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Haikarasan ga Tooru (Japan, 1987)


Wonderful, wonderful “Haikarasan ga Tooru”: despite this live-action version of a popular Manga/Anime being only available without subs, I found myself devouring every single frame of it; one reason may be the participation of Yoko Minamino, my favorite J-Idol, while another might seem more accessible to you: “Haikarasan ga Tooru” simply was one of the most heartwarming movies I’ve ever seen. Period. Flaunting with expensive set-design, diverse wardrobe, and every speck of colour coming alive with sparkling intensity, I nearly got drunk on it’s overwhelming visual style. Since the bigger part of spoken Japanese scuppered at the language barrier, I can’t comment on dialogue or potential script-failures, yet my heart’s voice remained perfectly clear: incredibly charming, “modern” fairytale (not the fantasy-kind, mind, but employing the pure, unsoiled clarity of a picture-book) about frail romance, told by means of zippy slapstick and cute humour, while the second half plays slightly more dramatic with crucial twists affected by events from World War I. In the end the movie’s contagious Feel-Good vibes prevail, though. Also take note of a sympathetic performance by a still very young Hiroshi Abe, yet watching Yoko Minamino growing from care-free child into a mature personality remains as the movie’s first and foremost ticket to immortality.

Nice to hear. I might take a little break from Nikkatsu filth, too, and watch something pure for a change.

Have you see other Minamino movies (other than Sukeban Deka)? I’d assume she did more idol stuff than just Sukeban and this in the 80’s? And in the early 90’s she started doing a little different kind of films…

No, apart from “Sukeban Deka: The Movie” (plus 66 episodes of the first two seasons of the TV-Series, w/o subs, mind!) and “Haikarasan ga Tooru” I haven’t watched anything else with her. And since watching “Haikarasan ga Tooru”, while it was a thoroughly uplifting movie, at the same time also made me incredibly sad, because I longed so much to understand at least a little bit of what they’re saying, I don’t think I’ll buy another movie with Yoko that hasn’t got subs (which pretty much includes every release she’s ever appeared in). I just can’t bear that subtle pain coming with the immense joy.