百合 Goggles

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Jinroh Game ~Mad Land~ [J-Movie]

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Jinroh Game ~ Mad Land ~ 人狼ゲーム マッドランド

‘All around me are familiar faces…”

Wait, wrong song!

As I promised here is the other Jinroh Game movie I was talking about in the previous post. And just like the other one, this one is not just about the subtext, or even the fact that Super✩Girls’ Asakawa Nana, and our Live Action Nodoka (Saki) is in it!

No, there is something else that made this one stand out from the crowd and that was…sorry for the spoiler but you are reading this so I assume you wanna be spoiled…the unique thing about this movie is the fact that the main character dies! That has never happened in the previous movies!

But it is more than just her dying that makes this one that much special, no, it is the reason of her death! If you read the previous post you would already know the reason for her death! Like seriously, I have seen main characters die before but they usually do at the end when the story is over! Not here though! The last round of the game was played without Moe.

Ah yes, the characters. Our main is Moe played by Nana. The other girl is Ayano, played by Matsunaga Arisa and the red-flag girl Miki is played by Iida Yuma. I say red-flag because that sweater they wear is like a flag for being killed by one of our protags.

But why am I bringing up the red-flag girl in this one while I did not bring her up in the last one? Oh yeah, speaking of the last one’s red-flag girl, she was actually played by Sasou Yuki – the girl we know from that short drama with Harugon ‘ONIGIRI’.

Back to the point of why I am mentioning the red-flag girl here, I am because I felt for her this time. I have to confess that I was on the hating wagon for the first half of the movie but then her true self started to come out little by little and by the end I was actually feeling a great deal for her. The fact that despite Ayano hating her guts too, to the point of promising to kill her, which she did in the end, Ayano still did with some compassion. No seriously, seeing the caps out of context you would think something else was going on instead of what was really going on…that being that Ayano was knifing Miki in the bossom! Even the strangling part was heartfelt. Talk about…

‘Killing me softly with her hands…”

Damn it, I have to stop singing the wrong songs!

But where to start with Moe and Ayano! I guess I should start with the big cloud over the whole of their relationship. There is this scene on the rooftop as they plan what to do and Moe promising to protect Ayano for the millionth time, when something comes up that bothered me, is bothering me, and will continue to bother me forever! Ayano says something about them making sure that no one finds out about their true connection to which Moe concurs and I was left with this cloud of question marks in my mind!

Why does it remain still? Well, because we never get to learn what their true relationship is! Were they sisters? But why do they have different names? Were their parents divorced and they lived separately? If they reached the point of changing names then this happened a long time back so how do they know each other so well? And if they are sisters, we know Ayano is older than Moe so why is it that Moe is the one looking out for Ayano?! If they are sisters then why are they awkward in using each other’s first names!?!

I mean we don’t know the real relationship between the two so they might as well turn out to be sisters in the end and even then that doesn’t mean the end of the world. I mean Brulee and Sisterhood

But let’s take the other option, which is that they are actually mysterious Lovers. I mean I don’t know about you but I don’t think being sisters is such a thing that you’d try so hard to keep from people who are going to die anyway. I don’t know why Moe using Ayano’s first name and vice-versa is such big deal if they are sisters. I have also not seen a series, movie where the younger sister is so protective of their older. I mean the only thing that comes close is Alice and Zoe from the current series Channel Zero Season 3. But even then they are not so extreme.

Meanwhile Moe, in a game where everyone is fighting to survive, she is only fighting to save Ayano! This is not even at all like the other movie where Hinata decided halfway after connecting with Ranko to help her win the game. No, from the very beginning Moe here was playing, scheming, staying up planning ways to make sure Ayano was the last girl standing!

And unlike before, Moe here chose how to die! She had the worst death actually but she had to do it that way so that Ayano could have an alibi to help her in the final game to win! It had to look like it was Ayano that had killed her. The knife she gave to Ayano during that tender bedroom moment (shoulder-lean) was blunted and would be used as evidence that it was the weapon used to kill Moe.

In order for it to be that, Moe had to have a death close to being beaten in the head with a blunt weapon. Since obviously Ayano couldn’t do it Moe had to do it herself. She used a TV remote to bash her head in then fell out a window like a GIRL IN LOVE!

Meanwhile poor Miki who had come to kill Moe stood there in shock wondering what the hell was going on! She knew nothing, the poor girl. It would of course come to bite her in the end when she tries to say that she was the one that killed Moe but her weapon doesn’t have a scratch on it!

Like imagine doing what Moe did for your love! I can’t even…

That’s right Ladies and Gentlemen, a main character killed themselves off for someone else! I have never seen that one before and as such this movie gets high points for it!

