Vid Clip: Thirteen Assassins trailer (d. Miike Takashi, 2010)

Unlucky Them, Lucky Us!

by Ender’s Girl

Prolific cult director Miike Takashi’s remake of Kudo Eiichi’s 1963 chanbara classic Juusan-nin no Shikaku/Thirteen Assassins is currently vying for the Golden Lion at the 67th Venice International Film Festival, facing stiff competition from a diverse gallery of auteurs ranging from the acclaimed to the quirky to the downright notorious (uh, Vincent Gallo the Brown Bunny Man, anyone? YUCK). The VIFF runs from Sept. 1-11, 2010.

Set in the late Edo Period, the story of Thirteen Assassins is said to be loosely grounded in history: a covert samurai strike team carefully lays an ambush in a remote mountain village. The target? An evil maharajah — er, noble who will be traversing the nearby mountain pass with his retinue — and this being the time of the Shogunate, “retinue” roughly translates to “a small army of badass bodyguards.” It is a worthy plan, but will the stealth and cunning of these doughty warriors prevail against the sheer numbers of their foes? Well, Japan will find out when the film opens Sept. 25th.

So, why should you watch Thirteen Assassins? Lemme count the ways…

1. Jidaigeki. The very word excites me, lol. I mean, think of all the lovely things that come with the term: Samurai! Swordplay! Blood! Spilled guts! Funny clothing! Horseback riding! Chonmage! (errr okay so I was never a fan of bald-pated topknots, so scratch that) Tranquil mountain forests and pristine streams! Men talking in strange languages!!! (uh, scratch that too, I keep forgetting that Old Japanese is still… Japanese, so it durn’t really matter if I’m watching a contemporary or a period flick, lol.) Still, jidaigeki jidaigeki jidaigeki. *gurgles with happiness*

2. Miike Takashi. Film critics have called him “controversial” and “a maverick.” I’m no connoisseur who can speak with any authority on the matter, because to me he’s just “that dude who directed Crows Zero… and Crows Zero II!!!” Lulz. Well, henceforth he’ll also be known as “that dude who directed the Goro samurai movie” (hahahaha). Miike has earned a reputation for being quite the shocker, oh my (and I admit that the crazymonkey violence in the Crows Zeros could be off-putting at times), but I’m actually looking forward to insane levels of bloodshed in this film, so thank heavens Miike is at the helm and not… Yamada Yoji, who likes to portray the sedate, domesticated side of samurai — case in point, Bushi no Ichibun/Love and Honor [click to read my review]. Heh heh.

3. Inagaki Goro. SMAPster Goro in a Miike chanbara? Cool. SMAPster Goro as The Baddie in a Miike chanbara? Waaaay cooool. (Although it took me some time to get used to seeing him without his Magical Mystery Mono-hair, the one that’s always perfectly coiffed and never moves, lol.) I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that I haven’t seen Goro act in a drama or film, primarily because… his name isn’t exactly bandied about whenever Smappies discuss who they think is the best actor from SMAP. BUT I’ve seen Goro do some great comedy in the SMAPxSMAP sketches – he’s never over-the-top but makes me laugh nonetheless, every bleeping time. Not that… uh, he’ll get to do much of that in a film where he plays this power-trippin’ murderous rapist whose smooth-browed, stoical mien belies a twisted psyche. I don’t know if the story will focus as much on Goro’s character compared to the 13 assassins, but I do hope he makes good with the material he’s given.

4. Suicide Missions. Think Jet Li’s Hero meets Zac Snyder and his 300 codpiece-wearing Spartans meets YamaPi’s Byakkotai (okay scratch that last one lol). As with any suicide mission, you know, as do the brave men who go on them, that such assignments are doomed from the very beginning, and yet they strive to complete their mission, paying dearly in blood and mangled flesh and the very last breath in their battered bodies. I love the reckless bravado and deeper, stronger bonds of brotherhood that infuse stories in this vein, and of course that familiar air of heroic desperation as the men train, fight, and later, die side by side. Each Mission – especially if it is one that seeks justice and the restoration of peace, and most of the time, it does – may be a lost cause from the onset, but one still worth taking. And that always makes for a damn compelling story.

5. Remakes. It’s always interesting to see how old standards are given a fresh re-imagining and re-working by a new team. The familiar story and characters are still there, but now it’s a different mind that brings them to life; a different set of hands putting the pieces back together; a different assemblage of actors inhabiting these beloved roles; a different technology taking the production to an exciting new level of cinematic wizardry; and yes, a new generation of movie audiences — perhaps a little more discerning and sophisticated… or not, lol — demanding to be wowed and entertained. Admittedly, remakes and adaptations are perhaps the diciest things a director can choose to do in his career, for the obvious reason that he will be hard put to deliver something that feels inventive and original while staying true to the spirit of the source material. But from what I’ve read about Miike Takashi, he can be considered anything but predictable, so let’s hope he strikes the right balance in this film. Still worth the (risky) shot, I’ll say.

