Takumi-kun: Soshite, Harukaze ni Sasayaite

Warning: contains boys kissing and a “sex” scene

Aka: そして春風にささやいて /And the Spring Breeze Whispers

Starring: Yanagishita Tomo, Kato Keisuke, Takiguchi Yukihiro, Sakaguchi Ryo

AsianMediaWiki | Crunchyroll | IMDb

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Boys Love

Contains homosexual situations and nudity

“This is not a tragedy. This is a story of love…”  -Mamiya Taishin0

Wiki | Yellow Cinema | Crunchyroll

Where to watch: Youtube

Starring: Kotani Yoshikazu,  Saito Takumi, Matsumoto Hiroya

Mamiya Taishin (Kotani) is a reporter who gets the chance to interview popular model Kisaragi Noeru (Saito). Kisaragi is a high school student with a bad attitude and bad habits – the worst of which is bedding a different man every night. A restaurant chat turns into a sexual encounter in the bathroom, and ends up with Mamiya alone and bewildered in his flat. Shortly after, Kisaragi’s modeling agency calls and complains about Mamiya’s arrogant behaviour during the interview, and demands that he make a personal apology. When the two start getting close, Chidori (Matsumoto), a childhood friend of Kisaragi, becomes jealous. Will he threaten the blossoming relationship between model and reporter?

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Tada, Kimi wo Aishiteru

[AKA: ただ、君を愛してる, Heavenly Forest]

I want to be fooled by your lies just a little while longer. -Makoto

Crunchyoll | IMDb

Starring: Miyazaki Aoi, Tamaki Hiroshi, Kuroki Meisa, Koide Keisuke, Uehara Misa, Munetaka Aoki, Oonishi Asae

Sagawa Makoto (Tamaki Hiroshi) has an inferiority complex due to the fact that he suffers from what seems to be a form of eczema. He chooses to skip his university entrance ceremony due to his fear of large crowds and meets the strange and childlike Satonaka Shizuru (Miyazaki Aoi). She manages to get him to open up to her, despite the fact that he’s secretly in love with his beautiful classmate Toyama Miyuki (Kuroki Meisa). Shizuru loves Makoto, and wants to love anybody that he loves and becomes friends with Miyuki. She develops a love of photography because of Makoto, and when he asks her what she wants for her birthday, she asks for a kiss. Shortly after, Shizuru completely disappears from Makoto’s life, leaving only letters and postcards from abroad as a trail for him to follow, only to discover tragedy.

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Boku Wa Imouto Ni Koi Wo Suru

WARNING! This movie contains twincest – an incestuous relationship between twins.

I know that my love for you is forbidden, but I love you so much, I don’t know what to do.” – Yori

Wiki | IMDb

Starring: Matsumoto Jun, Nana Eikura, Ayaka Komatsu, Yuuta Hiraoka

Many cultures consider twins special or possessing mystical powers, or to be linked. This is a story of that special connection taken to the next level.

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“I heard that the demon living here in Rashômon fled in fear of the ferocity of man.”

IMDb | Wiki

Starring: Toshiro Mifune, Masayuki Mori, Machiko Kyo, Takashi Shimura,

As you can see, this weekend has not been spent curled up with a book, a guinea pig, and a cup of hot cocoa. I had two consecutive sleepovers with two different friends, and so, I watched two different movies. And my very first Kurosawa film, no less! It’s old (1950, black and white), yet good.

The story is based on two short stories by Ryunosuke Atagawa (Rashomon for setting, and In A Grove for characters and plot). A samurai (Masayuki Mori) clad in blue and his wife (Machiko Kyo) are traveling on a road, and are waylaid by an infamous bandit, Tajomaru (Toshiro Mifune). The man in the blue kimono is killed, and the woman raped, but when all are brought to testify, whose story is really true?

At first, I wasn’t sure I’d like this movie. It starts off with buckets of rain (fun fact: Kurosawa added ink to the rain to make it appear against the grey sky), and a guy muttering, “I don’t understand,” over and over again. As the movie progresses, you may find yourself muttering the very same phrase. Each new story presented is different, with the only constants being: 1) the wealthy man is tied up and killed, and 2) his wife is raped. Only one story can be true in its entirety, since all accounts differ so widely. And most of the story is shot in a forest, so shade and leafy branches can hide things meant to be off-camera, or make things harder for the viewer to guess.

They never tell you what happened, but you end up forming your own theories. Leave it to the Japanese to make a movie about truth and human nature, or even the truth of human nature. I am usually not fond of mysteries or crime movies, but this one passes!

Rating: 4/5