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Shigatsu no monogatari [四月の物語]

Drama Details
Title:Shigatsu no monogatari
April story
Season:Winter 1998

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Duration:1 Movie

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Actor/Actress Cast (4)
Matsu Takako
Tanabe Seiichi
Katoh Kazuhiko
Fujii Kahori

Related Links (2)
1. April Story gallery
2. http://myhome.shinbiro.com/~nizza4/html/april.htm

Drama Reviews (3)
The review section may contain spoilers! Please understand
that you may find out about this drama's endings and plots!

1. Shigatsu monogatari (1998) AKA April Story [Rating: 9/10]
Yesterday I watched Shigatsu monogatari (1998) AKA April Story which features the actress Takako Matsu who stared in Love Generation. If you liked Love Generation I highly recommend it. Matsu is sweet in this short 67 minute drama about a girl Nireno Uzuki who heads to Tokyo for college and once she gets there she is asked why she wanted to be there. That's all I'll say about the plot as it is integral to the film, I'll just mention a few striking scenes.
The film starts as Uzuki leaves her family interrupted by the station master standing waving on a train platform in her home town Hokkaido. You never see her, while at the station, her father proudly explaining to the station master that is daughter is setting off for Tokyo as the train pulls away, the camera reveals her slowly waving mitten. Her family looking excitedly on yelling last minute goodbyes which are inaudible.
In Tokyo a chauffeur, holding an umbrella is brushing a limousine, I thought it was snow at first but then I realized that it was really flower petals, I do not know if they were apple or cherry or even if it makes a difference. A van pulls up and out hops a workmen asking for directions, they are given and the van pulls away as a family carrying all umbrellas to protect and herd a bride in traditional dress into the back of the limo.
A favorite scene of mine is photographed in the rain, with the rain striking a battered borrowed red umbrella it is just beautiful time seems to slow to the point of almost non-existence.
My reason for watching April Story was because the day before I had watched All About Lily Chou-Chou and I wanted to see more by the director Shunji Iwai this film is very different, the actors are older college age adults, and the tone is much lighter, as set by the moving men in the early part of the film. I wish it was longer, I had more I wanted to know about. What was the story with her neighbor? What about her friend from school Kitao Teruko?
Then I have questions about the Japanese culture, Uzuki rides a bike around Tokyo but never locks it, is this normal. Won't it be stolen? The petal storm in the beginning of the film is this true is it widespread through out the city? In college does every student join a club? Do new tenants bring presents to the residents of buildings that they are moving into?
Now it's time to watch the third of Shunji Iwai films I'll have seen this weekend. Hana to Alice (2004) which I saw for the first time last fall and enjoyed very much.
I'm going to post this later tonight to my blog with working links http://burndvdburn.blogspot.com/
Reviewed by Bodhi on 4 September 2005
2. Shunji Iwai's Magic [Rating: 9/10]
Pretty. Thatfs how I would describe this movie. I donft know about you, but most of the time I really have an appetite for slow-unfolding films, this time itfs a lovely and pleasing gslowh movie by much-admired director -- Shunji Iwai. Therefs really something about Mr. Iwaifs films that they have this meek charm and an unyielding realism, and how I like them. gApril Storyh is Iwaifs follow-up film after his amiable 1995 directorial debut -- gLove Letter.h

gApril Storyh tells the tale of a young woman named Nireno Uzaki (Takako Matsu), who has just left Hokkaido, a beautiful snow-filled rural home from the northern side of Japan. She comes to Tokyo to pursue her college studies at a university west of the capital. Gradually Nireno tries to adjust to the different life in the city. Even though the transition is hard, she begins to get use to her new situation – living in her own apartment, meeting new friends, new people, and finally even joining a fishing club in school. Nireno seem to enjoy herself, but we soon find out the real reason why Nireno wanted to study in Tokyo, even more – on why she worked so hard to get admitted in the well-respected and popular university.

