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Thread: Best Japanese language films for a HS kid taking Japanese

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    lord of the mark
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    Best Japanese language films for a HS kid taking Japanese

    Assume someone has just completed their first year of Japanese. And they are going to take 2nd year Japanese in the fall. And their dad wants to make fall quarter easier, by keeping their japanese from getting rusty, but in a painless way. By showing films.

    And the student is a 15YO female.

    I was thinking Seven Samurai. Theres a love story IIRC, and a "Purity of ancestry" sub theme that any Harry Potter fan will get. I think she could manage to sit through the battle scenes, and its such an important film.

    Maybe something else by Kurosawa?

    Any other good Japanese directors?

    Of course shed like to watch Anime, and probably will, but Id like to add something richer to the diet.
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    Maybe something by studio Gibli?

    Or try a book?

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    Off the top of my head I only know Battle Royale... But I would advise against that one for a 15 y.o.

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    Tampopo is hilarious.
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    Seven Samurai rocked.

    JM
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    Originally posted by Jon Miller
    Seven Samurai rocked.

    JM
    I was going to say ShinShin No Samuri too.
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    Kurosawa did Rashomon which is good and stuff, but the play (by Ivor Benjamin) is like a million times better imo (even though it's in english).
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    Seven Samurai probably holds little interest for a 15 YO girl. Ghibli is a good choice. Perhaps Princess Mononoke? That's richer to the diet than most other anime and includes themes of man's relationship to nature.
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    bipolarbear
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    Akira has some pretty cool cinematic elements to it, which you might have to help her pick up on, and is mandatory viewing for anyone with a passing interest in anime. If you're going to go with Mononoke, you might as well just look at everything Miyazaki. The sportos, the motorheads, geeks, sluts, bloods, waistoids, dweebies, dickheads -- they all adore him. They think he's a righteous dude
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    CrONoS
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    Originally posted by bipolarbear
    The sportos, the motorheads, geeks, sluts, bloods, waistoids, dweebies, dickheads -- they all adore him. They think he's a righteous dude
    QFT



    For a girl I also suggest Miyazaki.

    I think you can't go wrong with any of these three movies.

    - Princess Mononoke (from wiki: It is a jidaigeki (period drama) set in late Muromachi period of Japan, and centers on the struggle between the supernatural guardians of a forest and the humans who need its resources, as seen by the outsider Ashitaka. "Mononoke" (物の怪, "Mononoke"?) is not a name, but a general term in Japanese for a spirit/god/monster of the natural world.)

    - Spirited Away (from wiki:Spirited Away is the story of a girl, forced to survive in a bizarre spirit world, who works in a bathhouse for spirits after her parents are turned into pigs by the sorceress who owns it)

    - Howl's Moving Castle
    bleh

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    bipolarbear
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    Also, My Neighbor Totorro would be good to expose her to now while she's still young enough to appreciate it's more childish elements; Howl's Moving Castle has the whole emoish conflicted cute but dark guy element which she'd likely react to what with being fifteen and female.

    Edit: That's l33t semicolon skillz right?
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    lord of the mark
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    thanks for your advice, but for anime-fantasy-emoish whatever, she has a circle that gives advice, and she would probably be taken aback getting suggestions on such from me. Of course we will rent some, but I wont get too involved in picking them.

    I still think Seven Samurai would be good - if she could deal with the battle scenes in "Return of the King" I dont see why Kurosawa would be worse (its been a long time since ive seen Seven Sam, though)
    "A person cannot approach the divine by reaching beyond the human. To become human, is what this individual person, has been created for.” Martin Buber

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    bipolarbear
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    Kurosawa is generally B&W iirc, so that might put her off a bit.
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    lord of the mark
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    Originally posted by bipolarbear
    Kurosawa is generally B&W iirc, so that might put her off a bit.
    she takes B&W photos.
    "A person cannot approach the divine by reaching beyond the human. To become human, is what this individual person, has been created for.” Martin Buber

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    Elok
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    I was pretty disappointed by the battle scenes in Seven Samurai, TBH. By modern, computer-aided standards they're really quite fake-looking. I enjoyed a lot of the movie anyway, but it's hard when you have to giggle at the battle scenes. I'm spoiled by stuff like Kill Bill, and I bet she's got it worse.

