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Ten Women, One From Each Decade (1920-2009), Who I’d Totally Go Out With

chick

Looking for chick pictures using google image search at work: not a good idea!

I like girls. This is pretty obvious. And despite the fact that Japanese and Chinese cultures are seen by many as being very patriarchal and… uh, un-feminist, there have actually been a lot of amazing women on screen in their films. So here are 10 of my favorites, one from each decade from the 20s to the 2000s.

Well, actually that’s just 9 decades, but I chose two for the 2000s, just to make it a good number ok? Stop complaining.

PS. Some of the pics not from the movie. Google image search did not make my life easy.

1920s
Ying Ying from Xixiang ji / Romance of the Western Chamber (1927)
Why I Like Her: She’s a legendary beauty?
What’s So Special About Her: Actually, this was a coin toss; I’ve only ever seen 20 movies from the 20’s.
Why It Might Not Work Out: Between a brush-wielding scholar and a bandit, there might be too much competition.
Why She’d Like Me: I am neither a nerd nor a stinky unbathed ruffian.
Potential for Long Term Relationship: 1/10 – Not a good start. My self-imposed one-per-decade limit was probably not a good idea?

Xixiang ji / Romance of the Western Chamber (1927)

I'm not a big fan of the 20's apparently

1930s
Ruan Lingyu as The Goddess in Shen nü / The Goddess (1934)
Why I Like Her: She loves kids and will do anything to make sure they get a good future.
What’s So Special About Her: She’s a strong independent woman when women were still sold in the Men’s Accessories Department.
Why It Might Not Work Out: She probably already hates guys, and I doubt I’d be able to convince her otherwise.
Why She’d Like Me: I’d treat her like a goddess. Yeah that’s the best I could come up with.
Potential for Long Term Relationship: 3/10 – She hates guys, and the cultural differences of 70 years is probably too much.

Ruan Lingyu in Shen nü / The Goddess (1934)

Reused photo because I'm lazy

1940s
Takamine Hideko as Hideko in Hideko no shasho-san / Hideko the Bus Conductress (1941)
Why I Like Her: She’s got an innocent charm and a lovely smile.
What’s So Special About Her: She’s got the makings of a great business-woman, so I might be able to fulfill my life-long dream of becoming a “houseband”.
Why It Might Not Work Out: I find some of Hideko’s later roles very annoying, so if she turns out that way I’d probably dump her eventually.
Why She’d Like Me: I love to travel and I wouldn’t mind spending long hours on a bus with her talking about everything.
Potential for Long Term Relationship: 6/10 – I don’t want to live in a small town, but humble, sincere and beautiful country girls like her are hard to find nowadays.

Takamine Hideko in Hideko no shasho-san / Hideko the Bus Conductress (1941)

Not from the movie, because I just found out Hideko was 17 during Hideko the Bus Conductress. Oops?

1950s
Awashima Chikage as Masako in Soshun / Early Spring (1956)
Why I Like Her: She’s a loyal wife who’ll stick by you through thick and thin, but she wants to be appreciated too.
What’s So Special About Her: I can rest assured that even through a rough patch (career-wise, personal life, or temporary insanity), she’s gonna support me.
Why It Might Not Work Out: I might treat her like dirt knowing she’ll be loyal to me anyway. Treat her like dirt and she’ll stick to you like mud? Probably not.
Why She’d Like Me: Actually, I’m a nice guy, so I’d treat her a lot better than Shoji.
Potential for Long Term Relationship: 4/10 – Actually, this should work out. Except she already has a husband. Drat.

Awashima Chikage in Soshun / Early Spring (1956)

Not shown: Unappreciative husband

1960s
Aratama Michiyo as Michiko in Ningen no joken / The Human Condition (number 3 was released in 1961)
Why I Like Her: I don’t think many actresses from the 50s-60s can compare with how absolutely lovely Michiyo is.
What’s So Special About Her: She pretty much knows exactly what it means to love.
Why It Might Not Work Out: Even though Kaji’s already dead, I doubt I could make her forget about him.
Why She’d Like Me: I’m not dead, I’m not going off to war, and I’ll spare her from more heartbreak.
Potential for Long Term Relationship: 7/10 – I’m sure she’ll forget about Kaji eventually. After that I’ll just have to turn the flirt on.

