Heavenly Forest (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) DVD Region 3
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YesAsia Editorial Description
Amateur photographer Makoto (Tamaki Hiroshi) and the homely but endearing Shizuru (Miyazaki Aoi) meet during university orientation and become instant friends. Shy by nature, Makoto finds himself opening up around Shizuru, and the two often go to a forest together to take photographs. Shizuru secretly likes Makoto, but he only has eyes for classmate Miyuki (Kuroki Meisa). When Shizuru decides to enter a photography contest, she asks Makoto to kiss her in the forest to create the perfect picture. But after that fateful day, Shizuru disappears.
|Product Title:||Heavenly Forest (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) 藉著寫真說愛你 (DVD) (香港版) 藉着写真说爱你 (DVD) (香港版) ただ、君を愛してる Heavenly Forest (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)|
|Artist Name(s):||Miyazaki Aoi (Actor) | Tamaki Hiroshi (Actor) | Uehara Misa | Koide Keisuke | Kuroki Meisa | Aoki Munetaka 宮崎葵 (Actor) | 玉木宏 (Actor) | 上原美佐 | 小出惠介 | 黑木美紗 | 青木崇高 宫崎葵 (Actor) | 玉木宏 (Actor) | 上原美佐 | Koide Keisuke | 黑木美纱 | 青木崇高 宮崎あおい (Actor) | 玉木宏 (Actor) | 上原美佐 | 小出恵介 | 黒木メイサ | 大西麻恵 | あおき むねたか Miyazaki Aoi (Actor) | 타마키 히로시 (Actor) | Uehara Misa | Koide Keisuke | Kuroki Meisa | Aoki Munetaka|
|Director:||Shinjo Takehiko 新城毅彥 新城毅彦 新城毅彦 Shinjo Takehiko|
|Subtitles:||English, Traditional Chinese|
|Country of Origin:||Japan|
|Picture Format:||NTSC What is it?|
|Sound Information:||Dolby Digital 5.1|
|Disc Format(s):||DVD, DVD-5|
|Region Code:||3 - South East Asia (including Hong Kong, S. Korea and Taiwan) What is it?|
|Publisher:||CN Entertainment Ltd.|
|Package Weight:||120 (g)|
|Shipment Unit:||1 What is it?|
|YesAsia Catalog No.:||1010701737|
* Sound Mix: Dolby Digital 5.1
* DVD Type: DVD-5
Director: Takehiko Shinjo
On the day of his university's entrance ceremony, Makoto meets Shizuru who has a girlish yet unique appearance. He starts talking to the girl who appears strange in his eyes as she seems to be having trouble to cross a street. That moment, Shizuru falls in love with Makoto.
Makoto has trouble interacting with others as he has an inferiority complex from the smell of the medicine he uses. Shizuru tags along Makoto whose hobby is taking photographs and thus goes out to shoot photographs alone. Shizuru then starts taking photographs herself too solely to be with Makoto. Day after day, the two spend time in the forest behind their school campus to take photographs.
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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features
Professional Review of "Heavenly Forest (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)"
At a glance, Heavenly Forest falls into the tradition of the exceedingly formulaic "Pure Love" subgenre that has become increasingly popular in both Japan and South Korea in recent years. A select few of these films have been both brilliant and deeply moving, while the rest are more often than not rote, unaffecting exercises in commercial filmmaking. What is perhaps most remarkable about Heavenly Forest, then, is that despite whatever clichés it may contain (and it contains many), the film's central romance never feels contrived or overly-manipulative. In fact, as audience members, we don't realize just how invested we are in that relationship until the delivery of an abrupt wake-up call that most viewers may not fully anticipate.
Heavenly Forest begins with narration from Makoto Segawara (Hiroshi Tamaki), a young Japanese man on his way to New York for the first time to reunite with his closest friend and presumably his first love, Shizuru Satonaka (Aoi Miyazaki). She's sent him a letter to inform him of the grand opening of an exhibit showcasing her photography, and Makoto is eager to see her after a long absence.
The film then flashes back to Makoto's college days, eventually showing us his first meeting with Shizuru. With her dorky glasses, a serious case of bedhead, and a quirky, altogether questionable fashion sense, Shizuru is undeniably set up as a social outcast. Certainly, Shizuru isn't exactly "Ugly Betty" (she is played by the fetching Aoi Miyazaki after all), but in dress, appearance and attitude, she is unquestionably different from the popular girls at her school. Of course, Makoto isn't exactly GQ handsome either, as he's an extremely awkward and shy young man, in no small part due to a curious rash that requires a generous application of ointment each day.
A budding photographer himself, Makoto eventually introduces Shizuru to the world of photography by taking her to a secluded location he has been exploring privately. Hidden by a "No Tresspassing" sign, this forest becomes a private sanctuary for the two, as they both become fast friends, despite their previous social awkwardness.
