Ladies and Gentlemen, I have just watched TGS’s 5-tsu movie and let me tell you right now, I believe in miracles! Let me tell you a little secret – TOKYO GIRLS’ STLE is actually my favourite Idol group! Yes, it even beats out AKB and NMB! Yes, I can just see you frowning or laughing at this apparent lie and believe me, I was in denial as well for a while but not anymore. Forgetting the fact that my beloved NMB was fucked up since Feb, or the old, old fact of the way AKB treats (or doesn’t treat) my Goddess, the hard evidence staring right at me right now in my room proves everything! I have virtually purchased all of TGS’s releases and aside from the 5-tsu BD, I always go for the priciest version that is to say the best version. The 5-tsu thing isn’t my fault really. They did not sell the Limited Editions instead they gave them at a LIVE event, which really sucked for us international fans! But I am saving up to get that one copy on Amazon that is over 100 bucks and hopefully no one will have bought it before I get to it. And to those who are wondering about the other movie of theirs (the Horror one), I already ordered that too but it is in a different purchase which should be arriving next week. Also in that same purchase there is, yep, you guessed it, another TGS purchase – their 2014 tour!
So knowing all that, I ask thee, is there actually any other way that I can love these girls any more than I already do? You say no and truthfully I thought so too before I watched 5-tsu! First of all let’s mention a few facts. This movie was their first ever they starred in. Another fact is that Mei is now the Leader of TGS and not Miyu. Then there is also a personal fact of mine – I ship HitoMiyu as much as Japan loves Rice! And so with these facts already planted in my head, as the movie un-folded the enjoyment factor was multiplied by over 9000 when these facts were actually implemented in the movie! There are others too like Aachan’s music skills, Mei’s strange personality and Miyu’s air-headedness. I can say with confidence that fans drank this movie up with a thirst never known to man and TGS is actually very good at this. They are great at fan-service!
And frankly I cannot help but think the title reflects the ending more than anything. As to what I am talking about, what ending, well, you will have to wait a bit for I want to start with something else, you know, leave the best for last and all that. Then again, some can argue and I think they are right in their decision, that it wasn’t on HitoMiyu’s side that the fun most was but rather on Mei/Ayano’s side. I of course am ready to fight for my belief, which I will be doing too but before we get anywhere, first let’s look at the girls and their roles.
It is really very hard to tell who the heroine actually it. I mean even in a movie with many main characters, there is always an Alpha, the one that the story will focus on more than the rest. The one they will give the romance shenanigans or family matters just as a way to waste screen-time, the one always less entertaining to watch (what, it comes with the curse)! I was very surprised and even shocked when I couldn’t decide who the Alpha was in this movie! If you thought it was hard to decide from the trailer, well, the movie does absolutely nothing to help!
And this is one of the reasons I absolutely love this movie!
No girl’s/couple’s story over-shadowed the other’s. The girls met each other of course, their individual stories were a part of the whole story and each girl played a role in the driving of that story but no one’s story was stepping over the others’. No story dragged on more than it should have. No individual story was left hanging because of poor time distribution! The challenges were of course still there, especially during the transitions which was a bit hard sometimes.
So then, what of their roles? Well, going with the power hierarchy of their characters;
Nakae Yuri plays the schools’ ‘good’ Alpha Michiru, for she is the Head Girl, as we like to call them here on home turf, or the Student Council President in Japan. Seeing as the movie takes place in the days leading up to the traditional yearly competition of the Miss of the school (You know, like Miss Universe but more for the school here), she of course was one of the busiest girls in school and also it meant that she would be meeting a lot of girls in preparation for the festival.
Seeing as she is in charge of the preparations, it means that she gets to meet the applicants (Hitomin and Mei-ting) and other helpers (Aachan) also her role as the President means she gets to meet clubs members like in the case of Miyu. Mei plays Usami (Actually her first name is Yayoi but Miyako/Aachan calls her Usami so to hell with logic) – the other version of Alpha of the school! Not gonna mince words here so let me give it to you straight. You might have picked up on it in the trailer or the PV for the movie ‘Tsuki no Kimagure’) but Mei was a bitch! She wasn’t those forward ones that you see in teen movies but more of the silent one that does her dirty work indirectly through her minions! She is also the rep for her class (C) and favourite to win this year.
One of her followers who is also her best friend also her admirer also the one with a major crush on her is Konishi Ayano who plays Miyako. She is really talented, in fact more talented than Mei which did not make sense that she was in that kind of crowd. But there was a reason why she was, one big important reason which we will get to in a moment and one I have already hinted at.
