The 10 Best Japanese Movies of 2017

The year 2017 has been quite a strange year for the Japanese movie industry after the rather successful previous one, which was shaped by the reintroduction of the Roman Porno series, the new Godzilla films, and “Your Name.” The industry is still dominated by manga adaptations and family/social dramas, but this does not mean that there are no unique or even hopeful films and creators out there.
In that fashion, a couple of new filmmakers filled with potential made their appearance; Takashi Miike continued to prove that he is the best director in adapting manga; Sion Sono returned to his exploitation roots once more with great results; and Sunao Katabuchi gave us a great anime, which seems to take a different approach to the medium, both technically and in theme.
Yoshihiro Nishimura continued his legacy in the Japanese splatter; Yoshitaka Mori gave us a great biopic; Kyoko Miyake shed light in the concept of “idols”; and Takahide Hori presented a great stop-motion spectacle.
Some films may have premiered in 2016, but since this occurred at the end of the year, I took the liberty of including them.
With a focus on diversity, here are the 10 best Japanese films of 2016.

10. BAMY (Jun Tanaka)
BAMY (Jun Tanaka)
With a miniscule budget of 700,000 JPY (about $6,300), Jun Tanaka attempted to present a new take on the ghost (horror) story genre. The film premiered at the Osaka Asian Film Festival in March.
The introductory scene immediately sets the rather unusual tone of the film. Fumiko Tashiro is going up on an exterior elevator when she witnesses a red umbrella flying outside the skyscraper she ascends. Some moments later, she is leaving the building and the same umbrella crashes in front of her on the street. The event alarms her and a passerby, who turns out to be Ryota Saeki, an old acquaintance from college.
The story then flashes forward a year later when the two of them are engaged and have started living together. However, Ryota has been hiding a secret from her all this time: he has the ability to see ghosts, in a trait he does not understand and has made him somewhat neurotic. As time passes, his psychological status worsens and jeopardizes both his upcoming marriage and his work (in a warehouse). At the same time, he meets another woman with the same ability, Sae Kimura, who is even more terrified than he is. One more unexpected event complicates his life even more.
Tanaka stated about the concept of the film: “The red thread of fate – an East Asian myth of a thread that ties destined lovers together – is nothing but a curse. We cannot will miracles to happen; they are forced upon us, abruptly and violently, by an unfathomably great power. One cannot escape it, one cannot resist it. The mythical thread then, if it exists, is surely something monstrous. Faced with such a force, man is always small and powerless. This miracle picks its targets arbitrarily, toys with them, and will not relent until its thread has drawn the fated pair together.”
This point is represented, visually, by the almost omnipresent red umbrella, who symbolizes the above red thread, the connection between Fumiko and Ryota, which seems impossible to cut. The presence of ghosts represents the second point, about the lack of control people have over their fate, and in essence, their lives.
In that fashion, Tanaka communicates a rather pessimistic comment, which has people as puppets of fate with little or none authority upon it. While the message is significant, the relationship between the two protagonists do not justify such a strong connection, since it seems like a usual, even uninteresting one, where the woman has the dominant role of the boss-mother and the man the one of the absent-minded man-child. Furthermore, the highly surrealistic ending sequence makes the message even more confusing and abstract, as the supernatural seems to give its place to the fantastic.
On the other hand, the aesthetics are almost without a fault, particularly when one considers the budget of the film. The cinematography is impressive, as the tints of grey that dominate the movie provide a very atmospheric setting, where horror, confusion and insecurity seem to thrive. In this background, the portrayal of the ghosts, whose faces are always in the shadows, never actually appearing on screen, become even more ominous, as it also justifies Ryota’s psychology, who seems to witness them everywhere.
This imaging highlights the use of lighting in the movie, which is on a very high level. The framing is also very accomplished, presenting some interesting perspectives of the action in connection to each setting.

