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14 May 2006 @ 21:34
The new Tennis no Oujisama movie is FANTASTIC!!

After work on Saturday, I rushed to Chiba Chuuou to catch the film. kuroe said he would be there, but after I'd bought the ticket he told me he'd probably be late. Agh! And cinema tickets are so expensive here...!

Anyway, as it happens, I told the ticket vendor that he'd be late and if she could give the ticket to him if she saw him. He actually arrived before the trailers had even started, but I wasn't to know that was going to happen.

Anyway, the trailers consisted of Kimeru, Death Note and Jun Bride. I can't wait to see the Death Note movie!

Highlight: Kikumaru vs Mukahi wuxia battle.
Lowlight: Sakunobot.

As you may be aware, Sakuno got replaced by a new, generic female character. I can't recall a time I saw a more pathetic and weak character. I hate her!

The first time we meet her, in the opening scenes, she's quite literally taken the place of Sakuno. Sasabe is swinging his racket on the train and hitting the pole next to her. It really did look as if she could get injured, so I initially thought it was an improvement. However, she mouths 'please stop' at him silently, then quietly. Of course, Ryouma is sitting on the same train and deals with them. It's the Eastern Grip, not the Western Grip, fools!

Sakunobot doesn't appear again for ages, until she spots Ryouma under a tree. She gets out her notebook and writes a note to him. He takes one look at her and asks who she is, and this time I think he genuinely doesn't remember her (as opposed to the anime, where he's just being snarky).

She appears a third time. She finds Ryouma sleeping on the grass. Too shy to wake him up, she wanders away and plays her flute. I'm not making this up!

The fourth time, she watches Ryouma play tennis. At a key point, she shouts out to encourage him (so it's NOT a medical condition -- no way!). And then... they never meet again. What a stupid, weak, pointless character!

(Oh yeah, she's the main villain's sister. So what?)

Anyway, now I've talked about the worst bit of the film, onto the highlights.

First off, everything looks real. I never really thought about it before, but the musicals aren't able to show actual locations. I'd thought I'd got over seeing real people as the Seigaku Regulars, but - in fact - seeing real people as the Seigaku Regulars in real locations is new. I love the way the tennis courts look -- like real, used, tennis courts. The shrine in the forest looks like many I've visited. Believe it or not, it's amazing.

The film spends time establishing the reality of its world and making you believe in it -- the cgi at this point is only slightly over-the-top. It gets you believing, and only pulls out its full-on tennis wuxia once it has you. Nicely handled.

Once again, I find myself liking Ryouma. I tend to start liking him whenever I see him portrayed by a real actor. Here, the pacing is responsible for that attitude. It emphasises Ryouma's repeated losses to his father and Tezuka and glosses over Ryouma's defeat of pretty much everyone else.

Ryouma is less snarky in general. When he gets his Seigaku shirt, he actually looks pleased. He's never allowed to become the star of the show until the end, usually due to Nanjirou's interference.

Shirota Yuu-san doesn't seem to know how to act Tezuka unless Tezuka is singing and dancing. Although, to be fair, maybe the rigid body language IS his interpretation of Tezuka (I bet some fans wold agree). His Tezuka seems to enjoy staring at Ryouma's half-naked body at any rate.

Which brings us to Nanjirou (no, really). First time we see him, he's reading Playboy, which amuses me. His chosen reading material in the anime is so tame that he might as well be reading a clothing catalogue. Oh, and he suddenly appears naked in the bath with Ryouma... there's plenty of fanservice!

Speaking of details, I have to mention Atobe. I was a little dubious about him at first, particularly since I wouldn't even be able to pick him out as Atobe in a Hyoutei line-up. But he's great. I wonder if he's wearing a modified Hyoutei uniform, or if that's really the uniform? Because when you get close up, you can see it's actually silk with a pattern of white roses.

When he first appears, Atobe silences everyone with just a snap of his fingers. It really worked well.

My favourite bit was Kikumaru versus Mukahi. Their acrobatic tennis was fantastic! And the end of their match, with Ooishi clutching a defeated, shaking Kikumaru was love. :)

The film moves very quickly, so it's interesting what moments they included. Takasan's father mistaking Tezuka for a teacher and Fuji fetishizing Takasan's bloody racket all made the cut.