Being that kind of gang, they of course have targets. The closest one is their classmate Saku played by Yamabe Miyu. She is one of those girls that are a part of a group that she obviously doesn’t belong to. She is the lackey, the one the hounds will turn to when bored. But their relationship wasn’t that cut and dry, which really still amazes me even now as I write this. I mean I knew this movie was not going to be all rainbows and roses after seeing that second trailer and the PV for it but I was still surprised at the seriousness of it! It was actually really deep and I doubt anyone expected that kind of movie. I know I didn’t! Any way going back to point, Miyu/Riko is not a straight out carpet to be stepped on. Okay she maybe was like that at the beginning of the movie but she grew out of it by the end. More on that later.
For the competition, there is only one candidate appointed from each class and the only rival that everyone is talking about, the only one who could pose a challenge to the school Queen (okay, Queen is the best title for Mei-ting so I am gonna use that from now on) from class C (Aachan, Mei and Miyu are in this class BTW) is Class A’s Talent – the Cool and Awesome Riko played by none other than Arai Hitomi. Unlike Mei-ting who even though did not suggest entering the competition on my own but was obviously fired up for it, Hiichan on the other hand was anointed by her class even though she did not show any interest in the thing. She was like Suzumiya Haruhi before she met her Kyon and thus she too changed.
And with that starts our story that builds up to the day of the completion as these girls who might not have crossed paths before, now do and their lives get inter-twined to write a story in their lives that they will never forget, especially in HitoMiyu’s case as we shall see. But first I will talk about Aachan/Mei-ting and then move onto HitoMiyu? Sadly Yuri won’t make the cut because even as I love these girls so much, ‘yuri’ always has the final say and sadly Yuri didn’t live up to her name. In fact she butchered it by how straight she was! Yeah, I just summed her up wholly with only that line! Yuri was the straightest person in this movie, closely followed by Mei-ting and now I can here you asking so why write about Mei-ting? Well because
yuri love isn’t always on both sides. But enough rumbling, time to get to the beef of the matter…
Even in the very first seconds (seconds!) that we see Aachan, I knew right away that she was in love with Mei! The way she looks at her is like having the worlds ‘I want to kiss you right now’ written on her face in big black markers! It was really hard seeing them without linked arms, well, seeing Aachan not hugging Mei-ting’s arm as they walked! The way she talked was like a dead giveaway too when she was talking to Mei! I don’t believe she wasted a moment without complimenting Mei at any one scene!
Of course the movie did not make things easy! A Queen like Mei has to have the pheromone that attracts other people like metal to magnets which means everyone wants her and so she has boys flocking to her from every other way which was completely understandable. But not to Aachan! You see I was kind of worried! 5-tsu is not different from other movies and in fact it tried to pull a FLARE on me when in the beginning of the movie, Yuri, Mei and even Miyu were advertised as having boyfriends, or at least male interests! Mei and her gang had these boys from other school who they met at cafes, Miyu had this flower Guy that she had an obviously crush on to whom she would go and pour all her day’s happens to like he was her Messiah or something (totally typical really these days), then there is Yuri who was in love with this Guy, I honestly have no idea what he is to her but they seem kind of related in some way. Yes, my Japanese isn’t even worth mentioning so there!
Aachan I just so in blinding
lust love with Mei that it baffles me to think that Mei did not see it. If she did she sure hid it real well. There is this scene at mentioned café where the two are with a couple of boys. Aachan of course is holding onto Mei’s arm like she was sending a message or something. Seriously, even the boys noticed how close they were and one even was about to mention it but was cut off half way when a new boy (WOW, three boys 2 girls? Actually make that 1 girl since Aaachan wasn’t interested in them). So anyway this guy shows up, we don’t get to see his face but we see Mei and Aaachan’s reaction to his arrival. So contrasting, so telling! Mei’s mood changed hinting at a history between her and this mystery guy. Of course I know what history that has to be. And if I don’t, Aachan’s reaction gave it away. We see her hold onto Mei’s arm even stronger that she has been which shows an obvious sign possessiveness is. Yep, she’s got it bad!
And that Mei, I hope you do not get fooled by her nice image she puts on when you finally watch this because you so should not! I mean even as the title rolled, while the other four girls were saying, with all seriousness – “I love you”, guess what the Queen was doing! She was laughing! She was laughing and it wasn’t the good kind! In an intro and we already have out villain, that is if there was one in this movie! But there can’t be because we should then have a hero. And there is no hero here either!