Then there is that last moment between them, well, between Ayano and a dead Moe, where she goes to see Moe before she left. She sees her scarf in Moe’s dead hands and tries to take it (probably to get rid of evidence that might be used against her were the police to find the body)  but as she tries to pull it away from the stiff hands, it doesn’t barge! The pulls and pulls but dead Moe is not letting go! She was holding onto that piece of Ayano even in death!

FEELS

Ayano finally cries for Moe, tears she had been holding back for all this time and then gets up and leaves.

Yes, I know these are all BAD ENDs but they are not actually that bad, am I right? As a wise person once said, we all die. the point is to leave something that will last forever!

Okay, that didn’t make the point I was trying to make but you get it. “Every good death is its own reward”. Sure Moe and Hinata dies but it is the reasons for their deaths that matter! And what death is more important than a death for someone you love to live?!

Ja

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Jinroh Game ~ Lovers ~ [J-Movie]

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Jinroh Game ~ Lovers ~ 人狼ゲーム ラヴァーズ

Hmmm…Lovers…That is sure an interesting subtitle for the movie!

Yeah, chances are it has nothing at all to do with what I am thinking but hey, when has that ever stopped this brain of mine from having delusions!

So, here we have yet another entry in what is turning out to be a favourite movie series of mine. Sure they aren’t really out-of-the-closet kind of gay but the gems hidden in them are for everyone who is looking to find! And I don’t think I need to say if I fall into the looking bunch or not…I mean, my blog name…hello!

The first movie that got me into the series was of course Nanami and Seika’s entry. After that I kept keeping an eye out for them and my patience was not wasted it seems because not only did I find this but there is also another, whose post is to follow!

Jinroh Game is of course yet another Life game from Japan where only 1 gets to live and the reward is a million yen. Sometimes, and I have only seen it happen twice, more than one person can win but I don’t think they get the reward. They just get to live and play the next game!

This one in particular (Lovers), was actually more than just about subtext for me. For once I did not know what was going to happen. I kept coming up with scenarios that just kept being debunked! It even started with me being sceptical about Ranko and Hinata’s relationship.

Ah yes, Ranko is of course played by Furuhata Seika, whom we know of here as our Mahjong Club Captain from Saki JDrama/Movie. Meanwhile Hinata is played by Gravure Idol-become Actress Mizoguchi Megumi.

I had doubts about these two, especially when it came to Hinata. I thought she was lying and only using the situation as a tactic to prey on Ranko and use her to win the game. But that wasn’t the case. She was actually sick with cancer. She was so bad that she only had a few unknown days to live. She had given up all hope of being cured but when presented with this chance win a million yen, she couldn’t resist hanging onto that chance to live!

Given her impossible story you can’t blame me for thinking that she was lying. And so with that mindset, every moment these two had (and there were quite a few of those) I only saw them at face value because I was waiting that inevitable betrayal to happen on either side but I was wrong. I was so wrong!

I say on either side because Ranko also had her own story and hers was about her family going into bankruptcy. But for Ranko’s story I am still left unsure because of two things. One she threw away the watch her beloved father gave to her. Next, towards the end, she offered up her sister as participant in the next game (you can also offer up someone else for your freedom). So, if she really loved her family so much and she got into this game to help them, why then do these things? They are contradictory!

But leaving that on the side, These two’s emotions that they developed here were real. Even if by some reason one thinks that Hinata was lying she still sacrificed herself so that Ranko could win! She have up her life for Ranko! They were this close to being discovered and the only way to throw smell off of them was for Hinata to die at Ranko’s hands.

That scene was just so painful to watch. You could see just how hurting Ranko was when she told those lies in order to give up Hinata as the next victim. And Hinata, god, a human has never looked so magnificent. There she was, smiling and content despite death waiting for her seconds away. And even in the face of everyone she did not mind going to Ranko and comforting her. Caressing her cheek, imploring her to win this fuckin game and live!

And Ranko did just that! She killed everyone, even the other girl that survived along with her. She pushed her off that roof without giving a single fuck! Then she was off to collect her million bucks.

So yes, we have a BAD END here but it is expected of this series. Were they both to live they would have just had to play the next game and even then Hinata was already living on borrowed time. Their future was doomed from the beginning so I have no qualms with that.

But really, does it matter that much how much time they spend together? The short time they had as they played this game was enough. They met, they loved. That is all there is to it no matter how long you live! They had even made plans to go out on a date when the game was over but really, we knew that would never happen. Their characters (in the game) were that chances of them being the remaining two were zero.

No, I am just happy that they met. They loved and Hinata was strong enough to show that in front of everyone, unlike the next movie coming up. Hinata finally made purpose of her death instead of just dying of cancer just like that and Ranko found someone that was willing to give up their life for her. And I have it on good ground that this was both their first time falling in love so there is that too!

Tragic but magnificent non the less!

