Okay, maybe I exaggerate a little bit but as far as I was concerned, this movie just took my bitchiness and slapped me in the face with it showing me that I am nothing but an atom compared to the whole picture. It took everything I was expecting and flipped it over my head, and in turn giving me the best movie I have seen in a long while! I mean if a movie makes you impossibly happy by the end (I swear I think I heard the neighbours threatening to call the cops on me) then that makes it the best movie, right?
Schoolgirl Complex just went and did just that!
NB: I forbid you to read any further. For your security, just jump to the end of the post…
This is the best movie ever – is what you want to hear, isn’t it? Well dearest Readers, reality check!
Watching this movie hurts like a son-of-a! It hurt and hurts and hurts you some more until you can’t hurt no more. Then it hurts you some more just for the lulz! It will probably hurt less other people who always go with the boat, nay, in fact they might not hurt at all if they are used to the always normal BAD ENDS for yuri couples in most movies but it really hurt me so bad that I am not even going to study for the important exam I have tomorrow!
Here is the thing. You know me. Very rarely do I ship the obvious main couple unless in very special circumstances like HomuMado, Chikane/Himeko or Shizuma/Nagisa. Most other times I always go for the weird couple that have slim to none chances of ending up together and that my friends, is the case with this movie! Frankly I did not feel the main girls’ (Manami and Chiyuki) chemistry. Manami, well, I guess I better introduce the girls first.
Meet Shintani Manami, a 3rd year and President of the Broadcast club. She is a really laid back, soft and the quiet type. Indeed, she is the typical main character that was just made to be loved. Well, loved by everyone else but me. I really can’t stand characters who make the shitiest choices. I mean she can’t help it but still…Reason why Kinomoto Sakura is in my worst top 10 characters of all time! And even she did not have a choice but Manami here did yet…sigh. Any way, It was said since when but Manami has a major, disturbing, crush on another girl. Okay, so maybe not such a goody-two shoes character after that creepy mask incident but more on that later.
Meet the girl – Mitsuzuka Chiyuki. Also a 3rd year but not in Manami’s class. Instead she is in Ai’s. Two shots because first half of the movie she has a different hair cut to that you know from the promo images and DVD cover. Chiyuki has a girl friend at the beginning of the movie. A really good looking girlfriend, who by Manami’s words, seems to be the popular type of the school.
Thing is that their relationship is kind of shady and you can see this from the very first time we meet them, thanks to Manami’s creepy stalking and peeping. Chiyuki seems to ignore her girlfriend’s advances and rumour is that she’s got her self a boyfriend as well. But as we all know, she seems more interested in our girl Manami. So much so, that I was left put off by the sudden advance. Any way Chiyuki is a leper, and the Broadcast club is her new den. She is those characters that don’t give a fuck, the ones the girls hate yet secretly crush on. She’s got enemies, a lot of enemies and the biggest one is Manami’s best and childhood friend.
Sorry to you all Chiyuki lovers (I know there will be a lot of Chiyuki lovers once this movie is seen) but I just had to include those caps just cause…^^ Ah, in case you can’t tell, that is Chiyuki’s back there that Ai is aiming at!
Ah~ Ai-chan, sweet sweet Morino Ai. This is hands down the best girl in the damn movie! Anyone who says otherwise is just A-status B! This girl was simply awesome. She really put the gears in this movie! Without her, this would have been the more snore-fest movie of all time! She brought forth everything, and I mean everything! The comedy, the horror (yes, there is a bit of that in here too), the romance, the angst, the drama, I swear people, if I were to do an award showdown, she would win best character, well, supporting character since that is what she is but since these are my awards, she wins best female actress in this movie!
Ai was just, God, there is so much more I want to say about her but I will just hold myself back for now. Being best friends of Manami, she is also the vice pres of the Broadcasting club. She is also a fellow 3rd year with three other members of said club and this is their last year of High School.
From top to bottom, we have Eriguchi Futaba, Chiyuki’s girlfriend, well, ex-girlfriend I suppose, who is on the track club. Also a third year and man, does she look hot or what! I still can’t believe Chiyuki dumped her. Good luck finding a girl that is even a fraction as hot. Well, she will probably think that girl is the best thing to ever walk the earth but then again, that’s what love does to people – it gauges their eyes out!
Next up is Oda Kazumi, a real spit-fire. She is the no-nonsense girl and will say it straight as is. She might or might not be the 2nd vice pres of the club because she drives the kouhai’s like she was even the President herself. In fact these kouhai’s report to her first for some reason. You don’t want to be on this girl’s bad side!
