I guess that I’d felt that I’d ignored the Japanese side of things lately, so I watched a movie, a documentary, and a travel/food/documentary series this week!
First up was the movie After the Storm, with Abe Hiroshi, which I watched on Amazon Prime. The plot (from the summary on Wikipedia) is as follows:
Dwelling on his past glory as a prize-winning author, Ryota (Hiroshi Abe) wastes any money he makes as a private detective on gambling and can barely make ends meet or pay child support for his son. He makes extra money by offering his own services to the detective agency’s clients.
Not a whole lot happens, IMO, it’s a little too low-key for my taste, but at least no one gets shivved with a sushi blade 😉
The documentary was one I watched on Netflix and was a one of those cultural puzzlers (“How are people like that?”) called Tokyo Idols. I enjoy the performances of the youngsters (from my perspective) from groups like BTS and more, but the whole business of “idol” girl performers and the men who worship them is more than a little bit squicky. Here’s the description:
Girl bands and their pop music permeate every moment of Japanese life. Following an aspiring pop singer and her fans, Tokyo Idols explores a cultural phenomenon driven by an obsession with young female sexuality, and the growing disconnect between men and women in hyper-modern societies.
The documentarians explore the social ramifications (lonely men not forming real world emotional connections and families, contributing to the declining birthrate, and the fetishizing of young girls as pure and desirable objects), but could have gone a lot further IMO.
The last viewing was much more enjoyable; this was the charming and too short 6-part series on Amazon Prime called The Tale of Kitto Katto.
Tastemaker Emmy Cho eats her way across Japan on a quest to discover Japan’s unique Kit Kat flavors.
Starting off by sampling a regional flavor of Kit Kat bars, for example, matcha in Kyoto, the host explores the ingredient and its significance in that region. She’s fresh and appreciative and asks just the right questions. Each episode runs from 10 to 13 minutes and I would love to see more. Maybe she can explore Japanese sodas next?