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hana & alice (Limited Edition)(Japan Version) DVD Region 2

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hana & alice (Limited Edition)(Japan Version)
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Customer Rating: Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10 (1)
All Editions Rating: Customer Review Rated Bad 9 - 9.6 out of 10 (5)

YesAsia Editorial Description

The newest offering from director Shunji Iwai (Love Letter, All About Lily Chou-Chou, April Story), "Hana & Alice", is a delicate comedy about two childhood friends who fall for the same guy. Secretly following Miyamoto (Kaku Tomohiro) after school one day, Hana (Suzuki Anne) sees him inadvertantly run into a wall, and then collapse senseless on the ground. When he awakens, she convinces him that the bump on the head has given him amnesia, and that she is his girlfriend. In order to keep the fiction alive, Hana is forced to tell Miyamoto more lies, one of which leads to his falling for her best friend Alice (Aoi Yu). Caught between love and friendship, the girls' relationship takes on a new tone as the two find themselves maturing into young adults. As we have come to expect, Iwai's film is visually gorgeous, and it's bittersweet reminiscences will weave their spell on viewers of all ages.

This limited edition includes a bonus disc containing the shorter version of the main feature, making-of featurette, theatrical trailer(s), and TV spot(s). Also included are cast & staff bios, and more.
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Technical Information

Product Title: hana & alice (Limited Edition)(Japan Version) 花與愛麗絲 (限定版)(日本版) hana & alice (Limited Edition)(Japan Version) 花とアリス 特別版 特別版(初回限定生産) hana & alice (Limited Edition)(Japan Version)
Artist Name(s): Suzuki Anne | Aoi Yu | Aida Shoko | Kaku Tomohiro | Hirosue Ryoko | Iwai Shunji | Abe Hiroshi | Osawa Takao | Hiraizumi Sei | Kimura Tae 鈴木杏 | 蒼井優 | 相田翔子 | 郭智博 | 廣末涼子 | 岩井俊二 | 阿部寬 | 大澤隆夫 | 平泉成 | 木村多江 铃木杏 | 苍井优 | Aida Shoko | 郭智博 | 广末凉子 | 岩井俊二 | 阿部宽 | 大泽隆夫 | 平泉成 | 木村多江 鈴木杏 | 蒼井優 | 相田翔子 | 郭智博 | 広末涼子 | 岩井俊二 | 阿部寛 | 大沢たかお | 平泉成 | 木村多江 Suzuki Anne | Aoi Yu | Aida Shoko | Kaku Tomohiro | Hirosue Ryoko | Iwai Shunji | Abe Hiroshi | Osawa Takao | Hiraizumi Sei | Kimura Tae
Release Date: 2004-10-08
Publisher Product Code: NND-8
Language: Japanese
Country of Origin: Japan
Disc Format(s): DVD
Region Code: 2 - Japan, Europe, South Africa, Greenland and the Middle East (including Egypt) What is it?
Publisher: Norman's Nose
Other Information: 2DVDs
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1003572633

Product Information

[アーティスト/ キャスト]
鈴木杏 / 蒼井優 / 郭智博 / 岩井俊二 (監督、脚本、音楽)

本編ディスク+特典ディスク

[特典情報]
映像特典収録

[テクニカル・インフォメーション]
135分
Additional Information may be provided by the manufacturer, supplier, or a third party, and may be in its original language

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Professional Review of "hana & alice (Limited Edition)(Japan Version)"

October 11, 2006

This professional review refers to Hana & Alice (DTS Version) (2 Disc Special Edition) (Hong Kong Version)
Shunji Iwai's Hana and Alice started out as a series of short films in 2003 for the webpage of a certain chocolate company. The three-part series chronicles a love triangle between high school students Hana (Anne Suzuki, also in Hong Kong film Initial D), Alice (Yu Aoi), and Miyamoto (Tomohiro Kaku). Later, Iwai would add over an hour and a half of footage to form the feature film version of Hana and Alice. After the dark high school drama All About Lily Chou-Chou, Iwai decided to return to the more innocent side of high school. This time, the bullying and cultural reflection are gone, replaced by good old-fashioned puppy love and a bit of ballet. While for any other filmmaker, a film like this might merely mark a diversion in their filmography, a new Iwai film is always an event. However, with the usual Iwai quirky humor and charming detail, Hana and Alice goes to show that perhaps high school in the Iwai universe can be too innocent.

Hana and Alice (short for her last name Arisugawa) are the best of friends in junior high school. Alice is the free spirit who acts on her impulses, and Hana's penchant to follow happens to complement her perfectly. One morning, Alice leads Hana on a trip to a strange train station, where they begin to spy on a tall foreign man and someone they presume to be his Japanese younger brother. While a random conversation about Hannibal Lecter would end Alice's schoolgirl crush (Iwai's sense of humor works in mysterious ways), Hana would encounter the young Japanese man, named Miyamoto, again when she joins the Japanese comedy club in high school. Instantly taking a liking to Miyamoto, she begins to follow him after school when he accidentally bangs his head against a metal gate. Hana immediately seizes the opportunity and tells Miyamoto that he has not only suffered amnesia, but also that he is dating her (a new addition that was not in the short films).

Despite his skepticism, Miyamoto plays along until he discovers the pictures Hana took months earlier during her stalking sessions with Alice. Suddenly, Hana has turned Alice into Miyamoto's ex-girlfriend, whom he has also supposedly forgotten, thanks to his "amnesia." As Miyamoto tries to put together his "lost" past with Alice, Alice realizes that she, too, has started to like him. However, Alice has issues of her own - her divorced mother would rather spend more time dating than parenting; her father treats her well, but rarely sees her; and she has been scouted by a talent agency, even though her acting skill is next to nil.

