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Completed
Beneath the Shadow
17 people found this review helpful
by Ohmu
Apr 5, 2021
Completed 0
Overall 8.5
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 8.5
Rewatch Value 7.5

"When looking at someone, you should look at the other side, where the shadow is deepest.”

Hiasa disappears amid the devastating 3/11 Tohoku earthquake, and tsunami strikes Iwate Prefecture, of which Morioka is the capital city. During Konno's search for him, the truth starts to unravel, revealing Hiasa’s other side and the deepest part of his shadow. Years later, Konno seems to conclude that his friend Hiasa himself was perhaps a fish swimming in the wrong waters, unable to conform to the world around him. In the end, it felt alright for him to remain a mystery because a mystery was what he was.

The characters convey their true thoughts in such complex and subtle expressions. Along with the symbolic connotations portrayed through things such as fish, plants, and fire, there are many hidden implications in the words that the characters choose to express, their gestures, actions, and reactions. It was very engaging to grasp the various subtle meanings weaved behind their lines. And I greatly appreciated the many symbolic connotations presented that allowed a lot of room for interpretation.

The detailed cinematography handles the aspects of perspective and tone very well as it uses that factor to convey complex emotions and moods during each scene. The soundtrack and lack thereof are very fitting and add to the dismal and the tranquil atmospheres throughout the film in a very subtle yet evident manner, making each scene even more compelling.

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Completed
Smoking
4 people found this review helpful
by Ohmu
Mar 20, 2021
12 of 12 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 9.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 9.5
Music 8.5
Rewatch Value 8.5

"Let me peel away this human façade and expose the devil underneath."

'Smoking' is a very well-produced, well-acted, character-driven drama. The opening scene introduces the concept and the characters in the most compelling way. There are many intriguing visuals and action-packed scenes. The charismatic characters, each with a past they have to overcome, make the viewer root for them despite their immoral actions.

There are disturbing scenes and acts of violence presented throughout, including some cringe-worthy moments, but despite that, it was an enjoyable watch. Given that there are 12 episodes, 24 minutes each, the plot is well structured, gradually revealing each character's devastating pasts and how they formed such a strong family bond. The story remains engaging until the very end.

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Completed
140 Ji no Koi
2 people found this review helpful
by Ohmu
Apr 1, 2021
4 of 4 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 8.0
Story 8.5
Acting/Cast 8.5
Music 7.5
Rewatch Value 8.0

"Your imagination can run free."

'140 Ji no Koi' is a miniseries presenting a simple story that unfolds by embedding charming concepts within the main plot. In each episode, we are absorbed into a scene derived from the imagination of Shuhei Tsubuya. His imagination runs free as he interprets Twitter novels composed of 140 characters, offering endless possibilities. He begins to conjure up such engaging stories, each with its unique charm.

The interesting concepts have the potential to be explored in much more depth, which was what I'd initially hoped for, but since this series is short, I thought that the simplistic approach taken was very fitting after all. The scenes were flowing naturally, while the cinematography and tone complement the different emotions presented throughout, and the acting felt pleasant to watch as it amplified the character's charisma. Overall, it's a charming short watch that explores many intriguing concepts in the stories told, leaving me longing for more.

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