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4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 21 April 2012
This is certainly a worthwhile, if somewhat eccentric, discourse within the Japanese cine scene. A true walkathon through various parts of Tokyo, the two likable oddballs who inhabit this picture certainly grow on you as you accompany them in their perambulations through Tokyo.
The two principal characters in this affair seem to have just about nothing in common except their own particular weirdness, the one being co-opted by the other into taking a very extended stroll over various days through different parts of Tokyo.
Although it is not story driven, it nevertheless captures your attention by means of the two main characters, (a loan shark collector and his victim), and the very natural way they interact with each other and the constant change of neighbourhood that drifts through the whole film.
It is a finely nuanced film, and very well acted. It's also quite original in concept with a very restrained, unobtrusive style of direction. On the other hand, when all is said and done, it doesn't amount to all that much, and perhaps deserves 3 1/2 stars rather than 4. Still, as it's no doubt a quality product, I have erred on the side of generosity and given it 4 stars.
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on 16 September 2012
- Won't give a long review as the film is basically about a 'walk' through Tokyo, meeting the situations and characters along the way. This isn't a big budget type film, but focuses on the acting and it's relaxing and refreshing to see such films in comparison to the explosions and 3d in mainstream theatres now...

It's certainly entertaining and there are laughs to be had if you like Japanese comedy.
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on 24 December 2013
This would be an excellent film if it were about a student and a loan shark in Europe or the USA. The characters are beautifully written and played and the story is poignant. The fact that it is set in Tokyo is just a huge bonus, because the setting and culture are really brought to life. Films as good as this don't come along every day, so if you got as far as reading this press "buy" and score yourself a treat.
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on 21 March 2013
Having browsed the Japanese video section on amazon I read the description, and I have to say when I borght it I was truly touched by the film.
Now, I'm not going to spoil it by giving to much away, but I think some people will be touched but the sincerity of the film and how to people from different backgrounds can get along

I give this a Massave thumbs up, and recommend throughly.
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on 30 April 2012
Having loved "Instant Swamp" and "Turtles are Surprisingly Fast Swimmers" I approached this one with faith in the director, and I wasn't disappointed. While not as weird as the previous films it is certainly off the wall.
It was also nice to see Kumiko Aso reprising her policewoman role from the TV series "Time Limit Detective" (which also starred Jo Odagir) - even wearing the same non-standard uniform and hat that she wore on TV... nice.

The comedy here comes more from the situations the two men find themselves in rather than the main characters themselves being weird or eccentric.

I go to Tokyo a lot on holiday and as they were walking through parts of the city I was mentally saying "been there", and also taking a note of places to see next time.

For me this is an easy 10/10.
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on 17 February 2014
Miki Satoshi is a young Japanese director (b. 1961) who started off as a writer for TV variety shows, graduated on to stage directing and turned feature film director in 2005 with two films - In the Pool and Turtles are Suprisingly Fast Swimmers. Adrift in Tokyo (Japanese title, Tenten) came out in 2007 and the consensus seems to be that it’s his best film to date. Miki (not to be confused with Miike Takashi who makes very different films!) specializes in looking humorously at contemporary Japanese society, pinpointing issues which irritate on a daily basis. An adaptation by Miki of a Fujita Yoshinaga novel, Adrift in Tokyo deals with the rootless transience of the modern day Japanese family. Takemura Fumiya (Odagiri Jō) is an 8th year college student who has accrued a debt of 800,000 yen (about 4,000 pounds). Debt collector Fukuhara Aiichiro (Miura Tomokazu) comes a-knocking and eventually makes him an offer he can’t refuse. Takemura must take a walk with him across Tokyo to the police station in Kasumigaseki, at which point he will give the student 1,000,000,000 yen (50,000 pounds) before turning himself in for a crime he has committed. The film charts the walk, the experiences they have, the characters they meet, and the sea change of emotions that both characters undergo.

Without giving too much away, Fumiya is an orphan. Abandoned by his parents when he was a baby he has never known what the concept of family is. Fukuhara has married but we learn that the marriage is not only loveless, but also childless. The film plays on the needs the two men have, one for a father and the other for a son. Not surprisingly, skeptical toleration turns into familial warmth as the pair go on an adventure. The film’s most successful sequence has them eating dinner with a friend of Fukuhara’s, Makiko (Koizumi Kyōko) and a young teenager, Fufumi (Yoshitaka Yuriko) who is living with her. They enjoy a ‘family meal’ together with one important difference – none of them are related. A beautiful idea, it says it all about the way the concept of ‘family’ has gone in today’s society. People have lost the ability to live together happily in real families, but the basic desire for family security, for family love never dies.