6. Ensemble Casts. Likened to The Dirty Dozen, the cast of Thirteen Assassins are literally a baker’s dozen of actors whose combined body of work spans decades – continents, even. I cannot wait to see how the dynamics between the actors, and between the characters, will play out in the story. I mean, for lack of a better word… w00t!!! (lol)

7. Yamada Takayuki. Yamada Yamada Yamada, you slay me every time. (Literally in this film it seems! Oooofffhh) Ah Yamada. Where you go, I go. I don’t care if you’re the shortest little assassin of the bunch – or, come to think of it, of any drama/film cast you’ve ever been on, lol. But that’s immaterial. I hope the WHOLE WORLD gets to see you for the incredible actor that you are. I’d be head over heels in love with you by now IF I didn’t pee in terror each time you went off on your crazy-eyed rampages. You scare me sh*tless just thinking about what your loose-cannon characters will do next. Why do you keep playing these volatile, intense, deliciously twisted individuals? Prolly ‘coz you’re the only one in your generation who CAN. That’s how effective an actor you are.

8. Iseya Yusuke. Hahahahahaha thanks to Jenny I think I’ll be following this actor for quite some time. To YamaPi fans *cough* me *cough* he was just that lean, wiry dude from the Ashita no Joe trailer, raring to fight PiPi in the boxing ring. To longtime J-cinema observers he’s THE Iseya Yusuke, model-turned-serious-film-actor-with-“major Hollywood movie”-on-his-resume. I almost didn’t recognize him in Thirteen Assassins because of his grubby, grease-smeared face and wild-man-of-the-wood hairdo, but – ohyeahhh, the second I spotted those telltale cheekbones I knew it was him. Heh heh.

9. Takaoka Sousuke. I’m not a fan, but the dude is cute. And, if the Crows Zero movies are any indication, he can fight summat nasty, too! Besides, a little more eye candy to help balance the leathery old character actors in the cast won’t hurt one bit…

10. Oldies But Goodies. Oh what am I saying, talented old people RUUUULE the Earth, baby. I counted eight veterans in the cast, so yay for age diversity! There’s Yakusho Koji (Shall We Dance?) as Shimada Shinzaemon, the leader of the assassins. And – oh oh! It’s Uchino Masaaki! And oh my goodness, Matsu Takako’s otosan is in this movie too!!!! Lol. Okay, so to others he’s known as Matsumoto Koshiro, revered actor and the current head of Japan’s premiere kabuki clan — and a living national treasure in his own right. But to (my fave J-actress) Matsu Takako he’s simply… Pops. Hmmm… <KimuxMatsu Shipper Alert: I wonder if Kimura will go to the premiere – ostensibly to support his mate Goro… and I wonder if Matsu will likewise be there for her Pops. Will they meet on the red carpet, will they will they??? Oh, and leave the spouse behind, Matsu. I know Kimura always does. *nasty laughter*>

11. Epics. When you take a good story and tell it on a grand scale – with the impressive set pieces, a multitude of extras, ferocious battles scenes (and at least a couple of Braveheart moments), lotsa things blowing up, a sweeping, dramatic score, and yes, heroism and sacrifice in the face of insurmountable odds – just pray that all these elements come together for the perfect fit. Of course, it goes without saying that credible and consistent characterization and plausible storytelling should be prioritized over production size and gloss, but what I’m driving at is that when the storytelling aspect is done well, then the satisfaction derived from a film increases exponentially when the format is a full-blown epic, literally speaking.

12. Nakazawa Toshiaki. The Thirteen Assassins co-producer was also behind the 2009 Oscar winner for Best Foreign Film, Okuribito / Departures [click to read my review], so I’m pretty confident that this chanbara is in good and able hands.

13. Did I say Yamada Takayuki? Heh heh heh.

Here’s my fave piccie of the man, filched — er, borrowed from Yoko-chan’s blog:

What did I say? You slay me every time, Yamada Takayuki. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

*is slain*

***

Photo & info credits: animefact.wordpress.com, asianmediawiki.com, nipponcinema.com, twitchfilm.com

Video credit: dyreashling42 @ Youtube.com

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47 Comments on “Vid Clip: Thirteen Assassins trailer (d. Miike Takashi, 2010)”

  1. jicks Says:

    Why do you keep playing these volatile, intense, deliciously twisted individuals? Prolly ‘coz you’re the only one in your generation who CAN.
    ^^*nods head furiously* Count me in on the Yamada Takayuki bandwagon! I’m consciously seeking out his works nowadays (partially thanks to your constant praise of him ;O) & you are dead-on; the guy is prolific. As soon as I saw his face in the trailer, I was convinced.

