Tag Archive: novel


The saddest thing is to say ‘See you tomorrow’, but you will never see her again.

Today’s review is on the 2016 Japanese Romantic Drama film ‘My Tomorrow, Your Yesterday’ (2016), it is a film based on a novel with the same name.

Brief Plot:
On February 15, 20-year-old Takatoshi Minamiyama, a visual arts undergraduate and satirist in Kyoto, falls in love at first sight with Emi Fukuju while boarding a train for college. After awkwardly introducing each other, the two promise to meet again in the following days. With the help of his friend, Shoichi Ueyama, Takatoshi asks for a date with Emi, at the end of which he confesses his love for her…. and then the story focuses on the relationship between Takatoshi and Emi.

Maybe the plot of the film is similar to many other romantic comedies, but the element of ‘Time and Space’ makes this film outstanding.

The film can roughly be divided into two parts: the part from Takatoshi’s point of view, and the part from Emi’s point of view. The former takes majority of the time, and it does not have much to say but a few mysteries. It concentrates on building our understanding of the relationship between Takatoshi and Emi. However, a few mysteries are portrayed: why is Emi always crying when she should feel the happiest? How does Emi know the secret recipe of Takatoshi’s family? Why is Emi always crying when she has the first time of many things with Takatoshi (such as kissing and holding hands)? Well, the reason is that, the future of Takatoshi, means the past of Emi. So the first time for Takatoshi to hold hands with Emi, is the last time for Emi. The timeline of the two people are completely opposite with each other. And all these are explained in the second part, from Emi’s point of view.

Normally, a Romantic drama specialises in the process in which the man and woman go through together. The element of ‘Time Limit’ makes the film a lot more touching than it is supposed to be. Even Takatoshi and Emi have spent very sweet time together, they can unfortunately make it forever.

In general, it is a good film that I would recommend, even though the timeline can be a little bit confusing. However, I am sure if you really get into the film, you will figure it out anyway!

 

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Fireworks are beautiful, not only because they twinkle in the sky, but also because they carry the hopes and dreams of ours.

The review today is on an anime film, ‘Fireworks, Should We Watch It From The Bottom Or The Side’ (2017). Because the name is so long, it will just be referred as ‘Fireworks’ in this review.

Briefly, the story is about the girl Nazuna wanting to leave her home as she felt unhappy in the family. She then gets two boys in her school to have a swimming race: whoever wins, who gets the chance to leave with her. (What a weird start!) Our protagonist Norimichi, due to some accident, loses the race. On the way home, he keeps saying to himself ‘IF I had won the race, what could have happened?’… After that, (and of course something happens), the film goes to a series of the ‘IF’- worlds according to what Norimichi thinks.

Before I comment on this film, I must say ‘Fireworks’ and ‘Your Name’ (Kimi No Na Wa) have absolutely no relations to each other! Some marketing/ advertisement teams used ‘Your Name’ to promote ‘Fireworks’ to try to boost its popularity, it is just like using McDonald’s to promote some sort of sushi bar. That is just wrong! So I must say, you should not go watch ‘Fireworks’ JUST because you like ‘Your Name’, the two films have nothing much in common! I saw some comments online saying “After watching ‘Your Name’, I think ‘Fireworks’ is a down-grade”… To this, I must say, you don’t expect to find Big Mac in a Sushi Bar, right? The two films, are DIFFERENT, made by DIFFERENT PEOPLE! Don’t get fooled by the marketing team!

‘IF’ is a magic word, making us regret about what we could have done. I am sure everyone has experiences of saying ‘If I have done this….. then things would have turned out right…’ This is exactly the main idea of the film. Norimichi, the protagonist of the film, at one point, tries to get into the ‘IF’ worlds to ‘make everything right’ for him and Nazuna. Also, from this bit of the film, we could see that Nazuna doesn’t actually want to leave home. She just wants to have the last day of her childhood before her life get affected by her new family. That is why she sings her mum’s favourite song in the train, and tells Norimichi that she wants to be a singer. She hopes for freedom so much! At the end of the film, Norimichi apparently knows that he cannot always ‘hides’ in the ‘IF’ worlds, he has to go back to the reality one day. But before that, he at least spends some good time with Nazuna in his ‘IF’ world, or what we call imaginary world.