Back to Usami and Miyako, these two almost behaved the same in every scene! Usami would be all smiles and looking as harmless as a coiled snake until someone says the wrong thing and the fangs come out! She doesn’t actually get physical but there is this look on her face that just tell you that you have just secured yourself a place in the underworld! Miyako on the other hand makes sure to compliment Usami every other minute. You would think she has an alarm set that reminds her to say something flattering to Usami. In addition to flattery, we are never allowed to forget how she feels about Usami. When that mystery guy is mentioned, especially by Usami herself, you clearly see the smile Miyako has on disappear just like that. In fact she even goes as far as looking away from Usami. The lust is strong with this one! I wouldn’t be surprised if she were to pull a Chikane (Himemiya)!
As to what Usami thinks of all this affection that is coming from Miyako, sometimes she comes off as one that has come to expect that In that she doesn’t care at all no matter where they are but then there are other moments where you see this look on her face – A look that understand, or tries to understand what Miyako is trying to tell her. I see it sometimes when the focus is not on her. She gives Miyako this look that shows she knows something is afoot! Because let’s be honest, no one praises anyone that much! Not even young love-birds in their first relationship! But she has yet to put two and two together. Maybe she actually has but is in denial. That denial is too strong let me tell you! Because even in those moments that Miyako should know that she is almost found out, she doesn’t nothing to clear the air. She holds that gave that is filled with the un-wavering love and devotion she has for Usami!
God, sometimes I found the urge to scream at the scream for them to kiss already!
But I did not because Usami did not deserve it yet. Miyako really was faced with a hard battle because Usami was in love with the Mystery guy, well not mystery anymore since I saw his face and know his name but he is not worth naming so I will name him – Dick! So Usami and Dick not only go on dates but they even promise to be official if Usami wins the competition. This was kind of weird. If they are together like that, what are they? Duck knows and he in fact makes it known to Usami that she loves him. So what are they right now of not together? Either way knowing that they are not it yet gave me some hope!
But this new development changes things. Now that Usami has a motive to win that competition, it is so on! And what better way to assure victory than to sabotage the competition? Yeah, we all know who the target for this was.
Meanwhile Miyako is going through the Tamayo (Daidouji) phase! You know, the one where you have no choice but to be there as support for your secret love and crush who happens to be your best friend. You know, being there for them when they get problems with their boyfriends but they are getting hurt three times over by the events. Miyako was in this stage, from the beginning of the movie and in fact probably even before the movie stared. Even as she is having her piano lessons she still picked answered that call from Usami like it was Level 6 emergency or something just to listen to her go on about Dick and how she can’t seem to get into contact with him. And guess what Miyako did? She of course did the usual thing, making sure Usami got her motivation back, telling her there is nothing to worry about, doing the usual flattery, but all through this you can just see how it all hurts her! You see the pain in her eyes when she hangs up that phone. Even worse the BGM was really disturbing in scenes like this. You know those Japanese horror movies where there is a buzzing sound that just tells you shit is about to hit the fan? They used something like that and I tell you now I thought some bad thing was about to happen, like Usami playing a prank on Miyako and calling her a weirdo or Miyako finally snapping and letting loose! The tension was so damn high (As Samuel L J would say).
But Miyako’s love for Usami stays strong through and through. She did not turn into a crazy lesbian (thank goodness) but instead continued to shower Usami with her affections that the recipient did not even deserve! Seriously, I watched this movie three times and I still don’t remember seeing Usami do something for Miyako. But Miyako still gave and gave to the point of even sacrificing others just to make Usami happy. The sacrifices being Riko and Saku but more so Riko. When Miyako mentions Saku’s betrayal to the gang, for some reason a totally deadly Usami went to give Riko a visit instead of Saku. Then again Saku plaid the slave game quite well. By the way speaking of that visit, I swear when Usami walked into that room that Riko was sleeping in and she just walked up to her and looked down at her like she was Jason watching her victim sleep before stabbing them with their hair dryer or something about, I was truly scared for Riko! We never see her do anything but I really doubt she just stood there watching Riko sleep! First of all she did not have any of her minions with her which meant what was about to happen was so sinister that not even the gang were allowed to watch!
No, something did happen because the next time we see the two, it seemed like Riko was avoiding Saku which tells a lot after seeing the way Riko has been towards Saku and even remembering how so confrontational she was towards Saku for letting other people control and tell her what to do.
But Usami’s evilness was way deeper than that! My gut feeling was right after seeing that full trailer. With the knowledge Miyako had of Saku and Riko, the Gang take a hold of salve Saku in their claws and go as far as using her in their plans they have for Riko. It starts out as small talk about what would happen if someone went swimming in the cold weather. They joke about someone falling in and saying how they wouldn’t be able to attend the competition right in front of Saku. They even include her by saying that there was no way a girl like her would do something that bad to someone. They even mention the dress, being white and all that and how they don’t want to think of being in the same class as a traitor (Saku of course).