The story is really slow-paced, and I am afraid the average movie viewer will have a hard time finishing this film, even when it is just barely over one (1) hour. Mr. Iwai is keen in showing small details; every scene depicts a natural and sometimes nostalgic atmosphere. Camera angles were done in a style as if you were really there, watching the characters closely with much detail.

The music is wonderful, with relaxing sounds of strings and piano, reminiscent of the unforgettable soundtrack from the gLove Letter.h Even the breath-taking sceneries of Hokkaido and Western Tokyo are sure to give you a warm and peaceful feeling. Art-wise, gApril Storyh doesnft fail to show Mr. Iwaifs true artistic brilliance. His style is something that I very much admire. Hopefully I would be able to see his other works, such as gHana and Aliceh and gAll About Lily Chou-Chouh -- hopefully soon.

So the question is: Would you see it or not? Well, itfs up to you. You may not really find it likable for some apparent reason, but gApril Storyh certainly was worth my time, and maybe yours as well.
Reviewed by Padme on 9 May 2005
3. OK movie [Rating: 7/10]
This movie has a very simple story.
Reviewed by jdfan on 1 July 2002

Comments From Users (8)
This section may contain spoilers! Do not proceed if you
do not want to read about this drama's endings and plots!

1. Comments by kartanoman [Rating: 8/10]
The story of a "country" girl from Hokkaido attending college in Tokyo and trying to adjust to the differences of living in the big city, Takako Matsu is charming as she always is in assuming the lead role. I agree with the folks who suggest this is a simple, slow-paced movie and may not be for everyone. As my wife and I are fascinated with the scenes of the city of Tokyo, as well as the beautiful country in Hokkaido, as well as being huge Takako Matsu fans, we enjoyed this short movie.
2. Comments by DragonSpirit164 [Rating: 6/10]
This is kind of like a monologue of a university student who moved from Hokkaido to Tokyo. No real storyline here....this is mainly for Matsu Takako fans, others would be hard pressed to like this... The piano theme song is brilliant though!!~
3. Comments by pash [Rating: 5/10]
Nice and delicate wrapping for a story so weak it could've easily been done as a 5 to 10 minutes short movie. In order to fill up the other hour or so, many useless, boring, artsy details have been added.
4. Comments by dokaben [Rating: 9/10]
Simple, understated, yet incredibly deep. The images stay with you for a while. It has this timeless, universal appeal that Shunji Iwai always manages to pull off.
5. Comments by Sun_Shang_Xiang [Rating: 7/10]
Quite effective given it's brevity. Now I know where the images come from on her music videos.
6. Comments by Padme [Rating: 10/10]
Charming and quite funny. Shunji Iwai's fantastic cinematography shines in this movie!
7. Comments by Amika [Rating: 8/10]
what can i say about this movie... it is all about matsu takako.. story is simple..
8. Comments by ffrostte [Rating: 8/10]
a nice subtle story about college life from Takako!
9. Comments by silsil413 [Rating: ?/10]
10. Comments by Totoro [Rating: ?/10]
11. Comments by jidolfan [Rating: 7/10]
12. Comments by qiqi_16 [Rating: ?/10]
13. Comments by poks [Rating: 7/10]
14. Comments by fuqinlan [Rating: 8/10]
15. Comments by Pemu [Rating: 8/10]
16. Comments by richemon25 [Rating: 8/10]
17. Comments by Dorrin [Rating: ?/10]
18. Comments by seven [Rating: 9/10]
19. Comments by twennie66 [Rating: 5/10]
20. Comments by yejiny [Rating: 9/10]
21. Comments by Takki_Lver22 [Rating: 8/10]
22. Comments by Smiley_18 [Rating: ?/10]
23. Comments by koool [Rating: 5/10]
24. Comments by Hermes [Rating: ?/10]
25. Comments by horse35 [Rating: 6/10]
26. Comments by Terryb [Rating: 6/10]
27. Comments by Hogarth [Rating: 6/10]
28. Comments by thtl [Rating: 8/10]
29. Comments by glay0428 [Rating: ?/10]
30. Comments by leothina [Rating: 10/10]

Users who voted for this drama (1)
1. Padme