Tag Archives: Erased

Review: Erased Volume 2 (Blu Ray)

Erased Volume 2 is the latest release from Madman of the time travelling adventure and it deftly picks up where Volume 1 left off and if you missed that one, then I suggest you click here to bring yourself up to speed. This release features episodes 7 through to the stunning climax in episode 12. I won’t go into much detail as I don’t want to reveal any spoilers and the gist of it was covered in our Volume 1 review.

If you recall, episode 6 finished on a MASSIVE cliffhanger which is where episode 7 picks up. As in the first half of this anime, the second half doesn’t let up and continues with the tension as we see Satoru try and escape from his current predicament. There’s time travel a plenty in this half with quite a few episodes taking place in the past as Satoru tries to prevent tragedies occurring from both the past and the future by creating time ripples by changing events in his past when he was still a young boy.

This one of the more exciting and engrossing anime’s I’ve watched in a while as you always want to think that everything will end up being ok but sometimes, when things are at their most darkest, you really don’t know how events will resolve themselves leaving Satoru and those he cares about in a good place.

The extras from Madman include audio commentaries, textless opening and closings and trailers.

*Thanks to Madman for the review copy*

Final score: 10/10

Review: Erased Volume 1 (Blu Ray)

Erased is a stunning story from writer and illustrator, Kei Sanbe, and involves drama, tension, murder and that ever popular theme, time travel. The Blu Ray used in this review is Volume 1 which contains the first 6 episode, the next volume is coming next month from Madman.

Erased tells the story of Satoru Fujinuma, a young male who has the ability to travel back in time through a process he calls, “Revival”. Revival seems to be triggered by a life changing event that’s about to occur around him. He see the events of the time shift and as he realised he’s watching future events, he’s thrown back to the past to prevent it from happening.

Satoru is a part time pizza deliver driver for Oasi Pizza where he is also friends with a female high schooler, Airi Katagiri, who becomes caught up in Satoru’s life after she becomes aware of his gift. Satoru makes ends meet by also being a manga artist. His life is altered forever after his mother is tragically murdered due to witnessing a kidnapping in progress. This event triggers Satoru’s Revival and transports him back in time to when he was a young boy of only 10 years of age. Some how during this time, he needs to set in place a series of events which will cause a ripple through time to hopefully alter the events of his future timeline.

Needless to say this sets the scene for a cracking pace in the anime, a pave which rarely lets down and see each episode finish on a cliffhanger every single time. People you come to like in the series will ultimately end up being completely different people and it becomes a case of Trust No One. The episode that this volume finishes on is a particular stressful and tense episode and will have you screaming, “Nooo!!” at your TV, hungry for the next instalment. It features stunning animation, an amazing soundtrack with great, likeable characters.

If you haven’t seen it, then you’re doing yourself a MASSIVE disservice and it’s a story that is so rich, so well told and crafted with all the necessary elements to support it and make it become an addition to your collection.

*Thanks to Madman for the review copy*

Final score: 10/10

 

Interview: Japanese Film Festival Program Coordinator, Margarett Cortez

The Japanese Film Festival is always a highly popular event on cinephiles’ calendar and it’s no small wonder why. The Festival always has a massive array of movies to showcase covering a vast variety of tastes and genres. We were fortunate enough to get some one on one time with the Program Coordinator, Margerett Cortez to discuss the history of the event, the secret behind the popularity of the JFF and which films to watch out for.

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Japandaman: Firstly, can you tell us why the Japanese Film festival was established and how it has developed over the years?

Margarett Cortez: The Japan Foundation is a Japanese government cultural organisation which runs various cultural events and programs to strengthen ties between different countries and Japan. At The Japan Foundation, Sydney JFF was established as an annual calendar event as part of our mission and vision. But at the core of JFF is a love for films! Over the years our program has grown larger and we’ve been able to travel to more locations, major and regional, in Australia. Currently we’re able to offer the latest films from Japan with nothing over 18 months old.

J: Given that the Japanese Film Festival is celebrating its 20th year, how will this year’s program reflect this major milestone?

MC: Bigger and better films! Starting off with a special screening of the original un-cut 1954 Japanese GODZILLA in Sydney and Melbourne! We’ve also prepared a program with works by the best contemporary filmmakers from auteurs like Hirokazu Kore-eda and arthouse favourites like Shunji Iwai.

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JFF this year also has a small focus program with films by female filmmakers, an issue that is very relevant to the Australian screen industry at the moment: we will have two separate special guest Q&As with directors Miwa Nishikawa and Yukiko Mishima, hosted by Australian producer Glenys Rowe and director Martha Goddard.

