a page of madness

film writing by nicholas vroman

Onnanoko monogatari / 女の子ものがたり / Girl’s Story / Your Story

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Director Toshiyuki Morioka spent the early part of his career cutting his teeth on writing yakuza thrillers.  His debut directorial effort was in 2000, with the Kurosawa inspired Requiem for Darkness. Since then his career has jumped out of any genre traps, so it’s no surprise he took on a woman’s coming of age story with Onnanoko monogatari. It’s particularly fitting, though, that he chose to adapt an autobiographical manga by Rieko Saibara, known for her sweet drawing style that belies the hard-edge stories of tough lives that she illustrates. In the depths of a writer’s block, Saibara’s alter ego Natsumi Takahara (Eri Fukatsu) revisits the place where she and a trio of childhood pals started on their roads of life. Using a flashback structure, the story unfolds as youthful innocence leads to mix-up and troubled adolescence and ultimately, adult compromises and tragedies. Onnanoko monogatari flows with assured, if uninspired direction. Like many coming of age parables, it has a few too many clichéd moments, but has enough sentimentality and decent acting chops to bring out the hankies.

 

Originally published in EL Magazine, September 2009

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Written by Nicholas Vroman

September 1, 2009 at 12:50 am

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