Yep, they just strung Saku into committing the most evil crime known to the universe – betraying the one you love! I swear if I did not love Mei-ting as much as I do, I would so hate Usami more than I hate snakes but I love her, so do I Aachan and so they get off with the (it is all fictional) excuse! Also their following scene made me realize that they are a ship and thus are by default discounted in the badness department.
Enter the night before the day of the competition. It is late at night yet for some reason Miyako and Usami are in the school gym. I want to have wet-dreams but it is not the right time. The two are finally having THE conversation and so my whole attention is warranted! It went something like this (Warning again, this is only a hunch of what I think they said)
Miyako: Do not worry. You will do great. I will also help you.
Usami: It’s easy for you to say but this won’t be about you. It won’t be you that loses tomorrow.
Miyako: How can you say that with certainty? I hurt with you more than anyone else when you are hurt. I want to be your No.1. I will also make sure that you win the competition. If you follow my plan other girls won’t even come close you.
Usami: And that would make you happy wouldn’t it? I can’t tell if you are doing this for your own sake or for mine! We are really different you and I.
Miyako: We are different, but just like the hands of a clock there are times that we are in perfect harmony aren’t there? If you stay with me I promise I will definitely make you happy!
Usami: Don’t go deciding my happiness for me!
Miyako: I think of your happiness more than anyone! I know you more than anyone. I can tell when you are angry, sad, I can tell when you are in pain. I want to take your pain away. I wish to make you happy!
Miyako: Usami, I like you. I love you Usami.
Miyako: I will give to you my everything so please, just give me something of you. It doesn’t have be everything, I will do anything for you so please…
Usami: What exactly is it you that you can do for me? All you do every single day is just being together.
Miyako: A day without you is like being empty inside.
Miyako says something here I did not understand about a place where she wrote a song about Usami that goes something like “Usami, Usami, Usaaaami, I love you. Everything would have been better if I were Dick. Why doesn’t Usami think of me? I need only one thing from her in exchange for my everything.
Usami: What is that? I am okay without you. I don’t need you!
This conversation goes on for longer and my mouth is hanging all throughout it! I swear I have never seen this kind of conversation being had with such an atmosphere! I am once again shocked by the seriousness of the situation. No confession comes even close to the length of this one! The two go on and on as Miyako tries and tries to get her feeling through to Usami and I tell you, the calmness of these two during this conversation that so demands a more kinetic atmosphere was mind-bending!
Miyako: I was born for the sole purpose of my heart beating for you!
I swear dear Readers, this movie was out of this world!
Any way the two stay (and sleep, well in the case of Usami for I bet Miyako stayed up all night watching Usami sleep) in the gym until the next morning! Something happened afterwards that we never see for the following morning the two are lying together and the two seem to be on good terms. What happened? Did the two make up? Did Usami accept Miyako’s feelings? WHAT. THE. HELL. HAPPENED?!!
Nothing good that is what! Why? Because Usami was still the same old thorny rose! What did she do exactly you might ask? Well during the competition, Acchan is making her way to the piano and stopped by Usami on her way to assure her that she would not help Riko (She was supposed to play music for Riko to dance to). But guess what Usami says to her? She says that it looks like Dick isn’t showing?
I tell you now dear Readers, I could literally see some kind of invisible glass wall crack, then break and shatter to the ground next to Miyako’s feet! And the way that Usami had said those words left no doubt in anyone’s mind that she meant it as a stinger! I seriously thought that this was it for Miyako, that this was her limit! But she surprised me when she still didn’t play for Riko and left her to dance a silent dance which was really bizarre!
After some time though, after maybe Miyako came to her senses and finally saw how sacrificing her life for a meaningless and fruitless cause wasn’t beneficial to her at all for she decided later on to play for Riko. Right on time for Riko had just about given up to because Saku hadn’t shown up yet. I tell you it was a moment of FEELs! Best climax of the year right there if you ask me! Especially when Miyako finally started playing and Riko brought out her A-game and Saku showed up with rose petals which she through towards the Devilish Angel Riko!
I know these girls are good, they are introduced as a Dance and Vocal group, I own all of their DVDs and yet when I saw
Riko Hiichan dance on that stage my mouth was hanging! It was of course not good enough and far too late for Usami won the competition to become the 24th Miss Tegoshi! But at least Miyako wasn’t as evil to completely shame Riko by not playing any music for her. In the end though Miyako was still on her love’s side and forever will be even to the depth of hell! For even in the last scene she is still with Usami, she is still looking at her like she were the only thing in her world!
