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Nobuhiko Obayashi’s 80s Kadokawa Years (Blu-ray Details)

Unique ID Code: 0000219832
Added by: Jitendar Canth
Added on: 9/10/2022 16:35
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Review for Nobuhiko Obayashi’s 80s Kadokawa Years


You wouldn’t think that I’d be as eager as I am for another Nobuhiko Obayashi boxset, given my marmite reaction to the Anti-War Trilogy boxset that Third Window Films previously released. While Hanagatami and Seven Weeks left me cold, I found Casting Blossoms to the Sky to be inspired. Just one out of three isn’t a great statistic, but once again, it’s just one title that is drawing me to the second boxset that Third Window Films have curated, Nobuhiko Obayashi’s 80s Kadokawa Years set. That film is The Girl Who Leapt Through Time.

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The Girl Who Leapt Through Time is one of my favourite movies, although that is the Mamoru Hosoda anime version of the story from 2006. The anime caught my attention so strongly that I latched onto the 2010 live action version as well, which uniquely cast Riisa Naka, the lead voice actor from the anime as the lead of the live action movie as well. But it turns out that these aren’t the first screen adaptations of the novel. It’s been brought to the screen several times now, both as feature films and television series. When Nobuhiko Obayashi adapted the story in 1983, it was the second time it had been brought to screen.

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The Anti-War trilogy of films was made at the end of Obayashi’s career, and I found them to be stylistic and even esoteric at times. The four films in the 80s Kadokawa Years set were made 30 years previously, and I’m hoping for something markedly different. Click on the links below for the reviews for each film.

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School in the Crosshairs (89:26)
The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (104:06)
The Island Closest To Heaven (102:27)
His Motorbike Her Island (90:02)

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In Summary

These four films in this Nobuhiko Obayashi 80s Kadokawa Years Collection are certainly something of an oddity. They are very much studio films, but they have an independence of spirit and style that you’d never normally find in any, profit-motivated studio system. The only concession is really in some of the casting, but it feels as if no one has meddled in the directorial or creative processes to bring these four unique visions to the screen.

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Having said all that, I do still find Nobuhiko Obayashi a taste that I have yet to acquire. Depending on the film, I can take or leave his particular style, and as a consequence, only two of the films in this collection really drew my attention, and to my disappointment, not the film that I had hoped to enjoy.

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Still, this collection of films does cover an era of Japanese cinema that I’ve rarely experienced, and although I’ve only seen the review discs, and haven’t seen the packaging or the physical extras (booklet) to comment, in terms of on-disc content as in the commentaries and interviews, this looks to be a very useful package. And at the very least, I’d say His Motorbike Her Island is a must watch.

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