One thing I love about the new asadora ひよっこ is the opening sequence. Along with the 60’s-style pop song, there are really cool miniature toys and scenery with the feeling of the era. But the really neat thing is, the scenery is made up of everyday objects from the 60’s. For instance, the people watching the olympic torch sit on typewriters instead of bleachers, there is a person fishing over a waterfall that is actually a washing machine, and so on. When I first saw the opening, I thought that it reminded me of one of my favorite Instagrammers, Tanaka Tatsuya… I wondered, did NHK get the idea from him? Well, according to his Instagram page, Tanaka is the creator of the opening sequence! How cool is that?!
Today, I had a few free hours alone (Bay is out of town at a Robotics competition, Mariko was at a winery with friends, and Koa was at a pool party) so I went to see Your Name again!
I knew that there would be so much more to appreciate in the second viewing. I guess it’s because I don’t catch a lot of the plot nuances the first time I see movies, but also because Your Name has quite a few twists that it makes it hard to keep track of all that is going on.
So, in the second viewing, I was fully away that besides being separated by distance, Mitsuha and Taki were separated by time as well. Because of the 3 year difference, the first time they met in Tokyo, Mitsuha was probably 17, but Taki was only 14. That whole scene on the train made a ton more sense now that I realized that Mitsuha had been experiencing the switch for a while, but the switch would not happen for another 3 years for Taki.
The body-swapping aspect of the film made a lot more sense to me since I could pick up on the cues as to when the switch is “active”. For instance, the real Mitsuha could braid her hair with ease, while the Taki-Mitsuha wore her hair in a messy ponytail.
On the flipside, the scenes where Mitsuha is in Taki’s body were a lot more interesting, just seeing the way he/see walks and sits, and the way he speaks is feminine. I enjoyed it during the first viewing, but now could concentrate 100% on the subtleties.
Interestingly enough, the second viewing was even more touching emotionally. Every time I saw the comet in the sky, I would feel my eyes welling up with tears. It was crazy. Then of course when Mitsuha opens her hand to see what Taki wrote… ah the flood!!! And finally, the ending scene was just perfect. 😢
One small thing I noticed in the first viewing was that one of the buildings in Tokyo was one I took a photo of back in 1997. It’s the building at the 0:18 second mark in the video below. It gave me a feeling of a little more of a connection to the movie. 😄
This evening I went with my friend Mikey to watch the Japanese anime blockbuster “Your Name / 君の名は”. It’s the highest-grossing animated movie in Japan of all-time, surpassing even Spirited Away, which is my favorite Studio Ghibli film. I’ve heard so many great things about Your Name that I had high expectations for it, and I have to say that I wasn’t disappointed! I thought the story was amazing, the visuals stunning, and the soundtrack was great. There were several powerful moments, where I could forget that I am a 48-year old 伯父さん and just simply shed an emotional tear or two. Dark theaters you know! But to me, the movie was that good.
But, the only negative to me (pointed out by my more perceptive viewing companion, Mikey) was the placement of the Radwimps song at the beginning of the film. I do like the song a lot, but it “cheapened” the movie a little bit. Instead of a pure cinematic epic, the song brought it down to a tv-like quality since it looked like the opening of a tv anime. And they showed a lot snippets of upcoming scenes. It was weird.
Despite the opening, I thought Your Name was a brilliant movie. I plan on seeing it again soon, and of course owning it when it is released in stores. Recommended, but bring tissues!
Here’s the official trailer:
And another Radwimps tune from the movie, with plenty of great movie scenes:
Today I took some photos of bento that our friends’ restaurant will sell. 🍱 The photo above is a closeup of the tofu bento, but I think the photos that will be used are just the basic top-down angle. But, I took several closeups too just in case.
As a bonus for the work I did, I got to take the bento home, and we had it for lunch and dinner. おいしかった！😄
This afternoon I relaxed by watching a lot of TV… first I watched an episode of Yuki!!! On Ice, which is an anime that Emily Yoshida is discussing on her podcast, It’s Cool to Like Anime. I decided to give it a watch, but the first episode didn’t interest me too much. I’ll probably watch a couple more to see if it grows on me.
I also started watching a currently running Japanese dorama, Tokyo Tarareba Musume, which I will blog about in another post… more to come!