Genre: Drama
Aya Ueto, Ryunosuke Kamiki, Shichinosuke Nakamura, Risa Wataya
Director: Kataoka K
Rating: NC-16 (Sexual References)
Year Made: 2004

Languages: Japanese
Subtitles: English, Chinese
Aspect Ratio: 16x9 Widescreen
Sound: Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0
Running Time: 1 hr 34 mins
Region Code: 3
Distributor: Comstar Home Entertainment






Asako is a dreamy 17-year-old schoolgirl who is disillusioned with the mendacity of study and her impending exams. Gradually she retreats from school and the world around her and begins to hide out at home, unbeknownst to her divorced mother. Then, one day, in an effort to make a fresh start, she shifts all her personal belongings from her room to the garbage disposal area of her apartment building. There she meets Kazuyoshi, a preternaturally intelligent 10-year-old boy who politely asks if he may have her obsolete computer. Later, the boy makes Asako an offer she can't refuse - "why not join forces with me and work together?" Much to her surprise she discovers that, tucked away from prying eyes in a closet in his bedroom, Kazuyoshi has been running an erotic internet chat business on behalf of a married siren named "Miyabi." At first, Asako proves as inexperienced at operating a computer as she is at dealing with the lascivious advances of the opposite sex, but her curiosity propels her ever onward into an exhilarating adult world that she never knew existed. The strange new sensations Asako experiences open her to a realm of unforeseen possibilities, but just how far is she willing to go?


Based on a best-selling novel in Japan, "Install" is a story depicting how Asako, a schoolgirl who apparently like any adolescents at the “prime old” age of 17 is at this point searching for the right directions in life. Till she met an ordinary ten year old boy, Kazuyoshi who introduced her to an online sex-chat business imposing as a 25 year old married woman to cater to men from all age groups. Turns out that this ten year old boy also has a problem of his own. He is uncomfortable with his stepmum who besides being a Coke lover, keeps pestering Kazuyoshi about his preference for a brother or a sister.

So there you have it, the movie is basically made up of mainly to and fro conversations, narration and in other words, short skits between Asako and Kazuyoshi. The pace is mundanely slow occasionally interrupted by some “Kawaii” background music pieces which some people might find pretty irritating after a while. There’s one funny moment though when Asako invited Kazuyoshi to touch her breast. And Kazuyoshi replied awkwardly “This is not what I thought”. In fact, the whole online sex-chat businese is just a setup for the two leads to explore and search their identity and existence.

Aya Ueto who played Asako is very much in school uniform for most part of the movie. (No, i don't have a penchant for girls in school uniforms really!) She’s both cute and innocent at the same time trying desperately to find an answer to her struggle. Please abandon the thought if you think there should be some sexual intense moments or nudity of Aya Ueto because of the NC-16 rating. What you get the most is simply beautifully shots, multi-angles of Ueto (from bottom to top i.e.). Meanwhile, Ryunosuke Kamiki's character is a lonely boy, a typical reflection of any working family of today's society. Left with a computer and over-achieving mentality of his age, these two lost souls compliment one another in a weird sort of way.

“Install” plods along like a documentary of an ordinary Joe. As said earlier, those expecting sensual, fetish scenes might get disappointed. It’s like shooting a man going to work, having dinner and going to sleep. Can he somehow stop this routine eventually? Yes or No? Nobody can give a specific answer. But until that very day, he still needs to continue this mundane life. It's mind-racking if you think of leading your life beyond the rims of a routine cycle, everyone needs directions at times. Install is all about that.


If you are expecting more of Aya Ueto, sad to say there isn't a single additional material included in this version.


Dialogues are as clear as it can get. For a movie with a cute music soundtrack and conversations, the dolby digital 2.0 is more than substantial.


The overall quality of this dvd is excellent. The image looks pretty sharp, crisp and vibrant. The movie on the whole has the look of a typical Japanese manga feel to it and the transfer practically maintained the theatrical look.

(Not exactly everyone's cup of tea. Great if you intend to spend some time culminating your thoughts and of course for fans of Aya Ueto)


Review by Linus Tee

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