Well, the film actually has quite a confusing plot, with a lot of different ‘IF’ worlds, confusing the audience. When Norimichi enters a ‘IF’ world, it is easy to get confused that he gets back to the past, but the shapes of fireworks should tell you that it is just an imaginary world of his. But you really have to pay attention to the film to know what is happening as it is kinda an artistic piece of work.

Not much spoiler, but the ending is another controversy itself. The open ending allows people to have different thoughts. Some people think Norimichi drowns the death after Nazuna in his ‘imaginary’ world disappears (because she is just imaginary); some claim that Norimichi has always just been in Nazuna’s imaginary world (well this is getting more confusing), this is possible because some people in school claim that fireworks are flat (which is not true, thus being in an imaginary world), and Nazuna asks Norimichi ‘When we meet next time, which world would we be in?’, which kinda suggests that she has been to many imaginary worlds too. But I think that Norimichi learns that it is useless to hide in the ‘IF’ worlds, and that it is way more useful to actually go for what he wants. So, he goes to chase his dream!

This might be a very confusing review, but the film itself is pretty confusing itself. You probably have to watch it to understand it! I would especially recommend it to those who like to think about the plots or to read novels because this film requires some interpretations.

Before starting my new job, I have quite some free time, and I decided to watch an anime series. Having seen ‘Anohana’ and ‘The Anthem of the Heart’ directed by Tatsuyuki Nagai, I chose ‘Toradora’ (Tiger X Dragon) to be my company during my boring time as i know this director will not let me down.

By looking at the title (Tiger X Dragon), I thought it would be an action series. It was not until I started watching that I started to realise it was kinda a school-life anime about youth and growth. This anime, despite the slow and a-bit-too-normal start, hooked me up since the middle of it. I literally stayed up till 5am just to finish the whole series from the middle! It is a good anime with a strong after-taste, like a good slice of cheese! I used not to like anime about school-life because it’s usually terrible, but ‘The Anthem of the Heart’, ‘Your Lie in April’, and Toradora’ successfully denied my perception.

Toradora is a Japanese light novel series by Yuyuko Takemiya, with illustrations by Yasu. The series includes ten novels released between March 10, 2006 and March 10, 2009, and the anime comes out in 2008. Toradora is simply an anime with a simple love story, the plot can be predicted using your knee: about a gangstar-looking guy (Ryuji) having a crush on an all-time-happy girl; and another tiny and furious girl (Taiga) having a crush on the vice-president of the student association. Something happened, then Ryuji and Taiga begin to help each other to pursue who they like.

Not to include too many spoilers, Toradora has a very simple plot, but it includes all the element of a good anime, or even a TV series. To me, the best feature of Toradora is the developments of each main character. There are many anime films or series with good plots but they often try to put too many things in it and end up ignoring the importance of a deep development of the plot, characters, and the feelings. Toradora, on the other hand, under the direction of Tatsuyuki Nagai, has a smooth development of all the main characters, thus leaving the audience a memorable impression. The connection between each character is also portrayed perfectly, especially the uncluear relationship between Taiga and Ryuji. (You will see what I mean when you watch it) Well, youth is about uncertainty, when it comes to human connections and life goals. The anime portrays the uncertainty of every character perfectly: Ryuji is uncertain whether he likes Taiga, or the all-time-happy girl; Taiga also isn’t sure whether Ryuji is of any importance in her life. The plot keeps going around the theme of uncertainty.

The other interesting thing about the anime is that, you are presented with the first layer of personality of a character (e.g. Taiga being rude and careless), and then through different events, you notice the other side of his/ her personality. Ryuji is the same, he looks useless, but when it comes to the things that matter, he has got a strong determination to make things right.

Well, maybe people would say that ‘Toradora’ is a terrible anime because many things in the anime is about uncertainty. But well, life is full of uncertainty anyway, right? If you want some easy-watching, or chill anime which  can maybe make you think, I’d definitely recommend ‘Toradora’! 🙂