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Genre: Drama
Starring: Joe Odagiri, Kikikilin, Yayako Uchida, Takako Matsu, Kaoru Kobayashi
Director: Joji Matsuoka
Rating: NC-16 (Some Nudity)

Year Made: 2007




- Trailer
- TV Spots
- Making Of
- Photo Gallery




Languages: Japanese
Subtitles: English/Chinese
Aspect Ratio: 4:3 Letterbox
Sound: -
Running Time: 2 hrs 22 mins
Region Code: NTSC 3
Distributor: Innoform Media




Masaya's parents were separated when he was a small child. He became the center of his mother's world. He studied and fooled around in Tokyo.

One day after 15 years, he finds out his mother has cancer. Masaya hence invites her to live with him in Tokyo. His life begins to take a better turn. His mother has brought happiness, warmth and encouragement to him as well as people around him.

However, nothing last forever; the day that they all have feared is drawing near; the day Masaya's loving mother will fade into his memories.


As I type this review, I think of my mother who is probably thinking why her son refuses to sleep at such an unearthly hour. When he was younger, he used to listen to everything she says, and some 27 years later, whatever she says is more often than not, nagging, to him. Which is why I feel a sense of connection after watching this Japanese film about a young man’s memories about his wonderful mother.

The 142-minute story is told through a series of flashbacks, chronicling Masaya’s growing up years – how his father left the family when he was young, how he pursued his education with his mother’s support, and how he eventually took off with his career with his mother’s encouragement. The titular Tokyo Tower plays a central role from beginning to end, where it begins construction, and eventually becomes the swanky tourist attraction which Masaya’s mother would love to visit before she dies. And how can any warm-blooded human being not be touched by this family drama?

The cast here is top notch – Joe Odagiri (Retribution) plays the lead character with an affective and earnest persona that is almost likeable immediately. Yayako Uchida and Kikikilin (Returner) play the important role of Masaya’s mother at different ages. Interestingly, Kikikilin is Uchida’s mother in real life, which makes this casting even more interesting. Each actress brings her own unique touch to the loving mother character. Other supporting characters are played by the reliable Takako Matsu (Hero) and Kaoru Kohayashi (Princess Mononoke).

The movie is adapted from Lily Franky’s popular novel. Also, like the popular TV series “Hero” which was adapted into a movie, this Joji Matsuoka-directed drama also has its following of loyal TV viewers. Thankfully, the movie version does not fare too badly, despite its more than predictable plot (come on, who doesn’t love a tearjerker involving a cancer-stricken mother, a load of nice memories and a sappy soundtrack to go along?). Besides, the cinematography by Norimichi Kasamatsu is pretty to look at, with the Tokyo Tower making its presence felt at the different prominently significant portions of the movie.

But what will make you remember this picture fondly is its message about how things have changed as you grow up. All those lovely memories about your doting parents will flood you at some point in time during your life. For me, I think it is now, at this unearthly hour when I should heed my mother’s advice and turn in to sleep soon.


This Code 3 DVD contains a “Trailer” and several “TV Spots” for the hit movie which won numerous awards at the 31st Japan Academy Awards. There is also a 30-minute “Making Of” which shows you how the filmmakers built an authentic tin-mining village set and how certain portions of the original novel is translated on screen. A “Photo Gallery” rounds up the special features included on this disc.


The visual transfer is pristine enough for the enjoyment of the magnificent Tokyo Tower. The movie is presented in its original Japanese audio soundtrack.




Review by John Li



Other titles from Innoform Media:

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. Mor. 8

. Khao Chon Kai

. The Detective

. Nakara 19

. The Bodyguard 2

. The Sperm

. Blood Brothers

. Poltergay

. Invisible Target

. Nightmare Detective

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. Dynamite Warrior

. 13: Game of Death

. Surgeon Bong Dal-Hee

. Men In White

. Wing Chun

. Prince Hours

. Freeze

. Stranger Than Paradise

. Dancing Lion

. Yam Yosothon

. Noo-Hin The Movie

. Curiosity Kills The Cat

. 200 Pounds Beauty

. 1942

. Just Follow Law

. Nada Sou Sou

. A Mob Story

. The Third Eye

. Undercover

. Perfect Match

. The Unseeable

. Mercury Man

. Colour Of Hope

. Confession Of Pain

. Loveaholic

. Colic

. Silk

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. Boa

. The Host

. Forbidden Siren

. The Banquet

. Hell

. Eating Air

. Ghost Valentine

. 4:30

. My Name Is Fame

. Letter

. Born to Fight

. Lizard Woman

. Chai-Lai Angels

. Helen the Baby Fox

. Love Asia

. The Commitment

. The Story of X-Circle

. Beautiful, Wonderful, Perfect

. Hit Man


This review is made possible with the kind support from InnoForm Media


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