Yu Aoi Film Discussion – Hito no SEKKUSU o Warauna – Don’t Laugh at my Romance

September 7, 2009 — 16 Comments

Well, long time no see, eh?

It’s been nearly 4 or 5 months since our last discussion, and I really thought there’d be more people discussing Tekkonkinkreet, but alas~ No one has commented on it. If you have just discovered Yu Aoi (either through Osen, or a random watch of either Hana & Alice, One Million Yen Girl or Lily Chou Chou) and have been hit in the face with like a meteor, I invite you to watch Tekkon as well. Any animation fan won’t really regret it.

Anyway, we’re here to discuss Don’t Laugh at my Romance, or Sex is no Laughing Matter or Hito no SEKKUSU~~~ whatever your pick on names is.

First a little about the film~
Don’t Laugh at my Romance is a 2008 film adaptation of the the novel by Naocola Yamazaki, directed and sort of adapted by Nami Iguchi. It is about a 19-year-old student (Matsuyama) who falls in love/lust with his lithography teacher (Hiromi Nagasaku) at university, though he isn’t aware that his friend and classmate (Yu Aoi) is quite fond of him.

Genre: Dramedy with Romance
Starring: Kenichi Matsuyama, Hiromi Nagasaku, Yu Aoi, Shugo Oshinari, Yoichi Nukumizu
Duration: a little over +2hrs

Beware! Possible film spoilers~~~

Don't Laugh at my Romance - PosterWhat can I say about Hito no SEKKUSU, other than I really suffered to get to watch this film. It was probably nearly 6 months after I watched it that I got to see it with subtitles, so it was definitely a different experience… now I’m just so used to it. The film is also really slow-paced and has no proper sex scene, even though the word “sex” is on the title… it’s also not overly romantic, so some misguided people might be disappointed or bored. The film is just about the complexities of human/lover relationships. So don’t be fooled by the title! After all, sex is no laughing matter.

The film starts with a quiet shot of early in the morning (?) in the middle of a nowhere road with Yuri (Nagasaku) walking almost aimlessly (home?) – she is trying to hitch a ride, but there’s no one there, until a really small trucks – you know, the Japanese ones – passes by with Domoto (Oshinari), En-chan (Aoi) and Mirume (Matsuyama). They stop and let her ride the back of the truck, with Mirume. Next thing we know, we’re at Uni for a coffee/smoke break and we see the interaction of the three friends. Mirume playfully pushes En-chan to the smokers area, she coughs waving her hand to keep the smoke stench away and sits next to Domoto drinking a juice box, while Mirume gives his smoke a few puffs. Next to him sits Yuri, who happens to be the lithography teacher. Mirume  (En-chan and Domoto as well) recognizes her, but she has just completely forgotten and left the incident in the past.

The story seems so simple. A boy (because that’s what he is) falling in lust with an older woman, who is at ease with her sexuality. She likes terrorist films, a big animals like donkeys… (…) she does things because she wants to and whenever she wants to – she’s almost like a child, in a way. On the other side of the coin, there’s En-chan, who often seems coy and is just smitten with Mirume, but he’s too daft to notice. And on the other coin… there’s Domoto who is in turn smitten by En-chan but she is too smitten with Mirume to notice.

However, most of the time (or mostly in its American counterparts), Mirume would learn a lesson from his older lover, notice his best friend En-Chan and realize she’s the one for him, while his “sidekick” Domoto would realize En-chan would be the happiest with Mirume. Not here. I was actually happy when Mirume got burned, and was left alone on the rooftop while Domoto got his chance with En-chan – because in my mind, they did get together. xD

I was actually surprised how much I liked Shugo Oshinari as Yu’s on-screen love interest, because as we know he’s played cold-hearted-and-evil Hoshino on Lily Chou Chou, and her domestic-violent-boyfriend on the Jdrama episode of Dr. Koto’s Clinic (series 2). In here, Oshinari plays quiet and worrisome. He waits for En-chan after classes, even though she’s totally kicking him out (full body contact and all), and wonders why he wasn’t invited for film festival night. He worries when En-chan seems gloom over Mirume, and worries when En-chan gets all existential on him. It is always En-chan who leaves him behind in the beginning, but then when En-chan begins her job, it is Domoto who leaves. That’s when their not-a-relationship shifts.

As for Yu, I think many have already mentioned that she was the life of this party. She even got a nomination for Best Supporting Actress at the 2009 Asian Film Awards~ She was oftentimes the one who got the laughs, and her character was sort of the axis of the whole thing. Without her, there’d be no “love pentagon” – it’d only be a love triangle.

