I'VE WATCHED: Films Lately

Thursday, October 20, 2016

I think I need to start making a masterlist of the Japanese films I've watched, similar to my Korean Drama list... soon, maybe. But then sometimes I feel the need to write more than just one paragraph about a movie I've watched. And besides, these are movies, so I find that a great deal of introspection (in relation to the film just watched) is necessary.

I loved anime, manga and Japanese entertainment ranging from Jpop, Jrock, and following celebreties on Ameba, since grade school. But I only explored live-action and movies recently. I think it's because of my interest in Kdrama and evolution from anime to live-action dramas that made me want to explore more. 

But oh my, I watched anime series too this week. I might as well include those on this post.

The following paragraphs are filled with spoilers!

Kimi no Na Wa

Watching this film reminded me a bit of 5 Centimeters Per Second, and as I researched a bit, I found that they were by the same director. Awesome! Of course I have to commend the detailed graphics. It is absolutely stunning. Just a short segue way, I watched 5Cm when I was in grade school. I don't know why but it struck my heart strings when I watched it before. I do not know if it was just because I was an emotional twelve year old, but then I remember that I loved it. Then came freshman year of college and I watched it again with my friends. It turned out to be slow, and at some point, frustrating. Sadly it lost the magic it once had back in sixth grade. But still, it was a visual feast, no doubt.  

And so I tried not to expect much with Kimi no Na Wa, plotwise. But it certainly did take me by surprise. It was not dry, and there were a number of comical moments, especially with how they were trying to adjust to their bodies. Taki and Mitsuha would constantly be swapped in each others' bodies. One day they would wake up finding themselves in another person's body, but it only happens to one specific body each time. I found it quite intriguing and at the same time it got me to thinking, what if I were to wake up as a boy for a day? What would be the first thing I'd do? 

I loved how they eventually got close through living the other person's life. The notes and memos were smart of them to do, too. I mean, what better way to know someone than through actually experiencing the kind of life they actually live? Then it all goes eerie when their body swapping stopped. I was devastated to have learned the role of the comet in this story. But Taki had to find Mitsuha, especially because his memory of her was starting to fade, and he eventually forgot her name. 

There was also the part where the grandma talked about Musubi. I tried searching for the meaning on google, but all I got was this snack with rice, nori and spam haha! But then again, I remembered Musubi very vividly. It had something to do with a connection, or becoming one. I find that it seems to be an important concept throughout the whole film, mainly because we saw how eventually, for Taki to reach Mitsuha, they had to become one. It really seemed like they were lost souls trying so hard to become one; unable to meet and intersect.

Their monologue when they were trying to search for each other was excruciatingly beautiful. The perfect representation of so close yet so far. The moment they got to see each other was another breath-taking moment. This film has definitely captured human longing perfectly. I remember as well when the grandma mentioned about having dreams before when she was also an adolescent, about being someone else. Which is why our longing is evident through our dreams. 

Okay, let's face it, all the themes presented in this movie are all common. In fact, I've come across many stories that had these themes infused into the plot. So what makes this movie so special? Then again, for me the execution always matters. It will always be whether or not the movie has done its job with drawing out the emotions from the viewers. Was it relatable? Did it make you feel? Did it make you think? Does my heart ache for Taki and Mitsuha? My answers to these questions I've posed would be a resounding yes. I believe it lived up to its hype. 


I read the manga before! Although I don't think I finished it. So now I watched the anime because it was highly recommended. Watching the anime has made me notice a number of things. For one, I admit that before when I was reading the manga, I focused mainly on 'oh wow kewl she can receive letters from herself 10 years from now!!', and totally disregarded Kakeru. Oh dear Kakeru, who is struggling psychologically. His emotions has clearly taken a toll on him and has now become a psychological matter. 

Kakeru has become fragile since episode 1. Ever since then, he has been battling with severe depression. I say severe because he has had recurring thoughts of suicide. Throughout the anime I also observed that he had low self-esteem since the start since it was explained that he was bullied, plus the events that transpired further brought him down. I think his sole source of hope would be Naho and friends, but somehow they failed to provide that... thus suicide. But boom, thanks to the letters from 10 years later, they were always on the look out for him. They became sensitive with his every action. 

I think it's important to have a good support system. Always. Although I think it would have been hard on Naho, considering that she has feelings for him. But it became easier with the help of the friends!! Sometimes it's okay to admit that you cannot bear all the burdens of another person. It's going to be emotionally draining as well, but if you help the person together with many more trusted friends, then I believe that the depressed person will be in good hands. 

I also admire Suwa! He did not get in the way of Naho and Kakeru. He respected them and their growing feelings for each other. Although it may not be what the 10 years older Suwa did, I'm glad he was able to resist in this dimension. 

I think this anime would be a good representation of what depression can do to a person. You simply cannot shrug it off, or tell the person 'you'll be OK!' because chances are, they won't be OK. You have to look out for them, you have to encourage them, and you have to listen to them and accept them for who they are. I think Naho and friends did a great job with keeping Kakeru alive. Sorry, super spoiler.... but yes he lived. I cannot begin to express my relief! He lives..... in a different dimension. Although the 10 years later Naho and friends cannot see Kakeru alive again, at least it is a comforting thought that they were able to save him in another dimension. 

Ohayo Sapporo

This one was a short film that I stumbled upon. I like stumbling upon things randomly; it always leads me to pleasant encounters with good songs/films. This one is an absolute gem!! It is about a deaf Korean woman and deaf Japanese man who keep in touch through chat. 

To keep it short, it was a meeting of two souls among the insensitive and insincere world that they live in. But they always managed to support each other. I loved how I was able to feel the emotions that they were carrying despite them not being able to talk. 

It got me to thinking about how people are able to establish deep connections just purely through conversations. Eventually, they will become emotionally attached as they find themselves wanting to know more about the other person, and them wanting to express more of who they are. They will delight in thinking that they may be the only person who has access to the many thoughts of the other one, thinking that they are able to see a part of the other that he or she does not easily disclose. Which is why communication is important, whether may it be personal, or written. Souls collide this way. 

I'd recommend this film to anyone who wants to watch something short yet sweet. It's definitely worth your time. 



  1. It nice to know that you're watching anime and Japanese movie. I already watched Orange, Kimi no Na Wa, 5cm, The author is my favorite japanese Graphic Designer. :D I would suggest watched his all movies and Ghibli Studio :)

    1. I love anime and Japanese movies! :) I love all Ghibli movies! Whisper of the Heart is my absolute favorite.