9. Teiichi: Battle of Supreme High (Akira Nagai)
Teiichi Battle of Supreme High
Evidently, Japanese cinema at the moment is swamped in manga/anime adaptations, a number of which are of dubious quality, to say the least. However, among the plethora of similar productions, some manage to stand apart. “Teiichi: Battle of Supreme High” is one of those exceptions.
Based on a manga by Usamaru Furuya, the story takes place in the Showa era (1926-1989) and revolves around Teiichi, a high school student whose sole wish is just to play the piano, but after his father’s strict behaviour and a hit on the head, he decided to become the Prime Minister and eventually created an empire of his own. Having just been accepted to one of best schools in the country, with a cradle of politicians he starts paving the path to make his dream come true. With the help of his devoted (and in love with him) sidekick Komei, Teiichi unashamedly becomes the “dog” of Roland, the extremely blonde chief-candidate for high school president.
In his efforts, Teiichi has to face Kikuma, his rival since childhood, in a competition that has been going on since their father’s time; and Dan, a poor boy who tries to pay up his father’s debt and take care of his sibling, and has become quite popular in school due to his his adamant character and his prowess in sports. Roland’s leading opponent is Okuto, a shogi genius who wants to change the elections into a more democratic procedure, including all the students and not just the members of the council. As the race continues, intrigues, treacheries and the shifting of sides take place, as the student’s parents also get involved in the game.
“Teiichi: Battle of Supreme High” includes a number of the elements all manga adaptations seem to include, with the hyperbolic acting, the crude comedy, and the abundance of motley colours and absurd characters. However, what makes the film stand apart is the way it presents school politics, in a fashion that lingers between a parody of the actual political situation in the country and an intricate game that maintains the tension to the last moment.
At the same time, Akira Nagai analyzes his characters quite well, making a point of demonstrating that their father’s behaviour is the main reason for their scheming and corrupt behaviour. This element also symbolizes the fact that the issues with the current political system in Japan derive from the previous generation, who does not seem eager at all to let the new one “shine.”

8. Kodoku Meatball Machine (Yoshihiro Nishimura)
Kodoku Meatball Machine
Yuji is a 50-year-old bill collector and he truly sucks at it, as he cannot get money from anyone, and occasionally he is even stripped from his own. Furthermore, he lives alone, and everyone in his life seems to try to take advantage of him. His boss; his mother, Kaoru; a girl from his bookstore he seems to like who introduces him to a cult; and the members of a sex club who initially draw him in order to comfort him, but at the end they beat him and leave him with an exuberant bill.
If that was not enough, he is diagnosed with cancer, with the doctor suggesting that he just has a few months to live. A bit later, he meets a strangely dressed woman who encourages him somehow, which makes him more confident and results in him finally managing to receive some money from the people he is supposed to collect from.
Alas, around that time, aliens invade the Earth, engulfing an area inside something that looks like a giant class, and they start invading human bodies, taking control of them and transforming them into NecroBorgs, a kind of biomechanical monster, and attacking anyone in their path. Yuji manages to survive the transformation process as his host is killed by his cancer, and sets on a path to fight the aliens in order to save Kaoru. A team of martial artist policemen, who had previously hunted him after he was blamed as a killer after a fight with Kaoru’s brother, help him in his mission.
Nishimura takes a totally unexpected approach to the film, as there is almost no gore for the first 20-25 minutes, with the aesthetics being very close to the ones implemented in Sion Sono’s movies. The scenes in the cult’s “church” and the one in the “massage parlor” are distinct samples of this tendency, although the references to “Tokyo Gore Police” are not missing.
In that fashion, he manages to analyze his main characters, Yuji and Kaoru, quite a bit for a splatter film. At the same time, he parodies many concepts and tendencies of contemporary Japanese society. The police and martial artists, who are presented as fanatic jingoists of shorts, with one of them mocking Jackie Chan’s style in both appearance and fighting style, where he uses two stools as weapons.
The cults, who just want to take money from the people they draw in; the massage parlors, who do the same in most obvious ways; the relationships between bosses and employees; the way the public misjudges what they witness, since people always assume the worst. Most of all, though, the sci-fi concept of aliens invading human bodies.