J: So many people attend screenings across Australia, what do you attribute to the popularity of the festival?

MC: A shared love for Japanese culture! As well as love of travel and appreciation of other cultures, which is one reason why I think a lot of Australians love foreign films.

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J: We noticed that there are lots of special guests and activities, such as pop culture and foodie events- what can you tell us about these?

MC: We’d like the festival to feel more like a festival by adding non-film events where people can come together and talk with like-minded people and enjoy things like cosplaying and washoku (Japanese cuisine).

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J: Finally, do you have a favourite film or a ‘must see’ amongst all of the films on offer this year?

MC: THE SUN is a must-watch! It’s a beautifully shot dystopic film but nothing like your usual post-apocalyptic film set in deserts or amidst neon lights. It’s a riveting film which takes place in the Japanese mountain countryside, and touches on a lot of social issues from low birth rate to economic inequality. The lead actor Ryunosuke Kamiki is also a brilliant performer, you may remember him from Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends and BAKUMAN。.

Thank you so much for your time, Margarett, we wish you all the best with this and many JFF’s in the future! And for more info and session times in your city, check out the JFF site.

Review: Erased (Movie)

Erased is a 2016 live action film based on the hit anime of the same name by writer Taku Kishimoto. The story revolves around Satoru Fujinuma, a manga artist who experiences moments of flashback in time allowing him to change the course of events. He coins the phrase “Rewind” for these moments. He doesn’t know what he has to change but time keeps looping until he fixes what he’s there for.

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During the early part of the story, he suffers a terrible tragedy which results in him having a revival moment, waking up and living a large part of his childhood as a ten year old trying to avert a spate of murders of young children in his area. He needs to stop these from happening as it affects the tragedy he suffers as an adult. The film closely follows the events of the anime, for the most part, and even mirrors some of the scenes, shot for shot.

The film stars Tatsuya Fujiwara as Satoru Fujinuma and Kasumi Arimura as his close friend, Airi Katagiri. Tatsuya might be known to audiences as playing the role of Light Yagami in the Death Note movies. First off, full disclosure, I was a huge fan of the anime and went into this expecting to be disappointed. I’m pleased to say that I definitely wasn’t disappointed and was in fact, quite the opposite. Both leads give great performances which always helps to carry the movie along. Tatsuya is a standout as he doesn’t always know if what he’s done is enough to prevent a tragedy and you can see the anguish and anticipation in him as he, like us, hopes for the best. Kasumi lights up the scene whenever she appears, she gives such a delicate performance as Satoru’s best friend and confidante. A special notice must be given to the two young child actors who play the roles of Satoru and his childhood school friend, Kayo. Tsubasa Nakagawa as a young Satoru literally steals every scene he appears in, he’s such a charismatic and talented young actor and likewise with Rio Suzuki as a young Kayo. The chemistry these two child actors have is astounding and really makes the film something special.

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The cinematography is fantastic with locales from suburban Tokyo to the tranquil riverside shots. Anyone familiar with the anime will admire the attention to detail, in particular the house where Kayo lives has an amazing level of detail in comparison with the anime. I’m always a sucker for movies filmed in Japan as it’s genuinely hard to take a bad shot in Japan, no matter where you are or the time of year. The film doesn’t have much in the way of a musical score or if it did, I wasn’t aware of it but that’s possibly because I was so sucked into the film. However, Erased still carries itself nicely no doubt due to the excellent storytelling, performances and on screen drama. Now that I’ve mentioned the storytelling, I just have to say that there is a massive change towards the end. No spoilers so don’t panic but when I saw which way it was headed, it surprised me. I wasn’t disappointed and I could see at the same time why the story was changed to accommodate the different medium for the story.

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All in all, I loved it and not just because I would love it even if it was bad. I was a tad nervous before the viewing as I am with all anime’s that receive the live action movie adaptation. It doesn’t take much to turn a great anime into a stinker of a film but I’m happy to say that that wasn’t the case here. What the director, Yūichirō Hirakawa, has managed to do here is tell a story that weaves drama, heartbreak, suspense, love and a sense of childhood nostalgia that really pulls at your heart strings and yes, keep your tissues ready. There are a couple of scenes that’ll have you sobbing a bit. definitely one of the better live action movie adaptations which I highly recommend to anyone who was a fan of the anime.

Final score: 8.5/10

Thank you to the Japanese Film Festival for arranging a screening!