Welcome to PsychoDrama! This site contains movie and drama reviews, casting news, trailers, movie posters and information about the latest Japanese productions, including profiles of established and aspiring young actors and actresses. We feature the hitlist - rankings of the hottest Japanese talents and actors' bias articles - where we discuss prominent talents including Shota Sometani, Yuya Yagira, Fumi Nikaido, Sosuke Ikematsu, Masaki Suda, Ryunosuke Kamiki, Ai Hashimoto, Mayu Matsuoka, Mitsuki Takahata, Aoi Morikawa, Hiroya Shimizu, Nijiro Murakami, Hana Sugisaki and many others. Join in our discussion and let us know what you think! Started in March 2012, you can find out more about us here.
Viewed at Namba Parks Cinema in Osaka, Japan.
I was vacationing in Japan and decided to take in a movie. Since I don't speak Japanese, I based my selection off of the poster art alone. "Hana No Ato" (aka "After the Flowers") was the film that looked most worthy of consideration, so I gave it a shot and it turned out to be a thrilling period piece.
The storyline, from what I gather, concerns a woman (named Ito) who trains in swordfighting with her father. Ito at one point challenges a samurai acquaintance to a friendly, competitive duel involving bamboo sticks which ignites an attraction between the two. Subsequent to this event, a few conflicts involving honor and justice are introduced that drive the rest of the proceedings.
The most apparent observation regarding "Hana No Ato" is that it feels very similar to Yoji Yamada's samurai trilogy – "Twilight Samurai" (2002), "The Hidden Blade" (2004), and "Love and Honor" (2006). So much so, in fact, that I was actually surprised to find out that Yamada did not direct this. The similarities, however, are no coincidence. The screenplay was adapted by a short story written by the late Shuhei Fujisawa, whose writings were the basis for Yamada's trilogy. "Hana No Ato" has a comparable focus on character/conflict development to effectively build anticipation for a final confrontation.
The storyline is a familiar premise, but the execution is so strong that it will almost surely impress fans of this genre. There is one training duel and one swordfight, both of which are excellent as they employ realism and proficient choreography. Acting is restrained with emotion expressed through slight mannerisms, and Keiko Kitagawa is entirely convincing as the lead. The cinematography and capturing of natural environments are also fantastic.
It's important to note that I was definitely not in the mood for this type of film when I sat down to watch it, yet it captivated me nonetheless. I plan to purchase it on DVD as soon as it's available.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Have you watched this movie? Are you a fan of Keiko Kitagawa? Let us know what you think!
13oys and Men - Promoting awesome and talented young Japanese actors, with lots of screenshots and insights into the careers of top and upcoming Japanese talents.
Asian Addicts Anonymous - Comprehensive reviews and recaps of exciting Japanese drama, including interesting post on Asian music and movie news.
Clover Blossoms - Korean and Japanese movie and drama reviews, with recaps, recommendations, and trivia!
Drama Max - Japanese movie and drama reviews from a different perspective. Connected with Resonance Media, a management company handling Japanese musical talents.
Film Beats (From the East) - Asian American / East Asian Film Reviews and Announcements in Montreal
Genkinahito's Blog - Reviews, news, box office results & some amazing insights into Japanese films, including manga and anime.
My Drama Tea - Honest and insightful reviews of Japanese drama, also reviews of Chinese, Korean and Taiwanese series, with music news and movie reviews.
Ritsu No Dorama Land - J-dorama reviews with a difference, complete with recaps that really complements the review.
OtherWhere - Comprehensive trailer showcase, insightful reviews of Japanese movies (both indies and mainstream), and a great resource for news on Studio Ghibli too!
The Corner of the Mind - Drama reviews (with detailed analysis of up and coming dramas via first impressions) and anime spotlights.