7. Tokyo Idols (Kyoko Miyake)
Tokyo Idols
“Tokyo Idols” portrays the dream of nearly 10,000 teenage girls in Japan who consider themselves “idols” and perform to entertain their fans. The majority of their “fanbase” is composed of middle-aged people (mostly between 40-50 years old) and their obsessions for these teenage idols. The docu-drama tries to bring out the life and career of these idol girls through a completely different and complex sexual perspective, touching the socio- economic life in Japan in an introspective manner.
Rio is a teenage idol with number of fans and followers. She is 19 and approaching towards the end of her career as an idol, which ends as the girls mature or become “strong women.” She wants to pursue a career as recording artist. Rio’s best fan (as the film portrays) Koji spends thousands of dollars on her. Koji is 43 and attends most of her concerts and even takes part in the music videos, dancing beside Rio. He considers himself a hardcore fan of Rio or an “otaku” as is the term in Japan.
Koji attends all her promotional and handshake events as well. The handshake event is special event where the fans get an opportunity to meet and shake hands with their idols and can take photos with the girls after paying a specific amount for it. The narrative moves on as Rio launches her alternative career by creating “Rio Trans-Japan Campaign.” The film continues under the shadow of a platonic relationship between Rio and Koji, with a flair of a strange sexual feeling and a dream far from reality.
The journalistic approach of “Tokyo Idols” makes it more informative and questions the current socio-economic condition of Japan. It highlights the lifestyle and gap in the relationship between men and women, where older men do not intend to have steady relationships and continue to search for their lust in teen idols.
And strangely, the lust has no sexual connection, and even a handshake with the idols for a few seconds gives the fans a feeling of sexual satisfaction. It highlights a stressed out society failing to take on the burden of economic pressure (or something else?), who chase a dream that is nothing but an illusion in most cases. The idols mostly lose their fanbase as they cross the barrier of “teen” and strangely, their purity and acceptance lie on their virginity to all the fans and followers.

6. Blade of the Immortal (Takashi Miike)
Blade of the Immortal
“Blade of the Immortal” is based on Hiroaki Samura’s long and extremely popular homonymous manga saga. A short prologue in sharp black and white sets the mood and introduces us to Manji, a feudal Japan samurai who’s facing a horde of hundred rough bandits that threaten his little sister. When the hooligans cowardly kill the girl, Manji’s reaction is a carnage, and he kills them all. Desperate and critically wounded, the samurai seems to accept death as a benevolent relief, but a mysterious veiled Nan rescues him, inserting a handful of Sacred Bloodworms into his bloodstream.
These restorative worms will thrive in Manji’s veins and will give him the supernatural power of immortality. Fifty years later, we find the super Manji alive and kicking but not particularly pleased to be immortal, living like an outsider in an isolated hut. He is soon contacted by little Rin, the daughter of a local Kendo sensei who has been killed by the icy Anotsu, the head of the infamous Ittō-ryū gang. Manji learns from Rin that the Ittō-ryū is undergoing a sort of globalization project, inviting all the small schools and dojos to amalgamate into a massive mixed bag of a martial art institution.
The senseis have little choice, though, as they are mercilessly killed upon refusal. This had been Rin’s father’s fate and the girl is now out, looking for revenge and a mentor, and the resemblance to Manji’s little sister hits the samurai’s right button.
Therefore, this odd couple (comparisons with “Logan” are inevitable) embarks on a quest after Anotsu’s punishment and along the way, they meet a stream of colorful foes.
From this point onward, the narration turns into a bizarre mode, very adherent to the concept of a manga “series,” where each opponent is a chapter “per se,” almost a manga volume in its own right, in contrast with the usual manga-to-live-action adaptations where the script tries to merge the episodes into a whole narrative line. Interesting as it is, Takashi Miike’s experiment risks dragging the movie, and at two-and-a-half-hour runtime makes it a bit repetitive, though always fun and visually dazzling.
“Blade of the Immortal,” like “13 Assassins,” belongs to the collection of Miike’s calmer and more well-mannered movies, far from the wacky surreal ones. At the same time, don’t expect a traditional chanbara. The plot is spiced up and enriched by touches of supernatural and frequent comedy shots and the parade of challengers on our heroes’ path is a gaudy bunch of punks, totally oblivious of any historical consistency.