    Re Goro, you’re not the only one who’s barely seen him act in a non-SMAP-show format. I have a tiny sneaking suspicion that I may have caught a glimpse of him in Hanazakari no Kimitache e but that’s about it for me. In this trailer though, I almost didn’t recognise him in his costume & hair! But anytime there is a SMAP boy in the house, it’s a good thing (unless it’s combined w/ a saturation of moon, coins & insect references & a Japanese-speaking Taiwawnese actress of course lol)

    I’ve seen a small handful of Miike Takashi’s films & have gotta say, even if though I’ve bn grossed out everytime, there’s no denying the man has some genius ideas brewing inside his head. He def knows how to put a good old-fashioned action scene together. I am indeed clapping my hands hard for the cast & the trailer looks awesome, (even w/o the subs.) Hope the flick does well at Venice.

    But aah, a Sept 25 release in Japan, ne? The question is, will you be in the 13 Assassins line or the *coughs* Kimi ni Todoke line?? xDD (Not that they really have anything to do w/ one another but I don’t suppose they could conjure up some sort of back-to-back special screening package for the two films…)

    Btw, lmao @ Pi/Byakkotai comment- love it😀

    • Ender's Girl Says:

      LOL hountoni??? Was Goro in Hana Kimi???? Ahahahahaha

      *shuts eyes and tries to forget TsukiKoi reference*

      I’m so glad you’re into Yamada Takayuki!!! (Would love to hear your thoughts on Byakuyakou once you’re done. ;-)) Though I don’t think we’ll be fangirling him the way we do, uhhh… other people out there. I never thought of him as an idoru (well obviously ‘coz he’s not, lol) so my regard for him is more of respect and awe and oh-my-gosh-i-can’t-believe-there’s-someone-as-talented-as-you-in-this-land-of-rainbow-haired-gheiboys-and-plastic-dolls-that-sing.

      “But aah, a Sept 25 release in Japan, ne? The question is, will you be in the 13 Assassins line or the *coughs* Kimi ni Todoke line??” << Ahahahahhaha you know me too well. Those two films couldn't possibly be more different but I'd totally go with your b-2-b special screening. Let's watch 13 Assassins first to get the serious stuff out of the way. Kimi ni Todoke will be the perfect antidote to the death and gore — plus, what better topic to dissect (again and again) over milkshakes and burgers and fish ‘n’ chips, than Miura In Love? lalalalalala (Don’t forget to come to the movie house dressed in the entire Russ K catalogue, lol. I got dibs on those goofy blue plaid cut-offs!!!)😀

      • jicks Says:

        haha rainbow hair gheiboys😀
        I think Yamada is interesting to look at, definitely gripping to watch but yah, it’s the respect factor most without a doubt. Who knows what will develop in the future? xPP Not saying that it will happen w/ Yamada but I was kinda like that w/ Eita- for a while recognised he was a pretty good actor but then all of a sudden one day, BAM!! Instant fangirl convert! Too bad he’d hooked up w/ Kimura Kaela by then lol Btw, yes, my congratulations to the newlyweds❤

        Russ K dress code, check! Well, if you're gonna don the blue plaids, I'm shotgunning the… red. On top. And green on the bottom. Surely w/ all these goodies it's feeling a little like Christmas xD

        • Ender's Girl Says:

          Oooohhh “Christmas Morning”!!! (ahahahaha) Your plan is gold, because when we gatecrash the Kimi ni Todoke premiere come Sept. 25th dressed as Christmas presento, hopefully the boy will take the hint, if ya know what I mean…😉 And whatever happens, don’t forget your silver ribbon!!!

          MH: (suspiciously eyeing the two oversized, grinning elves that have suddenly materialized on either side of him, dressed in various red/green/blue articles of clothing (still with their Russ K price tags and discount stickers), and wrapped in giant shiny ribbons emblazoned with the words “Pull bow in case of emergency!!! PULL IT!!!”) “Ano… What’s with the ribbons?”

          jicks & E.G. (in unison): “Why, the better to unwrap us with, my dear!!!” 😀

  2. Jenny Says:

    Hahaha, I’ve gotten you into Iseya Yusuke(now i’m wondering how can I get to the premiere and snatch him hmmmmmm)

    But yeah, this movie looks badass!
    An excellent all around cast both from older actors(Yakusho, I adore shall we dance)and younger but renowned actoss(takaoka, Yamada, Yusuke)
    I hope this would come to the cinemas here even though that is highly unlikely but then we have dvd and the internet to help with that.

    I’ve seen some of Miike’s films like Crows, Sukiaki, Yôkai daisensô and didn’t he do audition which totally freaked me out. Now when I look that’s quite many Miike films ^^

    It’s nice to have a badass samurai film, they are coming quite a bit of those more, for example The Last Chushingura with Yakusho(again) and Sakuradamon-gai no hen with Osawa Takao(yum)

    And on a side not the teaser to Byakuyakou is out and it looks good:
    http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XMjAzNjM5MDI0.html

    • Jenny Says:

      A better youtuve version of Byakuyako trailer with Maki and Kengo (what’s your opinion after watching the teaser ?)

