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japanese movie reviews

Angel’s Egg (1995) - S tier

A beautiful and bizarre gothic art film created by Mamoru Oshii, the director of Ghost in the Shell, and Yoshitaka Amano, known for Final Fantasy’s concept art. The film is visually stunning and contains almost no dialogue, and depicts a gothic dark-souls esque world ripe for interpretation. Every scene is fascinating and I spent the whole movie with my eyes locked to the screen absorbing the ambience.

This film does a fantastic job creating a world completely different to ours and reminds me strongly of the fascination I felt discovering fiction as a child. Overall it seems like an under-appreciated masterpiece and it’s probably one I’ll continue to revisit.

(also it’s available fully on youtube https://youtu.be/fIhKqaNp4Dc)

Shiki-Jitsu (The Ritual) (2000) - S tier

A live action art house movie by Anno Hideaki, the creator of Neon Genesis Evangelion, this movie astounded me when we originally watched it (by accident, thinking it was a horror movie because of the English name). The movie follows a young filmmaker who meets an odd girl who lives in an abandoned office building and every day says ‘tommorow is my birthday’.

The film’s cinematography features many interesting industrial locations and unusual, artsy shots which reflect the characters’ psyches. A fascinating experience overall.

Kamikaze Girls (2004) - S tier

A light-hearted comedy girl that features the unlikely meeting and budding friendship of a yankee girl and a lolita girl. The film has a highly absurd and anime-esque aesthetic that’s highly enjoyable, with many fluffy, comic-book style visuals.

Overall really heartwarming, and funny, if in a corny way that I tend to enjoy.

Redline (2010) - S tier

An amazing animated racing movie set in space, Redline is a visual spectacle from start to end. The racing is insane and reminds me of pod racing but on the finest japanese crack. The final race is set on a planet of space cyber nazis that are intent to destroy the race and racers at any cost, but thanks to crazy racers and fourth dimensional super technological magical girls the race goes ahead anyway.

An absurd and enjoyable movie that’s worth a watch or two for the visual spectacle alone.

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