ABC Film Challenge – World Cinema – J – JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure (2017)

Director: Takashi Miike

Writer: Itaru Era (Screenplay) Hirohiko Araki (Manga)

Starring: Kento Yamazaki, Ryunosuke Kamiki, Nana Komatsu, Masaki Okada, Mackenyu, Kenji Mizuhashi

 

Plot: A teen gifted with supernatural power discovers the truth behind his cursed and bizarre bloodline, and the evil that lurks within his town.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 59 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Wildly Imaginative

 

Story: JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure starts with high school student Koichi Hirose (Kamiki) getting to learn the new surroundings which contains the mysterious slick cool Josuke ‘JoJo’ Higashikata (Yamazaki) who has the ability to defeat enemies with his unique abilities.

When JoJo learns about his bloodline with the appearance of a distant relative, he learns of a bigger battle going on, one that JoJo will finally learn the true powers that he possesses.

 

Thoughts on JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure

 

Characters – Josuke or JoJo for short is the high school student everyone wants to be friends with, the one that sticks up for the bully victims and has his own unique look that makes him stand out, he does possess an ability that he doesn’t know the true power of, until a distant relative arrives to teach him what he is capable off. JoJo takes his first steps into this world where he can be involved in supernatural battles. Koichi Hirose is the new kid in the school, he helps us understand JoJo’s place in the school, while trying to come to grip with what is going on around him. Yukako is the friend that Koichi has made at the school, there is something mysterious about her, though it remains a mystery even to Koichi. Keicho is the man with the strongest ability causing trouble around Japan, he has targeted JoJo after learning about his powers.

PerformancesKento Yamazaki in the leading role is an entertaining watch, he makes his character look the slick cool figure he needs to while showing a much more grounded figure behind that persona. Masaki Okada does make for a strong villain that fits this over the top world we have entered. The rest of the cast let the main two stars steal the show without looking out of place in the film.

StoryThe Story here follows a teenager that learns about his powers to use a ‘Stand’ which will give him additional strength when it comes to battling his enemies and here he must face his own biggest enemy in the world. This story is adapted from a manga, so you need to accept the over the top style the film is creating, it does have the themes of fitting in, loss and understand how to fight your own enemies running through the story. we get plenty of interesting ideas here which will see how the power can be misused and how it can be used for good. This does feel like a story that you do need to have some back story before stepping into though which can hold back the highest level of enjoyment from it.

Adventure/FantasyThe adventure side of this film takes us into a world where people can have the power to have ‘Stands’ which will fight for them to prove themselves in battle, each vision is different which does make this feel interesting as the fantasy side of the film comes through with this too.

SettingsThe film is set in one of the most popular cities in Japan, it shows how a fantasy war could be going on behind anybody’s back without them knowing.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are strong throughout, they bring to life the Stands which have their own unique look in every scene or fight.


Scene of the Movie –
That is your Stand?

That Moment That Annoyed Me This isn’t helpful for a gateway to the world we are entering.

Final ThoughtsThis is a highly ambitious live action version of a popular manga, the problem comes with it being difficult to walk into if you haven’t seen anything beforehand.

 

Overall: Ambitious fan service.

Rating

 

 

World Cinema Weekend – Summer Wars (2009)

Director: Mamoru Hosoda

Writer: Satoko Okudera (Screenplay) Mamoru Hosoda (Story)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Ryunosuke Kamiki, Nanami Sakuraba, Mitsuki Tanimura, Takahiro Yokokawa, Meiko Nobusawa

 

Plot: A student tries to fix a problem he accidentally caused in OZ, a digital world, while pretending to be the fiancé of his friend at her grandmother’s 90th birthday.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Great Fantasy Social Commentary

 

Story: Summer Wars starts in a world with an operating system known as OZ, a place where you can be anybody, talk to anybody, work, play and arrange your life, Kenji is one of the many small time engineers keeping it all operational, he gets asked to join Natsuki on a trip to her Grandmother’s 90th birthday only to be a fake fiancé.