And thus comes the reason why I put this couple first meaning that it is the lesser of the two. I don’t think I should even call them a couple because the love in this relationship is still one-sided and none-resolved. Usami still allows Miyako to hold onto her arm and shower her with affection and yet she is also still being a bitch to her at the same time. The movie ends at the same stage they were at in the beginning which renders all their progress thus far pointless. But I cannot dismiss them completely for the strength of Miyako’s love is nothing short of amazing! For anyone to still stand tall and love such a person is rarer that snow on the equator!
And so, with that being said and done, let’s move onto the other couple of the movie.
And by that of course I mean my Steak in the daily meal that is TGS – HitoMiyu, or in this case, SakuRiko! I can’t really explain to you all very well what this ship means to me or the fact that it was sailed in the movie as well! The closer you may get to understanding is if I used a Mayuki example! Okay, just think of AKS making an AKB-only movie now! Not only that but they go and make Mayuki one of, if not the dominant relationship in said movie! In addition to this movie, they go and release new single PVs with Mayuki as an item too!
That is what HitoMiyu in TGS means to me dear Readers! That is why I love this movie so damn much! Not even the ending matter at all, which is a first for me actually! I mean it’s not like it hasn’t been done before, in fact MiaoMiao did the same thing but as we shall see it’s not the goal but the way we get there that matters!
Here is an interesting about Riko/Hiichan though! She was kind of like Aachan in the sense that from the beginning I am already aware of her interest in Saku/Miyu! First she fell in love with Saku’s little Flower garden on the school rooftop. But that was nothing and it raised no flags. Flowers and girls go hand in hand and really, I bet many girls went up there just to admire that little garden. But there is something a bit different where Riko is concerned. We shall get to that later.
It is during the first time the two actually meet face-to-face in Saku/Usami and Miyako’s class that the crazy shipper in me begins to lose it! You see Riko is the cool-type character and so far she has come off as just that but then she goes and pulls a Rin (Tohsaka) during her first meeting with Saku. She was there to ask a favour of Saku which was in line with her preparation for the contests and Saku being in the club she was in would have given Riko a good chance to win it. But then as everyone watched, even Usami’s gang who were actually present, Riko suddenly lost her cool nerve and ran out of there. Which was really strange to say the least. Here I had this cool image of her and she goes and pulls a kawaii with this show of embarrassment! Let me just say that my gaydar was going nuts! But that was just the tip of the Iceberg.
Here is how their second meeting went when Riko went over to the Flower garden again and she found Saku there this time. They had a very interesting conversation, though really, all their conversations were like main course in a set meal. That conversation went something like this:
Riko: Hey, can I have that? (Taking about the flower garden)
Saku: Ha?! Of course not! (With pure disbelief)
Riko: Because it’s beautiful, very!
Saku: Is that all?
Riko: Is that all…It is very beautiful (I think their meaning of beautiful or levels are different here)
Saku turns away and chooses to ignore this strange girl! Riko doesn’t let her.
Riko: You have a great sense of beauty.
Saku: Eh? That’s the first time anyone has told me that. Thank you (she says with the first smile we see on her face.
Riko got her attention back for sure.
Riko: So won’t you help me prepare for the competition?
Saku: Huh? I can’t do that!
Riko: Why not?
Saku: Because I too will be a target (for Mei – yes, she says Mei. I don’t know If it’s her nickname or if Saku messed up but since Riko follows her by calling Usami Mei, I guess it’s her nickname?)
Riko: You sure are honest!
Riko: But you know, isn’t us talking so casually here not a big risk for Mei to catch us?
Saku: What are getting at?
We do get what she meant (that sly girl) soon after when it turns out that they had walked from school together. I have never seen a smoother pick-up trick before! What’s even funnier though is the fact that Saku still hadn’t picked up on it! Riko was right out flirting with her all through their confrontations but I don’t blame her because things did not click with me too until the pool scene! At first it seemed like Riko was just innocent. It seemed she was just like that but seeing as she hadn’t treated anyone else like she does Saku, it should have been obvious. While she was un-interested in everyone else, she was completely fascinated by Saku (like Haruhi as I said). But it did not occur to me that there was more to it!
Any way back to the scene, their conversation is still on-going and Riko is still talking in her guy voice! I call it that because everything she was sounded like a pick-up line. Let’s have a look (Roughly translated by yours truly so take it with a grain of salt)
Riko: I love you beauty sense.
Saku: My beauty sense?
Riko: I was amazed when I saw it. It seemed like nothing else mattered. That’s a very rare thing, isn’t it?
Riko: I feel like we are the same, you and I.
