My Geeky Girlfriend (2009)

“…but I’m a fujoshi”

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Okay dudes,

I feel like we’ve all had that one friend who was super into pop-culture or more specifically a subculture niche, right? Maybe they were real big on collecting trading cards or really big movie buffs? As I run through the story of Fujoshi Kanojo in my head, I was trying to find an American comparison to the Japanese outcast otakus. Nothing immediately came to mind, UNTIL I remembered a friend of my older brother. Like Yoriko in this film, that friend was so into things like hentai, anime, and games; not many people really seemed to understand him. Somehow, some way–Hanata seems to understand Yoriko.

 

The majority of this movie consists of Hanata (Shunsuke Daito) dating and sort of being ‘schooled’ toward the ways of otakus via his former boss, Yoriko (Wakana Matsumoto). Honestly, the movie is literally just us touring one scene of geekdom after another. One of the earliest scenes (if not the earliest) is of Yoriko and her small pack of friends bringing Hanata along to what ends up being a Butler Cafe. It’s full of handsome, dashing men who are at the beckon call of the cafe’s patrons. This scene is full of Black Butler references, sub or dom quips, and whether or not Hanata’s treating Yoriko with basic, human decency means he’s ‘submissive’. Yeah, that submissive.

My Geeky Girlfriend spends a large chunk of it’s run time showing off Yoriko’s passionate otaku spirit, and the romantic comedy (or at least the conventional rom-com) takes a backseat until we’re more than halfway through the movie. Nothing really happens aside from Hanata being a committed boyfriend struggling to understand his love’s obsession; while Yoriko has trouble trusting him. In Yoriko’s eyes, Hanata is younger and could have anyone he wanted as a girlfriend. Her biggest fear of being seen as a freak almost ruins the relationship. Ultimately though, it’s a new job (out of country) that threatens their relationship. Even still, the movie doesn’t have any real stakes for the characters involved and is just as mundane (nuanced) as regular ol’reality.

I know it’s like my first review in forever (a few months), but I will be making an effort toward updating here more often. I do want to setup a new marathon, but that won’t really kick off until after my first few reviews. All that aside, WE BACK!

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More Than Blue (2009)

“My wish is for you to grow up and marry a great guy.”

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words: Desmond Childs

What are the things in life you most treasure, but for whatever reason, are unobtainable? Now what are some of the things that are keeping you from being able to pursue those treasures? It’s probably safe to say most of us all have goals, hopes, and dreams. We often have a picture in our head of how best to pursue them too. One thing we all probably take for granted when considering our best-laid plans? Time. No one truly knows the day or hour of their own demise. It can be predicted, however, down to the most accurate possibility. Take diseases for example: Doctors can predict when a patient with cancer will pass away. It’s up to the patient, to decide on what to do with their life until then. And what about those dreams?

What about the people you like?

“I like you”

The great thing about this movie is the relationship between the two main characters. The two kids embraced one another in a weird, brother/sister type of relationship, and grow up together off of the money K is left. They even gave each other names, to which I still do not fully understand the reasons or humor behind “K” and “Cream”. I find it even more intriguing that K’s mom (who abandoned him) was able to budget out money for her son to last him 10 to 15 years. While each of them seem to have been traumatized as kids, the movie implies that both K and Cream (Sang-woo Kwon and Bo-young Lee, respectively) have carved out respectable lives for themselves. The pair work as radio producers at a local station, and K seems to be regarded as one of the best producers. We also see a lot of scenes that continue to build on the dynamic between K and Cream. Remember these two characters are the best part of the movie, and director Tae-Yeon Won seems to understand that. So early in the film we really get to spend time with these two characters. Cream is the eccentric, awkward, sweetheart who really does seem content with her life and K. Then there’s K, whose quiet, awkward, and sincere to everyone he meets. He’s a respectable young man, who has the face of someone who knows more than their willing to tell you.

I do not wish to spoil the rest of the movie, but I’m sure the trailer kind of implies what happens to Cream and K. One of them is terminally ill, and spends the rest of the movie trying to hookup the other with someone. The movie becomes depressing as it edges toward the end. I really felt awful having to watch the two characters I had come to love suffer through what they do. However, there is a twist at the end, and it’s so unnecessary. It’s the kind of twist that doesn’t necessarily ruin the movie, but it is simply there so either to further drive home a point, redeem a character, or give hope. In this case, the twist is really just there to reiterate how horrible the situation is for K and Cream. Not only was the twist not needed, but it adds like another 15 to 20 minutes to a film that had already struck close to home. To use a metaphor: “Killing my rabies-infested pet was hard enough, but I have to kill him while he’s barking angrily at me?”

I recommend this movie! It’s not perfect, but it really excelled at its character building. It also manged to do so in a way that didn’t’ involve verbal exposition. We got to see flashbacks, and subtle references. The movie also forces us to form our own opinions about the characters and the decisions they make. There are a few supporting characters that take advantage of the misfortune that has befallen K and Cream. Should we think they’re heartless? That they lack compassion? Or do we thank them for doing our heroes a favor? And I even wondered about K and Cream. Was it okay for one to be selfish and carry a huge burden alone? Should the other one have spoken up and offered their full support even without being asked too? If you truly love someone, wouldn’t you want to see them do well, knowing you won’t be a part of their future?