Aya Okamoto

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Azumi Review


Good
When underground director Ryuhei Kitamura announced that he'd be making Azumi, his first film inside the Japanese studio system after a successful run of independent films (Versus, Aragami), fans may have had just cause to fear. Not only was he joining the mainstream machine, but he was also directing -- for the first time -- a script in which he had no hand. As it turns out, there's no need for concern.

Azumi opens in war-torn feudal Japan. A clan of assassins, raised from youth by their master Gessai (Yoshio Harada, resembling no one so much as a Japanese Burt Reynolds), endeavor to wipe out three warlords bent on waging yet another bloody struggle to rule the country.

Continue reading: Azumi Review

Azumi Review


Good
When underground director Ryuhei Kitamura announced that he'd be making Azumi, his first film inside the Japanese studio system after a successful run of independent films (Versus, Aragami), fans may have had just cause to fear. Not only was he joining the mainstream machine, but he was also directing -- for the first time -- a script in which he had no hand. As it turns out, there's no need for concern.

Azumi opens in war-torn feudal Japan. A clan of assassins, raised from youth by their master Gessai (Yoshio Harada, resembling no one so much as a Japanese Burt Reynolds), endeavor to wipe out three warlords bent on waging yet another bloody struggle to rule the country.

Continue reading: Azumi Review

Tokyo Godfathers Review


Good
Tokyo Godfathers, a rough-and-tumble anime tale that introduces us to a homeless alcoholic, his slightly crazy transvestite friend , and an 11-year-old runaway, takes place in Tokyo's seediest back alleys and hovels. Disney this ain't.

Alcoholic Gin (Toru Emori), his drag queen friend Hana (Yoshiaki Umegaki), and young Miyuki (Aya Okamoto) are digging through the trash on a snowy Christmas Eve when they find an abandoned baby adorable beyond description. Hana immediately falls in love and claims that he's always wanted to be a mother. Gin is more skeptical. How can three bums take care of a needy baby? Miyuki just wants to help any way she can.

Continue reading: Tokyo Godfathers Review

Aya Okamoto

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