Saku: Eh? I don’t think that/s possible. I am not famous like you. And things will be bad if you make enemies of Usami. I heard it was tough last year!
Seems like the year before because of Riko, Usami did not enter the competition. She was probably chosen from the class which they were both in.
Riko: Are you saying it’s was fault?
Saku: I did not go that far!
Riko: What is it is exactly that I did wrong. Can tell me? (Invading Saku’s personal space in the process)
Saku: Everybody is saying it! (Evades)
Riko: Tell me, do others decide what you feel? Your feelings should belong only to you! Do not care about what others say! Don’t see through other people’s eyes. See through your own!
Saku: My eyes?
Riko: Yes, your eyes. I only wished for you to see me through your own eyes.
*Tears in my eyes*
Saku: That’s the first time someone has said that to me. (Again? Looks like Riko has stolen another first time from Saku kekeke)
Like, my God! What is this?! I swear I went into this movie hoping for a fun little movie about friendship or slice of life but not this super serious and gay awesomeness! What is this character of Riko’s?! She is so set her sights on Saku and is out to get her at all cost! And judging from the following scenes to come, she is totally succeeding…well, somewhat!
One of those scenes happens right the next day in fact! What is even more interesting about it is that Miyako is the one who introduces us to it. We see her walking alone on the street, she pauses as if she has seen someone familiar, the camera switches us to what she is looking at and won’t you believe it! It’s Saku and Riko on a date! I don’t even care that it is not, to Riko it had to be! At first I did not understand what it was but the second time watching I knew that they had been on a shopping date to help Riko get the dress she would be wearing to the Competition. Sadly we miss the fun part of them walking around shops, trying on dresses and Riko flirting with Saku outside (or inside) the dressing room. I am pretty sure they filmed at least one of them but was cut out!
Darn it, now I really want that Special Premium Box!
But thankfully not all fun is gone for the scene we are given have me enough to forget about what I had missed when lo and behold, Riko does indeed flirt with Saku, there in the open street and with Miyako watching them, though to their ignorance of her absence! Any way they are saying goodbye (already? But it’s still noon sunshine outside?!!) and Saku says something about the dress that I did not understand. Riko answers about White (the colour of the dress) being the right one for the occasion because Saku loves the colour white!
I was like, how did you even know that!? When did this conversation take place where you exchanged small talk about favourite colours and foods and whateves! And if it did actually happen, why the hell were we shown it?!
But judging from Saku’s reaction, it did not seem like they had had that conversation. So how did Riko know?! Only other explanation is that she has been stalking out Saku or something, which also doesn’t make sense if we account for her cool-chara personality!
Any way they smile at each other that way that you know that Riko (Hitomin) is this close to getting through to Saku (Miyu) in that you can see this thing growing between them, well more on Saku’s side than Riko’s. Riko is only waiting for Saku to realize things. That does not mean that will just stand there and wait though. For she raises her hand and caresses (read pats) Saku’s head as gest for her being a kid (well she did dress like one).
Seriously, it was a cute moment!
But, and this is a big BUT, let’s not forget that Miyako saw that scene too. There was a reason she was put into that scene! And judging from the look on her face as she watched the two love-eggs, it was sure to be a bad one!
Enter next day at school and I guess Saku had agreed to help Riko for real in the Competition (Riko is a great dancer, she is famous for it in fact and it also plays a role in the ending so of course she would incorporate her dancing skills into winning the competition) because to help her out, Saku goes into the lion’s den totally asking for the resident predator for its skin to use as wear! I mean she went to Miyako and asked her if she could play the piano for Riko on the day of the competition to accompany Riko’s dance.
Well, we can all agree that she totally walked into that one!
Miyako of course goes for the jugular when she touches on the two’s closeness. She asks Saku if she like (loves) Riko. Saku denies it like immediately like a kid accused of farting in the class, which is kind of understandable. Riko was in a very weird and delicate place at the time. She was walking on thin ice so of course she would deny it. Miyako says something about this but I did not get it. All I know is that she did not put Saku in a bad place. It was like the two had something in common but this is all from instinct. Either way Miyako tells this to Usami because no matter what Usami is the world to her. This spells bad news for Saku because she comes off as a traitor to her class.
Dis gonna be gud!
The night before the promised day (of the competition) Saku pays her usual visit to the Flower guy and something very interesting happens! Everything about that scene was really strange. One expects a flower hop to be lively and bright and welcome, right? In fact that is how that shop had been presented thus far. But for some reason that night the atmosphere was really gloomy! It was as if Saku had walked into a cult shop or a witch’s lair by mistake! And it wasn’t just the surrounding, the Flower Guy too who was welcoming and all smiles suddenly turned into this scary person. Then there was the music as well which was real moody as if it was ripped out of a scary movie (Seriously a part of this BGM is akin that of a horror movie for some reason!).
