A junior high school girl communicates with her dead sister in Nobuhiko Obayashi stunning fantasy drama. The 2½ hour film hits the essence of adorable, yet manages strong character drama and heavy topics at the same. Idol Hikari Ishida is terrific in the lead role, in terms of both acting and coming up with one of the cutest performances ever seen in Japanese cinema. Joe Hisaishi’s score, which sounds like lifted from Studio Ghibli movie, completes the package. Indeed, Futari is very much a live action Hayao Miazaki film if there ever was one – and every bit as great as Miyazaki’s best movies. It’s almost a shame director Obayashi is internationally known only for his lesser (though classic) movies like House.
- Beautiful Obayashi small town visuals and atmospheric! Check!
- Crazy special effects and elegant B&W images with random details in blooming color! Check!
- The most kawaii performance in the history of Japanese Cinema. Check!
- Excellent screenplay blending in serious themes with light fantasy. Check!
- Tremendous Joe Hisaishi score. Check!
- Junko Fuji in a supporting role. Check!
This is Obayashi's masterpiece!
Strong R2J 1 disc release by Pioneer, somewhat misleadingly titled as "Deluxe Edition", as there's also a long OOP (but not impossible to find) 2 Disc "Special Premium Edition" (no kidding) with the film's cut, international version on the second disc. The International Version was apparently subtitled on dvd, but who would want to see version cut by over 30 minutes???
Special Premium Edition