5. Noise (Yusaku Matsumoto)
Noise (Yusaku Matsumoto)
Fractured narrative is a technique that has produced a number of masterpieces through the years, with “Mulholland Drive” and “Rashomon” being the first ones that come to mind. The contemporary Japanese version of the technique involves three different arcs, which intermingle, focused on a single event, as exemplified in Lee Sang-il’s “Rage.” Yusaku Matsumoto follows in the footsteps of the Zainichi Korean.
The event that serves as a base here is the Akihabara massacre, an event that took place in 2008 and involved Tomohiro Kato, who drove into a crowd with a truck and then stabbed at least 12 people with a dagger, eventually killing seven and injuring 10. Kato was sentenced to death, and the announcement of his sentence serves as the beginning point of the film.
Misa, whose mother was murdered during the incident, has to face a father who neglects her, with his sole focus being on gambling on horses. Misa does not talk at all to him due to a number of events of the past, while she works as an idol, and also at a parlor that offers “comforting services” to customers, ranging from cuddling and kissing through a piece of transparent tape to slapping.
Ken is a warehouse worker who’s suffering because of his mother, who keeps stripping him of every penny he earns in order to indulge in whatever wishes she has each time. Her behaviour reaches its nadir when she receives some money from loan sharks and then disappears, living her son to face them and the possibility of eviction.
Rie is another girl who lives with her father and grandfather, completely disconnected from them, spending most of her time with her kind of delinquent boyfriend. Eventually their relationship deteriorates, while her father takes a liking to Misa, who reminds him of his daughter.
Yusaku Matsumoto uses the three arcs, which intermingle through a number of common individuals and some minor connections, in order to highlight the alienation people suffer from in the megalopolis. His protagonists are living lives where there is no way out, with their situation deteriorating as time passes. Akihabara seems to serve as the only place of solace, not only for the protagonists but for a plethora of people, even through ways like Misa’s line of work and the general concept of the idols.
However, the basic concept of the Akihabara massacre seems to strip even that, consequently inducing the film with a permeating sense of extreme pessimism that seems to contrast the bright neon lights and the motley colors of the area.
Matsumoto seems to place much of the fault for this situation to the previous generation, as all the parents in the story have failed their children in various ways. Rie and Misa’s fathers seem to try to change that, but their efforts are either awkward (in the case of Misa) or they end up making things even worse (in the case of Rie). The lack of communication, which started between parents and children and was extended into all aspects of the children’s lives, is solely put on them.

4. Junk Head (Takahide Hori)
Junk Head (Takahide Hori)
In the distant future, mankind attains longevity through gene manipulation. However, in exchange, the ability to reproduce is lost. Clones were built to maintain the dwindling workforce, but after 1,200 years they rebelled, eventually inhabiting the lower depths of the world. The humans, suddenly finding a need to understand their subterranean-dwelling creations, launch an ecological study. What they discover is that the clones have transformed into a vast array of absurd and terrifying monstrosities, although the humans themselves have also changed much.
In that setting, the story revolves around one of those “explorers,” who finds himself found by three strange creatures who get him to their boss, a doctor who transports his head onto another body, with the whole team eventually starting calling the newly manufactured creation, God. God’s odyssey, though, does not stop here, as he soon finds himself roaming the labyrinth of the underground, meeting new friends and foes, all the while trying to determine what exactly he is doing there.
In his travels, he meets the people of another lab, who are dominated by extremely strong females; a man who tries to con him; another man who has been standing alone tending a fire; a strange girl and her monstrous friend; and many other individuals and monsters. Eventually, he becomes God again; his true story is revealed and he is reconnected with the three initial creatures in a battle against the worst monster of all.
The first thing one notices in the film is the impressive creations of the characters and creatures, who seem to be a combination of the fantasies of H.R. Giger, Hieronymus Bosch, and the kinds of creatures usually found in survival horror video games, with the movie occasionally functioning like one. What is even more impressive, as revealed in the end credits, is that both the characters and the setting are actual built models and not the product of CGI, in a trait that highlights the amazing craftsmanship and imagination of Takahide Hori and his crew.
The same applies to the setting, a combination of dystopian and cyberpunk elements. All of the above are presented in a fashion that occasionally functions as an animated version of “Tetsuo,” as God is running frantically through corridors, hunted by monsters, while rapid electronic, industrial and noise tracks are playing in the background, and the film transforms into an extreme music video, filled with gore and blood. These scenes feature frantic camera movement and very fast cuts, in a tendency that highlight Takahide Hori and Tetsuo Kawamura’s editing.

