Film Review: Melancholic (2018) by Seiji Tanaka

What starts off as a coming-of-age film, morphs towards an ode to V-Cinema and Hong Kong action films, and finally, emerges as a touching human drama. In his debut feature, “Melancholic”, director Seiji Tanaka and actor/producer Yoji Minagawa create a menagerie of overused but fun Yakuza movie plotlines, scenes of familial domesticity, dating life, friendship, young vs old, and notions on college education. It’s the lens in which the story is framed, the eyes through which we see through, and how elements of other genres are woven together that make it such a unique and fantastical debut. “Melancholic” succeeds In that genre blending, in a way that many films have not been able to master. Director Tanaka is able to respect and innovate upon the Japanese action cinema of the late 80’s and 90’s, through the eyes and constant disbelief of a 20-something college graduate.

Casting actor Yoji
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