When somebody or something takes over the OZ system Kenji is the prime suspect but the bigger problem is that everybody’s accounts to everything runs through OZ causing endless amounts of false accidents reports disrupting Grandmother’s birthday. Kenji must work with the family to get into the system to bring down the problem and save the world from a war they would be prepared for, a cyber war.

 

Thoughts on Summer Wars

 

Characters Kenji is a student that must go through visiting a family he has no knowledge off, this gives us a good sense of his isolation while meeting them a family so big while he has a family so small. He is also a genius working on the computer system the whole world relies on. Natsuki is one of the family members, the one that brings Kenji back to meet her family, she is loyal to her family and a mean card player. The rest of the family are all big characters to what is happening as they show the unity they have as well as the dysfunction a normal family would have to.

StoryThe story is very interesting because it focuses on the world where an internet community has become something taken for granted but if it was infected by a virus parts of the world could start to fall apart. It also shows how different generations have dealt with the change but the core idea of family and togetherness is very important. Overall thee storyline shows how family can come together to defeat the biggest threat to the world as long as they work together. It also shows us how the world controlled by an internet community could take away social interaction.

Action/Comedy/Family/Sci-FiThe action inside OZ is great anime action sequences with the comedy coming from how the family is always panicking. The family side of the story comes seeing how the family all come together for a celebration. The sci-fi side comes from the world needing the technology heavy world to do everything on the internet.

SettingsThe settings are good because we get to see the family home where we see everyone together, this helps put our characters together for the story to unfolding.

AnimationAll the animation is done brilliantly as you would expect from any anime film.

Final ThoughtsThe social commentary going on through this film is great, the story also is fantastic to show how being together with family is still important and this is one I do think everyone could enjoy.

 

Overall: Strong addition to the anime genre.

Rating

 

 

Your Name (2017)

Director: Makoto Shinkai

Writer: Makoto Shinkai (Screenplay)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Ryunosuke Kamiki, Mone Kamishiraishi, Ryo Narita, Aoi Yuki, Nobunage Shimazaki, Kaito Ishikawa

 

Plot: Two strangers find themselves linked in a bizarre way. When a connection forms, will distance be the only thing to keep them apart?

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Just Wow

 

Story: Your Name starts as we meet small town girl Mitsuha who dreams of getting out of the town and moving to the busy Tokyo, we also meet Tokyo school student Taki who has found himself looking after himself searching for his next stage in life.

With an incoming comet passing over the strange event starts to happen for the two strangers who find themselves swapping bodies and lives, the two start communicating through messages to inform the other what they have been doing, some good other bad, but when the communication is lost, the truth about their connection comes out.

 

Thoughts on Your Name

 

Characters Taki and Mitsuha are both fantastic characters, they both come off like normal high school students in the lives they are living, both dreaming off things outside what they see as their reach, both confused but adapting to the body swapping lives they believe to be dreams. The rest of the characters who are part of both lives which does work for our main characters story arc.

StoryThe story brings a fresh approach the body swapping sub-genre, we become invested in the lives of both of the students and the bigger story going on which I don’t want to get too detailed but this story will make you go through a full range of emotions and you will be left shocked with the final outcome of the story.

Fantasy/RomanceThe fantasy side of the film comes from the body swapping elements which does get increased when you learn the twist within the film’s story. the romance comes from how these two people from different worlds can fall in love being part of the others life.

SettingsThe settings for the film show the different worlds the two come from, we get to see the busy streets of Tokyo and small town where families work to support the next generation filled with tradition.

AnimationThe animation is as you would expect almost flawless for telling the story.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film I have heard only wonderful things about, those things were not wrong, this is a wonderful story with great leading characters, that will pull on the all the emotions you have through the whole film.

 

Overall: Truly special animated film.

Rating