Review – Tokyo Raiders

Tokyo Raiders

Jingle Ma

2000

A Woman is jilted on her wedding day. At her house, the interior decorator demands his fee from her fiancé. She travels to Japan and he joins her to get his money back. When they arrive they realise her fiancé is missing and caught up in a Japanese gangster’s business. It’s up to them, a secret detective and his bevvy of assistants to crack the case and locate him.

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Japanese Film Festival, Kuala Lumpur, Day 3

Hayabusa (はやぶさ)

Tsutsumi Yukihiko

2011

An aspiring astronomer is scouted to assist in the research and deployment of ‘Hayabusa’, a probe which aims to reach the asteroid ‘Itokawa’, collect dust samples and bring them back home.

While watching Hayabusa I started to think, “besides astronomers and die hard science boffs, is anyone going to be interested in this?” I freely confess that I didn’t understand half of what was said, not because it was in Japanese, but because they don’t lighten up on the lingo for the viewer. The film reminded me of Werner Herzog’s The Great Blue Yonder which uses real scientists to explain the ideas of the story. I enjoy films like this. Mostly because I like watching people doing the things they are passionate about. Most people could never understand why a person would dedicate their life to doing something that seems a great waste of time, but these people couldn’t care less, and I find that inspiring.

The film’s focus is an awkward astronomer, trying to finish her thesis and become a real scientist. She becomes involved in the ‘Harabusa’ mission and we become involved in all the workers and their passion: to complete the mission successfully. She has doubts about her life, where it is going and if she is doing what she really wants to do, much like us all. This film is certainly not for everyone but it has a wonderful message and is a story worth telling. It won me round.

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