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Fredrik Stenberg Ditlev-Simonsen,
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Two brothers who hopelessly are searching for love...
The Mamiya Brothers is a film that portrays two brothers, Akinobu (Kuranosuke Sasaki) and Tetsunobu (Muga Tsukaji) Mamiya and their attempts to gain social acceptance, or a more appropriate term, to become "popular". You see, the brothers aren't what most outsiders (at least in Japan) would consider "cool", and it certainly shows through their actions; they watch baseball on TV and hand write every stat of their team, they race each other to whatever destination they are going to, they watch 3-4 movies in a row .the list goes on. They mutually agree that they should expand their social horizons and decide to plan on hosting their own curry party at their place. This brings into mind who they should invite and they finally choose to ask Naomi (Erika Sawajiri), the clerk at the local video store they often visit, and Yoriko (Takako Tokiwa), Akinobu's co-worker. This of course brings the brothers into many awkward (and funny) situations, and we begin to see that the brothers might be in a little bit over their heads I really enjoyed The Mamiya Brothers not only because it was a comedy, but because it showed how strong a relationship between two siblings can be. The viewer obviously can tell see from the first five minutes of the film that the brothers have a very strong bond (they live together) and throughout the film we begin to see that bond being tested. Another aspect I enjoyed was the comedy in the film. The situations the brothers participate in (particularly the curry parties) are very funny and provide ample laughs. The one thing that did bother me about the film though was that the plot of the film was diverted sometimes in order to provide background on certain supporting characters. Now I have no problem with character development, but in this particular case, when a film is supposed to be carried by the performances of two actors (Sasaki and Tsukaji), I expected a little more time for their development rather than supportive characters. This is just a minor distraction though, and doesn't affect the film as a whole.
The duo of Kuranosuke Sasaki and Muga Tsukaji is what makes the entire film. They were able to portray the brothers quite well and played off each other's vibe excellently. Erika Sawajiri is one of Japan's up and coming actresses and this film just shows even more how wonderful a talent she is. Takako Tokiwa was funny for her portrayal as the moderately shy teacher and provides some of the laughs throughout the film. Overall the acting was great.
My final word on The Mamiya Brothers is that it's great little comedy with considerable acting. Even though it isn't the greatest Japanese comedy I've ever seen (that's reserved for Ping Pong), it's a funny and original film that does exactly what it's supposed to, and that is entertain.
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