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Thursday, November 07, 2013

Sean Kelly

Reel Asian 2013: My Thoughts on The Kirishima Thing

The_Kirishima_Thing

The Japanese teen comedy The Kirishima Thing follows a group of high school students over the course of a five day period, all of whom are affected by a student named Kirishima, who is nowhere to be found.  Those affected by Kirishima’s disappearance include his girlfriend Risa (Mizuki Yamamoto), best friend Hiroki (Masahiro Higashide), as well as players from the school’s volleyball team, who suffer a major loss due to his absence.  Unintentionally in the middle of “The Kirishima Thing” is Ryoya (Ryûnosuke Kamiki), the head of the school’s movie club, who sets out to make his dream project, while also finding a connection with fellow student Kasumi (Ai Hashimoto).

On its surface, The Kirishima Thing seems to be a mystery about what happened to this missing student, however it is more about how these students cope with the disappearance of the most popular student at the school.  There are moments when the film takes on a Rashomon-style format and shows the same day from the perspective of different students within the school.  These include Risa, who is always seen checking her phone, Aya Sawashima (Suzuka Ohgo), who is always practicing saxaphone of the roof (to spy on the boy she likes), as well as the nerdy film geeks.  All of these students evolve in some way over the course of five days and are very different people at the end of the film, than the start.

The biggest character arc in the film belongs to film geek Ryoya, who is sick of making art films, that his teacher instructs him to make, and instead sets out to make the zombie film that he truly wants to make.  In fact, Ryoya is so concerned with making his film, that he does seem affected at all with with disappearance of Kirishima.  He also seems to be a bit oblivious to the affections of Kasumi, whom he runs into after a weekend screening of Tetsuo, the Iron Man.  Ryoya’s arc is the glue that holds the film together and I have to say that there is a great payoff at the end to his zombie film subplot.

Overall, I have to say that I found The Kirishima Thing to be quite an enjoyable Japanese teen comedy.  Using the mystery of this missing student as the catalyst, the film a very interesting character study of all the students, who make of the social hierarchy of this high school.

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Sean Kelly

About Sean Kelly -

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described über-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).