Review of the “Yokozawa Takafumi no Baai” movie53
Living in Japan, we at September Scanlations had the great pleasure of being able to go see Yokozawa and Kirishima’s movie over the weekend, and because we’re all about sharing our experiences with you guys, I’m here to give a short review of the movie as well as answer any questions readers might have. It’ll be several months before the DVD is released, and it’s nowhere near popular enough that you can expect a CAM, given that Japan is quite strict on those sorts of things.
But first, though, some goodies!
The pamphlet is gorgeous and full-color, complete with interviews with Kirishima and Yokozawa’s seiyuu as well as Kita Shuuhei (who sang the OPs for the anime as well as the two movie-only songs), so download it and gawk!
Coming up later will be some new translations and scanlations as well; viewers were given a cute little booklet full of new material (and old), which included a new Trifecta comic as well as a continuation of the Halloween short from several months back. Look forward to that!
I’ll stick the details behind a cut, so only venture back if you feel like it. Let’s get started!
Most of this is pasted from tumblr, so apologies if you’ve read it before! The movie itself was a pretty straightforward adaptation of the novel, so I don’t have much to add, but I’ll touch below on things I liked and didn’t like about it, which will include discussing some scenes.
THINGS I LIKED
- The animation; while half the time it was about the same quality as the TV series (so, questionable XD), a lot of the time it was actually quite nice, for an adaptation of Nakamura’s awkward proportions! Some scenes were especially nice (the scene where Kirishima is concerned that Hiyori resents him for having to work late and leave her alone and Yokozawa goes to great lengths to explain that he’s doing a perfectly fine job–Kirishima’s face here in particular was gorgeous), whereas others left you wondering if they were drawn after most of the budget had been spent :P
- The scene between Yokozawa and Takano was suitably awkward, suitably emotionally draining; I quite liked it, especially the bits of Yokozawa’s thoughts you get to hear during it.
- Yokozawa’s outfit when he goes to see Kirishima after their fight; hot DAMN son was looking REALLY GOOD then. You can see it in the pamphlet–it’s his usual black long-sleeved shirt and jeans, but he’s wearing a jacket with a fur collar on it, which really looks great on him.
- Kirishima tossing Yokozawa down onto his stomach the bed in that first scene when Yokozawa goes off on him was SO DAMN HOT. He was butt naked and Kirishima was fully-clothed and pressing him into the bed AND IT WAS HOT OKAY. Just really really HOT.
- THE SHORTS WERE CUTE. I even laughed a little during the Domestica one (mostly because Chiaki brought up Yuu and ticked off Hatori lololol). I’ll give some summaries here, since this was all new material!
- Trifecta: It’s Valentine’s Day, and Yokozawa is irritated that Kirishima seems to be getting chocolates left and right–and that he’s stuck wondering if he ought to do something himself, hating the sense of awkward obligation. Hiyo sends Yokozawa a text asking him to come to their apartment (and keep it a secret from Kirishima), and once there, she asks him to help her make something chocolate for Kirishima, to which he agrees. Later that evening, after she’s gone to bed, Kirishima settles at the table and sees her chocolate muffins, moved but exhausted from all of the chocolate. He doesn’t miss the chance to ask Yokozawa where his chocolates for Kirishima are, but Yokozawa is adamant that he’s getting none–especially since he got plenty at the office. Kirishima teases him for being jealous, and as Yokozawa takes his leave, he offers Kirishima the batch of muffins he (claims he) made for himself. Kirishima asks where the love confession is–explaining that receiving chocolates with a confession of true love is how it’s supposed to go. The short closes with their argument about whether or not this is indeed how things are.
- Domestica: Hatori reflects that he’s always made Chiaki chocolates for Valentine’s Day but wishes Chiaki would give him some just once–and upon arriving at Chiaki’s place to deliver the chocolates sent in by readers, he finds the kitchen a mess with a very flustered Chiaki seemingly irritated that he’s early for once. When he asks what’s going on, Chiaki claims he’s learning to make chocolates for an upcoming manga installment. Hatori reminds him that it’s already February 14th; any installment now will be too late. He then says that it’s for the next year, and Hatori scoffs that he’ll just have forgotten it by then. Chaiki is forced to admit he was making chocolates for Hatori, who is quite moved–until he sees the product, which is not very impressive at all. Chiaki is ashamed but swears they’re perfectly edible–because he gave some to Yuu earlier, who said they definitely tasted like chocolate. Hatori becomes irritated realizing that Chiaki shared his chocolates with Yuu, and despite Chiaki’s protests that it was just giri chocolate (chocolates given out of obligation to friends and coworkers, as compared with honmei chocolates, which are given to an object of romantic affections), Hatori drags him protesting into the bedroom and slams the door shut. The short fades out on Chiaki’s continued protests.