Third down is Nishino Mayu and sadly, we don’t see her that much as is with the last girl Muraguchi Ayane. Ayane is of course our Tsukina-chan and while it was just the normal hand-holding and touchy feely the all Japanese girls do, I think there was something going on between her Mayu. She would always stand next to her, then take her arm if the atmo gets tense, usually thanks to that Kazumi dragon.
Alright. With that little intro of our characters out of the way, time to get back to the bitching!
Now, not to say that this movie is 100% bitch-worthy. Far from it. Other than that ending, it was actually very good. All things considered, and by that I mean, the source material – a la the photo mooks, this was a very good movie. Much much better than I expected in fact. To tell you the truth, I was expecting lots of silent shots of girls just doing yuri things but that was far from the real thing. This is a real honest to God movie and compared to other Japanese movies in its category, it is in the very top of that block.
Now not to say that we did not get the ‘schoolgirl complex’ feel we were expecting. The beginning of the movie and sometimes in narrative scene, we do get these shots that we are so familiar with from the books. And speaking of the mooks, I wanna take this opportunity to praise my now favourite photographer, Aoyama Yuki sensei! Thank you so very much for this gold Aoyama sensei!
Any way back to bitching, this movie really, really hurt me deeply. You know that feeling you get as you watch a movie that tells you this is not gonna end your way? Well, I kept feeling it during my watch of SGC and it was that magnified when the ship I chose to get behind – Manami/Ai, seemed more and more doomed as the time went by. But that is normal, right? Well, this movie did that then it went farther by placing hope inside me from time to time only to crush it just the next minute! The real blow, a blow that was heavier than 9000 atomic bombs going off right inside my chest, was the time when THE BROADCAST happened.
But that is in the very end so let me take a step back. I also apologise in advance but I am going to write this focusing on Ai and not the main girls, well, not that Ai is not important because she actually has more screen time that Chiyuki, err, well a few seconds behind but who is counting.
So, Ai. Ai really kept a grin on my face the most through this movie. She was the damn spirit of the thing! She kept me going even as I wanted to go lie in my bed and just cry instead of continuing on because of her hurting, but I kept going because of her. Her scene would either put a major grin on your face or break it with tears which really I can’t say for the two should-be mains! She brightened up place wherever she was. She kept a smile on Manami’s face even as painful it was for her to do. She tried to get along with Chiyuki even as knowing that she is her un-doing. Her texts brought tears of laughter to my eyes for crying out loud! And that Sadako moment should have been nominated for an award in Japan. I don’t care which awards it is, it should have been nominated!
But of course in this world we are living in, good girls like her get the shitiest reward and girl, did Ai suffer! Ai really, really loved Manami. It is sad to say but her love felt the most real, the most gripping in this movie. She was tested the most. She was hurt the most and she delivered her feelings the best hands down. Manami and Chiyuki’s love, maybe it was just their acting, was a real joke! That romance shouldn’t have existed, well, that is being too harsh I suppose. It shouldn’t have been the prominent one. I can’t believe the director watched this finished work and still decided to keep that ending. They might have been highly stoned, it is the only explanation. Ai deserved to have Manami’s love. SHE deserved to have Manami’s love, not the other way around. Well, she did not have it, or at least she had the one she did not need but I feel like the couples in this movie were messed up completely.
Chiyuki and Futaba were actually a very appealing couple. I did not see what was so wrong with Futaba for Chiyuki to dump her ass like that. I mean Futaba might have come off at the hard-hitting type but that is expecting from lovers, right? And it’s not like she was crazy stalker type of girl. And with her status, I can only imagine how hard it might have been for her to finally come out and start dating Chiyuki, if that is what they were actually doing.
The break-up was somewhat disturbing, more so for what comes after this. After ignoring Futaba and fighting a few times, much to the audience of always-watching Manami, Chiyuki and Manami run into Futaba in their way to lunch. Either way you looked at this scene, it wasn’t ending well. And end well it of course did not. Futaba tries her hardest even going so far as declaring her love for Chiyuki in a crowded corridor but she gets dumped by a ‘Sorry’ of all things!
Really? ‘Sorry’! Are you fuckin kidding me!?! Futaba said it best when she said if Chiyuki was gonna be sorry, she shouldn’t have been with her at all and I am with her on this one! You can’t just dump a girl like that! But that wasn’t the worst thing she did!
Minutes! Just minutes later after she dumped Futaba and left her to rot in her tears in that corridor, these scenes you see above happen! Just minutes! She has just crushed Futaba so bad she will probably be straight from now on and minutes later Chiyuki is all over Manami!!
