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Archive for May 29th, 2012

Yuriko’s Aroma (2010)

30 year old Yuriko works as an aromatherapist at a salon where she uses oils and her hands to soothe her client’s aches, pains and worries. One day the nephew of the salon owner where Yuriko is working comes by. 17 year old high school pupil Tetsuya is stinking of sweat having been practicing kendo as an after school activity. Yuriko finds herself turned on by his smell and even steals Tetsuya’s kendo glove so that she can smell it at home!! One day she follows Tetsuya from school to a secluded run down shack where he sleeps after his kendo practice. She cannot help herself but start sniffing his sweaty head and even licking it! Tetsuya wakes up and cannot believe what’s going on but decides that he wants more out of it so they come to an arrangement. She can smell and lick his sweat if he can get his own pleasure out of it (I’ll say no more about it!!). And so their rather odd relationship begins. As time goes on, Tetsuya wants more out of their relationship but Yuriko doesn’t. He storms off in a huff. Another person to add to this already bizarre relationship is Ayama, a client of Yuriko who wants to practice aromatherapy skills on her but in reality is more interested in pressing her large breasts against Yuriko! What will become of Yuriko and Tetsuya’s relationship?

In case you’re thinking this is a somewhat kinky and perverted movie you’d be wrong as it isn’t at all. A little bit strange perhaps and slightly erotic. It just tells the story of an unusual relationship between 2 lonely people. An original and unconventional movie that is done extremely well by director Yoshida Kota. One has to congratulate him for taking on such a subject matter that the majority of directors wouldn’t touch with a barge pole. It’s a great movie that explores people’s personal desires which might be different to what we perceive as normal. An exploration of something that most would consider it taboo. However the relationship between Yuriko and Tetsuya is done in such a mature way that no sexual material (apart from one scene that doesn’t really fit in with the rest of the movie) is needed to be shown onscreen. It could have been easy for the director to have gone down the soft porn route but he didn’t. As for the 2 leading characters – Noriko Eguchi is really good as Yuriko. Kudos to her for not being afraid of taking on such a difficult and challenging role whilst Shota Sometani as Tetsuya whose performance also shines gives us a display of teenage awkwardness and uncertainty that many men might remember their own experiences with nostalgia!

Yuriko’s Aroma might not be for everyone’s tastes but at least it gives us something that we haven’t seen before. Another reason why I love Japanese movies so much. Recommended.

Sadako’s Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

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