Well, there’s a thing: a Tomie movie with a plot! And I have to say it’s not at all bad, despite being made on a budget that would make a grown director weep.
Perhaps some of this giddy enthusiasm comes from having sat through the interminable Tomie 2. Sheer relief at not being faced with another whey-face, smirking teen queen may have led me to see this one as better than it is. Or perhaps it’s because some of my favourite Japanese boys feature herein. The pretty and pouty Tsumabuki Satoshi, from Dragon Head and Waterboys, has a leading role. Granted, he doesn’t get wet and wiggly, nor does he fall over, much, but he’s still a mighty purty face to look at.
Then, for the true connoisseurs, there’s Shugo Oshinari, who played the smart-boy-turned-bully in the haunting and beautiful All About Lily Chou-Chou. He doesn’t get to strut his acting stuff much here, but he does manage to imbue his character with the lost elfin pathos that served him so well in Lily Chou-Chou.
Aside from that, the female lead (the non-Tomie one, that is) is quite satisfying from my grouchy old perspective. She’s very sensible and not at all fluffy, and I found myself liking her even after, well, even after what happens. You’ll see.
Okay, it’s not Lily Chou-Chou. It’s not even Waterboys. But as a Tomie movie, it’s not half bad. It’s got pretty boys and pretty girls, the compulsory buckets-o-blood, a plot, a plot twist, and some of the finest rural Japanese scenery you’ll see this month.