      • Ender's Girl Says:

        I actually watched the teaser several times.😀 Pretty impressive.😉 I liked the ’70s/’80s atmosphere of the shots; it seems that the director intentionally followed the time period in which the novel was set. Well, however this movie is critically received in 2011, I’m still watching it, that I’m sure of. Thanks for sharing the links!

        Re Iseya, yes I have you to blame — er, thank for introducing me to the guy!😉 Zooey recently gave me her copy of Sukiyaki Western Django and I watched the first 5 minutes (just to say hello to Sato Koichi and Ito Hideaki and ohyes, Iseya) before setting the DVD aside for the moment. Looked a bit too western-pulpy for my taste. (And did the cast say their lines in English like, all the way to the end? X__O)

        MOAR samurai movies coming out this year, oh joy! Thanks for the trailer links, both movies looked pretty fab! (I was like, Heyyy JIN! You finally got your hair shaved and worked up into a topknot! hehe. And wow, was that Kato Seishiro as the kid? How wonderful, I’m a huge fan of the kid ^^;;)

        • Jenny Says:

          Yes, they spoke english/engrish to the end. Yusuke and Yoshno Kimura has quite decent english. Mainly because Yusuke’s past model work and Yoshino grew up in London.

          It seems to be back as a trend samurai movies. Osawa’s and Koji’s other movie are both based on real events. I think Osawa’s version is more realistic though, it’s based on a incident where a shogunate official was assasinated by a group of anti-shogunate rebel.
          http://www.animeigo.com/liner/samurai/samurai-assassin
          Kato-kun is adorable❤ I just want to pinch his cheeks.

          The trailer does look mighty impressive, the color palette is interesting and the background music wow. Kengo looks threatening in some shots. I think the movie is suppose to be more loyal to the 1970's backgroud as in the book.
          I'll be watching the movie too, I've always prefered Maki's movies over her tv work. (I would love to see your review of Always or Tokyo boy)

          • Ender's Girl Says:

            The article you linked above was such a detailed and interesting read, thanks for sharing!🙂 I knew the broad strokes of that time period, but the backstories and side stories made the historical highlights and personalities from Edo Japan all the more riveting.

            Kato Seishiro is still cute as a button, but he won’t be for long! (drat) (Haha, reminds me of Oguri Shun’s early TV work, a jidaigeki. He was so very young back then! Imagine Oguri Shun being 4-feet high… :D)

  3. wolforion20 Says:

    I don’t know why, but I keep thinking of the Azumi movies and Shinobi: Heart under Blade when I see the previews. Definitely worth watching, esp. with Yamada (totally fell in love with him in Taiyou no Uta and Lunch Queen). And I heart Iseya Yusuke from his role in the horribleness that was Sukiyaki Western Django (movie did not live up to the trailer), but the guy is a great actor and not too bad looking.

    • Ender's Girl Says:

      Lunch Queen was my first Yamada Takayuki drama, and although I was too busy ogling Tsumabuki Satoshi, Yamada make quite an impression already. Oh, and what did you think of Byakuyakou?🙂

      Re Taiyo no Uta — that’s the drama set by the sea, where Sawajiri Erika’s character can’t come out in the sun or she’ll get fried or something? I think I watched the first episode but put it on hold as I didn’t see any *ZAP! POW! OOFFFHH!* kind of spark between her and Yamada during their first meeting.

      Haven’t seen the Azumi movies but I did get to watch Shinobi. I mostly slept through that film ‘coz it took everyone such a long time to DIE, lol. Gomen gomen, it’s obvious I wasn’t that invested in the story.😄

      lol @ “horribleness that was Sukiyaki Western Django”😀 Was it really that bad?

      • wolforion20 Says:

        I haven’t watched Byakuyakou yet, so no impressions. It’s one of those I just wasn’t sure I wanted to watch, but I’ll have to check it out.

        Taiyou no Uta is that exactly. They have alright chemistry, but it’s depressing knowing the main character will die, but the acting is good for the most part. I think I watch it mainly for Yamada. When I start liking an actor, I go through their credits and try to watch a lot of their stuff.

        If you like Oguri Shun, Ueto Aya, Narimiya Hiroki, or Ishigaki Yuma, the Azumi movies are worth checking out. A lot of blood and carnage for really no reason. Shinobi was dull, but I liked Yakama Yukie and was fascinated by Odagiri Jo, so I have it a try. They did take forever to finally kill everyone off.