Are you like, kidding me! This moment right here is when I felt like, this romance, even if this relationship was to actually happen in the end, which at the time I thought it would because this did not seem like a movie to have an ending it had, I felt like this relationship was just wrong! They chose the wrong couple to drive the movie, which BTW it did not because Ai stole the show but still.
Everything about these two felt just wrongly executed, rushed and emotionless! Manami’s silent character did not help and most definitely neither did Chiyuki’s acting in scenes that were supposed to be dramatic, like the bridge scene. I think I closed my eyes during that one! You can hurt my ears since I can’t close them but not my eyes!
Maybe it’s the lack of subs and thus I might have missed something important but their relationship felt holey( is that a word?). Many things were un explained, like Chiyuki’s last decision and that man of hers! Any other character in her situation would have jumped out of a moving car, threatened the driver to turn the fuck around, do something to go back to their girl who had just poured out her heart to the whole nation that was listening to the radio at the time! Nobody gets confessed to like that and not make the right decision. Oh wait, Chiyuki exists, doesn’t she! Sorry but your tears mean nothing! At the very least give her a damn call but did she do even that? Nope.jpg!
I don’t know, maybe it was the directing? But the rest of the movie was good so why!?! Chiyuki was much better with Futaba IMO. Way better than her and Manami! And of course Manami would have been much better off with Ai. Everything would have been better even if we did not get a GOOD END either way. Manami and Ai’s relationship drove this movie. Chiyuki and Manami did not even seem to match at all! For crying out loud, Manami was even going out of character by stalking Chiyuki like she was Shizuru or something. Actually, she was worse than Shizuru!
Get this, one day she accidentally (pfft) passed by Chiyuki’s classroom and saw Chiyuki wearing a mask (one of those cold masks) and guess what Manami did? During break, she breaks into said class, digs under the desk and pulls out a virus filled mask and not only proceeds to smell it but wear it too, then proceeds to smell it to the fullest! She of course catches the bug which get them to meet in the infirmary (cause plot) to thicken their relationship that goes nowhere.
That is just No, No! Then during flashback we do get more of stalker Manami stalking, yep, Chiyuki everywhere! I tell you guys, this was the most wrongly decided or executed relationship evar!
Ai and Minami. Really, I still cannot fathom reasoning behind not making this the prominent couple! They had the chemistry. Their feelings, well, Ai,s feelings were realistic, heart pounding and yet…and yet…They made poor Ai suffer for it through out the whole movie.
Ai who has loved, secretly loved Manami for seven year. That SEVEN whole years! She has loved Manami all this time yet she has kept up her role as the best friend. She is cracking of course as we see up there when she finds Manami asleep in the Broadcasting room and almost kissed her but Manami wakes up just in the nick of time.
Strangely at first I thought she was just playing but her reaction that was so different from her character sent bells ringing and my gears moving and it was that moment that I found the SHIP! From that moment on, Ai’s actions were all seen in a whole different light. I began to furious support her and hoping to all the gods that have ever existed to deny the plot and give her the girl.
Sadly though, nothing but the world of hurt waited Ai from this moment onwards. The first blow came in the form of catching Chiyuki and Manami almost kissing in said room. This was the moment after Chiyuki put some make-up on Manami and that mirror scene happened so when Ai arrived, Manami could not look at her, not wanting her to see her face despite having been worldly happy after Chiyuki had praised her good looks in it. Manami thinks Ai did not see it but she had seen it. She can’t hide anything from Ai. Ai knows Manami better than she even knows herself. And so later on when they go to their usual chilling out place, while Manami is all hyper thinking she got away with murder, which shows she is guilty of something which means she knows she wronged Ai, Ai calls her out telling her that make-up does not suit her. But that scene was just the icing on the cake, both for Ai and for us the watchers…
Level three of hurt comes much later. Same venue, same witnesses and same victim. This movie was really well put together. I could totally feel my heart slowly constrict and get crushed when during a scene where actually Manami first grows balls for the very first time in the movie and initiates contact with Chiyuki then they resume to the accompanying sweet talk, the camera cuts in the next room (the sound booth) where none other than Ai is sitting.
That was such a WTF moment for me because I so did not expect her to be there! In fact I really doubt anyone did. She sat there, listened to the two, all the while you could just see her heart just turning to stone. Obviously the two don’t know they have an audience and Ai leaves without being seen after taking in so much she could handle.
This scene guys! I could totally see Ai finally seeing the inevitability of her love coming to fruition going to hell never to be seen again. But this is Ai we are talking about here. She has loved Manami for seven frikkin years she isn’t going to just up and leave! Which of course then leads to Level 5 danger red in the world of hurt.
