Welcome to tonight’s Idols♥ Unzipped and it’s a special one! And YUP we’ll be watching a most hilarious movie on this evening. So let’s go Σ(￣◇￣*)！！！
Director Baba Yasuo directs a gem of a comedy with a wonderfully engaging story, great performances and eye opening cameos in a story based around the premise of the possibility of going back in time and preventing the collapse of the Japanese economy before ill fated legislature burst~ed Japan’s financial bubble boom.
The special edition’s packaging is yet another example of how well presented Japanese releases are. The extra large slip case which is absolutely the thickest I’ve ever seen on a release is made to look like a Hitachi washing machine! Inside are housed 2 discs which includes along with the fully English subtitled movie a treasure trove of special features including making of feature, campaign footage, digital comic, alternate ending, cast information, and more!!~!
The films stars Hirosue Ryoko alongside Abe Hiroshi who delivers one of the best comedic performances that I’ve ever seen as he steals the show and will instantly turn anyone who watches this movie into a fan of his!!!! I’ve seen Abe Hiroshi in a few programs including dramas and as well as the incredible epic “Musashi” which ran for about 1 year with weekly 45 minute episodes! And while he’s surely always had a great charisma about him and I’ve thought of him as a really good actor I’ve never seen him deliver comedy in quite this way. This was a real funny~bone jilter!! as Abe Hiroshi delivers perfect timing and touch to the lead role as a member of Japan’s Ministry of Finance. And his role is two fold as he portrays his character in both the present as well as the past going back to the 90’s. YUP! the 90’s ^^.
Okay but before getting to the actual film, here’s a bit of the musical connections this movie has within it, featuring a few most talented cast members!:
~my Hirosue Ryoko music collection~
Hirosue Ryoko is absolutely perfect and adorable as the lead female character who is the focus of the story. It’s present day and she’s attending her mother’s funeral only to find out that the Ministry of Finance has staged her mother’s death and is seeking her help in locating her mother who’s traveled back to 1990 in an attempt to prevent legislature that will eventually become Japan’s undoing financially. Unknown to her daughter, she’s invented some quite interesting items including a time machine made out of a washing machine!
It’s very common in Japan for actors/actresses to be involved in the music industry as well and Hirosue Ryoko did briefly venture into the music scene ↑↑↑.
And because my Hirosue Ryoko VHS tape won’t allow me to transfer any of it to a digital format, here I’ve linked/uploaded a few of her music videos just below including my most favorite song of hers “Kaze no prism” which is an absolutely gorgeous ballad! And then there’s the upbeat infectious pop~py groove of “Jeans” which was a single release and oh~so~catchy!! And last but certainly not least is Hirosue Ryoko’s single “Ashita e” which led of for her second full-album release. Really wonderfully written J~pop songs here all delivered with the adorable voice of Ryoko~chan ^^..
This music video is linked
This music video is linked
~Hirosue Ryoko “Ashita e” (MV)~
~my Princess Princess collection~
Getting to one of the most prominent cameos in this film and it actually comes by way of the soundtrack and a brief appearance of the PV on a giant video screen on the street as portrayed back in 1990. And although it’s small and low resolution in the scene’s background, it’s Okui Kaori! Princess Princess’ single “Diamonds” is played during this scene and it’s not one of those brief 5 second moments but it plays throughout the entire scene! While walking on the streets in Tokyo it’s not uncommon to be entertained by large video screens with music and Puri Puri delivers the perfect flashback moment here! I can’t even begin to explain how much of an impact this had on me while watching this film. It was the sweetest touch! Above is my Princess Princess collection which includes all of their original studio albums and CD singles along with their 2 re-mastered discography box sets and original DVD releases. So much to love here!!
~Princess Princess “Diamonds” (live)~
And because Puri Puri deserved a post of their very own and so got one written here awhile back, I won’t elaborate anymore here but just above is a performance of their huge hit and my personal favorite “Diamonds”, the song that makes an appearance in this film.
Moriguchi Hiroko also appears in this film and while I only own one ↑↑↑ of her best of collections, it was a nice surprise to see her! You may be very familiar with her single “Eternal Wind ~ Hohoemi wa Hikaru Kaze no Naka” which is also a beloved theme song!! Definitely one of my favorites!
~Moriguchi Hiroko “Eternal Wind ~ Hohoemi wa Hikaru Kaze no Naka”~
Instead of uploading an mp3 here, I found this stationary anime “video” clip which celebrates this amazing song in its beloved theme role.