        And, yes, Sukiyaki was that bad. The trailer looked interesting, but the movie definitely fell flat (Oguri Shun had a brief appearance). I want to know why it wasn’t in Japanese and everyone spoke in heavily accented English. The plot was stupid – but hey it’s another gory movie where everyone kicks the bucket.

        • Ender's Girl Says:

          Katori Shingo also made a cameo in Sukiyaki, and so did Tarantino (now why am I not surprised, lol). Okay now that you brought the movie down a couple more pegs from my first impression of it (which was bad enough already), the chances of me giving the disc another spin just went pffft.🙂

          Thanks for the Azumi movies rec, I’ll try to check them out. ^^;;

          “When I start liking an actor, I go through their credits and try to watch a lot of their stuff.” << A Completist! Sounds a lot like someone I know, heh heh heh😀

  4. Mil Says:

    This.Looks.Mighty.Cool.

    I’m v. excited and looking forward to see this. Which means I’ll probably get to see it mid-2012 because history has shown me that the more I yearn the more end up having to wait. (To be fair, my lack of mental system is to blame too, while watching the trailer the first time it occured to me while stuff was blowing up that I haven’t watched Red Clff yet, and that’s been on my list for centuries!)

    Anyway, stupidity moment: the third time I watched the trailer, at 00:45 my brain was mucking around and dubbed it “Young man, young man, listen… Your loins are on fire.” Try that, the face he makes is priceless.

    • Ender's Girl Says:

      Wait, you sure it was 00:45? It’s just a shot of the 13 samurai sitting on tatami mats. To whom were you referring? (the loins on fire line is pretty lmao though)😀

      Argh, Red Cliff!!! I also cannot believe I haven’t seen this film, I mean it’s freakin’ Tony+Takeshi, yo. I know what you mean, as my fandom keeps growing, my drama+film backlog just keeps piling up and there’s no end in sight. *sigh* Which reminds me: gotta watch Bandage sooooon.😉

      • Mil. Says:

        Yes yes, from the voiceover to 00:45 to, oh, I don’t know, about 00:53 maybe? The most LMFAO thing to me was realizing how absolutely and hopelessly random my brain is, though!😛

        Argh, Red Cliff!!! I also cannot believe I haven’t seen this film, I mean it’s freakin’ Tony+Takeshi, yo.
        Exactly. I mean, aside from the fact that I have spent the last, what? 15 years? wishing I could become Takeshi Kaneshiro’s toothbrush, I really loved every single bloody movie he was in (that I actually got around seeing, that is) and this one’s a John Woo film! The man I’ve wanted to adopt me since I saw the Better Tomorrow movies!
        *sits in a corner and mopes* Days aren’t just long enough for me to combine my private life, work life and fangirl obsession all at once!

        (And yes, you do have to watch Bandage and tell me if you too think JinJin behaves a bit like a drunk teletubby in all the scenes where he’s not emo – and a bit in those too :D)

        • Ender's Girl Says:

          “15 years? wishing I could become Takeshi Kaneshiro’s toothbrush” << Lmao!!!😀 Have you seen K20: Legend of the Mask? Much like Zorro meets V for Vendetta.

          “drunk teletubby” lol🙂 << Isn't that how Jin is all the time anyway? I mean did he not just play himself in Bandage?

          • Mil Says:

            I’ve yet to see K20! I remember I watched the trailer, last year maybe, in German (dubbed in German, very lol!) and it went straight into my “priority list”. Which confuses me because there are hundreds of films I’ve wanted to watch much more than, say, Bandage and yet I’ve seen the latter but not the ones I was squealing about. J’s dark powers at work again, mayhap?

            I mean did he not just play himself in Bandage? Well, lots of people in the d-addicts forum had said so too, and I’d say yes but no. His aloofness towards, say, the band manager, and his baka moments do quite remind me of the Jin in the Making of footages. But then again, other members of LANDS seemed more behind the stages KAT-TUN than he did. (e.g. the Jonny Greenwood wannabe character who would just sit around with a sour expression until it’s his time to do something was more JinJin than Natsu, Jin’s character)

            I think Natsu mostly shows what Jin might have been like if he had never made that pact with the dev… I mean, signed up with JE. The only scene where Natsu is actually being Jin Akanishi in my opinion is during the “let’s make a section showing various scenes that will show the audience how LANDS are becoming famous” part, where he’s posing for a photoshoot with two girls at his sides and making a “Johnny’s Approved” expression.

          • Ender's Girl Says:

            “there are hundreds of films I’ve wanted to watch much more than, say, Bandage and yet I’ve seen the latter but not the ones I was squealing about. J’s dark powers at work again, mayhap?”

