a page of madness

film writing by nicholas vroman

Kirishima is quitting the club

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Daihachi Yoshida’s Kirishima is quitting the club attempts to bring a bit of seriousness to the old Japanese war horse, the high school drama/comedy/whatever. Perhaps the genre is laden with far to many associations and such a deep and awful history that any attempts to make it meaningful are doomed to failure. And fail Yoshida does. The plot starts intriguingly enough with number one jock, Kirishima quitting his expected after-school activities – quite a shocking thing in Japan. The usual power structures and cliques are thrown into disarray. This becomes the opening for the super nerds – the film club – to show their stuff. Leader of the club Ryoya (Ryonusuke Maeda) takes his charges through the making of a zombie movie that becomes the MacGuffin that allows Yoshida to explore high school relationships – romantic, class-wise and otherwise. With reach and far too many characters beyond his grasp, Yoshida skims over what he should be looking at deeper, leaving a mess of clichés stranded across the screen. Japanese high school mores remain woefully unexamined, yet again.

Originally published in EL Magazine, August 2012.

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Written by Nicholas Vroman

August 1, 2012 at 4:57 am

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