But while it's clear that these two share an unmistakable chemistry, Makoto has a crush on Miyuki (Meisa Kuroki), a more traditionally beautiful, girl next door/prom queen-type. Eventually, Makoto falls into Miyuki's circle of friends, and the typical "geek who somehow makes it with the cool crowd" plot turn goes immediately into effect. Of course, they make fun of Shizuru, and she overhears, causing a rift between she and Makoto. Eventually, they mend fences, and she tries to befriend Miyuki, even though Shizuru has fallen head over heels in love with Makoto.
If you think all of this sounds familiar, you're right. Just go rent 1987's John Hughes-written Some Kind of Wonderful to see this kind of storyline at its most earnest or check out Not Another Teen Movie for a dead-on skewering of the "Ugly Pretty Girl" plotline that has turned up in numerous teen movies since the 1980s. But even with these two reference points in mind, it's notable that Heavenly Forest actually changes things up a bit. Sure, the "cool crowd" may come across as jerks at first, but they actually turn out to be Makoto's most faithful friends rather than superficial preppies. Miyuki, the seemingly one-dimensional object of Makoto's affection, is shown to have layers herself. And while the whole Makoto-Shizuru relationship may seem to touch on all these teen movie clichés, what is most remarkable is the way in which Heavenly Forest only seems interested in raising the possibility of the clichés, before dropping them immediately in favor of what audiences really want: a story of two people getting to know each other and falling in love. Bad romances rely on cheap, manufactured drama to drive their plots, but Heavenly Forest is content to center on its characters instead.
Perhaps that's what makes the emotional sucker punch that comes late in the narrative so hard to take. Expectations are dashed in a way that would've been telegraphed in a lesser film, but are suitably disguised here. Certainly, the signs are there, but Heavenly Forest does a masterful job in making you believe otherwise. A good action movie will convince an audience that the lead protagonist might not make it despite what we all know usually happens in action films. A similar sort of suspension of disbelief occurs in this film, although skewed in another direction. I quickly placed Heavenly Forest in the genre of "Pure Love," but one would not necessarily know that as they are watching the film. Is it a romantic comedy? A romantic drama? An honest-to-goodness tearjerker? Answer: all of the above.
Although the plot twist is infuriating at first, the filmmakers are actually able to turn the whole melodrama into a positive. The way in which the film concludes borders on formula (at least the last half-dozen or so "Pure Love" films I've watched conclude with the reading of a letter), but Heavenly Forest has so totally invested the audience in the lives of its characters that it's able to conclude in a way that is almost as satisfying as the ending one might've initially anticipated.
From a filmmaking standpoint, Heavenly Forest is beautifully shot and well-constructed, but its fate as a successful romance hinges on the performances of its actors. Hiroshi Tamaki does a fine job as the geeky Makoto, a feat which is only truly brought to light when comparing the sequences set during his college years and those taking place in New York. In the past, everything about his body language suggests an awkward dork, but without resorting to any sort of reality-breaking exaggeration. Similarly, in the present day scenes, he comes across believably a mature and undeniably changed man. The transformation is remarkable, and it allows the last scene to resonate in a way it might not otherwise.
The real standout, however, is the film's leading lady, Aoi Miyazaki. Granted, in Heavenly Forest, she's got a smile that could light up an entire room and she's probably the most adorable she's ever looked in any of her previous films, but it's not like the actress tries to coast on mere cutesiness or, even worse, sickly sweet histrionics as other young actresses have. Miyazaki has an undeniable screen presence, and the various emotional states her character goes through are portrayed in an entirely believable fashion. Both in terms of her character and performance, Aoi Miyazaki anchors the narrative, and when she is off-screen, her absence is greatly felt.
Despite my reservations about these sorts of tearjerkers and my fervent belief that filmmakers should start coming up with better ways to resolve these "Pure Love" films (and they perhaps had little choice since this is adapted from a novel), Heavenly Forest remains a winning example of the genre. It's definitely worth a look, if for no other reason than the charming, undeniably magnetic performance of Aoi Miyazaki.
By Calvin McMillin
Customer Review of "Heavenly Forest (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)"
Average Customer Rating for All Editions of this Product: (5)
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January 8, 2015
Aoi Miyazaki - seems quite heaven sent in this!
Makoto (Tamaki Hiroshi) a shy photography begins university life in New York and meets up and falls in love with Shizumu (Miyazaki Aoi) a funster kidult also a student starting the American university. Shizumu takes an instant interest in Makoto’s shy modest ways as he advisers her how to cross roads correctly. Makoto though is awkward in crowds due to a torso skin irritation which bothers him mainly due to the odour of his skin medication. This smell phobia keeps Makoto shy but he eventuality joins up with a small group of university friends, including Miyuki (Meisa Kuroki), a beautiful and wisely conscientious student Makoto takes an interest in.
