Zebraman 2: Attack on Zebra City (Zeburâman: Zebura shiti no gyakushū, ゼブラーマン ゼブラシティの逆襲)
Nodame Cantabile: The Final Score – Part I / Nodame Cantabile The Movie I (Nodame Kantaabire saishuu gakushou – zenpen,のだめカンタービレ 最終楽章 前編)

Haruko’s Paranormal Laboratory (Haruko chōjō genshō kenkyūjo,春子超常現象研究所)

Haruko's Paranormal Laboratory (Haruko chōjō genshō kenkyūjo,春子超常現象研究所)

[ Directed by ]
[ Produced by ]
* ONO Satoshi
[ Cast ]
* NOZAKI Moeka OTSUKI Haruko
[ Staff ]
* Screenplay: TAKEBA Lisa
* Cinematography: Shu G. MOMOSE
* Lighting: OTA Hirosi
* Editor: NISHIMURA Yoshihiro
* Music: FUJINAGA Kentaro
[ Production Company ]
[ Distributor (Japan) ]

Release Date: December 5, 2015
Running Time: 73 min
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Feature
Color: Color
Screening Format: Blu-ray,DVD, DVD, HDCAM
Screening Format with Subtitles
・English (Blu-ray, DVD, HDCAM, mov data)
[ Story ]
Wacky romance featuring characters unique to the extreme alongside elements of comedy and the occult. Lauded at the 44th Rotterdam International Film Festival and screened at numerous festivals. Director Takeba Risa is known for The Pinkie.
TV man (Nakamura Aoi) has both a physical body and emotions, and shacks up with his owner Haruko (Nozaki Moeka). TV man’s facility with languages makes him a hit on TV, but one day he suddenly recovers his former memories and departs on a journey to find his family.

[ Official Site ]
[ Film Festivals, Awards ]
* 2015 International Film Festival Rotterdam, Hivos Tiger Award Competition
* 2015 Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival
* 2015 Hong Kong International Film Festival, “I see it my way” section
* 2015 Moscow International Film Festival, Official Out of Competition-Female Blast
* 2015 Fantasia International Film Festival, Cheval Noir Competition
* 2015 Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival, BiFan Discoveries
* 2015 Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia, Noves Visions Plus (in competition)

“Look at it as if it were a comic book: it will be more fun” these are the words of Risa Takeba to present her film, in competition for the Tiger Awards at the 44th International Film Festival in Rotterdam.
To confirm the approach, immediately after his heroine a little naïf debuted on the screen declaring: «This is the love story between me and my TV».
Haruko is a quiet girl who one day gets angry with her old TV, which, however, unexpectedly begins to respond. Then he turns into an attractive boy and Haruko falls in love with him. The romantic story between the two unravels in a succession of colorful pop images: Haruko is convinced she has paranormal powers (the “creature” she evokes would be proof), she would like Terebi (TV) to stay at home, but he adventure in the world and fascinating as it is in spite of the head in the form of TV, and moreover with talent to sell (speaks twelve languages, plays, sings), is immediately swallowed up by the show business. Haruko will finally be able to reconquer his man-TV, and even to marry him, but the finish has a bitter taste.
Risa Takeba, on her second feature after Samayou koyubi (The Pinkie, 2014), wants to entertain her audience and, at times, she succeeds. The world of Haruko is populated with comic characters, from the colleague to the neighboring voyeur, protagonists of hilarious skits. The story is certainly surreal and grotesque – inspired, as the director says, by an aunt who was chatting with her television, but it is also the way to talk about loneliness and isolation. Haruko herself and her brother hikikomori, who lives holed up in his room to get out only disguised as a cosplay, with a mask to conceal his face and family.
This last theme, with particular regard to the dysfunctional family is recurrent in contemporary Japanese cinematography (think of Sono Sion, to make just one example among many): Lisa Takeba builds a character that immediately manifests a conflict, but at the same time a strong need to recognize each other in the family nucleus. Haruko suspects that his father has betrayed his mother, who is now gone, has a brother who has locked himself in his room and in himself; however, she looks for the solid link, the one that will lead her to marriage.
Terebi is a different, in effect, given that he has the body of a handsome boy and his head in the shape of a television. His journey towards the human world and the subsequent yielding to the fascination of the “stage” and the adoring audience reminded me of what happens to the creature in Mel Brooks’ Frankenstein Junior (1974): there was a theater in which to perform singing and dancing, here is the world of television programs and even radio.
For both creatures success will not bring much good, even Terebi feels uncomfortable and finds refuge with a group of “different” headed by a dwarf.
The relationship between the girl and the lover-TV is summarized by a phrase from Haruko: “Objects do not betray you”. The director confirms that she was inspired, in creating her story, from the recent rapid development of artificial intelligence: in a world of problematic humans, objects with feelings seem to be a safe haven. Even if as you can not remember the Nozomi doll in Kūki ningyō (Air Doll, 2009) by Koreeda Hirokazu, the risk of falling into the conflict of emotions difficult to manage, is around the corner.
Worthy of note are the extravagant costumes created by Sakabe Mikio.
The ending is for a Haruko that seems to have come out more mature from the lived experience: throw away the banner of its “Paranormal Laboratory”, perhaps to begin to face its fears all human without hiding behind hypothetical other worlds.
Terebi is back to being the old TV at home: all is well that ends well, even in comics.
[Katsuyuki Nakanishi]

Katsuyuki Nakanishi
Born on 1984 in Nagoya City, Aichi Prefecture. Graduated in Vantan Film and Movie Institute major in film director. The fourth graduate of JSC Cinematographers assistant upbringing cramming school. While he was studying in Tokyo, he was also working with Director Shinya Tsukamoto's movie at the same time. After that, he became part of the lighting department of Toei Studios Kyoto, studied under Kiyoto Ando and Takashi Sugimoto. In these movies, he worked as an assistant lighting director with Takashi Sugimoto in "Chacha - Tengai no Onna"(2007) and Kiyoto Ando in "The Fallen Angel"(2010). He work as a freelancer since 2011 and became part of these latest movies as a lighting director of Director Yang Ik-June's ”Shibata and Nagao"(2012), Director Keisuke Yoshida’s ”Himeanile”(2016), Director Kohki Yoshida’s ”ThreeLights"(2017), Director Hiroshi Ando’s ”Moon and Thunder" (2017) and Director Shinya Tsukamoto’s ”Killing” (2018).

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