Ito Yuko who looks absolutely incredible in this image film is a former idol whom I’ve seen in a drama awhile back and I actually bought her DVD “Route 1” back in 2000, photographed above. When she appeared in the film we’re watching tonight, I had to go check the shelf for this DVD to see if it was really her. She’s so beautiful and after so many years have passed it was really nice to see her in this movie in a substantial role! =D
Iijima Naoko makes a brief cameo in this film and portrays herself as she was back in 1990! She also ventured into the music business and I bought one of her albums as well as a single back then. One of J-Pop’s glamour girls for sure!! Iijima Naoko represented sexy at its most glamorous and she also is most notable as a successful actress going beyond and prior to tonight’s film.
Fukiishi Kazue (you may now know her as the Mrs. Fukuyama Masaharu! Congrats! to the gorgeous and talented couple!!) had successfully crossed over from idol to actress and really shines in this film! They really made her to look like the 90’s!! Her transformation is incredible. Kazue~chan is so incredibly pretty and seeing her in a substantial supporting role in this film was a real joy! Of course as you’ve probably noticed the trend, she did release a single as she tested the music industry. This however is her sole release as she primarily went into acting but after seeing her in an issue of Up To Boy awhile back I did order her single and here it is above! =D Although she only released this one single it was a really proud and happy moment for her as she later revealed in an interview in Up To Boy.
You can see more of Fukiishi Kazue in a sexy gravure pictorial as well as listen to her single pictured above by visiting the following linked post:
~Fukiishi Kazue aka: “Fukki”~
I’ve only included a few screen caps here as I didn’t want to give too much away about this film although you do know that I’m a total cap~a~holic when it comes to posts =P. And I can’t stress enough how much I recommend this movie to anyone.
~A few notable highlights of tonight’s film include:
It seems that Abe Hiroshi’s character, whom when you travel back to 1990 was a womanizing playboy LOL =O. It’s quite a contrast from his current 2007 character whose drab, dark, and kind of depressing. =O And as mentioned earlier he really steals the show! From trying to seduce his own… (well you’ll see!) although he didn’t know at the time! To the crowning comedic moments in this film where he meets up with the many many many many many women in his life who sock him one for all of his playboy transgressions it seems!
But the beauty of these scenes is so much in his reaction, like a breath of fresh air, albeit after being socked by a former lady interest… he seems “refreshed” and always reacts with a “Ah! Nasty!” exclamation!!! =D There’s really no way to describe this and do it any justice really uh well “appropriately” if you live in his world that is =P. By the third time it’s gut busting I promise!!!
Also note that they insisted on including detergent in the time traveling washing machine when Hirosue Ryoko took the journey! Why we may never know but it sure is hella funny!!
The conversations about fashion as 2007 meets 1990 are readily hilarious: One involving Hirosue Ryoko’s “low” pants style and a great exchange between her and Fukiishi Kazue come about and just imagine how hard it would be to convince someone that you’re from the future and the funny results from such out of this world dialogue.
And hairstyles OMG! The 80’s somewhat trickled into the 90’s so think BIG! =O Can you say culture shock!~! =O
Abe Hiroshi’s womanizing character also tries his charms on Hirosue Ryoko but later on he’ll realize she’s (well you’ll see!) =O!!!!!
Ryoko~chan’s character freaks out the crowd with her modern day dancing at one point.
And more golden moments of Abe Hiroshi getting punched out due to his erm… womanizing ways of his past as they’ve now
“caught up” to him! It never gets redundant even though I keep bringing it up it seems😄. “Nasty!!!!”
Also this film brings to light how language is a constantly changing aspect in every culture and it’s highlighted in an amusing conversation between Abe Hiroshi and Hirosue Ryoko as he’s bought her some tiramisu at a fancy restaurant and after taking a bite she uses the word “yabai” to express how good it is while he misinterprets it and is quite confused =D.
The old “brick” style cell phone of the late 80’s and early 90’s also makes an appearance! I always laugh when I see one of these! It’s not just a phone it’s pretty much a brick! =D
And in closing, this film’s attention to detail is superb as the hairstyles, clothing, music, and scenery of 1990 is captured to perfection throughout this film. Japanese love American pop and the soundtrack is wonderfully filled with these familiar sounds and presents a walk down memory lane from well not so so long ago. While a knowledge of Japanese pop culture will surely further enhance the experience the viewer has while watching this film as many inside jokes do occur along with the cameos being more meaningful with this familiarity, I truly believe that anyone who enjoys GREAT comedy will really enjoy this film! Abe Hiroshi really made an impact and became a true favorite actor of mine due to his single performance in this film. I can’t get over how funny he was in playing duo roles to comedic perfection and I’ve always thought of Abe Hiroshi as a handsome actor but now I really appreciate his ability and charm like never before also due to this film. Again, I highly recommend this film to anyone who loves to laugh! It really is a cinematic GEM!
And of course one last punch from Ito Yuko…
~”Bubble e Go!! Time Machine wa drum shiki”
Here I’ve divided the film into two parts so that the upload and playback are much easier. Enjoy ^^*~!
~”Bubble e Go!! Time Machine wa drum shiki”