Some people have raved about this film. I enjoyed it with certain reservations. The improvised nature of many of the scenes works very well. The two main actors give fresh and spontaneous performances which are natural and empathetic. We care about these people and the pay-off at the end is moving. As a resident in Japan I have to say though that I get irritated by certain stereotypes of ‘Japanese’ behavior that keep reappearing here in film after film and TV program after TV program. A walk through Tokyo can’t just be a walk through Tokyo. It has to be pepped up with kung-fu expert octogenarians, weirdo theme-dressing nightclubs, fantastical leaps off roof-tops, a lone rocker walking the streets of Shinjuku blaring away with his electric guitar, and so on. In short it’s the kind of stuff that Clive James used to make TV programs about and which feeds the ever-growing (mistaken) belief held by westerners that the Japanese are a very strange lot indeed. The Japanese enjoy letting their hair down by looking at themselves like this and a casual glance at TV here shows a picture very similar to the one Miki draws – his TV origins couldn’t be any clearer. For westerners who aren’t familiar with Japanese films or TV the episodes our two protagonists have might appear fresh and incisive. For me, however it’s just more of the same. Why do I need to watch this in a cinema when I can switch on the TV and see it any time I want? Less of the willful, hackneyed bizarre, and more fresh psychological depth would have helped Miki no end here. It’s a shame really, because as said, there’s nothing wrong with the framework of the story which in itself is an excellent idea which hits home successfully. Oh, and I can’t resist adding that I really enjoyed recognizing the many Tokyo locations used in the film. For returned ex-pats familiar with Tokyo this film will definitely bring back a lot of memories.

This Third Window Films DVD is excellent quality, the anamorphic widescreen aspect ratio providing true visuals and the 5.1 surround sound ideally clear. There is a 70 minute ‘Making Of’ documentary which is actually very good. We get to go behind the scenes and see Miki directing many of the scenes. The extra was made for the Japanese market and is interesting for foreigners wanting to understand how different the culture really is, the way actors are interviewed and how the production staff treats each other on set. I see you can also buy this film as a 3DVD set released by Third Window which also includes Instant Swamp and Turtles are Surprisingly Fast Swimmers. I haven’t seen either of these and can’t comment. Probably if you want just a Miki taster then Adrift in Tokyo is the one you should see first.
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on 3 December 2014
Not being familiar with Japanese films or TV the two protagonists did appear fresh and incisive. Admittedly it was surrealistic in parts, but never so much that it lost credibility for long. Was the similarity in appearance of one them to the young Bob Dylan coincidental?
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on 21 July 2010
Peppermint Candy is not your average kind of Drama and that's why I like it a lot. What a refreshing concept to let the story begin in the future and end in the past. At first we have no idea why the lead character is so sad and suicidal in the opening sequence. So we have to go back in time and find out what's driving him to his final decision. There we learn that he lost his money and wife. And to top it all he receives news that his true love lies on her deathbed. Many years before that he was a brutal cop (and treating his suspects in horrible ways). That's diminishing our sympathy for him a bit. Then we finally get to see his true love, but her scenes are too scarce, which is causing some questions:

It's obvious that both love each other, so what was the reason that they separated?
Or were they never together? But why did it seem that they were so close then?

When the film reached its end I thought: "Yeah, give it to me. Show me what happened between the two." But then the end credits were rolling. No fight, nothing.

There are some movies like Lost Highway or Marebito where you don't need an explanation of what's going on because they are supernatural thrillers. But a high - sophisticated Drama like Peppermint Candy definately could use some answer. It doesn't need to be a clear one, just something where we can get our own interpretation from.

Aside from the ending, this movie is providing some great dramatic moments that need to be seen. So don't miss it. 4 Stars.
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on 18 February 2012
When I first read the synopsis to Adrift in Tokyo I have to admit that I didn't think the proposition would take place until the final act, but it actually kicks off surprisingly early. The main characters of Fumiya and Fukuhara are portrayed very well by Jô Odagiri and Tomokazu Miura and the two characters go very well together, despite being very different, thanks to some well written dialogue. The supporting characters are a bit of a mixed bag and there were a couple I could've done without but Fumiya and Fukugara develop well enough anyway and as the film progresses you see them form a bond through these crazy meetings and their talking. If you don't need explosions to find a film interesting, this is certainly worth checking out although there was a small lull in the middle. Recommended. 3.5/5
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on 3 October 2013
If you are into Japanese film then this is for you. Great story,great actors and great locations. A must for Japanese film buffs.
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