Watch it if you haven’t yet…

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PARKS [J-Movie]

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Hashimoto Ai and Nagano Mei in the same movie!

The two taking top billing as the main characters!!

It is their story – A story of Haru (Mei’s character) storming into and sparking a flame of life, into Jun’s (Ai’s character) life!!!

Literally a full manual in front of you to make a great yuri story!!!!

Then fucking it up!!!!!

What happened to my Japan? Sure Japan has a huge history of bad story resolutions, which I think always comes down to wet feet but it is not like they don’t have good resolutions! Like, my favourite Japanese Movie, My 4th Commandment, has an ending to end all endings and the characters in that movie not only played step-sisters in the movie but they are actually real sisters! If a movie with those elements managed to give us a great, BEST ending, why are you getting cold feet these days?

Like, we all know how it is A-okay to yaoi and yuri when you are young as opposed to when you grow up, where the term ‘it was just a phase’ comes from, why is it then that these days it is the adult movies that get the good yuri stories with great endings as opposed to general audience movies?!

I mean, in the last few years almost all young cast yuri movies (read Shishunki Gokko and more on this site) have had BAD ENDS whereas adult movies like Aka x Pinku, Torture Club and White Lily (New & a post coming soon) have frikkin GREAT yuri and ENDs! like, I don’t get it!

Are you trying to fight homophobia in adults and tell them it is okay now to not bury your real selves by making porn with plot movies? That is a noble cause but why sacrifice the young gen in the process? It makes no sense to instill phobia in people when they are young by showing only the negative aspects if same sex relationships because then what is the point if they are already scared when they grow up?

And there I go getting side-tracked again, but seriously, look at the caps above! Look at the potential! In fact I am just going to talk about the wasted potential for this post so I can make it short…

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Mitsu no Aware [J-Movie]

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Mitsu no Aware / 蜜のあわれ / Bitter Honey

And yet another weird movie from Japan!

From the synopsis, Akago –  our main girl in red (played by Nikaido Fumi) is one with the ability to turn into a human. She is originally a goldfish. Meanwhile the other woman in the caps is Yuriko (played by Maki Youko) – a ghost from the Guy’s (That Akago is living with) past.

You would be hard pressed to think of them as such when you watch the movie without reading the plot. To me it seemed like a kind of fantasy tale of an old man and his relationship with his beloved goldfish. The movie seemed to me like being told in his delusions giving form to a fish that isn’t actually real. Though if that were the case that sex scene would have been way out of the left field, and it was already wired as it was! To be fair though even then it was shown as being a dream of some sort in that you are not really sure if they really had sex or not! The outcome is still the same anyway, Akago got prego!

As for Yuriko, I did not think that she was human at all. I thought she was the same as Akago, another goldfish that was thrown away by the old man and comes haunting Akago but then since when do things other than humans have ghosts? Not even Japan is that fantastical!

But that doesn’t really matter! it matters not that Yuriko ended up going away and that Akago got prego with the Old man or that even as he died in the end they still went on with that relationship, even if I was 100% sure it wasn’t romantic at all. The old Dude was real pissed when Akago got pregnant and I think that whatever is between them, in their dead/alive relationship, it is all on Akago’s side!

Anyway what matters is that in the end the Old man died, and not after making Akago cry bitter tears, as opposed to the tears that Yuriko made Akago cry, tears of loneliness and wanton when she left. What matters is that Yuriko and Akago had the greatest moments and most romantic. What matters is that Yuriko despite all reasoning for coming back being because of the Old man, she spent all her ghost life with Akago, fell in love with her, got emotional because of her (when she saw Akago and the Old Dude being cosy) and only got physical with only Akago.

What matters is that Akago got a great kiss from Yuriko. What matters is that that the only actual feelings of love Akago got were from Yuriko. What matters is that Akago’s first kiss was from Yuriko too. What matters is that Akago did not want Yuriko to go so desperately she pleaded, held onto her arm, cried her eyes out for her to stay but Yuriko could not. She was a Ghost and I think that Akago had helped her be able to move on. Even though I would want to see her return just to fulfill that wish of Akago’s when she asked Yuriko to return whenever she gets cold and promising to be there waiting for her.

At first I did not like this movie. I thought of it as yet another disappointment and really, the way that make-out sessions ended was one of those ways that put crinkles in your face! The fact that they dropped the ‘Friends’ bomb kind of made things worse.

But then I took a step back and looked at the bigger picture. It is somewhat understandable the way Akago reacted. Even if I saw the kiss coming from a mile away I have to admit that any other person probably would have reacted the same way. Then there is the later scenes between the two and that last scene of them. I am sure Akago’s feelings had changed and that had Yuriko not have had to go, she would have stayed and if she did, things would have been very different between them. It was obvious that the Old man did not love Akago as much as she loved him. And the way he hurt her when he found out she was pregnant was just so uncool I couldn’t pity any woman who stayed with him after that! But Akago was just too good a creature and without Yuriko she needed someone, even if the Old man is D.E.A.D!