En-chan is so innocent, that when Yuri asks if she’s ever thought or dreamed of touching Mirume that way, En-chan looks as if she’d never do that, but she’s thought of it before. She drinks hot cocoa, instead of coffee. Gets a juice break, instead of a smoke break. Mirume gets pissed drunk, she carries him to a hotel and not date-rape him. She doesn’t even kiss him. She’s good people with hopes and dreams (while she’s working xD), that get disillusioned with love and everything feels like falling apart, but she’s practical. She knows that everyone’s world falls apart one way or the other, so in the end that your world is falling apart is just the same as everyone else… so it doesn’t really matter. LOL

Here’s a really good and simple post on some overlapping theme scenes~

Story:★★★½☆ 
Characters:★★★¾☆ 
Direction:★★★★☆ 
Acting:★★★★☆ 
Visuals:★★★¾☆ 
Overall:★★★¾☆ 
Yu Aoi Participation:★★★½☆ 
Yu Aoi Performance:★★★★☆ 

Favorite Scene: There are some great scene with En-chan, like her scenes with Yuri, or her realization that Mirume is with Yuri. I’ll just pick that last scene with Domoto, because her reaction is priceless. [don’t watch if you don’t wanna be spoiled, but it’s totally worth the watching xD] Oh! Oh! And Domoto visiting En-chan at work. xD

here are some posters and stills~~

16 responses to Yu Aoi Film Discussion – Hito no SEKKUSU o Warauna – Don’t Laugh at my Romance

  1. I feel the same way…Yu Aoi makes this film, without her, this movie really isn’t that good. I could care less about Yuri or Mirume’s characters. Its all about Yu and Shugo in this one!

    Also, your favorite scenes are mine as well. Loved the scene at the end with Shugo and Yu! They really have great onscreen chemistry together as evident in that scene! And I loved the part where Domoto shows up at En-chan’s work and she poses for him while he takes pictures with his phone! Funny stuff!

    I would love for them to make a sequel to this film centering on En-chan and Domoto’s new relationship. I just really loved Yu’s character in this film and I would love to see a continuation of her story, especially with Domoto.

    By the way, Tekkonkinkreet is on my “to watch” list and I will definitely comment on it when I see it. The animation doesn’t really look too appealing to me but I’ll trust you and give it a shot.

  2. I thouroughly enjoyed the movie. A rather ticklish issue -a love affair between a young guy and a mature woman- treated with some humor, that was fine.
    Yû is excellent as usual and she definitely added some salt to the general atmosphere.
    Fave scene: at the amusement park when she goes at him shouting tons of baka :))

  3. Oh, yeah! I also love that multiple Baka scene, only because Mirume deserves it. xD

    And Shugo! I love him on this one xP, I wanna watch a few of his other projects. I think I have a bit of a bizarre taste in male actors, or so they say~~~ Ryo Kase, Eita and Shugo xD

  4. Haven’t watch this one yet, but hopefully I will get to it in the next several days.

  5. be sure to be back with your assessment~~~

  6. I will. I actually didn’t watch this one, because I was waiting for this to be discussed.

    BTW, I never knew who Yu was until I saw her, recently, in Osen. Now, I cannot get enough of her, and she has become on of my fave actresses after Kanno Miho, Matsu Takako, and Tanaka Rena. She is by far the best young actress in Japan.

    Oh, and found this blog, because I was looking for info on Yu, so I am now addicted to this site.

  7. Osen is so good. x)
    woohoo! Yu fans of the world unite! xD

  8. Haha? I just remembered that I had watched Rainbow Song, because of Juri-san, but I was awestruck by the blind girl. Who was she? Wow, what a good actress she is! Then download Osen, found you website, and fell madly in love with Yu. Now I cannot get enough of her.

  9. that’s hilarious!
    she does look completely different.
    You should check the Rainbow Song discussion xD
    I’ve seen this effect on other people… some people say it’s the “Yu Aoi hit me like a meteor on the face” syndrome. hahaha.

  10. Ok, finished the movie, and actually liked the Yuri/Murume love story, but once she told Mirume she was married all of the life seemed to get sucked out of the story and all you were left with was Yu. Favorite scenes were Yu eating in the art gallery, riding the Ferris wheel, in the hotel with a drunk Murume, and all of the baka scenes.

    An OK movie becsuse of Yu, but otherwise disappointing.

  11. your opinion is interesting. You say that the first half of the film is good until Yuri tells Mirume that she’s married, but it is then when we begin to focus more on Yu. All ur fave scenes with Yu are from after that moment xD

    Would you give up all those scenes with Yu, for a better Yuri/Mirume storyline?

    I think what was interesting was the contrast between En-chan and Yuri.

  12. Contrast u say..wow..i thot in some ways En and Yuri are vry similar…..of course the age diff leans towards Yuri bcz of her exp but two decades down the line how wuld Enchan turn out to be….not very far off ….this movie seriously , the ending was simply amazing….

  13. maybe “contrast” was the wrong word to use. what I mean is, not a comparison between Yuri and En-chan as characters, but as focus. Like I said, it started out with the Yuri/Mirume storyline, and then most of the focus ends up in En-chan and Domoto.

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