After pulling her class-leading act of Sadako, Ai requests Manami’s company (in the process breaking up the two’s alone time with Chiyuki) and off we go the next level FEELS. I was totally crying during this swimming pool scene and this isn’t even the ultimate level yet.
Ai almost confesses her love for Manami but instead settles for once again, supporting Manami. Their club have a show they are going to put on. The very last for the 3rd years and Manami is lost in making the decision on whom to give the main part to. Of course she is thinking of giving it to Chiyuki but she knows others will be against it.
So Ai uses this to her advantage and instead of spilling the beans and confessing to Manami, she supports Manami’s decision to give Chiyuki the part. In doing so, she also calls out Manami on her love for Chiyuki.
Of course this means finally accepting the truth that Manami will never love her and that all is in vain which really caresses her stone heart to unstone it, then proceeds to put needles in it. thousands of needles!
I am never going to forget the scene of Ai breaking down afterwards right there!
This scene was just heart-breaking guys! I really can not understand how the director decided to go with the other relationship instead of this even after all this time! It’s just all so mind mending! But this is not the best part! The best was saved for last, obviously and dear Lord!
It’s time for the show. The very last show of these 3rd years. Chiyuki who was supposed to be the it of the night, does not show up!
On this promised most important day, of Manami’s, her love, if she loved her which we don’t know for sure since she was referring to Manami as her friend most of the time, and she does not show up to it! She does not even call! Manami has to call her and then all she says is a ‘SORRY’.
Another sorry! Are you kidding me! This couple people, I tell ya! Any way, the club decides to do everything anyway themselves. It is their last chance and they will not waste it. So in front of a full gym, a school filled with students and actually station broadcasting, the third years of the Broadcasting club sit and off we go with their story about, yep, ‘Schoolgirl’.
Every other member gets to read their piece and so does Ai but wait, that last bit was not in the script! That’s right people. The very reason why I got my neighbours to call the cops on me is because of this moment! The moment that I thought would declare this year the best year ever and this movie the greatest to ever grace my life because hello! Second tier couple was getting the happy end!?! Are you like for realz!
I swear to you all I was going bonkers in my room, hitting walls, jumping on my bed, singing kumbayah because…because Ai, dear Ladies and Gentlemen, Ai went and did the thing! She did the thing in front of a full gym of parents, teachers and fellow students! She went and did the thing over the speakers through out the whole school. She went and did the thing all over the radio to which the show was being broadcast! A radio that Chiyuki was listening to on her way to, wherever.
I was going mad people.
When Ai confessed her love for Manami, telling her for how long she has felt that way, all in front of that large an audience, an audience that rivalled even that of Mio and Hiroko in Kokkuri-san in the size of audience and impact, I was simply going bonkers! She looked Manami straight in the eye and told her. Twice. No nonsense just pure truth. Even knowing already she had no chance, she went and did it. She bared her heart out.
I swear to you guys no sane person would have turned her down. No one would turn down a person who did that, especially when you factor in Ai’s circumstances. I was so happy that I forgot about all the hurt that came before because I just knew. I just knew when I looked into Manami’s eyes that she was finally going to see the light and Ai the happiness she has been looking foe for seven frikkin years!
I even called Domino’s and ordered a food I haven’t eaten in years just to celebrate. All through out the meal I was watching and re-watching the same scene. When Ai confessed I paused. fan-girled, ate then replayed until the 19” was completely devoured. I wish I had had an endless box of pizza slices because when I decided to continue on after the meal was finished, I went straight from the heaven I was in and into the very depth of hell faster than Lucifer did!
You know I should have seen it coming. The signs were there. Ai herself gave frikkin red blinking lights when she went off like an RPG towards the audience that was stupidly cheering her on. I should have known something was afoot. Someone should be happy when people are behind her like that, in a situation that usually would incur the opposite reaction. But did Ai look happy that not only were her fellow students and teachers were behind her but also the parents? Nope. She was so pissed off she shouted at them to shut it and shove it up theirs. She looked her worst right that moment and I, like the stupid audience did not pick up on it.
For I was eagerly waiting Manami’s obvious acceptance of Ai’s feelings. Oh how naive of me. Manami went and took Ai’s already ashed heart, poured holy water on it, built it back up then proceeded to incinerate it to nothingness because when she got up, all determination visible in her eyes like fire, what she did was not answer Ai’s feelings but instead confess her own love for Chiyuki.
Yeah, my jaw is still on the floor of the pits of hell that I am slowly ashening away in.
Right here is when my mind shuts down! Not even that hope-inducing last scene (for Ai/Manami? did a thing for me. I am just…done.