Kagen no Tsuki

Last Quarter

Last Quarter

I’m going to start adding some multi-media into this blog. Namely film, I think. I think it’s good to stir it up a bit– too much law and order just starts to make my joints hurt. Since I’m too young for arthritis, I think I will just start putting things in here– like…whatever I want. Yeah, that works. Today we’ll start by throwing in something with relevance– granted, purely by accident! If Hyde wasn’t in this movie, I’d put the review up anyway…. I do think it’s cool to know about movies that musicians act in and stuff, though. It’s like, how can we be fans if we just ignore all the multi-media? Pssshhhht!

KAGEN NO TSUKI (下弦の月)、English title Last Quarter is a Japanese movie starring HYDE of L’arc-En-Ciel and Kuriyama Chiaki (Kill Bill), co-starring Narimiya Hiroki of NANA movie fame. Released 2004.

Based on the 3 volume manga by Yazawa Ai (NANA, Paradise Kiss), the manga was serialized in Ribbon magazine, which had a following primarily of teenage girls. The story begins when Mochizuki Mizuki finds out on her 19th birthday party that her boyfriend (Narimiya) slept with her best -friend. Horribly upset, Mizuki runs away from the party, losing a shoe in the process. As she staggers homeward with one shoe and one broken, bloody heel, she comes across a terrifying looking haunted-type house– the very one, believe it or not, that she has been seeing in her dreams…. She goes inside the house, because that’s what any normal person in her situation would do– she just walks right in. Standing in the foyer, she hears the faint notes of a guitar playing an eerie song– the very one, believe it or not, that she has been trying to learn on piano since she was a child…. hyde-doing-what-he-does-best

She walks down the dark hallway, lamps flickering on, following her as she ventures deeper into the house, sans surprise, fear, or curiosity. Somehow she then becomes a trapped soul within the house, striving always to get back to her lover, Adam (Hyde). Two middle-school students discover the ghost in the house and befriend her, becoming devoted to helping her spirit find peace.

(Trivia: In NANA when Komatsu Nana goes with Shouji and Junko to check out her new apartment, Shouji remarks on how the place is kind of creepy. Nana suddenly gets all worried and when they wonder if it’s haunted, Nana thinks to herself, “Like Adam???!!”)

If I could describe the movie in one sentence…. : Kagen no Tsuki is a blatant and uninspired 2 hour long promotional video for Hyde’s new release, CAPE OF STORMS. The movie immediately lost major points for its lack of realism (her just finding this scary house and just randomly going inside and meeting Adam and just inviting herself to stay…No emotion, no good dialogue, no coherency or points of interest that may have hooked us with any of that vital sense of “it could have happened like that”.) Even with the labels “supernatural” and “mystery” slapped on it, the movie could not justify any plot developments or character decisions, and the whole thing was a mess of dream-like points of randomness and lack of any cohesion whatsoever. [Good] dialogue was practically nonexistent, and the acting was obvious, forced, and utterly uncaptivating at best. Hyde made small appearances in different scenes, but mostly just stood around looking cool, or playing guitar. The only actor I didn’t find utterly disappointing was Narimiya Hiroki.  He always has a lot of energy and brings a lot of humor, realism, and when necessary, seriousness and thoughtfulness to his scenes.

Ok. Here it is. Cape of Storms. The whole movie was bad-acting and weird scenes of cob-webby hallways interspersed with either Mizuki or Adam playing half of Hyde’s song on either piano or guitar, respectively. The experience was akin to having an upstairs musician- neighbor who valiantly struggles to learn a cool-sounding song, repeating the same segment over and over again until they are no better and you have a massive migraine.Now, don’t get me wrong– it’s a great song, and you have to commend Hyde’s all-English composition and performance. BUT. By the end of the movie you could care less about any of the characters, and just pray with all your beating heart that the “major character arc” could be that SHE LEARNS THE REST OF THE SONG.

The storyline had potential, but the “supernatural” aspect of it became muddy and incoherent, and the mystery side of things was predictable and boring at best. I read a review that said “Hyde is one musician who can actually act”, and I second that remark with “unfortunately, he didn’t.”