7.5/10
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Swing Girls (2004)

Suwingu gâruzu (original title)
A tale of delinquent and lazy school girls. In their efforts to cut remedial summer math class, they end up vitiating and replacing the schools brass band.

Director:

Shinobu Yaguchi

Writers:

Shinobu Yaguchi, Junko Yaguchi (contributing writer)
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11 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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A story about the disappearance of Kirishima, a star athlete of the volleyball club and how this disappearance of his affect every person in his school.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Juri Ueno ... Tomoko Suzuki (Tenor Sax)
Yûta Hiraoka ... Takuo Nakamura (Piano)
Shihori Kanjiya ... Yoshie Saito (Trumpet)
Yuika Motokariya ... Kaori Sekiguchi (Trombone)
Yukari Toyoshima Yukari Toyoshima ... Naomi Tanaka (Drums)
Kana Sekine Kana Sekine ... Hiromi Watanabe
Asuka Asuka ... Chika Kubo
Fumiko Mizuta Fumiko Mizuta ... Yuka Yamamoto (Bass)
Chiyo Nakamura Chiyo Nakamura ... Emiko Okamura
Masae Nemoto Masae Nemoto ... Akemi Otsu
Madoka Matsuda Madoka Matsuda ... Yumiko Shimizu
Mutsumi Kanazaki Mutsumi Kanazaki ... Rie Ishikawa
Nagisa Abe Nagisa Abe ... Reiko Shimoda (Trumpet)
Misa Nagashima Misa Nagashima ... Misato Miyazaki
Eri Maehara Eri Maehara ... Kayo Yoshida
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Storyline

A bunch of lazy and unmotivated schoolgirls are thrown into the extracurricular music club of their school and not exactly voluntarily. They are trying to cut out the hard stuff - yes, mathematics - and become the replacement crew for the actual musicians in the school club, but slowly come into their own as they learn to handle the instruments and themselves better. Craziness and zaniness ensues, but how is the swing music delivery at the end? Written by aghaemi

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Girls meet Jazz!!!

Genres:

Drama | Comedy | Music

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

11 September 2004 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Swing Girls See more »

Filming Locations:

Yamagata, Japan See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

JPY500,000,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$18,758,613
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Many of the actresses had never played an instrument before. They took intensive music lesson at Yamaha Music School for several months before the shooting began. See more »

Quotes

Nakamura, Yuta: [after being told by Sekiguchi that she used to collect matsutake mushrooms in grandpa's woods] Amazing, does your family own this whole forest?
Sekiguchi, Kaori: Nope.
Nakamura, Yuta: How far can we pick?
Sekiguchi, Kaori: How far?
Nakamura, Yuta: Don't these woods belong to your grandpa?
Sekiguchi, Kaori: No, they belong to my mother's friend's cousin's grandpa.
Nakamura, Yuta: So this grandpa isn't your grandpa?
Tanaka, Naomi: Japanese language can be so vague.
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the closing credits, the characters from the movie lip-sync along with "Love" by Nat King Cole. See more »

Soundtracks

L. O. V. E.
Written by Bert Kaempfert and Milton Gabler
Performed by Nat 'King' Cole
See more »

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User Reviews

 
I'm pervert bait, more like bear bait...
1 January 2006 | by MeganeguardSee all my reviews

Suzuki Tomoko, along with ten plus classmates, has been sentenced to spend their summer vacation confined within their school and listen to her dull teacher Ozawa-sensei drone on and on about math equations that she, her classmates, and Ozawa-sensei himself could give a flip about. Therefore she envies the members of the school's brass band who gets to travel with the baseball team. However, on this particular hot summer day the band's bus leaves before the caterer arrives with the band's lunches. Because the caterer has another delivery, Tomoko, along with the other girls in the class decide to deliver the lunches. While on the train they eat one of the lunches and subsequently fall asleep missing their stop. After suffering such setbacks as jumping into rice paddies to avoid an oncoming train and having to wash their socks, the girls finally deliver the lunches to the brass band and their conductor. However, Nakamura Yuta, a boy Tomoko constantly bickers with, does not receive a lunch because his was consumed on the train ride. However, it seems an angel of mercy was looking over Nakamura when the other members of the brass band suffer a major bought of food poisoning.

Nakamura, being the only member of the brass band who is healthy, is given the task to put together another band for a major baseball game. However, only three girls show up to volunteer: two punk rock girls who play guitar and bass respectively and Sekiguchi Kaori, a sweet, nerdy girl who can play the recorder. However, knowing that Tomoko ate one of the lunches, he spotted a grain of cooked rice on her chin at the baseball game, Nakamura orders Tomoko and her summer school classmates to join the brass band. However, there number only totals sixteen, which is too small a number for a brass band. Yet, after a few events, Nakamura decides instead to start Big Swing Band.

Instead of playing music at first, Nakamura makes the girls exercise to build up their strength and lung capacity for a long performance. The girls eventually begin to enjoy playing their instruments, but right before the big game the brass bands members regain their strength and perform instead of the girls. However, seeds of love for music have been planted in the hearts of the saxophonist Tomoko, the trumpeter Saito Yoshie, the trombonist Sekiguchi, and the drummer Tanaka Naomi and while the other girls quit in order to hang out with some boys, this little group, with Nakamura in tow, sets forth to start their own jazz band.

Before actually watching this film, my only knowledge concerning it was that it was directed by the director of Waterboys, but having yet to watch that film this left me with little information for what to expect. However, I received the experience of watching a very enjoyable film that was without violence, unless you count snowball fights and Naomi's butt cracking the head of a wild boar when the girls go matsutake hunting, without angst, without hormonal frustration, etc. The young actresses have a wonderful chemistry and seem like actual friends instead of actresses. Also, the personalities of Tomoko, Nakamura, Yoshie, Sekiguchi, and Naomi are very well fleshed out and each one of them has their own personal quirks: Yoshie's falls for every cute boy she sees, the mild Sekiguchi excels at whatever she does but is ignored by those around her, and the deadpan Naomi has a wonderful dry sense of humor. Combine all of this with a truly outstanding performance at the end of the film, the girls later on went to perform in New York and Los Angeles, make for a very nice film watching experience.


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