Oh man… I brought this upon myself. I knew it was coming, and at the same time I wasn’t prepared to re-watch this “film”. Coupling it with the fact that it’s Golden Bomber, the parody kings with their ‘air’ Visual kei aesthetic and senses. This is probably a standout in the series as the worst film, for a multitude of reasons. So buckle up everyone, Golden Bomber made a parody film of the boy’s love live action films back in 2009 that’s barely 50 minutes long! Let’s jump into that supposed “story”, shall we?
Sori Nokoshita Natsu (Sori Noko), or the Summer of leftover Stubble (yes that really is how the title would translate) is the story of Kiryuuin Shou, 3rd year high school boy whose never dated. Kiryuuin’s best friend Jun is heartbroken as he broke up with Kenji, his long term boyfriend who cheated on him. Kiryuuin and Jun decide to cast aside their boy troubles in favor of going to the beach and meeting new guys. Only problem is Kiryuuin nearly dies in the process, but is saved by the sexy lifegaurd Kyan. Will the summer romance finally start?
Before we continue I need to be painfully direct; Sori Noko isn’t a good film. This isn’t a so-bad-it’s-good film, nor is it strikingly poetic, ironic or something like that. Golden Bomber’s whole gimmick is that they are an ‘air’ Visual Kei band. The only member who actually performs live is Kiryuuin. Jun, Kyan, and Kenji don’t actually play their instruments. All their music, concepts, and performances mimic other bands in Visual Kei.
So Sori Noko is an extension of that parody concept now in a film format. The problem is that Sori Noko is so low quality in all aspects there’s no distinction from actual effort put into to make a parody, and just… being a low quality production. Even Golden Bomber’s worst music videos look more put together then this. Do not go into this film with any sort of expectations, otherwise you’ll be disappointed.
The easiest way to break up this film is things that went well and actually did their job, and the things that were bad. Let me do the bad first; lack of budget, little to no actual film techniques used i.e. there isn’t a single steady shot in the whole film, voice dubbing was awful, three out of four members can’t act their way out of a paper bag, and excessive padding of this ‘film’ to hit that 50 minute run time. There’s a ton of other errors to point out but I’ll leave them out to talk about more interesting things.
Transition to good or acceptable aspects of this “film” I do want to applaud Golden Bomber for even trying. The band and their manager literally did everything for this production minus editing to my knowledge. That’s a shit ton of work and effort even if the result was less then stellar. For being nearly entirely self-produced it did get a limited theatrical screening and a DVD release. Not to shabby for something done with the same level of quality as a high school group project “movie”.
The thing is that a lot of this film is unintentionally hilarious when it wasn’t suppose to be. The voice dubbing was funny not only because it showed how bad their recording equipment was, but because even in the professional editing; the lip flaps rarely matched the dialogue itself. The locations where they filmed were so public that more then once a random person is confusedly looking at whoever is in frame with a ‘what the fuck’ expression is priceless. Some of these moments were hilarious and naturally occured. A lot of them were then uncomfortably coupled with a ‘scripted’ joke, so it became too much. I.e. Kenji’s various running scenes. It was funny, once. The repetition for run time killed the joke.
Additionally, there’s the issue with acting. I’m not sure if Kiryuuin, Jun and Kenji just phoned their performance in for this, or they all lied to Kyan about the goal but my god was this hard to get through. There’s no separation from what’s suppose to be over the top for parody, and what’s not suppose to be. You’d think that with Golden Bomber’s extended history of musics videos and live tours some of that charm would translate on screen. It’s disappointing because Kyan is actually putting in the work to make this passable and it shows (he’s gone on to get some pretty solid roles in real films and dramas since this) and everyone else just looked sub-par.
Did I more or less re-word a review I wrote for MDL many years ago, and expand a few points for this? Yes, I did and I’m pretty satisfied with that. I probably more effort into this review then the band did for the whole film. (Kidding!) Not a project to watch, although poking around it is available online for free in English with some googling, but more or less a curiosity in this series. I’ll see you in a bit with my final entry for this round in a few days!