Hey Nipponophiles!

Apparently I can see “Yo Yo Cop Girl” for free with my Amazon Prime.  And there was this from the reviews: 

What’s special about this film version is the casting of four Japanese female pop singers from Hello! Project in the main roles, all of whom do extraordinary jobs.

Naturally I wonder if edo and xpat are familiar with “Hello! Project”.  Also naturally, I’m inclined to see a movie where yo yos are martial arts weapons.  On the other hand, it only gets a “5.2” on imdb.com.  But on the other other hand…those are some might sweet explosion-looking thingees…


About wormme

I've accepted that all of you are socially superior to me. But no pretending that any of you are rational.
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8 Responses to Hey Nipponophiles!

  1. Edohiguma says:

    The original tv series is significantly better. Good luck finding that though 😛 The yo-yo scenes were pretty epic.

    The problem with the movie is the combo. Matsuura can’t act. Ishikawa isn’t any better. Heck, none of the Hello!Project girls has any talent for anything worth mentioning (similar to AKB48 today.) And Fukasaku Kenta is not that good a director. His dad, now that guy is a legend. But he’s not even close to that. Not even remotely.

    I have not seen it. Simply because I absolutely loathe Matsuura’s “acting”, and Fukasaku died for me as a director in the cluster f*ck that was Battle Royale 2.

    • wormme says:

      Meaning…Battle Royale itself was good? It gets a “7.8” on imdb compared to a 4.7 for BR II.

      And thanks for the info!

      • Xpat says:

        Battle Royale seriously crossed the line for me with the disturbing, degrading, gratuitous violence. It’s almost like they invented the term “gratuitous violence” with that movie in mind. I couldn’t watch it past 30 minutes and felt like puking.

        • Edohiguma says:

          The book is pretty good. The movie is okay, still better than the second, which is one gaping plot hole. Fujiwara, the Maeda Sisters, everyone is trying their best, but it just doesn’t make sense from the beginning to the end.

          The biggest gripe I have with the movie is that they changed the original premise and they buried the message a bit in all the violence. And there are no exchange students in the novel. Kiriyama and… damn, what’s his name, the one Yamamoto played, are part of the class in the book (and manga.)

          In the book the Program is initiated in 1947 by Japan’s government, which is basically the government from the early Showa years. There is no Japan in the novel, there is only the Greater Republic of East Asia. Japan never went to war with the US and thus turned into what Nazi Germany tried to be. And the government started the Program as a research project, but in reality uses it to keep control over the masses, implying with it that nobody is really save. At the time of the novel they do it with 50 school classes every year.

          Still, one of the best scenes in the movie is with the Lighthouse Girls. The futility of it all, the hopelessness… Old Fukasaku really did a good job with it. The stunts were all done by the actors, as far as I know. One guy had to roll down a hill, and Fukasaku wasn’t happy with it, so the poor fellow had to roll down again.

          The movie, by the way, is the one that started Shibasaki Kou’s career. She was in the business before, but Souma Mitstuko is what pushed her forward. And her performance is outright creepy. She’s fantastic at being evil and she realle developed from there (absolutely loved her in the recent Ooku movie, she’s the highlight for me in it, playing the shogun. Kou in Edo period outfit? Oh. My. God.) Kuriyama Chiaki is also pretty good in it and is still good. She got better overall throughout the years (but she’s somewhat lacking in the action department these days, though she’s been sniffing into stage as well, and did a pretty good job.) Maeda Aki since then is sadly typecast on a level that’s bordering the ridiculous. Most of the time the characters she plays are Noriko (though, she shines in indie movies, some tv stuff -primarily jidaigeki, but she was really amazing in Hanchou 4 last year, they’re slowly putting her into other stuff than the stereotypical cute girl and she’s been going for controversial stuff after BR herself, namely teenage moms, enjo kosai, etc- and especially on stage.)

          From the girls there are only three left who are really, more or less, big in the business. Maeda, Kuriyama and Shibasaki. Same with the guys. I know three are still around, one of them highly successful (Fujiwara, and he’s really good, especially on stage, if he works with Ninagawa the result is usually this: mind = blown), and one got his stupid ass fired from his agency for going batshit crazy over nuclear power (Yamamoto, the guy has turned into a moron, then again, anyone who praises the Gorleben protests -which always turn violent- is insane.)

          I have the original movie in 4 versions, the sequel in 2, all making-ofs, the novel and the manga 😛 The story itself is brilliant.

      • Edohiguma says:

        IMO you can’t go after the imdb ratings. You just have to close your eyes and jump. At times you will find horse manure, other times you’ll find a gem.

        While we’re at that:
        Swing Girls & Linda Linda Linda. Absolutely fantastic and funny movies (and the music’s good in both.) Kantoku Banzai, if you want to scratch your head most of the time and wonder wtf is going on. It’s weird, but hilarious. Road 88 is very beautifully done. Heavens Door, favorite of mine. It’s a remake of a German movie (Knocking on Heaven’s Door), but a million times better (primarily because the original had Til Schweiger, who can’t act.) Wasabi, actually a French production with Jean Reno and Hirosue Ryoko (back in the days when she was still the “super idol”.) Keibetsu and Giniro no Ame (Silver Rain, based on the book with same name) are both amazing, but they’re recent and I doubt they’ll ever make it out of Japan. Silver Rain, imo, beats the Norwegian Wood movie by several lengths. Norwegian Wood just didn’t feel right for me. The cast was wrong for it. Kikuchi Rinko is no Naoko, not even close. The girl who played Midori was far too young and inexperienced.

        Kakushi Ken (the hidden blade) is good. Twilight Samurai as well. Mibugishiden not so much. It’s a far too cheesy for my tastes. ICHI, with Ayase Haruka, is actually not so bad for a female take on Zatoichi. However the ending kills it, sadly. It had so much potential, but the ending, yuck. While we’re at that: Shurayukihime, aka Lady Snowblood. Yes, yes and YES.

        Kamikaze Girls, as mentioned. It’s one of two movies where Fukada Kyoko actually shows she can really act, and is more than the pretty idiot. If you watch Kamikaze Girls and then the contemporary tv series Remote, it’s like day and night. She’s really good in KG, but absolutely awful in Remote. The reason she’s in Remote really has to be cause she’s pretty and is nothing else but a living, breathing set decoration. Yatterman is the other movie. I was never in the whole Yatterman thing, but FukaKyon as Doronjo, in that leather outfit, oh yeah… What? I’m a guy, sue me.

  2. Edohiguma says:

    The most famous group of the Hello!Project was Morning Musume. They were BIG. They are not anymore. They are still around, plenty of girls still try to get in, but the current leaders are AKB48 and their bazillion spin-offs (all together 200+ girls.) The “music” is on the same level. Sadly, just like with AKB48 (especially early AKB48, just take Aitakatta), some of their tunes are actually catchy and they manage to get stuck in your mind.

  3. Xpat says:

    Hi guys! I kind of gave up commenting for Lent.

    Wait a minute . . . D’oh!

    I wasn’t ever much into the Yo-yo fighter thing. I thought it was endearingly campy, and now mainly it just fills me with warm, fuzzy Showa era nostalgia:

    It’s like watching Donny and Marie Osmond or something.

    I haven’t kept up with the new versions and this is the first I’ve heard of it.

    Worme, you must see Kamikaze Girls, if you insist on getting into Japanalia. Sheesh. Don’t waste your time on Yo-yo remakes.

    • Edohiguma says:

      Oh it is campy. The acting… oh my god… But still beats the remake by far. The remake is a MoMus vehicle. Just as bad as all the AKB48 vehicles today.

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