Now only Akago is left with her child and Yuriko being a Ghost who knows, she might just pop back up in the future and then they would be 2M1K (2 Moms 1 kid to you all that don’t know)!

Anyway the movie just recently came out and is on the interwebs so it should be easy to find. Do check it out, even though I don’t think there are English subtitles yet.

That is all, jump over for more caps…

Ja

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Shoujo [J-Movie]

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Shoujo / 少女 / Night’s Tightrope

Japan strikes once again from the blind spot with yet another movie that hits right in the FEELs!

I have to confess, I was not looking forward to this movie but that poster, especially the one for the Blu-ray, was just too good for this to be simply bait! Speaking of bait, that is the vibe I got from the trailer. I seriously thought this was one of those BAD-END types of movies but I tell you all now, forget the trailer! That is one misleading trailer! Believe in the poster!

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Speaking of that Blu-ray, I guess I have to get it now after being so bitch-slapped for having any doubts! I mean, my yuri-sense, that has only let me down like, less than 5%, told me to watch that trailer and I did but then I got doubts about the movie from the trailer! It was only a stupid trailer! Never doing that again I wear!

This of course means that Shoujo delivered the goods and what quality!!! I am a sucker, as most of you will know, for the types of stories where the couple save each other! Usually it is one person saving the other and that is already too much but having both sides save the other, now that is over-kill and instant WIN in my book!

This movie is basically karma and that means awesome twists that you never see coming! Something seemingly insignificant can come back later and make your brain melt and this movie has those in spades! If you are interested in watching this movie, I will just tell you what Yuki’s grandmother kept chanting in the movie. She said that be careful what you do because it will come back and bite you in the end, all in an instant! Imagine that pain condensed in just a few moments before your death.

Yeah.

Karma is the moral of this story but that mainly has to do with other characters not ours two girls. They were mostly at the other end of that stick, in that they were the subjects of misery! Seriously, if this movie was released in Hollywood it would be at 10% Rotten tomatoes because ‘grimdark’. But this is Japan and movies like these are cereals for breakfast!

Seriously though, this is one despairing movie! It’s got it all – underage sex, attempted rape, power harassment, domestic violence, innocent persecution, suicide, bullying, curses and more! I went in expecting some Christian girls’ school drama, innocent girls’ school drama it was not!!

So what was it then…

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Love Exposure [J-Movie]

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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…

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Tsumi no Yohaku [J-Movie]

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Tsumi no Yohaku 罪の余白

What is right vs Love. Finding Love amidst evil actions. One’s security getting in the way of Love. Criminals have hearts too. How far people are willing to go when backed up against a wall.

Tsumi no Yohaku AKA Crime’s Blank, a 2015 awesome crime drama takes on all these issues and statements and all I have to say is, forget the likes of Romeo and Juliet, this is what tragic love is all about! I have never had my heart pulled in all directions when it comes to the villains in movies like it was this time around! Maybe it is expected seeing as this villain, Saki (played by the captain of X21’s Yoshimoto Miyu), is actually also the protagonist of the story, even though her end was a BAD ONE, which makes her an actual villain in the end instead of an anti-heroine!

I can hear someone going ‘why now?’, well, the credit goes to this new drama that was recommended to me currently airing titled ‘Kuzu no Honkai’, which, if you are an anime person, you know of this as the anime version is also currently airing, and the main girl sure moves around. I am still at episode 2 and having been blown away by Miyu’s performance in those two episodes (are idols really allowed to do that?!!), I remembered that there was a movie she was supposed to be in and so I went and looked for it and dear Readers, am I glad I remembered it!

This girl is just so good! Add her in a big budget movie like Tsumi no Yohaku and man, what a ride! But it was not just her that got me to stay and write about this movie, nope, the other girls too both Uno Narumi (who plays our other half in Maho) and Yoshida Mikako (who plays the catalyst Kana). Those two were also great in their roles and their performances added greatly to the overall feel of the movie bringing that oomph to the punch!

Obviously the point and focus of this post is going to be on our ship in Saki and Maho! Having decided that maybe we have had enough of Korean Movie posts, this was kind of an excellent timing if you ask me! Better still the fact that Tsumi no Yohaku also has the same themes of the last movie talked about, the short ‘End of Summer’. Our main characters almost were similar but ended up taking different routes, an outcome that was also influenced by their partners.

Both having tragic endings but of different magnitude and brought on by opposite circumstances, makes me one sad but also happy citizen! And so I am thinking maybe I should approach this post by way of comparing this and End of Summer? Nah, nothing ever goes according to plan where I am concerned!

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