Hey yo hey,

Happiness reigns.

Dear Japan,

Why do you kick your own arse? You create gems and then you HIDE them. When a movie fails in Japan, you have to hunt far and wide for it. Pathetically for me, I adore most of what Japan considers to be crap. Take, for example, a movie called OVERDRIVE. There is next to no info on it. Even the IMDB is vague. I have doubts as to whether it's really even Japanese. I have a vague suspicion the director is Swedish.


I love Shamisen. I do I do I do. This movie is one long shamisen porn starring (oh jesus god there's another??) HAWT shamisen player, Masahiro Nitta. As expected, the Yoshida Brothers DID have a cameo. How could they not?

The story: One fateful night, hounded by media and papparazzi, a disenchanted Tokyo rock guitarist flees into a cab. The driver, a classic old man, gives him a classic unknown drink and he passes out classically. He regains consciousness to find himself in the backwoods of Aoyama with a tab of $2,000.

The old man, sent by Destiny (Destiny as portrayed by ubercute hip hop vixen, Sayuri) has shanghaied our unwitting protagonist to Shamisen Boot Camp where he will undergo rigorous training in order to return to his Japanese roots and discover the hidden star within himself. Yes, he'll win the competition, win the girl and Destiny will be silenced.

A clever comedy with a killer soundtrack. Can anything be finer? The movie is full of the East vs West turmoil. With the wave of shamisen players these days gaining rock-star status, I would have thought it would get more acclaim in its native land. Oh well. It's a fact. Traditional Japanese culture is cool everywhere BUT Japan.

Their loss.

Throughout his journey, the protagonist's thoughts are broken by interludes from Destiny who parades around in fanciful hairstyles and furisode to rap about the current dillemma. The interludes are less than a minute long and they tickled my fancy. Some mergings of traditional and modern piss me off for reasons I won't rant about here but this didn't. Why? Because the shamisen in the background is fucking kickass and Sayuri manages to rap like she's folkin it. Is she talking to the gods or us? Couldn't tell ya.

Eh, if you an find this film, rent it? Try KIM'S.

And now, samples. Cuz you probably won't find them unless you buy the soundtrack which was next to impossible to find here.


(the woman screaming in the background hates guitars)



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