3. Satoshi: A Move for Tomorrow (Yoshitaka Mori)
Satoshi A Move for Tomorrow
The film follows the life of Satoshi, who was diagnosed with nephritis since the age of five, and managed to face the world and cope with his illness through shogi, a traditional Japanese board game that shares some similarities with chess.
The film starts with Satoshi in his 20s, living in Osaka and trying to cope with his pain and his illness, and at the same time, trying to surpass his rival, Habu, who has been moving to the tops of the shogi world, winning against every master in his way. Despite his deteriorating health, he decides to go to Tokyo, where he can challenge better players and improve his game. In his struggles, two people stand by him at all times: his teacher Nobuo Mori, and his best and probably only friend Mitsugu, who supports him in any way they can.
However, Satoshi has the behaviour of a rock star, slamming his opponents due to their inability to beat him, and getting frequently drunk to the point of passing out on the streets; he’s a bad drunk for that matter, as he tends to insult everyone around him when he is intoxicated. However, his passion for shogi, and his will to beat Habu and become the best, remains unwavering, to the point that he totally neglects his health, with devastating consequences. The narrative also features flashbacks that show his path to the point he is today, and a small part about his parents’ attitude toward his behaviour.
Despite the dramatic intro, the film actually starts with a somewhat cheery tone, as Satoshi is portrayed as a book (manga) worm with no social skills, who lives a life filled with quirkiness. However, as time passes, the drama and the realism take over, as Satoshi’s situation becomes more and more dire and he is vacuumed into a downward spiral that threatens his own life. His obsession to win, his frequent drunken stupors that have him going against everyone who seems to care for him, and his health make for a truly dramatic base, and forms one of the two basic elements of the film.
The second element is shogi, a game that is quite uneventful in its premise (it is a kind of chess) but serves another more significant purpose, as the film seems to move, frequently, in the rhythm of the clocked movements of the players. Takashi Sato does a great job implementing this tactic with his editing. At the same time, the fact that after a player delays once, he has to make his next moves in under a minute makes for a number of agonizing scenes, which Yoshitaka Mori took as much advantage as he could in order to induce the element of excitement in the film.

2. In This Corner of this World (Sunao Katabuchi)
In This Corner of this World
“In This Corner of the World” follows a great tradition of Japanese animation set during World War II. It is a period of history that lends itself to many stories and this film takes its own unique view of the war, from the perspective of a young woman growing up near Hiroshima in the 1930s and 40s.
Suzu Urano (Non) is a young girl whose flights of fancy and carefree attitude make her an immediately likeable and relatable protagonist. Growing up in Hiroshima with her parents and younger sister, she enjoys drawing and telling amusing stories. When she turns 19, Suzu is married by arrangement to Shusaku Hojo, taking his family name and moving to live with her in-laws in nearby Kure.
Her life is far from easy, having to do many of the chores around the house and deal with Shusaku’s temperamental elder sister Keiko, and Keiko’s daughter Harumi. Despite the tasks of rural life, cooking, cleaning and running errands for the family, Suzu soon finds herself enjoying her life there. She makes friends easily and rarely seems troubled. As the war progresses, Kure, which is a naval base, comes under repeated attack and the dangers increase for Suzu and her new family.
Written by Sunao Katabuchi and Chie Uratani, the film has a nostalgic feel for a lost world. Some have commented on the language used by characters which is a rural dialect of that particular place and period. The world is shown in great detail with the life of an ordinary family that’s lovingly portrayed. Even minor chores and activities come to seem enjoyable and important.
The film highlights the need to appreciate even the small things in life. We see the changing seasons, characters cooking and eating together, and snatches of their lives that create a tapestry of daily routine, conversations, and the various relationships that make up their world.
The art design is delicate and creates a comfortable feeling while watching. Occasionally there are sequences where Suzu’s imagination comes to life through a “hand-drawn” style that is very effective and evocative, as we see the world through her eyes. Almost every character is portrayed as likeable, with no more than minor difficulties between them.
The second half of the movie involves serious tragedy, as the war finally reaches Japan. The music creates the right atmosphere of whimsy and comfortable rural life with more threatening overtones as events unfold. The voice cast all do a great job, with Non playing Suzu, Yoshimasa Hosoya as Shusaku, and Minori Omi as Keiko. All of the cast helps create the feel of real people and their relationships: parents, in-laws, children, husbands and friends.

