Love Exposure / Ai no Mukidashi / 愛のむきだし
Wow, just WOW!
I have already watched this movie way back, it came out in 2008, and speaking of which, what a year that was!! Almost every country had something. This from Japan, Miao Miao and Beautiful Crazy from Taiwan, Martyrs from France, I Can’t Think Straight and Affinity from UK, The Baby Formula from Netherlands and many many more, from evidence that was, hands down, the best year for yuri!
And so I have already seen this movie, I even wrote a blog on tumblr putting out my wish for a Blu-ray of the movie and guess what happened, we did indeed get a Blu-ray of this movie! It has been out for a while but it was a challenge to get to watch it again. I had plans of doing just that way back and with the Blu-ray, it meant a chance to enjoy it in its full quality glory! It had nothing to do with the fact that it is a 4 hour movie, no, the reason I waited was because I was dreading it. My body and mind tells me that I did not have the best experience watching it the first time, it has to do with the way things ended and now that I have re-watched it, I can understand why.
I was really pulled in by our main girls Aya (the bird-petting crazy lesbian) and Yoko. The ending disappointed me so much, especially since I was still green back then but after all the experience of BAD ENDs, it doesn’t seem so bad now. So I held off watching it again but now that I have finally been able to, man, what a roller coaster of a ride!
A warning to all green horns out there, whenever you see the signature SION SONO logo before a movie, brace yourselves! This is another one of those directors you will never forget once you see their movies! I seriously forgot how crazy this movie was! So much so that I was even surprised by some of the yuri scenes because I did not remember them at all! I am not sure if they are added scenes and this is some kind of ultimate cut of the movie, since really, I thought it was about three hours long and not four!
Yeah, this is one long movie but as far as I am concerned, directors need to do this more often! You get full back stories of all the major characters, scenes play out in their full lengths. You don’t miss anything! But really, Japanese movies are on average 2 hours long, especially the dramatic ones so a four hour cut once in a while shouldn’t be so strange! We should be getting these instead of this new trend they have of splitting movies into parts!
Anyway, what a movie, what awesome yuri! It takes itself no so seriously but it seriously turns real life beliefs over their head like it’s nobody’s business! Our main girls were ridiculously so good in their roles, really, everyone was just so on point, despite most of them being so young!
This movie is four hours long so I am not going to be talking about everything. if you think I missed something, I know it is there but no time to mention it. it’s not that I am going to pick things from order of importance but rather what I remember on top of my head because this is a huge movie! Of course I remember all Aya/Yoko scenes so I have to leave out even those I remember…Oh the suffering, but the movie has been out for over 8 years, you should be able to get your hands on it by now so I recommend you watch it yourselves to get everything.
Alright, where to start…
Let’s begin with my favourite character and the only gripe I have about this movie – the ending. Ando Sakura plays Aya Koike, one crazy lesbian that is just of the few I rally behind, in addition to Himemiya Chikane and Akemi Homura. Now wuoe me on this, I do not think that Homura is a crazy lesbian personally but the rest of the world seems to think so for some reason and rest of the world vs me? Well, it is clear my opinion is out-numbered.
I do not know why but for some reason I remembered the wrong ending.
The ending that I seem to remember was one where Aya was killed by the main dude Yu (will use his name because he was kind of awesome and not so much a dick). But either the ending is different or I was out of my mind back then because the way Aya went, yes, sorry about that, Aya licked it in the end, but the way she went was so awesome! I am pissed off about the whole thing but I am so glad that she was not taken out by someone else or went out like a pansy! Her death was as manly, oh, sorry, As Ladyly as they come! It was even more badass than the way Samurai used to commit suicide! You guys need to see the movie to know just badass it was.
It was a baddass way to go for sure but I hated that whole last act! No one tried to understand Aya’s life, even after everything, and I thank the director’s decision for the choices he made there towards the end in regards to going back to character and showing us just how lonely and broken Aya really is, but I hate the fact that no one noticed! No one tried to get through to her. No one tried to understand her. Even in her death, despite the room being full of people, her death was just so lonely, so quite, so alone, I was really pissed off!
