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REVIEW: Words Bubble Up Like Soda Pop




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Swissman



Joined: 11 May 2006
Posts: 639
Location: Switzerland
PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2021 5:01 pm Reply with quote
I just finished watching the movie and loved it. The colorful and flat art style with no gradation is striking. It reminds me of pop art in 80s billboard commercials, and there are some great sakuga scenes. But what I like the most was the really sweet main leads and the climax of the movie towards the end. This is a really well made movie which should be discovered by as many people as possible.
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Neko-sensei



Joined: 19 Jan 2007
Posts: 232
PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2021 7:20 pm Reply with quote
The mall is the Aeon Mall in Takasaki, which you can find on Google Maps here. They recently held a stamp rally to commemorate the release of the film (check this link if you read Japanese).

I lived in Takasaki for three and a half years and often saw movies at the Aeon Mall, so I'm intimately familiar with the space. It makes watching this film a little strange, as they've made some odd changes—look at the south side of the mall, across from the satellite parking lot, and you'll see that they've removed the pedestrian overpass but kept the stairs leading up to it, creating a bridge to nowhere that is quite the safety hazard!—and the film's version of the mall is as it existed about two years ago, before a major expansion. I was very happy to see that it included the massive bank of gacha machines on the third floor, which had some of the best stuff I've ever found in Japan (they had a gacha machine that dispensed capsules with miniature gacha machines that actually dispensed tiny capsule with miniscule gacha machines inside them!) but was removed after the expansion.

The film also includes Daruma (the local product) and South American immigrants as local references (although it's weird they speak Spanish—neighboring Maebashi is home to a very large Brazilian community, so Portuguese would be more common). Takasaki's not exactly a tourist destination, but it's always nice to see a place you know used as the background for a light fantastic story like this.

PS: Actually, the kanji for "tooth" and "leaf" aren't really similar (歯 vs. 葉), but they're both pronounced the same way, "ha," which is how Beaver (Bieber?) made his mistake. Several of Cherry's haiku use the homonym in a more deliberate way.
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gpanthony



Joined: 18 Dec 2013
Posts: 208
PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2021 11:28 pm Reply with quote
Neko-sensei wrote:
The mall is the Aeon Mall in Takasaki, which you can find on Google Maps here. They recently held a stamp rally to commemorate the release of the film (check this link if you read Japanese).

I lived in Takasaki for three and a half years and often saw movies at the Aeon Mall, so I'm intimately familiar with the space. It makes watching this film a little strange, as they've made some odd changes—look at the south side of the mall, across from the satellite parking lot, and you'll see that they've removed the pedestrian overpass but kept the stairs leading up to it, creating a bridge to nowhere that is quite the safety hazard!—and the film's version of the mall is as it existed about two years ago, before a major expansion. I was very happy to see that it included the massive bank of gacha machines on the third floor, which had some of the best stuff I've ever found in Japan (they had a gacha machine that dispensed capsules with miniature gacha machines that actually dispensed tiny capsule with miniscule gacha machines inside them!) but was removed after the expansion.

The film also includes Daruma (the local product) and South American immigrants as local references (although it's weird they speak Spanish—neighboring Maebashi is home to a very large Brazilian community, so Portuguese would be more common). Takasaki's not exactly a tourist destination, but it's always nice to see a place you know used as the background for a light fantastic story like this.

PS: Actually, the kanji for "tooth" and "leaf" aren't really similar (歯 vs. 葉), but they're both pronounced the same way, "ha," which is how Beaver (Bieber?) made his mistake. Several of Cherry's haiku use the homonym in a more deliberate way.


This is such a great and informative comment! Thanks for this!
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Redbeard 101
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Joined: 14 Aug 2006
Posts: 16183
PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2021 12:23 am Reply with quote
Color me quite interested in watching this now. When I had originally heard about it I was not that interested, but I think I might have written it off a bit too quickly after reading your review. Added it to my Netflix queue already.
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omiya



Joined: 21 Sep 2011
Posts: 1661
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2021 1:34 am Reply with quote
I'm looking forward to this also.

