suzuki
Drama, Japan, 2007
Cast: Takuya Kimura, Takako Matsu, Hiroshi Abe, Haruka Ayase, Takuzo Kadono, Teruyuki Kagawa, Masanobu Katsumura, Ittoku Kishibe, Kiyoshi Kodama

This is a popular Japanese TV drama turned movie.
Takuya Kimura played an unconventional prosecutor with strong determination to seek nothing but the truth, and he will get to the bottom of it no matter how hard it is. He has no fear for whoever he is up against, be it big politicians or high-power lawyer. As a result he has an unusually strong inspiring effect on people that he works with and even the criminal that he is prosecuting. People around him will find the extra energy to achieve the goal of seeking the truth. Even the opposing lawyer respects him greatly.

In this movie, he takes over from his colleague, a reckless murder case of what started as a harmless incident of two strangers running into each other. The case become complicated when the defendant is also the sole witness of an alibi of a high-power politician on a corruption charge. Suddenly Kimura finds himself up against the best defending lawyer in town on this murder case. He also has a very bad history with this politician. If Kimura doesn't win his case, it will mean the politician will get away on the corruption case.

My review:
I enjoyed watching this film very much as I have also watched the TV-series before. The determination of the prosecution team to convict the bad guy and give him the punishment that he deserves is quite touching. Splendid performance by Takuya Kimura.

The Professor and His Beloved Equation

Image from Amazon
The Professor and His Beloved Equation (buy from Amazon)

Drama, Japan, 2006
Akira Terao ... Professor
Eri Fukatsu ... Kyoko
Takanari Saito ... Root - young
Hidetaka Yoshioka ... Root
Ruriko Asaoka ... Professor's sister-in-law

This movie is about mathematics, I quite like this nice movie about a mathematics professor who had an accident and he cannot remember anything longer than 80 minutes. His way of communicating with people is always related to mathematics. The story starts when the professor is having a new maid helping his house work. The new maid has a 10-year old son, and the professor called the boy "Square root" because it is a nice "operator" that is genorous and kind to all numbers. The three of them spend a lot of time together even though the professor will always repeat himself because he cannot remember new things. The kid learned a lot from the professor and when he grows up and become a mathematics teacher himself, he tells his student about the story of the professor and how he learned about perfect numbers (like 6, 28), prime numbers (like 2,3, 5, 7), natural number (e), imaginery number (i) and pi etc. What I really like is the friendly couple numbers (220 and 284), these are called amicable numbers, such a nice story.

I would recommend this nice little story to anyone who was once or still is smitten by mathematics. I certainly enjoyed this movie.

Love and Honour - Bushi no ichibun

Drama, Japanese 2006
Director: Y?ji YamadaDirector: Nobuhiro Doi

My rating: 3
Key actors/actresses:
Takuya Kimura ... Shinnojo Mimura
Rei Dan ... Kayo Mimura
Mitsugoro Bando ... Toya Shimada

Shinnojo Mimura is a low ranking samurai whose job is to taste/test the food prepared for the Lord for poison. During one tasting, the ill-prepared seafood become poisonous and as a result, Mimura becomes blind. Life becomes very hard for the blind samurai and his wife Kayo was cheated by the chief of staff who pretends that he would help Mimura to secure his stipend despite his blindness. When Mimura found out about this, he decided he should defend his own name by challenging the chief of staff who is a well trained swordsman.

My review:
This is the last of the samurai trilogy by the great director Yoji Yamada, the other two films being The Hidden Blade and the Twilight Samurai. Yamada likes to portray samurai as a down to earth person who has many real things to worry about in life and the fact that they have a family and problems of their own just like everyone else. This is very different from most other films where the samurai somehow has unlimited money, meals are always cooked for, ends are always met and so they do extraordinary things.

Though all 3 samurai movies are well made (just as you would expect from Yamada), it is getting a bit plain watching the same ideas again. Nonetheless, this is still a good movie to watch and especially, we don't get to see Takuya Kimura acting in an ancient setting.

Image from Amazon
The Hidden Blade (buy from Amazon)

Image from Amazon
The Twilight Samurai (buy from Amazon)

Nada Sou Sou - Tears for You

Type, Country, Year: Romance, Drama, Japan, 2006

Director: Nobuhiro Doi

My rating: 4
Key actors/actresses:
Satoshi Tsumabuki ... Yotaro Shingaki
Masami Nagasawa ... Kaoru Shingaki
Kumiko Aso ... Keiko Inamine

In Okinawa, when Yotaro was a little boy, he promised his dying mother to take care of his young step-sister Kaoru, Karou's father was a singer in a band, he married Yotaro's mother and soon left them and Kaoru behind.

Life was tough for Yotaro and Kaoru after Yotaro's mother died. Kaoru went to live with Yotaro's grandma in another city. A few years later, Yotaro has become a young man who wanted to open his small restaurant and Kaoru is moving back to live with Yotaro and continues her secondary education. Unfortunately, Yotaro has been cheated by someone, he lost all his saving and is deep in debt, which completely shattered his dream of opening his restaurant. Karou stands by her brother and try to give him all her support.

Brother and sister only in name but with no blood tie and living under the same roof, their love and emotion for each other is also the strongest force pulling them apart, sacrificing oneself to help the other is too much to bear for the other party. Soon, Karou is going to University and decides to move out to live on her own, how would things evolve between them?

My review:
I can't really say I like the ending much, but the plot from the beginning up till the ending is pretty good. Satoshi and Masami play their roles very well. It is a pretty touching stories. "Tears for you" broke box office record in Japan in 2006.

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