Every once in a while, I have a random day off in exchange for attending a school event over the weekend. Yesterday (Sunday) was the 体育祭 or Sports Festival at my middle school, and so everyone gets Monday off the day after. So, what do you do when you have a day off and don’t really know anyone else who has that same day off during the week?
I went and saw a movie! (^w^) Summary: I liked it.
謎解きはディナーのあとで Nazotoki wa Dinner no Ato de, or “The After-Dinner Mysteries” is about a young heiress named Hoshou Reiko who works for the police and investigates murders under her annoying and incompetent superior, Kazamatsuri. Reiko, being rich, also has a butler, who turns out to be brilliant and helps her solve difficult mysteries, while telling her in polite Japanese that she’s stupid. I found a trailer with English subtitles, too!:
The movie is based on the novel of the same title. I bought the book a while ago because I recognized the title, Sakurai Sho plays Kageyama (the butler) in the drama version, and the cover was nice looking^^
I went into this movie with medium expectations–even though I bought the book above, I’ve tried watching the drama before, and I don’t think I even got through the first episode because I found it too corny. However, I enjoyed the movie a great deal, and it exceeded my expectations. I want to see it again! :D
1. The first thing I enjoyed about the movie was Sakurai Sho as Kageyama (butler). I thought he was wonderful for this role and I totally fell in love with his character. I feel like a different actor could have spoiled this role by not being likeable enough, feeling over-the-top instead of sounding smart, but I always looked forward to Kageyama’s parts and tried really hard to understand what he was saying through all his polite butler-language, haha. I already liked him before, but I’ll probably look forward to all his other roles now (^_^)
Of course, I couldn’t resist getting some of the movie merchandise, which as I said for the Ruroken movie, is located conveniently right outside the ticket booth in the theater, and you can go and spend all your money there if you enjoyed the movie. The other reason I’m a sucker for movie merch is because I know it’s a special thing that only comes with the movie-going experience in Japan–waiting for the movie to get to the US and trying to find related stuff on eBay is just not the same.
2. The second thing this movie has going for it is the music. The soundtrack was so much fun to listen to! I really like the main theme–it was even used for some of the festivities at my middle school’s sports festival this Sunday! (If you don’t want to listen to the whole thing, my favorite part starts from 2:10) (Below).
Kageyama’s theme is really fun too (^w^) I thought the butler-y harpsichord they put in there for parts of it (like 0:39) was really funny. You can get the gist of it from 2:57 if you aren’t interested in the beginning of the song. It’s really worth listening through both songs all the way, though, because the tune changes throughout the song and it’s really interesting and fun to listen to (^w^)
Speaking of this song being used for the sports festival on Sunday, there was actually a game for the festival called 「いつ解くの？今でしょ！」 (When will you solve it? Right now!), where students ran around the track till they reached some cards with pictures on them, and then had to run further down the track to the corresponding box and change into the clothes of the character on the picture card before running to finish the race. One of the characters to change into was Kageyama ^^ Nazo Toki is a movie that people generally know about, or at least middle school students. There was a 7-11 promotion for it with signs and everything, the way there was with Rurouni Kenshin (when you could buy 2 boxes of candy to be able to purchase a Rurouni Kenshin folder).
3. Another thing I appreciated about this movie was that it stayed interesting and didn’t seem to drag on. It was 121 minutes, but I didn’t find myself wondering if it would end soon or feeling like the plot was being drawn out too much. I felt like each time something got explained, it made the movie more interesting. Sometimes the end of a movie feels depressing, because all the “cool” parts are reserved for the beginning scenes and all the dark, serious parts for the ending, but I felt like this movie did a good job of maintaining the fun parts even as the rest of the story unfolded. I enjoyed the character development, too.
Of course, there are going to be people who watch it and think it’s too corny and not like it, but I thought it was enjoyable to watch. At the very least, it will help you improve your keigo (polite Japanese)!