            Hahahaha I know, right?🙂 I try to assuage the guilt by watching one “respectable” film for every fangirly movie that I see, although in reality that ratio is more like 1:87484374 hahaha

            Ok, off to find mesself a copy of Bandage! (Hope it’s not German-dubbed, lol)

            (lol @ JE = the devil incarnate :D)

  5. Aireinu Says:

    There is one more Japanese movie “vying for the Golden Lion”. It has no less celbrities tied to it, and it’s based on a Murakami (!) novel, which doesn’t happen very often. Aren’t you excited for “Norwegian Wood”?

    • Ender's Girl Says:

      Yeah, heard about Norwegian Wood too. But since I’m not too crazy over Murakami’s writing, and in fact, even less so about Tran Anh Hung’s directorial style, I can’t say I’m excited over this film. But will probably watch it just to see what the fuss is all about.😉

  6. Claire Says:

    HAha I just wanted to say that I keep hearing from you these days- I’m “Claire” on Dramafever (the older woman/younger man article) and you also commented on my personal blog Coffee and Irony a little while ago (I don’t usually spread this around cause I try and keep my personal and professional life separate so shh). It’s all good though cause I love reading your blog -have been aware of it for a year now and have recently been getting super addicted. I look forward to more comments/dialogue back and forth between us!😀

    • Ender's Girl Says:

      I know right?😀 We’ve been crossing paths a lot lately. I stumbled across C&I early 2010, way before I realized you were ambergold from LJ and Claire from Dramafever. I do enjoy visiting your personal blog because it’s so refreshing and cultured, lol. But I understand how you wish to separate the real-life from the fangirling side of you (I’m like that too ;-)), so I won’t mention your personal blog here anymore, or on LJ.😉 Would you rather I called you “ambergold” here and on LJ? Then I can just call you “Claire” over at C&I and DF.

      Yep, I’m also looking forward to our future exchanges!😀

  7. therainhouse Says:

    Ummm.. Can someone explain what jidaigeki and chonmage means? Does jidaigeki refer to an ancient period or is it strictly samurai stuff alone?

    I don’t understand it. =( Sorry?

    • Ender's Girl Says:

      jidaigeki = period drama (TV, film or stage), can refer to any time period but usually applies to Edo/Tokugawa Japan (1603 – 1868)
      chanbara = sub-genre of jidaigeki with lots of action and swordplay
      chonmage = traditional Japanese hairstyle; most commonly associated with the partially shaved scalp and topknot popular among samurai in Edo Japan
      🙂

  8. therainhouse Says:

    Oh thanks, Ender’s Girl.. That was helpful.

    =)

  9. doozy Says:

    I’m usually not a fan of gore but saw Yamada’s name, curiosity piqued, and had to click.

    LOL @ your comments about his, um, “vertically challenged” attribute and previous performances. I also agree that Yamada is definitely talented, especially in those psychotic roles. Although, I did manage to watch the first ep. of Crying Out Love… and he was a sweetie.. all shy and smitten with Ayase’s character. (remember how I said I wanted to finish most/all of Ayase’s work prior to the airing of HnH2.. well, that project was total fail…ahahah)

    • doozy Says:

      To add: in the V-formation picture above, you can totally pick out which one in there is Yamada. poor thing…

      • Ender's Girl Says:

        ^ lololololol!!! it’s a good thing I had just set down my coffee mug before reading your comment or I would’ve sloshed the drink all over my laptop while doubling over laughing. oh man *wipes away residual tears*😀

        Hmmm, I dunno if I’d want to see Yamada as a romantic lead (mebbe that’s why I haven’t seen Crying Out Love, and couldn’t get past Ep. 1 of Taiyo no Uta, his weepy ren’ai with Sawajiri Erika). Besides, I already have enough cute (and occasionally talented, heh) boys (and men, heh) crowding that category. I love it when Yamada goes where few actors his age would even dream of going, so I think I’ll stick with his psycho/gray-area characters, thank you very much.🙂 Take, for instance, his upcoming Fall 2010 drama where he plays a badass loan shark. He’s barely even recognizable with the cropped hair, glasses and beard. I hope the other aspects of the drama measures up to the talent he can bring to this role. Booyah *rocker sign*

  10. Jenny Says:

    Had to make a new comment.
    Yes, little Shun awwww he was cute as a button.
    Now he is all grown up and very fine.
    I remember watching GTO and suddenly there was Shun all scrawny and skinny (and this was after watching HYD where Shun was the ultimate prince charming).

    I love reading about real historical events, I was addicted to Atsuhime so I started reading about her and princess Kazu no miya as well as about the inner palace Ooku in general.
    Have you seen Battle league Horumo ? It has Yamada takayuki and Kuriyama Chiaki.

    • Ender's Girl Says:

      Lol, Shun was in GTO? That drama has been on my (very long) to-watch list since jicks gave it a high rating on her blog.

      Have not seen Battle League Horumo, but thanks for the rec!😉

      • Jenny Says:

        You should watch GTO it was quite funny and of course it’s fun to see Nanako Matsushima meet her hubby Takashi Sorimachi(they got married after filming and now have two kids)
        Shun is so scrawny in GTO it’s unbeliavable!