    Anyway, I liked Ran better than SS. It's Kurosawa's final film, based on King Lear but set in feudal Japan. It's also his biggest-budget feature (it's in color, made in the eighties IIRC), and the production values tell. Of course, this 15yo probably isn't a Shakespeare freak like I am, but it's a good film by its own right.

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    lord of the mark
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    Originally posted by Elok
    I was pretty disappointed by the battle scenes in Seven Samurai, TBH. By modern, computer-aided standards they're really quite fake-looking. I enjoyed a lot of the movie anyway, but it's hard when you have to giggle at the battle scenes. I'm spoiled by stuff like Kill Bill, and I bet she's got it worse.

    Anyway, I liked Ran better than SS. It's Kurosawa's final film, based on King Lear but set in feudal Japan. It's also his biggest-budget feature (it's in color, made in the eighties IIRC), and the production values tell. Of course, this 15yo probably isn't a Shakespeare freak like I am, but it's a good film by its own right.
    In the last two months we've gone to a professional production of "Love's Labours Lost", a high school production of "Merchant of Venice", and seen the Di Caprio version of "Romeo and Juliet" She digs Shakespeare very much.
    "A person cannot approach the divine by reaching beyond the human. To become human, is what this individual person, has been created for.” Martin Buber

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    Elok
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    Well there you go, then.

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    bipolarbear
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    You know how to raise em' LOTM.
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    Drake Tungsten
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    To be honest, watching movies in Japanese would be of little benefit to someone who's only taken one-year of Japanese. The odds of them understanding anything more than a fraction of the dialogue are pretty slim.

    If you really want to help her out, you might consider buying some simple books for her to read. Manga would be a good choice and she probably already has some on hand considering she enjoys anime. You are right to be worried about her solely watching anime/reading manga, though. The language used in most anime/manga is extremely informal and unlikely to be useful or appropriate in a classroom setting. As such, you might want to also get some Japanese children's books.

    Your daughter probably can't read many kanji yet, but she should have mastered hiragana and katakana by now. You can purchase books intended for Japanese children that are written entirely in hiragana/katakana. These are a good way to learn vocabulary and grammar structures that will be encountered on a regular basis in a Japanese classroom setting. The trick is finding books that your daughter would want to read. I don't know much about her, but I can imagine a teen being reluctant to read kid's books. You probably know what topics she might be interested in, though. I personally like to read folk tales and there are many Japanese kids books about those. Just find a type of book she might like and make sure that they don't have too many kanji.
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    I was going to say ShinShin No Samuri too.


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    bipolarbear
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    Originally posted by Drake Tungsten
    To be honest, watching movies in Japanese would be of little benefit to someone who's only taken one-year of Japanese.
    It will help more with nailing the subtleties of the language like timing, intonation, syllabic emphasis, etc. If anything she'll be more used ot hearing it and presumably have a leg up on understanding it if she ever decides to go live in Japan or anywhere else where Japanese is the dominant language (is there anywhere else other than anime cons?)
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    It will help more with nailing the subtleties of the language like timing, intonation, syllabic emphasis, etc.


    Students with only one year of study under their belt have a lot more pressing needs to be addressed than nailing the subtleties like timing and intonation.
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    Gladiator dubbed in Japanese
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    Gladiator dubbed in Japanese


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    Originally posted by cronos_qc
    - Spirited Away

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    DaShi
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    Azumanga Daioh. Since there are a lot of phrases common to classrooms that she would have learned in her first year class. Then there's a lot of obscure Japanese stuff that she'll never get and will make her abadon the language for something less challenging, like Chinese.
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    That is an awesome anime (Azumanga Daioh).

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