And Aya is not just any character. She is the reason this whole thing, this whole movie’s events happened! Yes, she had a boss she answered to, who helped in making her who she was but the idea that the movie was about, the whole plan was hers and hers alone. She is the reason for this movie happening. She is the reason the Yu and Yoko met, well, truly met. All happenings were her machinations, bar the character history parts of course.
And so I was really mad that she went out just like that. She was as lonely in the end as she was in the beginning in her childhood. Her pain was only preyed upon by the Zero Church. Even they did not try to understand her, at least even show fake sympathy. They used her secrets and brain-washing lies that only cults are capable of to convert her. In the end, despite finally having gone back to her true, lonely self of the past, despite there being an opportunity, no one tried! I do not blame Yoko for not trying, the girl also already had too much on her plate. And speaking of Yoko I guess she should be the next subject.
But that Aya though. She was truly the life of this movie for me and when she was not there, only the ecchi stuff had me interested. This movie is super ecchi! I had to leave out some caps because they were just too hardcore! Aya’s past was a tragic one and she is no innocent but really, neither are all the characters. They are all flawed. She though is the most flawed! She has to be in order to be seen as the villain otherwise people will love her more, which is too late for someone like me, I love her the best!
She was just so great! Her reactions, expressions, everything was just so delicious! And even her pet bird, I am totally feeling for it. It ended up an orphan in the end when her master died. I was hoping Yoko would take her of her but we never see it, well, maybe she did and they did not show it? Either way Aya was just so on point. She was a genius of a villain. She only needed someone, really, only Yoko, to try to understand her and save her. Even if she ended up dying, if someone had tried to save her only succeeding in Aya’s death, I would have loved that ending! But I hate it! Only thing I hate about this movie really!
Enter Ozawa Yoko, she is played by the one and only Mitsushima Hikari! Everyone in the community should know who Hikari is. She really outdid herself in this movie, especially with what her character demanded! Seriously, this movie had nothing held back! And the actors played their characters with everything they got, seriously, this was such a good movie!
I would say that Yoko is the most victimised character in the story. Her past is almost the same as Aya’s, which really nails home the missed opportunity to get them to bond over that. Instead of using the Miss Scorpion disguise to steal Yoko over to her side, Aya should have simply connected with their past and they would be naturally bonded instead of through lies, but I guess it had to be done in order to make it possible to say how silly the notion of ‘love’ is.
Now of course Aya’s past is worse than Yoko’s but hers wasn’t one to sneeze at either. This lead to her lesbian tendencies, well, not just tendencies exactly but many questions were posed in this movie. Okay, Yu dresses up as a woman due to the bet he lost to his friends. He meets Yoko as this Miss Scorpion, they both fall in love, seemingly at first sight. Yu, who has never gotten a boner gets one when he meets Yoko, which he translates to her being his Maria he has been looking for. Meanwhile, thinking that it was a woman, Yoko also falls for this Miss Scorpion, also seemingly at first sight. Yoko fell for a woman not a man.
But even if you say that it is different, that is a man dressed as woman and that Yoko’s body can tell which is why she is actually attracted to Yu, well, my girl Aya puts that logic to the test when she invades their school and using a plot she devised, she reveals herself to Yoko as the Miss Scorpion that Yoko fell in love at first sight with. Of course Yoko is not your usual dumb character (thank the lord) because she is suspicious at first from the physicality of Aya. Of course Aya uses the disguise excuse and that is the end of that conversation. Yoko and Aya go all the way leaving one to wonder what love really is!
The movie hammers the nail lower when later we see that in actuality the fight with miss Scorpion was not their actual first meeting. They had all met before in Yu’s father’s church but apparently fate was asleep then because Yu, despite Yoko sitting right in front of him, he did not even feel anything at all, let alone chance a glance her way. But of course Aya already had her sights set on them then.