Saku of course ran out of there like her life depended on it. But here is the thing. Was this actually real or is it a way to show us how affected Saku’s life and her view of it is at the moment? Are her decisions pressing up against her so much that her view is skewed? Is she feeling that much guilt of what she was about to do? Has Riko affected the way Saku has been seeing the world thus far?
Is this some kind of double-meaning?!!!
Either way the fact that her life had reached a fork was true. She was so affected that she did not sleep at all the night before as evident by her posture the next day. The day of the competition. Riko goes looking for her everywhere around school but Saku is hiding from her. She is dead tired though and can’t out-run Riko who is running on love fuel! She is soon found near the pool and by that time, Riko has already changed into her dress for the competition. I had to pause here the first time to prepare myself for, from experience (Usami/Moyako’s convo) I knew I would be needing all my energy for this! I was almost right because I wasn’t ready at all!
Riko: Saku ♥ ~ What are you doing in a place like this? (I could hear the happiness in her voice)
Saku: Y-You too, what are you doing here?
Riko: I was looking for you~
Saku: What is that? Shouldn’t you be busy doing something else?
Okay, I give up! This conversation was too serious for me to even understand! Well, I did get the gist of it but not enough to relay the info. Maybe somebody out there is appreciating this movie just as much and will give us subs but for now please take my word for it, this was one crazy conversation!
And I know I have already said it but the seriousness of this movie really hit me hard! I am still shaking from its impact! During this last meeting between Saku and Riko (I pray to God only in the time of the movie and not afterwards) we see a different Riko and let me tell you, I was so not ready for that Riko. In fact I still wish I did not get to see that Riko, that Saku that brought out that Riko! I was so confused by the whole thing during my first watch too! Things were happening so fast that another watch was necessary!
For the love of all that’s Holy Riko cried! Saku made Riko cry! But here is that thing, it wasn’t because Saku went through with Usami’s plan about throwing Riko into the pool and thus ruining her chances of ever winning the competition. In fact Riko jumped into the pool on her own volition. What hurt her most was that it seemed that Saku was lost to her, that Saku would ever think of doing something like that, that Saku didn’t love her (enough). And she was so ready to put on a performance never before seen just for Saku! Nay, she still put on a world-shattering performance just for her even when she was drenched to the skin, bare feet, looking like she just stepped out of a shower with a shower while wearing a wedding dress. Of course there was no way she was gonna win but by God, if any one will ever forget that performance she put on!
But we are getting ahead of ourselves here. Back to the pool, with all the ruckus and seriousness that Student Council President Michiru (Yuri) and the teacher crashed onto the scene warning Riko to run away, I thought she had a bomb strapped to her or something. I thought she was planning on blowing up the damn school and that frikkin noise that turned out to be Riko hitting the water surface really didn’t help as it sounded like an explosion, well a tamed explosion!
Queue the horror on my face, in my heart and in my mind when I thought it was all over?! I was ready to flip everything in my room! But then I saw Riko surfacing all alive and well and looking to all the world like a bride with her dress doing the veil thing, I kid you not, as she looked to Saku!
My heart exploded!
Both in a good way and also in a bad way because what follows is what I can only think of Riko’s last ever words to Saku and even as I understood less than 20% of what was being said, I was crying like the little bitch I am! Even now as I write this my face is getting wet from tears! And when I think of what is coming I can’t stop the hiccups!
Ahh darn it all, here I go…
A-Any way, Riko goes on stage just like that! All wet and bare-foot! All heart-broken!
I’m sorry guys, the tears just won’t stop! I really felt my heart breaking at the sight of Riko on that stage! And even as bad as she felt at the moment she still prepared to perform but as she said at the pool not for those present but for Saku. She wanted Saku to come and see her dance because she was dancing only for her.
Tissues, I need more tissues….
An even more crushing moment came soon after when it seemed like everything was for naught, when Saku did not come to see Riko dance, when no music played for her to dance to, Saku was ready to walk out of there in the worst state possible a person ever was on I was ready to throw in the towel as well and lock this BD away forever until the end of all time! It was the worst scene I have seen all year! No, not even Dohee (A Girl at My Door) crushed my heart this hard!
Thankfully Miyako saved the day as I mentioned when she decides to start playing the music and Saku finally shows up with a basket of petals! Petals which she commences to throws down towards the raging Demonic Angel that is a dancing Riko making her look all the more wondrous! But before those there was that first flower that Saku threw down to Riko and Riko picked up without even a pause in her dance step. The smile that radiates on her face after she hits the wall was mighty delicious and heart-reviving!
