Good Japanese Movie: “Dance With Me” One of the Best Yaguchi Movie Ever

When you try to talk about the genre of Japanese movies, the key phrase you would hit upon is maybe “depressing” or “not funny”. This is my personal reaction to most of the Japanese movies though, I assume not a few Japanese would agree with me. As a Japanese, I have seldom met people whose favorite film is a Japanese movie but a Japanese animation or some Hollywood or English movies. Speaking of the film ranking for the best selling so far in Japan, more than half would be Japanese animations, and needless to say, the No. 1 is always the battle of animation movies.

Life seems to be much much funnier if you could dance every day.

However, fortunately, there are some rare directors who can make not depressed but funny for not only Japanese but European and American people. Moreover, the world described in the movie has deep metaphorical meanings or symbolic attitudes, but still, the movie can be thought of as a funny one.

The name of the director is Yaguchi Yasushi. He is famous for his movies of “Water Boys”, “Swing Girls” and “Happy Flight”. He captures the very ordinary funny things we could often see in our daily scenes, so we laugh a lot and can feel sympathy with the characters in the movie. When the Japanese directors try to describe the Japanese society with reality, they would often tend to be very serious and heavy. However, only his movie can overcome such serious and heavy pressure and provide just funny and real Japanese scenes.

His latest film “Dance With Me” is a movie about a typical office worker in her 30s. But, Yaguchi always put something different spice in his movie. Like he described high school boys who try to do synchronized swimming or high school girls who try to play Jazz. In this film, the woman is accidentally hypnotized by a strange hypnotist, and whenever she hears any music, she immediately can’t stop dancing or singing along with the music. It is a bit unreal setting, but you can somehow understand the situation thanks to his comic stunts or lines.

And at last, when you see the ending, you would realize this movie is all about a dream what we should pursue, and how to do so. We sometimes forget how to pursue our dream and even what was our dream. Through this movie, I could totally remember the way we dance with our lives. What a wonderful, and thoughtful movie. In my opinion, the message was pretty close to the masterpiece movie “The Groundhog Day”. If you had a chance to see this movie, I would highly recommend it to you.

Thank you very much for reading. And have a wonderful weekend.

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Editorial: Everyone forced to dream with “priceless” moments/ What “Demon Slayer: Infinity Train” tries to describe in today’s society

Speaking of “Damon slayer”, which became a huge hit in last year in Japan due to the mega hit of its movie title, the movie has just aired on TV yesterday and people went crazy watching the movie as No.1 grossing movie ever in Japan. Here is an article of what I wrote when I watched the movie for the first time.

Anyhow, it became such a huge hit in Today’s Japanese society, and that means there must be huge attractive, unconscious problem arousal factors in the movie. Masterpiece can describe our hidden unconscious desire or problems, and through watching fiction, we can sometimes see the truth. That is the beauty of watching or reading fictional story. When you see a movie and find something strange, that noticing would be a key for opening the door to a truth hidden in the story.

The curious thing with watching the movie was a kind of main demon character “Genmu”. He can make people dream with his magic, and let people dream really sweet dream, and during they are dreaming, Genmu can eat people. In this movie, he use some kids to cooperate with his strategy and try to eat as many people in the train as possible.

Then, this story reminds me of a thought. I sometime feel I’m forced to dream. In this time, dream means feel satisfied or like that. In today’s society, people can easily satisfied with free contents, like youtube, google, facebook, maybe some sexual contents or anything else. You can enjoy your daily life with your smartphone and it’s super easy way to satisfy yourself. Then, you feel you are satisfied with your life that easily. But, this is, it’s a bit difficult to describe though, not a healthy way. It’s like when you are hungry, you are forced to eat snacks and fill your stomach. Although you had something, but you don’t eat the real cooked food.

You feel you want to create your own unique original splendid life but what you are doing is sometimes just watching YouTube or Facebook or endless reel of TikTok or Instagram. It’s super apparent that you cannot be anything by such an “priceless” actions. If you really want to be something and dream it with healthy way, you need to face your own reality and cost something. I mean, you need to risk your life. It’s difficult that I don’t say all free contents are evil, but it can collapse your life.

Therefore, in the movie, the protagonist Tanjiro try to kill himself to awake from the dream. It’s such a symbolic scene. You feel you can lose anything but he does. He risked himself. And he wake up and realize the true harsh reality.

Maybe we are living in a world where we can dream easily in many ways. However, I feel like this film tells us that we need to dream in a decent way.

Movie Review: “孤狼の血 LEVEL2” Korou No Chi LEVEL2 (Blood of Lone Wolf 2)

Official Poster

Have you ever heard the word “YAKUZA”? This typical Japanese jargon means a Japanese organized crime syndicate similar to Mafia. Japanese film history once flourished by this Yakuza movies. The representative series were created by TOEI(東映). However, the film industry has been downsized in these several decades, and now, you could hardly find a very quality yakuza movie which can be seen by foreigners these years. Instead of making such once-popular type of movies, they are keep creating love romance teen movies targeted for teenagers in Japan. It even seems like a kind of gentrification in a Japanese movie industries to me. They seems to be forced to make such movies instead of making very serious, quality movies with great actors.

So, is there no such great Yakuza movies in Japan like extinct Japanese wolves? The director of this movie Mr. Shiraish then answers “No” by this film. This movie is literally “lone wolf” in today’s Japanese film industry. I can assure that this film has a very good quality and I can recommend this film to foreigners with 100% confidence. This is a kind of revenge to the great HongKong noir, or Korean Film Noir films which originally inspired by Japanese old Yakuza films but now famously known as gang noir films.

Of course, there are many serious violence in this movies, but still I think it is really worthy to watch this film because the essential story has such a strong impact and makes you really think deep. What is the true good and evil? The set is in Hiroshima known as a place of first atomic bombing. These factors also make the story much deeper than any other films in Japan. This kind of movie is thought to be very domestic film, but if you have a chance to watch in English someday, I really recommend to watch both series 1 and 2.