Horio also appears, briefly, next to Ryouma when the line-up is being announced. He has the hair-style, but not the monobrow. Lots of other cameos, which I'm not remembering. They're really difficult to recognise, since the film makes a token attempt at copying their hairstyles in a realistic manner, but never the colouring. Finally, the next teams they'll have to face - including Rokkaku and Rikkai - appear at the end, including some familiar actors. Is it a cameo or a set up for a sequel...?

Overall, I enjoyed it -- you just have to ignore Sakunobot. I want to go into Toukyou on my day off to see it -- hopefully with a fuller cinema.
Current Music: Rock'n Jam Musical II: Mirai
Sharon: TP O/S Enjoy Lifesharona1x2 on 14th May 2006 08:54 (UTC)
I'm glad you enjoyed it!

I wouldn't be me if I didn't ask if there were any nice moments with Ohtori and Shishido? ^_^
Williamgenkischuldich on 14th May 2006 09:03 (UTC)
Sorry, but not really. I was kind of disappointed with their casting actually. This is just a personal opinion (And shallow shallow SHALLOW as anything, which is why it isn't in the main review -- I'm disappointed with myself for even thinking it!) but it seemed like Shishido was noticeably less pretty than everyone else.
Rae: Janne da Arc- Breathe Inguiltyschu on 14th May 2006 08:57 (UTC)
Highlight: Kikumaru vs Mukahi wuxia battle.

Consider me sold on Cinepuri already. :D

Thanks for the review! I can't wait to see it for myself, it sounds great. Even if selectively-mute-Sakunobot is going to be frustrating. How was her brother as a character? I'm ok with them making changes to the story (after all, we've all seen the story told in manga, anime and musical form, they had to make it interesting and new somehow) but I have to admit I was a bit apprehensive about him.
Williamgenkischuldich on 14th May 2006 09:06 (UTC)
Her brother was okay -- in a really camp way! He brings on solar eclipses and rain just by spreading his arms... and he finally rips off his Hyoutei shirt to reveal tshirt with A SKULL AND CROSSBONES!!1 He's HARDCORE! *grin*
たとえ離れても 心はそばにいるよ: :))happiestwhen on 14th May 2006 11:28 (UTC)
Finally, the next teams they'll have to face - including Rokkaku and Rikkai - appear at the end, including some familiar actors.

oh my god. Rikkai! *_*

Gah, I am so envious. The movie sounds fabulous and I hate not being able to run right out and see it.
Williamgenkischuldich on 14th May 2006 20:55 (UTC)
It really is very, very brief -- I had just enough time to look for Sanada, before the camera cut away!
(no subject) - red_planet31 on 19th May 2006 12:43 (UTC) (Expand)
nekojitanekojita on 14th May 2006 11:34 (UTC)
*sighs* Not even all the fuss about the Deathnote movie can restore my love of that fandom. So depressing.
AX: cakeanoudegozaruna on 14th May 2006 12:51 (UTC)
Because you read the ending?
(no subject) - nekojita on 14th May 2006 12:55 (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - anoudegozaruna on 14th May 2006 13:40 (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - nekojita on 15th May 2006 00:42 (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - genkischuldich on 14th May 2006 20:59 (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - nekojita on 15th May 2006 00:40 (UTC) (Expand)
Maya Lynn: real men wear plaidsetra on 14th May 2006 14:20 (UTC)
*came over from tenimyu*
It's /always/ good to hear another opinion. This brings me back to about 50/50 on whether I'll buy the dvd or not.
But it sounds like there are good moments. Being a Shirota fan, I'll say yes, his Tezuka is fairly stiff when he's acting in a position of authority.
Atobe's silk shirt sounds rather amusing too. ^_^
Thank you for the review, you'll have to update us as to what you thought seeing it a second time.
Williamgenkischuldich on 14th May 2006 21:03 (UTC)
I really like Shirota-san too, but it reminds me that I've never really seen him play Tezuka as Tezuka. Even in DL3, it was almost like he was playing half Shirota-half Tezuka, it seemed. Jump Fest was the same... it's like he needed to DANCE! :P
Yuntokkitsu on 14th May 2006 15:02 (UTC)
Wait. Kikumaru v. Mukahi? Like... one-on-one? Still disappointed about them replacing Sakuno and Hiyoshi, buuuuuuuut... holycrack.
Williamgenkischuldich on 14th May 2006 21:04 (UTC)
Oh, no! Oshitari and Mukahi versus Kikumaru and Ooishi! ^^

Yes. Crack. :P
(no subject) - tokkitsu on 14th May 2006 23:56 (UTC) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
Williamgenkischuldich on 14th May 2006 21:06 (UTC)
Hope you enjoy it when you get to see it!