It was no longer about Riko and anyone in that gym laughing at her misery but rather about Riko dancing for the one person that matters to her in that room and that one person was doing all she could do to make up for everything, for all the wrong she did to Riko! Like, can you just imagine how creepy I looked right then with tears flowing down my eyes and yet having a huge grin on my face and trying real hard not to burst out in laughter due to the pure joy I felt?!
Sadly, SADLY, that joy lasted just as long as the dance because it seems that Riko disappeared as soon as the dance was over. We see Saku asking every one and anyone if they have seen her, if they are in her class, desperately wanting to see her but Riko was nowhere to be found and never to be seen again by Saku. In fact we never see her again too because all we know of her after then is what Saku tells us.
She says that Riko went overseas to a Dance school right the following day. She says that she did not know that Riko would be that affected (by Saku’s decisions or lack thereof) which means that she left because of Saku. She also says that she did not know that Riko was in love. Also confirms that she never indeed saw Riko again. Saku admits that she knew nothing about Riko even as she loved beautiful things. She says that Riko was strange, she was strange but even so, she was very beautiful. And finally she says, the real finisher to finish them all…
I have fallen in love with you
I want to see you
Like, someone please hold me! I need some support! I can’t handle all these feels! For that is indeed how things wrap up for my favourite couple! How cruel, that Riko would leave thinking that Saku did not love her! How miserable Saku’s nights must be when she knows now what she was supposed to know when it was still relevant. How haunted her dreams must be when she dreams of different ways the two could have parted! When she thinks of that time she finally managed to catch up with Riko before she disappeared from her life and set things right!
How cruel it is for me as a shipper getting that kind of ending! As you can see it is almost the same as Miao Miao’s ending but also somewhat different. While in Miao Miao Xiao Ai let Miao go without telling Miao her real feelings even as she already knew she loved Miao, here it was already too late for Saku. She hadn’t yet figured out her feelings yet. It was after she lost Riko that she finally understood. Another contrast is while Miao actually knew that Xiao Ai loved her when she left, which means that Xiao Ai actually telling her wouldn’t have changed things, here Riko leaves without knowing Saku’s real feelings. If Saku had caught her and told her in time, things would have definitely ended up different. I can go so far as to say that Riko would have stayed! But alas, such is the way of life sometimes. You never realize things until they have passed you by, I can assure you I talk with experience!
And so dear Readers, there you have it – TOKYO GIRLS’ STYLE’s first ever attempt at acting and I gotta say that while it wasn’t perfect (Which is expected since they aren’t actresses by profession and this IS their first movie) I was indefinitely surprised by the final product! Truthfully I had very low expectations going into this movie! I was expecting little subtext here and there but what I got was way more than that! The movie was actually really high standard which I also wasn’t expecting!
I was super happy too to see that my hunches were realized when I got my HitoMiyu just as the Doctor ordered, with a treat of Candy! Even more surprising that their story was more yurific than Aachan and Mei-ting’s. I mean come on, no matter how clear and how many times Miyako told and showed Usami how much she loved her, it is kind of less fulfilling when Usami never acknowledges them and continue to be a complete bitch to Miyako! And yet even all through that treatment, Miyako still stays by Usami’s side through and through even during the very last scene.
A scene that was actually pretty interesting in that it showed the growth Saku went through and the permanent impact Riko did have on her life just as she had on Riko’s. She out-grew her awkwardness of being scared and letting people walk all over her. In fact it was the Queen Bee herself and her gang (Miyako still on her arm as always) that she demonstrated this on. At first I thought that they were having fun, that they were close now and that Usami maybe is no longer a bitch but that was not the case. No, Saku was fighting back and we see Usami getting mad at her but Saku stands her ground. And it wasn’t like they would pick a fight with the Student Council President right in the vicinity.
Despite that bitter sweet ending, I am in love with this movie! The simple fact that it is at least made known that Saku and Riko feel the same way towards each other, even if it is too late, it all I need! That is enough for me! Now to pray for a miracle that the horror movie has something in store for us as well. Then again, I am fearful of it. If there is any yuri it mostly definitely won’t be on Hitomin’s part I can already tell that much! But there is still Miyu/Aachan and MeiYuri too so…
In the meantime, here is the movie and all 500-something caps. Apologies but it is not HD unless you want BT and not DDL. It had to be this small so…Any way to anyone who wants it and can’t wait for the eventual FullHD rip with ENG subs I am sure, here you go…