- Erotica: Kisa arrives at Marimo Books to meet Yukina, only to find a huge line of girls waiting inside the store to give him chocolates. He considers leaving but remembers that Yukina asked to see him–and since he has an early meeting the next day and Yukina has class first thing in the morning, they can’t spend the night together, so this is the least he can do. He waits outside, and Yukina exists the building–only to be surrounded by more girls, leaving Kisa to awkwardly slip away. But Yukina politely turns down the girls’ chocolates, explaining that because he has someone he has honmei feelings for (romantic affection, true feelings), it wouldn’t be right of him to accept their chocolates. Later, as they’re taking a walk, Yukina excitedly offers Kisa the homemade chocolates he made, claiming it was his first time but it was a lot of fun. Kisa is embarrassed that he hasn’t prepared anything, trying to make up for it by asking Yukina if there’s anything he wants, so Kisa can buy it. Yukina asks for a kiss–and Kisa freaks out, because they’re in public and there’s no way he can do that. He then asks for Kisa to say he loves him, but Kisa again freaks out and asks why he has to ask for such difficult things. Yukina doesn’t think they’re “difficult” but admits–with crazy sparkly shoujo effects–that he’s happy just to have seen Kisa. This pushes Kisa over the edge, and in an incoherent stupor he babbles, “L-L-L-L-LOVE YOUR FACE” (かかかか顔すき！). Yukina teases him with a pouted, “Aww, so you only like my face…?” and Kisa struggles to take it back, embarrassed how it came out, and eventually just throws caution to the wind and rushes forward, grabbing Yukina by his scarf and tugging him down to lay a big fat kiss on his lips. Yukina takes a long moment to process what has just happened before wrapping Kisa in a huge hug and professing his love.
- Nostalgia: Ritsu just doesn’t know what to do with himself on Valentine’s Day, irritated at seeing Takano receiving so many chocolates from women in the office but unsure of what that means or what he’s supposed to do about it. He buys some curry ingredients after work and texts Takano, explaining that he made too much, and if Takano would like, he can have some of the leftover curry. Takano’s eyes widen comically when he receives the text, and he rushes over–but instead of just putting the curry into tupperware containers, he settles in and joins Ritsu for dinner. Ritsu is less than thrilled and confused as to why Takano would have such an appetite when he’s probably been eating chocolates all day long. Takano explains, confused himself, that he hasn’t had any chocolates all day. The ones on his desk were all for the editing division in general (and the smell was so sickeningly sweet he couldn’t eat any), and any that were given to him out of personal feelings of affection, he turned down. When Ritsu asks why–Takano explains soberly that he doesn’t plan on eating any chocolates unless they come from the person he has honmei feelings for (so, Ritsu). He stands to get himself another helping of curry, but Ritsu tries to stop him, offering to get it himself. Takano is irritated at Ritsu’s adamant protests, pushing past him into the kitchen–until he sees sitting on the cutting board a half-opened bar of chocolate, evidence that Ritsu had included some of the chocolate in the curry Takano had been eating. Ritsu freaks out, explaining that it was just a special ingredient he’d heard was good in curry, and Takano reflects here that in the end, he’s only had chocolate from his honmei person today, just like he wanted–and he leans down to give Ritsu a chaste peck on the cheek, chiding him for being so indirect. Ritsu thinks to himself that seeing how happy the chocolate in the curry made Takano…made him a little happy himself.
- As the credits rolled after the above shorts, there were images of all four couples: popular pics of them but done in the anime style instead of Nakamura’s own. Trifecta had their first color insert from Volume 1 (the one where they’re sharing a cigarette), Domestica had one of their novel covers, Erotica had a chapter cover with Kisa and Yukina back-to-back (with Yukina’s hair up in that lovely ponytail), and Nostalgia had one of the recent chapter covers where Ritsu’s in a white suit and Takano carrying him. I can’t wait for the DVD so that you guys can see how great the art looked!
