Tag Archives: Japan

Wotakoi: On Why Love is Hard for Otaku in this Movie Review

29 Aug

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Fantasia Festival 2020
North American Premiere
Aug 29, 2020

Based on the manga of the same name, Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku (ヲタクに恋は難しい,) by Fujita is a hilarious live action musical comedy that doesn’t require audiences to know anything about the source material.

Narumi Momose (Mitsuki Takahata) is a young office worker who reads yaoi manga. She keeps this fact hidden very well. Also, she likes Hirotaka Nifuji (Kento Yamazaki). They knew each other when really young, and now he’s working in the same building as her. He’s always had difficulty expressing his feelings to her and it’s very amusing to watch them rekindle their relationship. She’s high strung and he’s mild mannered.

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Finding No Place Like Home with Special Actors

25 Aug

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Played at Fantasia Digital Film Festival 2020

Kazuto (Kazuto Osawa) is playing a fictionalized version of himself, and he has anxiety. It’s tough to be an actor with this condition, because on set, if he passes out during filming, the director will call for a cut and it’d take time to reset for a retake. He also loves his sentai, and Rescueman is his safety blanket. He wants to be like this hero! Just where the film goes next is simply him meeting a troupe of “Special Actors,” which is also the title of this film.

These people are the types who are paid to show up at funerals, perhaps as extras, so they can weep for the deceased or fake moments. They are also part-time mystery solvers. No Scooby-Doo does not have to worry, but these scrappy thespians can land into different trouble all on their own, and it adds a bit of comedic relief.

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When the Folklore Doesn’t Hit Home in Netflix’s Spectros

5 Apr

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Anyone who loves the supernatural flavour which comes out of traditional Japan should tune into Spectros right away! The series blends paranormal with breakfast club mentality from three teens–Pardal (Danilo Mesquita), Carla (Mariana Sena) and Mila (Cláudia Okuno)–coming together to deal with the supernatural coalescing in their neighbourhood of Liberdade in São Paulo, Brazil.

Ultimately, this series is the type of cheesy pulp action style fun expected when showrunner Douglas Petrie was a key figure in the production of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel.

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Japan is Too Cool with this Latest Update!

24 Mar

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Tim Craig’ss Cool Japan 2nd Edition is a very welcome update to looking at what’s trending, and how it affects the industry. The term was coined circa 2005 and when this look “Inside Japan’s Cultural and Creative Industries” can change overnight due to many influences–be it on a global scale or amid crisis–the effects are often longer term than a return to form.

The fast and furious industries in the business side of Japanese side entertainment–ranging from anime fandom to J-pop to manga and sumo (to name a few)–are not the only industries affected by change. The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry coined the term.

Like the original edition, it’s written for folks who want a deeper look into the industry and it’s a perfect textbook to use not only in a high school level but also academic. Two new chapters–”Shesha and the Manga Industry Face a Midlife Crisis” and “Japanese Comedy: Entertainment Powerhouse Yoshimoto Kogyo Shaken by Scandal”– fill in the years between this edition and last. For the other chapters, addendums and what’s happening now are added to reveal whether or not projects like the Cool Japan strategy works.

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Enter the Fat Dragon Hits North America!

19 Feb

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Well GO USA
Playing at select theatres.
Please check local listings.

Enter the Fat Dragon was quite the unexpected movie to launch on Valentine’s Day weekend. It has enough romantic elements to make the idea work. Ultimately, it’s an update of the 1978 film of the same name starring Sammo Hung and stays true to the comedic styling that defined that generation of martial arts films. Yes, we all love Bruce Lee, and when paired with the crazy stunts popularized by Jackie Chan’s prowess, it’s a movie to admire.

Fallon Zhu (Donnie Yen) is having a hard go at life. He’s a police officer who ends up being more trouble than he’s worth because of all the collateral damage caused when he brings down a criminal. Because of this, he gets demoted to the evidence department and that means sitting down alot. He has access to a vending machine with all the worst possible junk food he can have and eventually it leads to him gaining a lot of weight. Plus, he has girlfriend problems.

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