Aratama Michiyo in Ningen no joken III / The Human Condition III (1961)

The fact that I couldn't find a good picture of Michiyo without Nakadai Tatsuya is probably a sign

1970s
Fuji Junko as Tsuruji in Junko intai kinen eiga: Kanto hizakura ikka / The Red Cherry Blossom Family (1972)
Why I Like Her: She’s a powerful woman who knows how to take control.
What’s So Special About Her: She’s got a bunch of yakuza dudes following her command, which is always good for fights and football games.
Why It Might Not Work Out: Getting mixed up with the yakuza is tough, and if I ever get in trouble, she’d probably need to save my ass. Not very manly, nor very attractive.
Why She’d Like Me: Maybe she’s into artsy sensitive guys. Otherwise, uh, probably not.
Potential for Long Term Relationship: 6/10 – I could learn to get tough, but she’s probably already too tough for any man to handle. I didn’t even choose her Red Peony Gambler version.

Junko Fuji in one of the Red Peony Gambler movies

Red Peony Gambler Version: She could still kill you in her beauty sleep

1980s
Joey Wang as Hsiao Tsing in Sien nui yau wan / A Chinese Ghost Story (1987)
Why I Like Her: She’s cute. And she does magic. I’m sure that’d be useful for something.
What’s So Special About Her: She seduces men for a living, so I assume she’s pretty freaky.
Why It Might Not Work Out: She isn’t exactly human, so I’m not sure if that’ll work, you know.. logistically.
Why She’d Like Me: Actually, she probably wouldn’t, since I hate scary places like creepy forests and I’m afraid of the dark.
Potential for Long Term Relationship: 0/10 – No chance in hell, so I’m not sure why she’s on this list.

Joey Wang in Sien nui yau wan / A Chinese Ghost Story (1987)

Probably not her seductive look

1990s
Faye Wong as Faye in Chung Hing sam lam / Chungking Express (1995)

Why I Like Her: She’s silly.
What’s So Special About Her: She’s silly!
Why It Might Not Work Out: Actually, I can’t think of anything here except that we might eventually run out of crazy ideas to entertain ourselves with.
Why She’d Like Me: I have the ability to match her adorable-ness and craziness. Yes, really.
Potential for Long Term Relationship: 9/10 – She’s adorable, and she’s the first celebrity I ever grew a crush on, and so far there have only been 2.

Faye Wong in Chung Hing sam lam / Chungking Express (1995)

Faye being adorably silly

2000s
Miyazaki Aoi in Shonen Merikensack (2008) – I haven’t actually seen this one yet?
Why I Like Her: Dude, just look at that poster.
What’s So Special About Her: There is something very precious, very fragile about her beauty that I find amazing.
Why It Might Not Work Out: If her character turns out to be like the one from Nana (2005). Ew.
Why She’d Like Me: The movie’s about punk rock, supposedly, and no one’s cooler than me when it comes to music.
Potential for Long Term Relationship: 8/10 – Actually I’d wanted to say Kozue from Eureka / Sad Vacation, but I’d rather a happy Aoi with Kozue’s strong, complex interior. I wonder what that’d be like.

