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Archive for November 19th, 2012

This movie follows the lives of 5 highschooler friends who are in their final year. They live in the Yashio housing area of Shinagawa, Tokyo. One day they decide to have a trip to Harajuku but each one encounters a different situation which will make them think hard about their future. The group are: Chu – a yankee highschool dropout who is also a part of a small biker gang, Haru – who delivers newspapers to earn money but has a tendency to get easily ripped off by people, Takuma – a skateboarder and leader of the group, Bon – the rich crepe-loving guy who doesn’t look down on anybody because of his wealth and he tends to smile a lot. And finally there’s Shun who narrates the story. He considers himself just an average guy who just wants to have a good time and pick up girls. His father runs a small radio station from his apartment. How will their future map out after their trip to the big city?

Arashi are a very popular male idol group in Japan and have been since 1999 and this was their movie debut. The story is about teenage life and all the things that come with it – friendship, pursuing your dreams, romance and heartbreak. It is mostly a comedy with the 5 friends doing silly stuff and playing pranks – you know the stuff that many teenagers do. The things that happen to the 5 might seem ridiculous and the acting is not the best you’ll see but the comedy more than makes up for that shortfall. You’ll laugh a lot whilst watching this movie. The story also focuses on the fact that in order to create a better life for yourself you have to break away from your comfort zone and strike out in the world. You can’t hang out with your friends forever and have fun all the time. Before you know it, life will have passed you by. I think this movie tells that tale quite well. There’s a hint of American Pie to the proceedings – a good example being when Haru is seduced by the mother of a girl he likes. I wouldn’t say this movie is quite as outrageous as American Pie but there are a couple of hilarious moments such as when the boys drop their pants by the river and expose their asses to a boat load of drunken businessmen!

Whilst the acting by Arashi is just OK, I did like the characters and their quirky characteristics will grow on you. Jun Matsumoto’s character Bon is probably the funniest of the lot. He’s quite odd in the fact that he calls ugly girls cute and gets turned on at the sight of a nude man in a porn video coupled with the fact that he always seem to have a cheesy grin on his face even after being beaten up by 2 small time yakuza guys who don’t like he’s set up a crepe stall on their territory.

This movie will no doubt be a big hit with Arashi fangirls but even for non-fans there is plenty of entertainment about youthful madness and friendship to make sure it won’t be a waste of time.

Sadako’s Rating: 3 stars out of 5

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