Japanese Movies 101: Aniki – Brother

Since I’m with Aki, I have started to watch a lot of Japanese movies. Initially I didn’t know much about Japanese movies and wasn’t sure what to expect. I, however, quickly realized that Japanese movies are good. Actually so good, that I would say the level of Japanese film making is higher, than what we get from Europe! I therefore want to introduce you to some of my favourite Japanese movies, starting with a classic by Beat Takeshi – Aniki – Brother.

Takeshi (aka Takeshi Kitano from Takeshi’s Castle) is something like a super hero in Japan. He is on the Japanese screens for more than 40 years and certainly one of the biggest Japanese achievers in the last decades. Wikipedia states:

Takeshi Kitano … is a Japanese film director, comedian, singer, actor, film editor, presenter, screenwriter, author, poet, painter, and one-time video game designer who has received critical acclaim, both in his native Japan and abroad, for his idiosyncratic cinematic work.

I believe somewhere in between he also had a political career…

Aniki – Brother

The plot according to IMDB:

A Japanese gangster is exiled to Los Angeles where his brother lives with a small but respectable multi-racial gang, who he inspires to expand their influence.

The movie features Takeshi in the main role as an old Yakuza (Japanese Mafia) member, who has to leave the country, as life becomes too dangerous for him in Japan. He meets up with his younger brother, who grew up in Los Angeles and became your common cheesy movie thug. As Takeshi is a bad ass dude, he shows his brother how to handle business and he quickly piles up lots of new enemies in LA. At the end the enemies from Tokyo and LA are out and about to find him and – you know how the story goes…

Even though the plot might not be ground breaking, the way the characters develop is great. The budget is obviously low, compared to your usual Hollywood movies and therefore the characters are moved into a much more important spot. The film has some humorous lost in translation moments, some action scenes and is overall very worth watching. I think it is a good start to get into Japanese movies.






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