Miyazaki Aoi in Shonen Merikensack (2008)

Face tattoos and brass knuckles will never again be this cute

2000s
Ueno Juri as Aoi in Niji no megami / Rainbow Song (2006) or actually, just Juri-chan
Why I Like Her: She’s an aspiring director who loves movies, film (the medium), and photography ( ❤ kodachrome).
What’s So Special About Her: Everything? You might find me weird if I elaborate.
Why It Might Not Work Out: She dies at the start of the movie.. but if I can get to replace Tomoya (that fucking idiot) it wouldn’t happen at all. Now all I need is a time machine or something.
Why She’d Like Me: We have similar interests and personalities, and my perfect intuition (trust me I’m always right about these things) tells me so. I’d also try really really hard?
Potential for Long Term Relationship: 9.9/10 – I’d give her a 10 but my girlfriend might kill me. This is assuming I have a time machine.

Ueno Juri in Niji no megami / Rainbow Song (2006)

Time spent writing this article: 17:10.
Time spent looking at Juri-chan pics: 1:05:00.

Conclusion:
Well this one’s pretty obvious, right? I’d picspam but then I’d spend another 5 hours looking at Juri-chan pictures and get fired from work.

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Kame wa igai to hayaku oyogu / Turtles Swim Faster than Expected

Kame wa igai to hayaku oyogu / Turtles Swim Faster than Expected (2005)

Afro-Juri would have blocked the whole poster

Director: Miki Satoshi
Writers: Miki Satoshi
Date: 2005

Genre: Comedy
Description: Ordinary life, ordinary person becomes a spy, a sudden change in the way one lives one’s life due to a philosophical change, living as a spy

Cast: Ueno Juri, Aoi Yû, Iwamatsu Ryo, Fuse Eri

Crew of note:

Runtime: 90 mins.
Color: Color
Trivia:

summary
Suzume is a bored, lonely houswife somewhere in rural-ish Japan. She’s got a pet turtle to keep her company, but her husband (if I were him I’d never leave Juri-chan’s side, dumbass) is always away on business. Everything changes though, when she accidentally spots an ad to become spy, and inquires about it.

review
I find it rather embarrassing that I’ve already written several reviews of movies with Miyazaki Aoi, and have yet to write one for a film starring Ueno Juri. Note! Juri-chan is my number 3, while Miyazaki Aoi is 4. My girlfriend requires that she be number 1 and that no one’s number 2–since its my favorite number. Anyway.

One of the reasons I started writing reviews was out of boredom. With nothing to do during my spare time (and occasionally at work, shhhh), I found writing about movies rather pleasant. Yet there are times I still long for greater adventure–not necessarily a James Bond/Ogami Itto/Wong Fei Hung kinda life–on the side of my relatively comfortable life.

Well, Suzume gets to keep that comfy life, and get some adventure too. And all it takes is an absurd ad and some imagination. The way her life changes–despite there being no actual change!–is fascinating and quite meaningful, accompanied with tons of laughs and happy funtimes. The silly characters that inhabit her town–the spy couple, the noodle shop man, Aoi Yuu in a great cameo–try to hide their own sillinesses (pluralized noun form of silly?), and this results in some of the best moments in the film. Sure, nothing much actually happens in the film (leading me to have nothing much to talk about), but in the context of Suzume’s new job, her new mission, and her new friends, even something as dull and dreary as a visit to this town can be a magical, meaningful trip.

conclusion
It’s easy to say that this film is simply a feel-good movie. But underneath the laughs, the afro and strange circumstances, there’s an interesting proposition: how much does a change in perspective–or the way one approaches living one’s life–affect life itself, in a tangible, permanent way? Miki treats this message brilliantly, and Juri-chan is impossible not to love. Despite the fact I rate Miyazaki Aoi’s movies better, Juri-chan is still far and away my favorite actress, and Kame wa igai to hayaku oyogu is certainly one of the reasons that she is.

things to take note of
The boredom?
The spy bizniz
Juri-chan ❤

best moment
Finding the ad for the spy biz
What Suzume does in her boredom

why you should watch this
Ueno Juri ❤

rating: 8

scorecard
Plot: B+
Cast: B
Cinematography: C+
Music: C+
Entertainment: B

similar movies, maybe:
Tenten / Adrift in Tokyo, also by Miki Satoshi

genres

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