Yes, Atobe is lovely. I'm actually not a big Atobe fan, but (like Ryouma), I always change my mind once I see real people playing him. ;)
Tro: tenimyu | cinepuri ~ seigaku casttrowicia on 14th May 2006 23:59 (UTC)
*also came on over from tenimyu*

Sakunobot doesn't seem too appealing. Bleh for weak female characters.

But I'm really excited to see the locations and everything (it'd be a nice change from the dark backdrops of the musicals). That's one of the things that has me most looking forward to the movie, for some odd reason.

From what I've seen in the trailers, Ryoma looks excellent, and from this, it doesn't look like he'll disappoint.

And the Kikumaru-Ooishi vs. Mukahi-Oshitari match sounds great!

Am really anxious to see the movie. Thanks for the review! :D
Williamgenkischuldich on 18th May 2006 22:12 (UTC)
Yeah, it's sad. I wonder why they didn't use Sakuno?

And yeah, the locations are the best addition to the show. It's really exciting to see the boys in real locations. ^^;;
chocoxberrychocoxberry on 17th May 2006 04:24 (UTC)
The whole mute-Sakunobot story went no where >_>; and that pissed me off...they only needed her for the train scene anyway :0

His Tezuka seems to enjoy staring at Ryouma's half-naked body at any rate.
Oh yes xD; I think the scenes of Tez staring at Ryoma must take p like 90% of Tez's actual screen-time xD
Williamgenkischuldich on 18th May 2006 22:17 (UTC)
Yeah, the only reason she's there is to give depth to the villain. But he's an evil skull-n-crossbones t-shirt-wearing guy who can bring on eclipses. Who needs depth!? :P

Totally Tezuka/Ryouma. :P
when the sun shines again: Priori Incantatem - Harry vs. Voldemortvforvera on 21st May 2006 07:29 (UTC)
thanks for the review!

I really like Shirota (his looks mainly, ok and his height and voice), but to me, Tezuka always seemed very stoic and rigid, neh? And during the trailers, it seemed like his interpretation of Tezuka is pretty much like the anime's. I mean, the poor guy can't really convey emotions, cuz there aren't many times that Tezuka pulls off laughter etc and most of his thought run through his head. For a 14 yrd old, Tezuka is one serious guy. :D

I'll probably buy the DVD just so I can stare at Shirota, he's my eyecandy ^__________^
Williamgenkischuldich on 27th May 2006 06:55 (UTC)
I guess I think of all-singing all-dancing Tezuka before anime!Tezuka... ^^;; I like Shirota too, I just wish his Tezuka would do a dance number! :P
(no subject) - vforvera on 27th May 2006 19:49 (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - genkischuldich on 29th May 2006 10:40 (UTC) (Expand)
Nnokiirat on 21st May 2006 12:04 (UTC)
hey, thanks for the review and summary. i'm glad it turned out alright and that ryoma was likable.
i really hope the dvd comes out soon. (i'm still hoping the japanese companies will realize that english subtitles would attract a few more customers)
Williamgenkischuldich on 27th May 2006 06:58 (UTC)
Yeah, I hope other people outside of Japan can see it soon! English subs would be lovely, but you don't really need them, since a lot of dialogue are catchphrases or tennis talk -- if you look at the summary (not mine!) that was posted, there're no problems at all.
Joanne Allyre Tancyberibuki on 20th June 2006 16:19 (UTC)
sorry sorry; i know this is really off topic but i've been searching everywhere for the 'mirai' song from RJM; and i was wondering where to find it?
Williamgenkischuldich on 21st June 2006 03:04 (UTC)
I don't know. I bought it, so I don't know about download sites. Really sorry!