“Notwithstanding the failure to turn Kaneki’s coming-to-terms into the moving experience it needs to be (…). [The narrative] is still one of the better high-budget live-action adaptations to appear in recent years.”
It has become a logical sequence nowadays in Japan, a good selling manga gets serialized, a successful serialization is then turned into an anime – sometimes it receives some light-novels as well, and, if a movie studio sees potential to earn money with it, a live-action movie is made (General-note 1).
“It is not love-story in the traditional sense of the word, but a wonderful and moving psychological study of the concept of meeting, a sort of meeting that might change each subject involved forever.”
Nobuhiro Yamashita is already a well established name in the Japanese cinematographical field. People may know him from the highly entertaining Linda Linda Linda (2005), A gentle Breeze in the village (2006) and The Matsugane Potshot Affair (2007), for which he won the award for Best Director at the 32nd Hochi Film Award, and the Midnight Diner drama series – the first season can be watched on Netflix.
While (…) [the] narrative lacks some (…) provocative punch (…) the political protest message (…) is [nevertheless] sincerely felt.
From time to time, ominous signs underline the various problems the Japanese society has to cope with. Men aren’t showing interest in relationships with women – the opposite is equally true – and the ongoing low birthrate that is produced thereby made 2017 the first year in which the Japanese population actually shrunk. On a more deeper societal level, sexual harassment is still prevalent, with one third of the woman reporting some form of sexual harassment in 2016.
“[An] endearing and heartwarming exploration of the complexity of family relations (…) that shows (…) that happiness is to be found in the very daily problems family life indisputably generates. We’re already hoping for another sequel.”
While Yōji Yamada might not ring the same way in the ear as the great powerhouses, e.g. Shohei Imamura, Kon Ichikawa, Akira Kurosawa, …etc., of Japanese cinematography, he should still be considered as a minor monument of Japanese cinema. He is, for instance, the director of the legendary and highly entertaining Otoko wa Tsurai yo comedy series (general note 1), which follows the adventures of Tora-san and his endless quests to win a woman’s heart. More recently, he directed the critically acclaimed trilogy of samurai movies, i.e. The Twilight Samurai (2002), The Hidden Blade (2004) and Love and Honor (2006).