films seen
average score
Alive and kicking


Eriko, Pretended

Mie O Haru
2016 / 93m - Japan
Drama, Comedy
Eriko, Pretended poster

A very sweet and agreeable film. It's a modern type of coming-of-age drama. Not with teens becoming adults, but with adults trying to find their way in life. After some initial experimenting (and - usually - failing at life), a big event will put them on the right track. Cue Eriko, Pretended, a very archetypical example.

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Eriko is a country girl who moved to Tokyo to make it as an actress. Apart from appearing in one beer commercial, her career isn't really taking off. She's a fake it until you make it kinda girl though, so she powers through in the hope of landing that one role that will make her famous. But when her sister suddenly dies, she puts her career on hold and returns to her hometown.

Performances are very solid, the drama is light with some room for dry comedy and the setting is quiet and peaceful. It's a rather simple film, but Eriko's path to self-discovery is rather subtle and the character really grew on me. Well recommended for fans of Japanese dramas.

Ten Years Japan

Jû-nen: Ten Years Japan
2018 / 98m - Japan
Drama - Anthology
Ten Years Japan poster

Japan's take on the "Ten Years" anthology project. It should've been a good chance to discover some new talent and dissident voices, but the result is way too safe and expected. Produced by Koreeda, but it mostly feels like a project directed by lesser skilled Koreeda knock-offs. The shorts themselves aren't terrible, but there is lots of wasted potential here.