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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Hanamizuki (2010)


Country: Japan
Format: movie
Genre: romance, life
Cast: Ikuta Toma, Aragaki Yui, Mukai Osamu,Yakushimaru Hiroko, Renbutsu Misako, Arata, Kimura Yuichi, Matsushige Yutaka, Tokunaga Eri, Kanai Yuta, Koyanagi Yu, Takahashi Tsutomu, Hayashi Mamatsu, Mizushima Kaori,  
Synopsis: Story is set from 1996 to 2006 - ten years of Sae and Kohei's life. Sae is an ambitious girl from small village in Hokkaido, who wants to go to Waseda University in Tokyo and Kohei is a young boy who wants to become a fisherman in order to continue his father's and grandfather's work. To be together they must face the world because destiny seems to play a cruel joke with them.
Rating: 5/5
The first cool thing about the movie is that it is not made after a novel, manga or just taken from air - 
 it is originally taken after Yo Hitoto song "Hanamizuki" which was released in 2004 (Youtube has many different versions and covers of it).
“Hanamizuki” is one of the best romance movies I have lately seen. It is a classical love story, but it is so damn cute that you cannot to anything else but love it. Okey, I know people who say that it is actually rather boring as you can predict most of it and the story stays very simple, but there is also a possibility that people have gotten their expectations to high at first place. So let’s start with characters.

Aragaki Yui plays Sae – young ambitious girl from a small Hokkaido village who wants to go to Waseda University and play a big role in human existence.  She does not see all the difficulties that other people (especially Kohei) have. Well, I must say that I am sorry to all Gakki fans, because she did not  shine in her role much, at least Ikuta Toma was definitely the star of the movie. Many copare Aragaki’s acting to “Koizora” and easily said – she acts most of her high school roles the same and Gyoza – How long can one actress play an high schooler? But I must say that these roles suit her. 
It is said that it is her first adult role as the movie goes through ten years of their lives, so that in the end Sae is 28, but actually “Code Blue” aired before and there she definitely was an adult, of course this is her first adult role in a movie and definitely the oldest role she has ever played. I must say that Aragaki Yui has very decent English – I was afraid that there comes some horrible accent, but thankfully she took English lessons for this role.
Ikuta Toma , he is sooooooo amazing actor! Really great role. Kohei is a small village boy with small dreams. He must face educational and social circumstances to walk his own path and he is the character with who you start to think that life is unfair to the best people. It seems like all his dreams get crushed and there is nothing he can do about it. In their relationship he is hopelessly in love and gives his best to make relationship work even when Sae goes to uni. 
Compared to Sae, he must grow up fast against his will. He is very rational and always puts others before himself. You may think that at many times he is too short-tempered, but actually he is just jealous and hurt, because in Tokyo Sae is spending her time with other guys and they start to grow distant. And why no one has said to me before that TOMA IS THAT ******* GREAT KISSER?! Those kiss-scenes are fabulous and as soon as I am home again, I will add them to top 10 .Btw. Kohei broke The Guys Rule – “Bros before Ho*s” - twice.
Actually they lasted for very long – 4 years! Most of the couples are not able to last for that long, especially to think that most of it was long distance relationship. No matter what they are just perfect for each other. Many say that in some scene the script is rather silly and unrealistic, but I think that everything is possible and there are things like destiny.
Who was that smart ass and put Toma and Mukai Osamu into the same movie? IS she/he really trying to kill mass of girls with Ikemen overdose? Mukai Osamu plays a very important role in the movie, but sadly he does not have much screen time.  Junichi Kitani is like Sae’s mentor and dad who she did not have. He shows her the things that she could have if she just tries. He is very mature and always walks his own path.

What I liked about the movie is that it is very international – they had shootings in USA and Canada and they brought in many things from all over the country – lesser fishes, September the 11. and war in Iraq etc. The shootings and locations are already so beautiful that it definitely adds the enjoyment of watching. Also, it has really cute soundtracks, but “Hanamizuki” is performed by Aragaki Yui, so if you do not like her singing so much then search for other versions of this song (English version by Eric Martin is beautiful).
Definitely must-see love-story
:)




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