        • wolforion20 Says:

          Isn’t Shun usually scrawny? But him with that poofy hair and the stripping scene to prove that he was bullied . . . definitely something never to forget. I have to finish that series still

          • Jenny Says:

            Well yeah, maybe I could say he was scrawnier and shorter.^^
            That scene was unforgettable I don’t think I even noticed his chestproblem there.

  11. tok2006 Says:

    i´ve just watch the film in Sitges Festival, and i love it!! I pick up some extracts for my blog!!

  12. Genjizawa Says:

    I cant wait to watch it no subs yet T_T im a big yamada fan not because of his looks since im not gay lol but he’s a fantastic actor. I hope some directors in hollywood will notice his talent probably Tarantino since he knows takashi mike well of course he cant be in a romantic comedy since hes not that attractive in western audience but im VERY VERY sure he can be a great character actor if only he can be cast in the newest POTC im sure he can act pirate along with johnny depp. Hahaha maybe some of you will think im out of my mind Johnny depp??? takayuki??? of course johnny depp is maybe 100x better but ive seen many japanese actors and i personally think that he’s the only one n his generation who has the talent to break in the hollywood.

  13. Genjizawa Says:

    by the way have you seen yamada takayuki on boss drama ep 4-5 he is badass villain there as a serial killer and he is not the shoretest male lead nino is the same height as him. sorry for my bad english

    • Ender's Girl Says:

      LOL, you’re right, I forgot all about Nino!😀

      I didn’t know that Yamada guested on Boss. Not sure if I have that on DVD, although it may have been included in one of my stashes of dramas that I bought a while back.

      Zomg, Yamada Takayuki may well be Japan’s own Johnny Depp — I SO agree with this! Terrific comparison right there. Like Depp, Yamada is like the Anti-Leading Man, at the same time having the bankability to carry a feature film. I totally agree that Yamada would make a badass pirate!!!🙂 He also does great comedy, very understated — like in the Densha Otoko movie. ^^;;

      “i personally think that he’s the only one n his generation who has the talent to break in the hollywood.” << Tsumabuki Satoshi is also a very talented actor, with the looks to boot.😉

      p.s. Hey pls. don't apologize for your English! You English is FINE. Besides, we understand each other perfectly and that's what really matters, ne?😉

  14. Genjizawa Says:

    I agree that satoshi guy is also talented, i like him in water boys and lunch queen, but he’s amazing in orange days the way he use sign language is very believable and he’s not that tall like yamada heheheh, maybe being not that tall make them best actors….. oh i forgot about Eita he’s tall but talented.

    YAMADA TAKAYUKI im a huge fan of this guy that i happen to watch almost all of his dramas and movies. Just like Johnny Depp i believe that this guy can play all roles EVEN all the WEIRD roles that can you think ALIEN, SERIAL KILLER, GAY LOVER, COCAINE DEALER etc. name it he can play it

    First time is saw yamada was in sekai no chusin his first scene there i already know he’s a great actor(you should watch that series to fully appreciate how amazing an actor this guy is), then i happen to watch taiyou no uta series becauuse i fan of the mvie(with YUI ofcourse)because i want to compare the movie to the series. After watchinh 3 episodes i realize OMG this is the guy in sekai no chusin he’s totally different person here. I first read the manga densha otoko then i happen to know that it has a movie so i give it a try, first part of the movie i didnt notice that this is the guy from sekai no chusin, THEN he cut his hair OMGGGGG sakuuuuu. Then from that i googled him and i found that his name is YAMADA TAKAYUKI and became fan of him…………… so i download 2 of this dramas h2 and byakuyakou. I first watch h2 BTW im huge fan of adaichi mitsuru the author of the manga, after watching i notice that he knows the character well because he is like the character in the manga the way he talk, the way he walk and the way he pitch the ball is very like kunimi hiro. Then i watch byakuyakou just like what you said in your blog OMG what an actor again he’s totaly different person here, he threw himself to the character he’s not yamada takayuki anymore. Then i watch Tegami(his movie with erika swajiri)if your fan of yamada you should watch this, i have watch many japanese movies including foreign movies and i have to say this has the most touching, most beautiful and most epic that you wont forget ending that i see. After this touching movie that made me very sad for two weeks, then i watch MV(his movie with tamaki when he play as a gay priest..)he’s also amazing here with that long hair that resembles red hot chili pepper Dave Navarro that maybe you should not be able to convince that he’s gay BUT yamada play the chacter well and made it belivable(BTW tthe producer cut the intimate scene of yamada and tamaki WHAT A SHAME), then watch IKIGAMI, its a 3 part story with yamada the last story as a brother of a blind sister who lie to her all the time he made me cry there. After that i watch the show that i regret to watch FIREBOYS because as a fan of yamada i wish i should not watch it because IMHO he sucks there, in every episode he cries with no believable reason WTF maybe he’s not develop as an actor there, if your fan of yamada avoid that drama. CROW ZERO the most BADDASS movie that i watched along with two of my favorite actor shun n yamada But i have to agree with what you said, he stole the show OWNING every freakin scene he’s in, I love the scene with him walking with his gang then he notice the cookie on the floor pick it and eat it HAHAHAH that was funny the caharacter was very likable that last kick he used to defeat that michael jackson lookalike(i forgot his name) was HOLY SH**T. BATTLE LEAGUE horumo this movie was the most crazy the most nonesense story that i watch BUT intersting YAMADA prove to me THAT he is a TOP CLASS COMEDIAN to he is so funnny his face expression were hilarious but not exaggerated unlike other JE boys that i know. OK thats all sorry for the long post i just want express that im a huge fan of this guy.

