William (genkischuldich) wrote,

I've wanted to see 'Mayonaka no Yaji-san Kita-san' ever since I saw the huge posters in Shibuya depicting two Edo-era men lounging over each other and a motorbike. Apart from that, I had no idea what to expect...

The best way to describe it is a cross between Seven Samurai, Rocky Horror, Alice in Wonderland, Bill and Ted, Monty Python and Trainspotting. Really.

The film starts in black and white, showing an old Japanese folk tale in which bodies are found in the river floating on boards. More and more boards appear, both black and white, eventually forming into a game of... Tetris!?

This dream belongs to an Edo-era man (Kita-san, Nakamura Shichinosuke), who wakes up next to his lover (Yaji-san, Nagase Tomoya), who is addicted to very modern-looking pills. They shout at each other, then kiss and make love (not shown, but clearly implied).

Kita-san receives a postcard telling him that the Sanctuary of Ise will make everything better. Seeing that, he decides to take his lover to Ise, hoping to cure him of his drug addiction. Eventually, Yaji-san agrees, leading to a song an dance number (now in glorious Technicolor) which includes the line:

"We're not taking women or children because we're born to be... *jump, strike pose* GAY!"

So saying, they jump on a motorbike and head for the open road. ...And are soon stopped by a policeman who informs them that not only were they speeding, but they are actually in the Edo era, so they should walk.

They take a train and then agree to skip along together. Because they're gay, I guess?

It's certainly offensive in some places and towards the end it gets more tragic than comic. This happens soon after Yaji kills Kita because he's taken magic mushrooms and their arms are joined... or something. Then the film ends.

Then it starts again, with Yaji in a cinema complaining about the ending and Kita about to cross into the afterlife.

You won't like it if you like linear story telling or if you thought Monty Python was a bit too silly and broke the fourth wall a bit too often. You won't like if you watch historical films and complain about inaccuracies.

You will probably like it if you're stoned. You may like it if you like offensive comedy and can enjoy a gay love story even if it sometimes offends liberal tastes. I did like the way the men seemed to be very much in love... Kita appears, having found his way back from the afterlife. He stinks and has a dog wrapped around his leg and a snake hidden in his clothes. Yaji dives at him and asks him to hug him. They kiss, with the dog still wrapped around Kita's leg. It's surprising cute!

The DVD has English subs and while they range from good to dreadful throughout the film, it's enough to understand it. I'm glad we had subs. Truly.

kuroe just texted me to say he's got the Nerima Daikon Brothers single, which was released today. Mission accomplished. WaT's debut album is also released today, if I recall correctly. Can't afford it right now though.

Finally, I'm going to have to wait a little while before posting that WSB translation. I went to turn on the computer yesterday and it didn't work...! It seems that the hard drive is fried.

Anyone think of a reason why? It was a second-hand one and I don't know how old, but it never gave us any problems since we had it (about a month, I think). That's the first possibility and I'm hoping that's the reason.

Other possibilities... the room is cold, damp and badly insulated. A few weeks ago, we had to stand the TV in front of the heater to dry it out from all the moisture it had accumulated. If that's the reason, won't a new hard drive get fried too?

Any experts out there?
Tags: japan life, mayonaka no yaji-san kita-san, movies

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