Plot : 10/10
I was actually with Ashita no Joe, but this is actually a harsh ranking. That says a lot about how much I loved it.
This film, 'Boku wa Kanojo wa Cyborg' (trans; My Girlfriend is a Cyborg), known internationally as 'Cyborg She' and, in some cases, 'Cyborg Girl', is a sci-fi romcom, written and directed by Kwak JaeYoung of 'My Sassy Girl' fame. It stars Koide Keisuke (Koizora, Gokusen 2) and Ayase Haruka (Tatta Hitotsu no Koi, Hotaru no Hikari, Ichi), with the latter being my favourite actress, by the way. It's a really nice film with a unique take on a somewhat clichéd concept and bucketload of surprises.
|Don't worry, her tears aren't a spoiler. This happens right at the start of the film. Actually, this scene is on the back of the bloody DVD Box!|
So, here we have it, your 100% been-there, done-that, clichéd to death, nerd boy meets his dream girl, she's cooler than him, more stylish than him and seemingly out of his league yet she, without any hesitation makes it clear she likes him too. Appearing out of nowhere on Kitamura Jiro, a typical, dorky university student,'s 20th birthday, 'Girl' (for she is not given a name througout the entire film) is a lively and outgoing woman, verging on the eccentric. But, there's a twist. She reveals she's actually from the future and then buggers off for a whole year, only, upon return, it seems that she's a cyborg, entirely stoic and seemingly unable to express any emotion. In fact, this new woman, modeled on the mysterious girl he had met a year prior, also remaining nameless the whole film, was sent into the past by a future version of Jiro in order to save and protect him, as well as warn him of some nondescript disaster soon to come. Of course, with this being a romcom, sweet hilarity ensues as Jiro learns to cope with living alongside a cyborg from the future and she learns how to live normally alongside ordinary humans.
Basic summary aside, this film is actually a lot better and a lot more original than it sounds. Now, it doesn't sound bad at all, I don't think but it is worlds better than I had expected. I feel like a proper twat for taking nearly a year after buying to watch this. Honestly, the plot delivered - it did not disappoint. I can't say too much but this film twists and turns in an unimaginable fashion, keeping you properly hooked from the sweet exposition to the touching finale. The plot is very well structured and, despite how the film may sound at first, is very clever. It's one of those films where you really have to think over what you've just watched upon reaching the end - this is a positive point, of course. It's one of those stories that lingers in your mind as everything finally sinks in.
|Haruka being adorable with a lizard|
The characters were really good and very likeable but they weren't anything new. That was their let-down. Sure, they were original, they were well-developed, but they didn't exactly wow me in anyway. They weren't characters that I'd hold dear to me forever more, allowing them a special, warm place in my list of favourite fictional characters. I think they were just a little too 2-Dimensional for that. Just a little. Though, I'd suggest that this was their sole let-down.
As already established, Jiro, played be Koide Keisuke, is your average, slightly nerdy Uni student, fed-up with the monotonously mundane life of loneliness and Uni lectures (the subject is never revealed but his interest in science combined with blackboards full of lengthy formulas suggest that it's some branch of Physics). Before meeting Girl from the Future, Jiro would celebrate his birthday alone, buying himself a small present and eating spaghetti (as his grandma told him this would guarantee him a longer life) at the same restaurant every year. Girl from the Future and Cyborh Girl both manage to disrupt this sysmtematic lifestyle of his, thus freeing him somewhat from the crippling restrictions of a world ruled by routine. Jiro is, pretty much, a guy taken from the pages of some peverted manga and made less annoying and misogynistic. Of course, he's less of a pervet but he's still pretty curious about women, clearly having had very little physical contact with them, leading to him trying to feel Cyborg Girl up on a few occasions, only to have his ass handed to him. Jiro is far from a perfect person but that makes him more likeable. He's a nice guy with a decent heart but he's not 100% goody-goody - he's really believable, making the story easier to identify with. He isn't a stunning and flawless Adonis amongst men nor is he a drooling, babbling idiot with a fetish for all things anime girl. He's a bit of a loser, likes comics and cartoons, but he's a normal guy, and a likeable one at that.
Played, quite brilliantly, by Ayase Haruka, the Cyborg Girl is strangely endearing character, who starts off as a seemingly emotionless cyborg (who does not appreciate being called a robot) but she, slowly but surely, learns to express her feelings and interact with other people in a semi-normal manner. She's extremely powerful and provides for the vast majority of the action scenes in the film, even beating up some potential yankii rapists in a brilliantly visualised fightscene that seemed almost like a hint of wishful thinking on the part of women (I don't know, something like that). What I like about the Cyborg Girl is that, though she's mostly uncapable of expressing normal human emotion, she's still a character that's easy to understand and sympathise with. Even though her expressions do improve, they never get to the level where she's quite like a normal human, but her feelings are clear. She's sort of sweet but also badass. I like that! And, besides, she basically saves Keisuke's arse on several occasions, so she serves as a nice reversal to that worn-out 'damsel in distress' trope.
|Oh my Glob, dramabomb|
|'da fuck is this shit' - Jirou's default emotion, apparently|
Don't get me wrong, it was a good soundtrack that worked really well with the film. The music played a pretty big role in developing the mood of the film and it was pretty bloody effective. The only issue was that it wasn't particularly memorable, nor was it surprising in any way. It was a bit generic as far as movie scores go and it didn't seem overly stylistic. It was nothing I haven't heard before.
When I bought this film, I bought it for Ayase Haruka's role in the film. Granted, I'd seen trailers and I'd read a little about it, but, the main selling point was Ayase Haruka - that was mainly because I was in Fopp and I wanted to buy a film so I went for one with an actor I knew and liked in it. Somehow, when I bought the film, though I thought it seemed interesting, I didn't actually expect too much from it. I was convinced it might end up being kind of trashy. I was either going to love it or hate but, either way, I had this feeling it was going to be, on a technical level, crap - like a kind of cinematic pulp fiction. However, I watched the film and, despite my preconceptions and worries, it was really good and pretty deep. If this had been a book, it would have been a pretty good read, actually, and not pulp fiction at all. The plot was brilliantly structured and the visuals were stunning. I was very pleasantly surprised. Very.