    recommended(yamada’s best)= sekachu, byakuyakou, h2, tegami, MV, ikigami, CROW ZERO, densha otoko movie, battle league horumo, taiyou no uta.

    if only you have time(yamada is good but not great) = waterboys, lunch queen, long love letter, churasan, jenifa, start line.

    waste of time(yamada sucks here)= sono toki, FIREBOYS.

    i want to watch seaside motel, how to chase my girl and 13 assassins but i cant find this on torrent.

    BTW have you happen to watch 13 assassins because i badly want to watch it i check torrents and all i got is the old version i want to watch it with subs T_T

    i still convince that my english is bad, but as you said you understand perfectly im happy to find some yamada takayuki fans here because because being a BADASS amazing actor that he is with overflowing charisma i believe that he is sooooooo underatted beacuse there is only few youtube videos of him.

    • Ender's Girl Says:

      “Just like Johnny Depp i believe that this guy can play all roles EVEN all the WEIRD roles that can you think ALIEN, SERIAL KILLER, GAY LOVER, COCAINE DEALER etc. name it he can play it” << LOL Imma have to agree with you on this one — not that I've seen him in any of these roles yet (except as a killah!). Would be interesting to see him play an alien, though.😀

      Thanks for the Yamada recs. I've especially been wanting to watch H2 but have yet to get my hands on a copy. I tried giving Taiyou no Uta a run but at the end of the first episode I just wasn’t feeling that spark between Yamada and Sawajiri. Long Love Letter I watched mainly for YamaPi and Tsumabuki Satoshi, but that whole drama felt like one interminable trek through a nuclear wasteland — oh wait, it WAS an interminable trek through a nuclear wasteland, lol. Yamada, I remember, was stuck with Pi in most of his scenes. (Boy, that must have felt pretty frustrating for him. Yamada, not Pi I mean :-P) Then in Lunch Queen there’s a scene where Pi’s character cries and only Yamada’s character is there to witness the boy’s pain. I loved both characters to bits, but poor YamaPi was clearly struggling to wring a drop of emotion from his blank little face, and I remember watching this scene and thinking “I wonder what’s running through Yamada’s head right now” lol.😀

      Have not acquired 13 Assassins yet; I’m just waiting for the DVD copy and subs to come out.🙂

      • Genjizawa Says:

        I have watched seaside motel last week, that movie was fanstastic the soundtrack was superb, and yamada characted there was lovable he wa fantastic in that movie. I agree there is no spark between d two but the music there is great so i give it 9/10 movie is better IMO. I recommend you to wacth sekai no chusin because i was interested reading your review for that series.

        • Ender's Girl Says:

          Thanks for the rec.🙂 Crying Out Love is already on my watch list (I got the DVD last year I think). I do plan to review that drama since Yamada and Ayase being in it is too awesome a reason not to.😉

          • Genjizawa Says:

            ok im looking forward for your review. Just dont get depress for weeks after watching it because it happen to me. IMO this is sadder than 1 liter of tears so i warn you hahahah.

          • Ender's Girl Says:

            Well, it’s a samurai+suicide mission movie, so I’m not exactly expecting a feel-good ending.😉 Am just waiting for the DVD to come out before I watch (and review) this baby. Thanks for you advance vote of confidence though😀

  15. Genjizawa Says:

    o i forgot i admire him because he threw that fangirl status that once he had from being a cute boy next door to badass roles that he played. Almost all hate his new look, long hair that almost looks like he’s on drugs. but he doesnt care he wants to play mature roles that even being just 27 he almost looks like a veteran actor because of his acting.

  16. Genjizawa Says:

    ^^ i am not talking about 13 assassins, I still have not watch the film. I am talking about sekai no chusim.


  17. […] premise, yes? The concept alone had me salivating for months, beginning with this anticipatory primer which I posted a while back. But halfway into the film, I realized I may have set my expectations a […]


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