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My Impressions of Wolf Girl and Black Prince

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I recently watched a Japanese movie called Ookami Shoujo to Kuro Oji (translated into English: Wolf Girl and Black Prince) that is based on a manga of the same name created by: Ayuko Hatta. This movie was directed by Ryuichi Hiroki and was released May 28, 2016. The main cast as you see in the movie poster above is Fumi Nikaido and Kento Yamazaki. 

Overall, I enjoyed the film. I've never read the manga so I can't make any comparisons to the source material, but I thought that the acting, pacing, and the story within the film were fine. The synopsis of the movie begins with Erika Shinohara (played by Fumi Nikaido) who is a first year high school student and have joined a circle of friends who all have boyfriends. To make sure that she doesn't feel left out, she lies about having a boyfriend and thinks of situations to have her friend in a different school call her to excuse herself from them in order to show her classmates that she has a boyfriend. Erika has never been in love or had a boyfriend before. Erika's friends begins to doubt that Erika has a boyfriend, and requested her to show them a picture of him. She takes a picture of a random handsome guy on the street to show them, and finds out to her horror that the guy she took a picture of was someone in her school, Kyouya Sata (played by Kento Yamazaki). She begs him to go along with her lie pretending to be her boyfriend, but she doesn't realize he is a sadist by making a deal for her to be his pet in exchange for pretending to be her boyfriend. That's the start of their strange relationship...

Just reading the summary alone, you will probably know this was based on a manga. It seemed pretty odd. One thing that stood out from this romantic comedy was the cinematography. It didn't feel like a standard movie with typical shots and cuts, and as an example, I quite like the one-shot sequence when Erika was tailing Kyouya to try to get his picture. The music for that scene was on point. There were lingering shots and not that many cuts for the same scene. I thought it was good for the director and cinematographer to try something new when they made the movie, and that kind of directing style made it interesting. It really does seem like 2016 is Kento Yamazaki's year as there are quite a few movies that he starred in as well as starring in a Japanese TV drama for the summer season. 

Once again, I enjoyed the movie and I praise it for doing something new in this type of genre. I can imagine that it could have done a typical production with similar cuts for scenes that a romantic comedy movie would typically have in this genre. I'm glad it tried something new. Some scenes did lose some emotional impact when it zoomed out on a couple of scenes, and we couldn't see the emotions of the two main leads. There was another scene where I preferred them to show a wider angle, but it was zoomed in on the characters. I can't say whether a manga fan would like the movie as I never read the series, but if you want to watch a pretty good movie with some interesting cinematography and good acting from the two main leads, I would give it a try.


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