Back in 2013 I stayed a couple of nights in Takasaki to visit the Usui Pass and nearby railway museum http://www.usuitouge.com/bunkamura/ . Also nearby is the former Tomioka Silk Mill http://www.tomioka-silk.jp.e.wv.hp.transer.com/tomioka-silk-mill/ .

There are unique cuisines in the area that the local government has been trying to preserve and a great bento range at the station.
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25thchestnut



Joined: 14 Sep 2020
Posts: 18
PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2021 12:08 pm Reply with quote
For some reason I'd not heard of this before, but now I'm definitely sold on it! Even just the title has so much personality to it.
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TanyaTheEvil



Joined: 11 May 2018
Posts: 234
PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2021 12:56 pm Reply with quote
I am so looking forward to this
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Neko-sensei



Joined: 19 Jan 2007
Posts: 232
PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2021 8:07 pm Reply with quote
25thchestnut wrote:
For some reason I'd not heard of this before, but now I'm definitely sold on it! Even just the title has so much personality to it.
It should indeed—in Japanese, the title is a haiku! It's one of the poems that Cherry composes over the course of his emotional journey. A line-by line translation would read:

サイダーの
ように言葉が
湧き上がる

Saidaa no
Yō ni kotoba ga
Wakiagaru


Like cider,
Words
Well seething up


Which goes to show how impossible it is to translate poetry line-by-line, given that the seven-syllable line winds up being a single word in English! "湧き上がる" has more the feeling of a spring gushing up than it exactly does a carbonated beverage percolating, or even (often written with a different kanji) of boiling; it is also used to mean an emotional outpouring or uproar, which is why the word choice is just a tiny bit more interesting in Japanese than it can be in English. It suggests an almost violent inability to contain the words that "bubble up" doesn't quite manage (much as I like the official title).

Finally, if you don't know, in Japan "Cider" means this, and yes, in haiku it counts as four morae (sa-i-da-a)! Although I generally object to the term "soda pop" (I'm a "soda" guy), in this case I think it's a pretty brilliant translation that perfectly captures the feeling of the film.
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25thchestnut



Joined: 14 Sep 2020
Posts: 18
PostPosted: Sat Jul 24, 2021 6:37 pm Reply with quote
Neko-sensei wrote:
"湧き上がる" has more the feeling of a spring gushing up than it exactly does a carbonated beverage percolating, or even (often written with a different kanji) of boiling; it is also used to mean an emotional outpouring or uproar, which is why the word choice is just a tiny bit more interesting in Japanese than it can be in English. It suggests an almost violent inability to contain the words that "bubble up" doesn't quite manage (much as I like the official title).

Finally, if you don't know, in Japan "Cider" means this, and yes, in haiku it counts as four morae (sa-i-da-a)! Although I generally object to the term "soda pop" (I'm a "soda" guy), in this case I think it's a pretty brilliant translation that perfectly captures the feeling of the film.


Amazing, thank you so much for the insight! I watched the film last night and it does very much build towards that sense of outpouring. Even with the slight difference in the English title, I agree that it’s nevertheless still very fitting! It’s so playful and full of youth.

I don’t usually read/watch a lot of romance, but this one really captured my heart; a simple story well told. And despite the translation challenges, I found the use of haikus so charming.
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FireChick



Joined: 26 Mar 2006
Posts: 1942
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sat Jul 24, 2021 6:56 pm Reply with quote
How does the English dub fare? I heard it's done by a completely new studio with mostly completely new actors. Is it any good or is it bad?
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Alestal



Joined: 22 Apr 2005
Posts: 598
Location: Dallas, Texas
PostPosted: Mon Jul 26, 2021 8:15 am Reply with quote
I watched this last weekend and I was a bit underwhelmed. I found that the story was difficult to get into and a lot of the integrity was lost in translation.

The characters themselves were very likeable, but there wasn't a lot of depth in the conversations that they had. This may have been due to the dub, which I thought was mediocre-poor, or maybe just the translation issues that others have mentioned. A lot of the dialogue seemed to revolve around the haikus, but they were not always easy to understand...to say the least.

On another note, the art was absolutely spectacular and the ending was very cute! I'm sure this studio will continue to improve and I'm excited for what they do next.
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