THINGS I DIDN’T LIKE
- Scenes that were cut short or cut altogether; we didn’t get to see Yokozawa and Yukina interacting at all (one of my absolutely favorite parts of Yokozawa’s Case; instead, Yokozawa has internal monologue while walking through Marimo, and you see Yukina in the background, but they don’t stop to speak), the scene with Hiyo and Yokozawa cooking was cut after Yokozawa realized he had to wear the apron (I’d hoped to see some cute scenes of them interacting there), and—of course—the porn was utterly nonexistent (not even fade-to-black; Kirishima goes in for a very chaste peck on the lips, then literally: cut and roll credits :P). I’d hoped because it was a movie, they could afford to include all of the scenes, embellish them and all, but I suppose a movie period was already a big risk, so they still aren’t quite at the stage where a BL movie can be a REAL MOVIE. A good effort, but still room for improvement. Hopefully this movie will do well, and they’ll be encouraged to do more in the future!
- Some scenes I didn’t quiiiiite think lived up to what it should have been (felt a little rushed) were the confrontation on the rooftop and the scene on Kirishima’s balcony toward the end. It wasn’t bad it just felt a little rushed. Subsequent viewings made them feel a little more complete, but at first blush, they weren’t quite up to par.
- The movie itself progressed really quickly–with whole days passing by in a flash and confusing the viewer. For example, in one scene, we see Yokozawa walking into Marukawa in the morning, interacting with one person, and then sitting at his desk. Literally the next scene he heads up to the Japun area and is invited out for drinks by Kirishima. This was kind of funny, too, because it made it look like Kirishima was taking him out drinking at like 9 AM XD;;; A little pacing or clearer definition of scenes would have helped here.
THINGS I’M NOT SURE ABOUT
- You may have noticed I didn’t mention Kirishima’s voice above…and that’s because I’m going to talk about it here! I won’t keep you in suspense: his voice was a LOT higher than I expected it to be, much closer to Yukina’s voice, and like Yukina’s, I expect it’ll take a little time to get used to. I was definitely more used to it as time went along, and as long as I kind of adjusted my idea of what kind of a person Kirishima is—to more of a happy guy than a sultry tease—it fit. One thing I thought was interesting, though, was that Furuya himself wasn’t sure if it fit, because he read in the 4th novel (HE READ. IN THE FOURTH NOVEL. PRECISELY 3 NOVELS MORE THAN WHAT HE NEEDED TO READ FOR THE PART. OKAY.) a bit where Kirishima leans in close and whispers something in Yokozawa’s ear, and his voice is described as “a beautiful low timbre”, which doesn’t really describe his Kirishima voice XD; It wasn’t bad, just unexpected, so for anyone who was wondering, I thought I’d give a preemptive, “Be prepared, but don’t assume you’ll be disappointed!” It took a little getting used to, but in the end, I’m satisfied!
I also had the great pleasure of attending the butai aisatsu (literally “stage greeting”), which is an event where the actors in a show give a short interview in person after the show. This meant I got to see Horiuchi Ken’yuu and Furuya Tohru/Sougetsu Noboru (his BL pseudonym) chat and interact live! Horiuchi and Furuya were amazing together, playing off of each other really comfortably, and Furuya spent the whole time pretending to be his BL seiyuu alter ego (Sougetsu Noboru) and calling Furuya his “amazingly talented sempai” that he happened to look and sound like XD Horiuchi played along, confessing that while he respected Furuya-san, he was glad that “Sougetsu-kun” was his partner in this venture, and that if Furuya-san had been given the role of Kirishima, he would have turned down the part.
Kita Shuuhei was there as well, and he gave an impromptu concert where he sang the new song for the 4-couple shorts (there were two songs—one for the movie, one for the shorts, and the one for the movie was a lot more emotional and slower, whereas the one for the shorts was closer in tempo and feel to the two OP themes). Overall it was a ton of fun, and if anyone is in Japan (or Tokyo) at the moment, I really encourage you to check it out! You definitely won’t be disappointed!