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SKY OF LOVE (Koizora) (Japanese)

  Publicity Stills of "Sky Of Love"
(Courtesy from Cathay-Keris Films)

Genre: Romance
Director: Natsuki Imai
Cast: Yui Aragaki, Haruma Miura
Runtime: 2 hrs
Released By: Cathay-Keris Films
Rating: PG
Official Website: http://koizora-movie.jp/index.html

Opening Day: 6 March 2008


The cell-phone novel that moved 11 million to tears

Uploaded to a cell-phone website, this tale of an average girl’s three stormy years of high school, a saga of love, rape, pregnancy, miscarriage, parting, and reunion, is in fact a true story. Striking a chord with many women, its popularity spread like wildfire by word of mouth, and published in book form was an instant best-seller, with 1.3 million copies snapped up in only three weeks. The work is a true phenomenon of the emerging cell-phone society.

Movie Review:

This is one of those Japanese movies belonging to the high-school-boy-meets-girl-with-terminal-illness-or-vice-versa-and-one-of-them-dies genre. Predecessors include Love Letter from a long time back, Crying Out Love in the Center of the World and Nada Sou Sou of recent memory. Make no mistake: the Japanese audience knows who dies after the first scene, but each of the aforementioned movie top-grossed in the country. Now that's really top-gross.

The selling points for each movie is basically the same. Find the most popular, most photogenic and most crybaby almost-teen starlets; put them in the movie, and watch one of them die while the other cries. Prettily. For the boys out there, the deck is stacked heavily against us. In about 80% of movies from this genre, the high-school dude dies. That's quite sad, for the high school girls are all wide-eyed cute little things that boys won't mind spending more time with.

That said, if you have the tenacity to endure the cheesy lovey-dovey lines and you like a clean colourful bright sunshine palate for cinematography, these Japanese flicks are cute date fodder. Each movie has a unique selling point, and Sky of Love promises a whole boatload of unique selling points. Rape, miscarriage and a white-haired dragonboy. This also happens to be a cellphone novel and a true story.

Acting-wise, the teens tried their best to emote, but there simply wasn't enough script for them to act upon, and the director fell into the very bad habit of fleshing-out characters like two-dimensional manga inhabitants.

The female lead was raped with 3 men watching and recording the ordeal, but she recovered in two full minutes of screen time to continue making moon-eyes at dragonboy. Skinny dragonboy beat up four punks easily. They had sex in the school library! Nobody reads books in Japan apparently; they read cell-phone novels. The movie was based on a true story, but it was completely unbelievable.

There are better characterizations in manga.

Movie Rating:

(If you are a fan of the said Japanese genre, you will want to watch this show)

Review by Tyler Lim


. Nada Sou Sou (2007)

. Udon (2007)

. Umizaru 2: Test of Trust (2006)

. Gigolo Wannabe (2006)

. Crying Out Love In The Centre of the World (2005)

. Be With Me (2005)

. Midnight Sun DVD (2006)

. Spring Snow DVD (2005)

. A Heartful Of Love DVD (2005)


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