The good thing about Aya is that she does not suffer from most of the heroine bull. And I thank the movie for keeping the brother/ sister relationship between Yu and Yoko despite having many reasons not to. First of all, they were not even close to being real siblings. Yoko’s mother who got married to Yu’s father to make them step siblings was not even Yoko’s real mother! And when they first started to live together and Yoko decided to think of Yu as her brother only because Miss Scorpion had asked her, she still keep up with that view of Yu, even after he revealed that he was Scorpion and all that he did to save her in the end from the brain-washing. Were it any other movie, all those things would have led to a romance of the century but thank the Lord once more!
This of course means we have to talk about Aya and Yoko together…
Those reaction >.<
They kill me
She wants her, bad
Someone they tell you not to worry about…
Let the eye-sex begin!
How cute >.<
Should have been END-GAME!!
I’m sorry Sir, you jelly?
Yu’s reaction in the BG are killing me
Both are jelly it’s so funny!
How many kisses are these?
Not just making out in their time!
I said, how many kisses?!
Oh forget it!
Like, what is there to even say?!! Everyone’s mind is telling them that this is fake, but there is nothing at all fake about anything however you look at it! Other than the abuse they both suffered at the hands of their fathers when they were young, actions that made them both hate men with a passion, this is the first time that both of them have shown, and been shown affection! Even if she was just using Yoko, Aya was definitely affected! She sure did was super possessive of Yoko, even after she no longer needed her for her plans, having succeeded in winning Yu’s dad over, she still did not want Yu taking Yoko away from her.
Really, let’s be honest here, most scenes did not have to happen. Aya did not need to keep on sexing on Yoko. Really, the more she did, the more Yu was against her and thus foiling her plans, well, tried to anyway. So the only explanation is that she too was attracted to Yoko. And really, going back to all those times she was stalking Yoko before officially meeting her, even during the fight of destiny that brought the whole three together, she seemed really taken with Yoko passed the simple notion of her being just a part of her plan.
This really makes me madder the more I think about what could have happened between the two. They should have had a chance to bond over their childhood wounds. Now, sure we did not get the part where Yoko hates Aya after she finds out that she was being deceived but I feel like there is something missing there between the two! Sure their intimacy is right there at the top when compared to the whole crop, really, no other ship gets that far other than the very special few but still.
Speaking of getting far, they really went at it these two! Dare to count how many kisses they shared? Yes, it is that many! And they did not just stop at kissing! Those things they were up to in the middle of class! Jesus! Poor Yu really had no chance. No wonder he was reduced to being one of us, the helpless spectators! Speaking of Yu, this movie takes points for another one of those things it did! The girl came, fought the guy over the girl, and the girl won the girl! That rarely happens and ‘Love Exposure’ will go down in history as one of the very few yuri movies that managed to accomplish that!
And actually Yu was a cool guy, he is one of those that you would not be mad at had they won the girl! He is not so on the nose nice and he is not a douche bag either. He is just so right! So it was that much more surprising when they did not go for a romance between the two. He kind of deserved it actually for his heroics and managing that without shitting on Aya so really, this puts that’s speciality on Aya and Yoko’s relationship having gone that far.
They only needed to open Aya up, make Yoko save her from herself like she was saved by Yu and this movie would be in my Top 10! As things stand actually, it is at no.12, not that far away. The ratio of yuri to het especially in this kind of movie was surprising and that is why it is that high! That in addition to how far Aya and Yoko went despite not being actually a romantic couple!
Ah, I get it now, the thing that was missing. They were not meant to be romantic, which is what was missing. Had they gone and done what I have been crying about all throughout this post, and that is bringing out Aya’s past to play into the ending, then they would have turned romantic. But that is only on Aya’s side. Yoko was okay but relationships require both partners to work so…
Still, to many people it is more about the sex and making out than emotional connection as we have seen in the past so this is legit yuri movie! Really, even the other action we get as Het with Yoko is from Yu dressed as a woman!
I guess in conclusion, I really love the concept of Aya and Yoko. The movie missed the mark with them in the last act, but only on Aya’s side. Yoko was fine. This means of course that I am going to be dreaming about what could have been tonight when I finally catch sleep.
Really, you should watch this movie if you have not yet. I am pretty sure it is on YouTube, even without checking!
Well, that is that.
See ya around dear Readers. Love ya