films seen
average score
Alive and kicking
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If Cats Disappeared from the World

Sekai Kara Neko ga Kietanara
2016 / 103m - Japan
Drama, Fantasy
If Cats Disappeared from the World poster

A film that aptly blends the more serious elements of Japanese drama with some fantastical touches and a slightly more accessible front, without going full commercial tearjerker.


2021 / 125m - Japan
Thriller, Crime
Character poster

A considerably darker film from Akira Nagai. He does pretty well with it, but Character does lack that extra bit of edge to make it a real stand-out. It's a bit too formulaic maybe, and the short injections of horror aren't quite enough to lift it above the rest. Neither are the few twists at the end.

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A young manga artist wants to go independent. He's very skilled, but he just isn't good at creating compelling characters. That changes when his boss sends him out on a mission, and he is accidentally witness to a gruesome murder. That gives him the power to finally draw a successful manga.

The cinematography looks slick, the actors do a solid job and the pacing is perfect. But the second half isn't really that special, and it feels like I'd seen all the twists before. It's not a bad film, certain if you like this type of gruesome serial killer thrillers. I was hoping for just that little extra, and that wasn't really here.

After the Rain

Koi wa Ameagari no Yo Ni
2018 / 112m - Japan
Drama, Romance
After the Rain poster

Fun and quirky drama that tackles some tougher issues. Komatsu and Oizumi form the heart of this film and both deliver strong performances. Nagai's direction is fresh and perky, but lacks some finesse. The result is a solid drama that flies by, engages, but fails to be truly magnificent. Still worth watching though.