Last Quarter

Oh dear! It's been almost a month since my last post. Sorry about that! ComicAttack is keeping me busy (and so is Dragon Age). But I did want to talk about a lovely film I watched recently, while waiting for Berserk DVDs to come in. This live action film is based on the manga of the same name (in Japanese, Kagen no Tsuki) by Ai Yazawa (Paradise Kiss, Nana). It is called Last Quarter, which is a reference to the last quarter phase of the moon.

When Mizuki was a child, her mother committed suicide, and her father married his mistress, with whom he had a child. Unhappy with her home life, her 19th birthday is further marred by the discovery that her boyfriend (Tomoki) cheated on her with her best friend. Depressed, she walks home alone late in the evening. As she passes by a mansion, she hears a haunting and familiar tune coming from inside. Inside, a young man is playing the tune on his guitar. Mizuki confesses that she learned piano to play the same tune, though she doesn't know the ending, and that she had never heard anyone else play the song before. The young man, who calls himself Adam, claims he wrote the song for her. Confused, but somehow drawn to him, Mizuki returns to the house the next day and stays there with Adam through the week. On the last day, on the evening of a waning moon, a disappeared Adam calls her to tell her he must leave. She pleads with him to take her with him, and Adam tells her that if they see each other before the moon fades that night, they will go together. But what it means to go with Adam, is something that will have a profound effect not only on her own life, but on the lives of those around her. The mysterious Adam leaves everyone scrambling to discover his true identity, and his connection to Mizuki, in order to save Mizuki before the last quarter of the moon fades away for 19 years.

This beautiful story will have you feeling melancholy by the end. It might even elicit a few tears. Love, karma, reincarnation, trust, desperation. All the elements for a tragic love story. Dark and gothic, this is a beautifully filmed movie. The special effects are nice (though not perfect), and the music is fitting. Mizuki is heartbreaking; Adam has an ethereal beauty and a well of sadness that makes you want to wrap him in your arms and hold him tight; and the high school students that try to help Mizuki are endearing. Tomoki...you either love him or hate him, as a character. It's a little difficult to root for him, honestly, given what he's done to Mizuki, and you kind of want to punch him in the face sometimes. All the actors hold their own and capture their characters quite well.

The film stars Chiaki Kuriyama (Gogo in Kill Bill vol. 1) as Mizuki, Hyde (the vocalist from L'Arc-en-Ciel) as Adam, and Hiroki Narimiya (Gokusen, Nana) as Mizuki's boyfriend Tomoki.

For the interested: Last week's Bento Bako Weekly was a review of Natsuki Takaya's Tsubasa: Those With Wings (er, sorry, two weeks ago; last week I (re)posted my S1 Yu Yu Hakusho review). Monday's will be a review of the yaoi manga Ludwig II.

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