(trailer here), an appropriate selection for the Viz Theater’s next special benefit screening for Northern Japanese disaster relief this Sunday in San Francisco.
Even Marie Antoinette would find Ryugasaki’s wardrobe impractical. She is a bit of a loner at school, openly contemptuous of unsophisticated classmates. To pay for the over-the-top creations of “Baby, the Stars Shine Bright,” her favorite Tokyo boutique, she starts selling some of her father’s stash of highly dubious Versace knock-offs, which brings her into contact with Shirayuri. Temperamentally, they are like oil and water, but they are both outsiders with their own idiosyncrasies. Still, it thoroughly baffles Ryugasaki why Shirayuri constantly wants to hang out.
Granted, Ryugasaki is often deliberately unlikable, but Kyôko Fukada shows a flair for her snobby eccentricities. However, Mayuko Fukuda nearly steals the picture with her perfect deadpan delivery as young Ryugasaki in Kamikaze’s Annie Hall-esque flashbacks. Conversely, Anna Tsuchiya could have conceivably dialed it down a bit as Shirayuri without undermining the odd couple comedy.
Nakashima employs the basic shotgun approach, but Kamikaze’s breakneck energy pulls viewers through his misses as well as his hits. He gets a big assist from cinematographer Shoici Ato, who stylishly conveys all the temporal shifts, fantasies, and flights of reverie. Yet, perhaps Yojiro Nishimura’s animation provides the film’s coolest sequences.
here, as well as to the Japan Society’s relief efforts here.