Original Title: バンテイジ
Release date: January 16, 2010
Director: Takeshi Kobayashi
Novel by: Chika Kan
Screenplay by: Shunji Iwai
Cast: Jin Akanishi, Kie Kitano, Kengo Kora, Yuki Shibamoto, Hideyuki Kasahara, Nobuki Kaneko, Anne Watanabe, Ayumi Ito
Bandage is directed by Takeshi Kobayashi… who produces great music. Alas, Bandage is not that great of a story or have great characters, but it’s got pretty good music. It tells the story of a fictional J-rock band called LANDS in the early 90s. What really, REALLY bothered me was that the film didn’t look like the early 90s to me. It OCD bugged me. The only thing that remotely made me feel it was the early 90s — besides using a discman and sharing CDs — was the phone at Asako’s home. In one of the sequences, you can even listen to a track by Salyu as scene background music, and her music didn’t come out until Lily Chou Chou in 2001. OCD bugged me!
And shall I tell you that Ayumi Ito was my favorite part of the story? Okay, I might be biased, but I didn’t care for the brooding artists, even though I love brooding characters.
Kie Kitano, who played lead on HALFWAY, played Asako here, the girl who becomes a fan of LANDS’ music and ends up meeting the band… hence meeting the lead singer Natsu and becoming his Yoko. LOL – Their words, not mine. I’m still not warming up to Kitano’s on-screen talent or charisma. I mean, she must have something, right? Iwai keeps using her for some reason. But she’s just so blah.
Jin Akanishi plays Natsu — who recently became an ex-member of KAT-TUN to pursue his solo career. This is his debut film role as the brooding lead singer of LANDS, the struggling band. They’ve been together for 15 years (if I recall), but they never had a huge hit… until they do, and then the band struggles. Kengo Kora — who can be seen in Aoi Miyazaki’s Solanin and the recent Norwegian Wood — plays Yukiya… the McCartney to Natsu’s Lennon. So you can imagine.
Yuki Shibamoto plays Arumi, the talented keyboardist and arranger. But she doesn’t do much other than storm out of rooms and make dramatic entrances.
Once again, the only thing saving this from doom was Ayumi Ito playing Yukari (her last name), former drummer and now LANDS’ manager. We didn’t get to know much about her, but every time she was on screen, she pulled attention towards her without doing much.
One word review? Meh.