Visual Kei at the Movies – Oresama

Well, no one asked but I am returning to this series again! I couldn’t help myself, since I’ve been itching to re-watch and jump start a bit more Visual Kei content on my blog. Thus, I have resurrected this series, but we are jumping into the year of 2004! This time we are going to look at the oddly pleasant, but incredibly dated Oresama starring none other than the global superstar, Miyavi!

Oresama is semi-biographical look at Miyavi’s early life. Shortly after Due le Quartz disbanded and right around his solo career takes off, Miyavi ends up slipping back in time to 1984. At a loss for what to do, he scrambles to reconstruct when and where he is, and ends up having some humbling adventures reflecting on his youth and relationship with soccer.

I have to state that for me this film is a re-watch. I believe I watched it for the first time somewhere in 2017. It was my Visual Kei revival era, and therefore everything I got my eyes on (i.e. a lot of prior mentioned and incoming titles of this series) was gold. It’s also Miyavi; one of my original VKei crushes. It wasn’t ever going to be fantastic, but it would be entertaining.

Obviously, the Galyuu album cover. This is the prior released album featured in the film.

Oresama has always come off as dated. 2004 was a time of rapid technology changes, that even the film itself comments upon. There was also no way for Miyavi to anticipate how much his physical appearance would change in the years to come. This isn’t all bad, for me it was rather charming, but it is something to keep in mind for newer fans.

As for the film itself, it’s not particularly outstanding. A lot of Miyavi’s acting is a mix of him swaggering about like the mid-2000’s rockstar he was, and then scenes where he wasn’t. It’s not the worst performance, but it’s not really reflective how good an actor Miyavi would go on to become. You can tell most of the sequences and the film were on a tight budget, and it shows. The acting from secondary characters is passable. About the only other character of note is Shinri (sometimes Shinni) played by a very young Takano Hassei, who was very good. However, he did have to downplay his talents so as to not outshine Miyavi.

It didn’t help that the film had a lot of padded scenes to bump up the run time. None that were too jarring or lost of the plot, but you can tell when and where they are. On top of that, the premise is executed in a rather half-hearted manner. I think this is partly playing into Miyavi’s (at the time) seemingly indifferent, ‘I-don’t-give-a-fuck-I’m-a-rockstar’ attitude. The other part being with such a limited budget and time, there wasn’t too much the production team could do about it. As a side note, this was churned out in full in under a year to my knowledge, so a lot of quick production choices had to be made.

There are more good points then bad overall though. The first is that again, this story is semi-autobiographical. Miyavi really did play soccer and did intend to be a professional in the future. He really did have a life-course altering injury due to the sport, and I’m sure that has and had a big impact on his mind-set especially in his early career. So seeing that reflection, moment of addressing it, and then acceptance was a powerful message, provided you have the prior context to understand it.

This was sourced from fjmovie.com (here).

Additionally, this film shows that Miyavi has always been good with kids. That despite his image and projected persona, he’s always been the type of guy to genuinely play with them. The scenes where he’s talking and playing soccer with Ryuu are some of the most genuine I’ve ever seen in film. At times their scenes felt more like watching someone’s home-movie then a film. It’s so touching and genuinely sweet and that feeling has only increased now as the years have gone on. 2021 Miyavi is a dad to three lovely children, and I know that he’s even more affection now with them.

Some of the coolest parts of course was the music and performance in the film. I mean, you can’t make a film about a rockstar and not have a performance or two in there. Songs from Duel le Quartz, and Miyavi’s solo album Galyuu were used as intro, ending and performance tracks within the film. The actual performance itself, with Miyavi and Shinri really showed that hairpin difference between the rock style of performance, to the Visual Kei style. Especially since it’s framed within Showa Era into the new era. It’s a really unique look into how live performances were recorded both in Showa, and in the mid-2000’s. A lot of what they did on stage, actually mimicked real recorded performances from both periods. It’s a subtle but important nod to the music industry within the film.

Like a lot of prior projects in this series, Oresama is a product of it’s time and not much more. It’s interesting, and for fans of Miyavi pretty insightful to his earlier career into his childhood. At a 65 minute run-time, it’s something you can fit into your schedule and not think about it too hard. It’s easily available online through unofficial, but easy to find means as well. It might not be the most polished of Miyavi’s works, but it is some of the most raw and endearing work he’s released.

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