1. Tokyo Vampire Hotel (Sion Sono)
Tokyo Vampire Hotel 2
In 2017, Sion Sono shot a nine-episode series for Amazon Prime Japan called “Tokyo Vampire Hotel.” This film is the festival/movie edition of the production, and a return to his gory, absurd past as much as a tribute to a number of his previous films.
The story, which is actually based on a historic episode in which King Matthias Corvinus imprisoned Vlad the Impaler (aka Dracula), has the latter transformed into a whole tribe of the original vampires called Draculas, who are imprisoned by another tribe of vampires, the Corvinus. The Corvinus have some awful plans that involve destroying the whole of humanity and keeping just a number of them in a hotel of theirs (the titular one) in order to serve as their food.
However, the Draculas are on the rise from the bottoms of the Earth where are imprisoned, as they await for their Messiah, who turns out to be a Japanese girl named Manami, who finds herself in the middle of a century-long battle among the two vampire tribes, while she is having a party for her 22nd birthday. As a dracula named K and her associates try to help the girl reach their leader in an underground location that seems to exist beneath both Japan and Romania, the Corvinus, headed by Yamada, try to take her on their side.
At the same time, a strange identity called Empress that inhabits the aforementioned hotel, seems to search for victims, while Elizabeth Bathory is also walking its corridors.
Sono, once more, did the thing that made him a legend among all fans of cult: he let his imagination run wild and depicted it on screen in the most absurd way, to the point that the film occasionally function as a collage of extreme concepts. At the same time, he also included themes from his previous movies. The gangs fighting each other from “Tokyo Tribe” have become the two opposing vampire clans.
The chase that frequently appeared on “Tag,” this time involves Manami, and has a repeating music theme to go with it. The permeating sexuality and the intense colors of “Anti-Porno” are also present, this time combined with great dosages of violence and an unprecedented amount of blood, which frequently floods the screen, “Guilty of Romance” style. The change of genres of “Love Exposure” is also here, although in a much more finite level.
Add to that the impressive and lengthy action scenes, that feature guns, women with swords, an extremely violent vampire that seems to kill everyone with her long nails, the empress, who seems to have much in common with the hotel, an impoverished vampire that seems to be her sister, the always sensual Megumi Kagurazaka posing as Elizabeth Bathory, a number of flashbacks explaining the past of the main characters, and a bunch of Romanians in various roles, and you have the backbone of this truly insane movie.
The acting follows in the same, extreme footsteps. Kaho as K is great as the woman with the sword butchering scores of enemies and Mitsushima Shinnosuke a great villain as Yamada, acting with a fitting, hyperbolic theatricality, in absurd fashion. The grotesque artistry of the film’s aesthetics personifies in Yumi Adachi’s Empress, while Megumi Kagurazaka gives a somewhat restrained and dignified performance as Elizabeth Bathory. The one who steals the show though, along with Kaho that is, is Ami Tomite as Manami, with the 23-year-old becoming Sono’s muse, having participated in a number of Sono’s latest works.
As I watched her shaving her hair, walking in the hotel corridors almost bald, filled with blood and completely out of control regarding her capacity for violence, I could not help thinking that Sono actually enjoys deconstructing the image of a former famous idol (she was a member of AK48) in a way that seems utterly disgraceful for her, in a tendency that also applied to Anti-Porno. What is even more impressive, though, is that Tomite thrives in this concept, to the point that she seems to enjoy having her former image completely shattered.

Special Mention: High Heels (Inchul Lee)
Korean Inchul Lee has been based in Japan since he was 19 years old, and in his debut short, seems to have adopted the aesthetics of the latter to the fullest, although some Korean elements are not missing.
In the year 4015, humanity has transformed itself into androids, in an effort to erase desire, the concept believed to have led to its almost complete destruction. However, eventually desires appeared again, in the form of obsession, curiosity, and freedom and finally, desire itself. As the animated introductory scene explaining all these fades out, the movie transforms into live action, as we watch Kai, a shoemaker and the owner of an atelier welcoming a client, Yellow, who is impressed by her shoes. Kai offers to manufacture a pair that will suit her perfectly and Yellow gladly agrees.
However, the fact that her feet are not evenly matched seems to present some issues for Kai, who eventually manages to produce the pair, although the rehearsal goes very bad, with Yellow almost falling as she tries walking on them. Kai gradually becomes obsessed with making the perfect pair for Yellow, almost ignoring the wishes of the rest of the “colorful” customers entering her atelier.
Inchul Lee directs a true eye-candy, a film where style seems to be everything, as it is even used to portray some social and philosophical comments. In that fashion, Chanel has designed the clothes, while Haider Ankerman and Mihara Yasuhiro are involved in the impressive costumes and shoes featuring in the film, all of which create a magnificent and truly colorful setting for the story. The fact that the peripheral characters all wear monochrome tones while Kai a baroque-styled costume, highlights the fact that she is the protagonist, in a way that fits the general aesthetics of the film perfectly.
Takuro Ishizaka’s cinematography is another very important factor in the visual prowess of the short, as his camera worships the shoes, the costumes and the baroque-styled set. Hyoyng Woo-roh’s music is the main factor of the eerie atmosphere that permeates the film, which, additionally, implies that something bad is going to happen eventually. Toshiaki Hanzaki’s initial animation is a true work of art, in the style of a toned down and contemporary looking “Belladona of Sadness”.


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