So, took me some time but I have finally gotten around to watching the Extras to Shishunki Gokko and Zero movies. I was very looking forward to these because while Japan kind of suck in that one department where they never include deleted scenes in their extras, they do have lengthy behind the scenes videos. Or maybe they are just so good that they never cut scenes! Nah, impossiburu!
But while both of these movies did deliver on the extras, they are not equal in the quality of the content that they gave. Some releases never add any extra content beyond the trailer, which really boggles my mind to no end. Why would anyone need a trailer having purchased the whole damn movie? It makes zero sense! This is actually the area where TGS finally failed when they didn’t include any behind the scenes for the regular (not premium) release. I have cried about this to no end but I really wanted those extras for 5tsu movie! Alas we can’t have it all and no one is perfect it seems.
As I was saying, one of these two movies, Shishunki Gokko and Zero, failed to deliver and I have a feeling that if you were following the news I was posting about these movies before their release, you might have an idea of which movie let me down. That was of course SG!
I was very looking forward to that kiss in the extras where we actually get to see it properly without the camera lighting and far shots that took the fun out of it! I really feel like we were cheated out of that one! And it is not that they did not kiss, because they did. Even from the distance HD don’t lie! But it wasn’t enough so I was waiting the Making Ofs to have a look at it from a different, lighter, and hopefully closer angle but none of those wishes were granted. In fact the kiss was not even touched upon in the Making Of! It was totally schemed over like it wasn’t worthy focus. For me I think that the scenes they choose to have in the Making Of videos are the important ones since sometimes the casts and Director get to discuss them but not for this movie.
Actually all the Behind the Scene were not what you would expect, especially if you have watched a couple of those already. For Shishunki Gokko all they did was show the exact same things we saw but from a different secondary camera! All the scenes were ‘in action’ meaning that they were actually filming these scenes at the same time we were seeing them. Meaning that you never get to see anything new that you did not get to see in the movie which totally sucks major A! But even an easy job as that they couldn’t get right! Where is our different and closer look at that kiss scene?! Where is your conscious? Surely you felt that you might have cheated out on us viewers!
Thank the Lord Zero had all that and more! We got to see the girls being themselves behind the scenes which shows their chemistry outside the movie and for me when I see things like this they get me to love the characters they are playing even more. For example you wouldn’t think it seeing Ayami in the movie but she is still just a teen and she showed this the way she was playing around with Aoi behind the camera! Aoi on the other hand we got to see that she is actually a really laid back person. From her speech to the way she moves she screams delicate! I just want to protect her from the air itself! But even she wasn’t immune to Ayami’s infectious playfulness!
Meanwhile Shishunki Gokko didn’t give us anything new at all or something really about the personalities of Misato and Honoka. Well maybe an expert could just from their little interviews but even then I couldn’t get nothing! I was really disappointed with Shishunki Gokko’s extras! What a waste of HD space! Oh yeah, that is the one thing it beats out Zero’s extras in. Zero extras were all on the DVD included with the BD! This decisions blows my mind especially since Japanese DVDs and BDs aren’t that different in price, in fact sometimes DVDs are more expensive than BDs so it couldn’t have been about the money! Oh well, beggars can’t be choosers!
Enough about that though, let’s get to the pics…
You know that thing that Japan generally thinks of LGBT? You know, where being gay is a phase that teens go through and that once they are adults they outgrow? Where it’s okay to be gay, as long as you are still young? Well, this is what this movie is about, that is, the main message it seems to send! That is one of the only two things that I don’t like about this movie! This ‘gay is only a phase’ thing really rubbed me the wrong way! Worse still they even turned it into a curse. A curse that affects only girls because there are no gay men in Japan apparently, oops, I meant gay boys since grown-ups can’t be gay having outgrown such nonsense. I am totally tasting metal in my mouth right now!
The other is that they tried so hard to be intelligent by mixing in human elements into what is supposed to be a supernatural/horror movie! If any one of you watched those promotional videos I posted a while back while this movie was in cinemas, Ayami was saying something about her character Aya being the next Sadako which really brought my hopes up even higher about this movie seeing as I am a great horror fan. So you can imagine my disappointment when in the movie, apparently the Aya ghost was not the one causing all the deaths but rather humans! Okay, that really pissed me off! You can’t compete with Sadako, Kuchisake Onna or any other legendary villains like that, nope! If they had made Ghost Aya the villain that she was supposed to be instead of trying to be wise bums, this would have been a 5 star horror and the birth of the next Gen villain but alas. Seriously, Michi did not even get to take a photo, not a single photo, with that famous camera of the Fatal Frame series we know and love! Not one!!! All the rage!
Other than those two facts, this movie was really great. Which isn’t saying much seeing as those two points I just touched upon are what make this movie’s gears move! You see, the main thread in this movie is that there is a curse that breaks lose when a girl kisses the photo of the girl she likes. Apparently this has been going on for generations in this school (There is a whole gallery of lovers from years past) and up until the current head sister’s school days, the curse was un-stoppable as in every graduating class there was always a couple the loved each other so much that instead of growing up and having to be separated, they would commit suicide in order to freeze their time together forever. The head sister was one of these girls and was in love too once. But when they went to commit suicide together with the girl she loved, the head nun cheated and did not fall with her lover. That apparently broke the curse!
But with Aya’s arrival, the curse began anew. Girls would fall for her to the point of them breaking out the curse all over again by kissing her photo, which we actually find out wasn’t her photo but more on that later. Aya who is also being affected by the curse by being bombarded with weird visions, decides to lock herself in her room for the whole last term. Also because she couldn’t handle the way her fellow students looked at her wherever she would go and as she said, did not understand the feeling of a girl loving another girl (to which Michi replies that she doesn’t even understand the feeling of loving a boy. I gave her 10 points for that BTW!).
And so the movie opens around this time, only a few days left to go before graduation, Aya is still locked up in her room, the girls are going crazy without their Aya, the curse is spreading and getting stronger. And in the process bodies begin to fall like sheep.
Nakajo Ayami as Aya
Morikawa Aoi as Mitchi