While the short films emphasized the love triangle elements, Hana and Alice is ultimately about the creation of a past. As Hana's deception goes farther and farther, Hana is forced to create more and more details about not one, but two relationships that never existed. She eventually makes up so many lies that she even begins to believe that Miyamoto is really her boyfriend. On the other hand, Hana believes she deserves Miyamoto in the short film simply because she met him first. Even though the short film contains the same scenes featured in the feature film, Hana and Alice the short films and Hana and Alice the feature film are two different creatures altogether.

However, does this new element help Hana and Alice? Yes and no. While the new additions not only thankfully expand considerably on Alice's background, it also adds context to the Hana-Miyamoto-Alice relationship so that it's not simply another high school puppy love romance. The bad news is that, even as the main conflict of the film, the love triangle in Hana and Alice has softened considerably. Since Alice is now a part of Hana's deception, the only real conflicts of the story (Who will get Miyamoto? Will Miyamoto lighten up? Can the girls can any cuter?) have lost much to look forward to. Moreover, the film also loses its balance between the two leads by adding only major details to Alice's background. In the end, even though Alice's story is one of the strong points of the film, the character of Hana has been reduced to a young con artist who'll do anything for love.

Nevertheless, the two leads are absolutely charming. Hana and Alice comes alive whenever the two share the screen thanks to their chemistry. They have such rapport playing best friends that it's hard to imagine they are anything less than that in real life. Of course, the fact that they're playing their own age didn't hurt either. What's even better is that the two leads are just as good on their own. Anne Suzuki gives an enchanting performance as the head-over-heels in love Hana. Even though her character edged on being one-note, she still had a few good dramatic moments occasionally. However, it's Yu Aoi as Alice that has some of the film's best moments, including a memorable dance performance in the end. While Tomohiro Kaku's deadpan Miyamoto takes some time to get used to, he eventually left a favorable impression upon me as well. Then again, his character could've been better written in the first place.

The crew behind the camera is excellent as well. Every technical detail in Hana and Alice is probably helped by the fact that Iwai did not only write and direct the film, but also composed the music and edited the entire film as well. On their final collaboration, cinematographer Noboru Shinoda (who passed away before the film's release) stunningly retained Iwai's signature soft lighting from film to digital. The result is a teenage fairy tale given a truly magical atmosphere that is rarely seen in Western films.

At 45 minutes, the short films were also filled with charm and that high school girl cuteness. Iwai has always paid attention to the details, even in a simple conversation scene on a train platform when the girls started practicing random ballet forms mid-conversation. However, at 135 minutes, Hana and Alice is ultimately too many details and too little story. Even when Iwai adds deception and fabricated past into the plot, it feels like a graduate philosophy course for high school - the idea is there, but it feels out of place. In the end, Hana and Alice is a beautifully made and enjoyably charming story about the strength of friendship, but not much else.

by Kevin Ma

This original content has been created by or licensed to YesAsia.com, and cannot be copied or republished in any medium without the express written permission of YesAsia.com.

Customer Review of "hana & alice (Limited Edition)(Japan Version)"

Average Customer Rating for this Edition: Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10 (1)
Average Customer Rating for All Editions of this Product: Customer Review Rated Bad 9 - 9.6 out of 10 (5)

Kevin Kennedy
See all my reviews


July 30, 2007

This customer review refers to Hana & Alice (Hong Kong Version)
1 people found this review helpful

Glowing snapshot of teen years Customer Review Rated Bad 9 - 9 out of 10
"Hana & Alice" beautifully captures the great goofy passion of our teenage years, with its giddy highs and its despairing lows. The two lead actresses, Aoi Yu and Suzuki An, perfectly portray two best friends struggling for maturity as they together face the challenges of life during that phase when nothing seems to matter more than girlfriends, boyfriends, and acceptance by classmates. The director of the film suffuses it all with a playful sense of fun. Very highly recommended for a general audience.
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Best Review
OckJuHyunLover
See all my reviews


November 28, 2005

This customer review refers to Hana And Alice (Korean Version)
2 people found this review helpful

A Perfect 10 Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10
I have watched this movie with different friends of all cultures about 20 times now, and it keeps getting better each time. This is the most adorable and artistic movies ever. I love this movie to death. I would buy this movie for everyone I know if I could. This is a MUST SEE! After it's over it will have left a feel-good sensation with you that will last the rest of the day. Perfect for cuddling with your girlfriend and watching with. =o)
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Anonymous

March 19, 2005

This customer review refers to Hana & Alice (Hong Kong Version)
2 people found this review helpful

Great movie! Customer Review Rated Bad 9 - 9 out of 10
I just watched this movie last night and I love it! It's a cute little story about two girls who are best friends (and of course a boy is involved). The only reason why I didn't give it a 10 is because it was a bit long and the story seemed slightly stretched out. There was a lot going on and it seemed like a bit could have been cut out. But other than that, it was perfect! The musical score added a lot to the film too because it has a mischevious sound to it. Overall it's a lovely movie that will make you smile and I highly recommend it.
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Anonymous

February 5, 2005

This customer review refers to Hana And Alice (Korean Version)
3 people found this review helpful

so cute! Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10
Hana & Alice is sooo cute movie. Story about first love has really big heart and it strokes soul who then feel younger and fresh - full of life.
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Anonymous

August 24, 2004

1 people found this review helpful

Amazing Story Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10
This is really a nice story, at first before watching it , i thought its some kiddy film as its my first time watching Iwai Shunji's movie. In fact, I was totally wrong, this film takes the timing very well, its 2 hours yet it felt like one hour. The cast are very good and the movie is full of laughter and empathy with the characters. you will feel just at home with it. even though I speak little japanese, the english subtitles are enough to immerse me into the show. great. two thumbs up , all the way.
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