Shizumu, realising his interest in Miyuki, is determined to keep friends with Makoto sharing her favourite hole biscuits with him and using her sense of fun by telling Makoto a certain percentage of students have ESP. To prove such why doesn't Makoto silently project his thoughts of a spider on a student’s shoulders - and watch them wipe the mind figment off? A clear indication of student ESP! Such is Shizumu’s kooky sense of tomfoolery as Makoto tries to test this ESP theory on Miyuki. Much to Shizumu’s humour. But Shizumu by her kiddish looks, wiry hair, playful tricks and thick framed spectacles is deemed a ‘freak’ by one of Makoto’s group of student friends. This understandingly upsets Shizumu, accusing Makoto of not sticking up for her feelings. But Makoto and Shizumu frequently visit a forest he finds nearby the university - where Makoto takes photographs of an unusual bird they both find there (Shizumu placing her favourite biscuits on tree branches to feed the bird). For Shizumu the forest becomes a place of heaven being alone with Makoto, sharing his camera skills and secretly loving him. Her only gripe is Makoto being so besotted with pretty Miyuki (who Shizumu also befriends).
Eventually Makoto tells Shizumu she can shack up at his apartment digs after she’s forced to move accommodation. At his digs Makoto learns from Shizumu that her father and brother had died of a genetic blood disease. Shizumu tells Makoto that she’s safe from the disease and determined to become a mature curvy woman and not remain the wiry haired kid with her first teeth. Shizumu even tempts Makoto to bed her at his flat, Makoto shocked and declines as he only wished to help Shizumu have a place to stay. But Shizumu warns Makoto he will regret refusing Shizumu now when she becomes a beautiful mature woman.
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January 8, 2015
Simply put - a deeply rewarding movie!
Due to Makoto showing Shizumu his apartment dark room and photography developing skills Shizumu takes an increased interest in people photography and when a photographic competition is held, Shizumu wants to take a photo of Makoto and herself kissing together beside at the forest lake. A heavenly passion portrait! At first Makoto is reluctant but understanding the photo is only for the competition, he agrees to do the kiss picture at the forest. After the kiss, Makoto is spellbound by Shizumu’s innocence and beauty. Shizumu asks Makoto if there was any feeling to their kiss? Makoto replies that there was. After this happy revelation Shizumu disappears from the university leaving a sad Makoto who doesn't see Shizumu again for a long time. Makoto finally realizing he’d fallen truly in love with Shizumu the moment she’d kissed him.
‘Heavenly Forest’ is more sweet and frivolous than a sad movie, but like all positive attempts to uplift an audience with harsh life ordeals this story doesn’t merely pitch a safe saccharine balance amidst dark pathos, but tells its story of a light innocent and intelligent girl pushing all the right buttons in the face of her own perilously adversity. Shizumu was given a kiss of surety that all was well and that her temporal life was just a shadow version of ‘another perfect soul place’ – the latter that something everyone can appreciate anywhere if willing – Shizumu’s ‘snapshot’ of such a Light life the way she loved Makoto in the forest and the kiss he transformed her with. A young girl with highly charismatic and natural honesty harbouring a futile blood disease refuses to grow into womanhood, as her youth delays the disease. But Makoto, a young bashful man with a coincidental health issue, triggers her ‘perfect’ union. Shizumu soulfully adopts Makoto’s photographic skills and his kiss for her womanhood creates a type of surety elevation of mutual compatibility for her soul - understanding she was always truly loved. A love Makato begins to understand having met Shizumu.
Aoi Miyazaki (‘Nana’ actress) is known as a versatile and charmful character actor that grabs your attention on the onset and leaves you thinking about her well after the movie. ‘Heavenly Forest’ is a movie with Aoi you won’t forget easily and a believable love fantasy. For me I watched this just after Japanese movie ‘Rainbow Song’ and both complement each other in some ways. Sad but uplifting in one breath. This DVD is region free.
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May 2, 2010
"Heavenly Forest" provides a delightfully skewed take on romance. Tamaki Hiroshi plays Makoto, an awkward, introverted college student and amateur photographer. Makoto has eyes only for lovely classmate Miyuki (Kuroki Meisa), but she is one of a set of happy, outgoing friends. Makoto befriends Shizuru (Miyazaki Aoi), the adorably quirky social outcast of the class. Shizuru is a bespectacled ragamuffin with a mop of tangled hair and an unshakeable confidence that when she 'grows up' she will become a great beauty. Through his simple offer of friendship, Makoto captures Shizuru's heart. As their friendship grows, so do Shizuru's hopes for their relationship. Those fragile hopes are wounded when she sees how eagerly Makoto responds when pretty Miyuki reaches out to bring Makoto into her circle of friends.
From this unprepossessing premise, director Shinjo Takehiko weaves a wonderfully delicate tale of a gossamer-light romantic triangle. This is a story in which all the characters are permitted to be honest and good-natured and the drama arises from the miscommunications and misunderstandings of its almost cripplingly shy central characters. Some hard-hearted souls may find its culmination to be overly manipulative, but the seeds of that denouement have been hidden in plain sight throughout this delectable film. Chalk up yet another charming performance from Miyazato Aoi, here selflessly supported by Tamaki Hiroshi. "Heavenly Forest" is a beautifully lensed, heartwarming, and heartbreaking little gem.
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October 16, 2008
This customer review refers to Tada, Kimi wo Aishiteru (Heavenly Forest) (DVD) (Normal Edition) (Japan Version)
simple, deep love story
|i agree with nick's review. this is a very simple and complex love story. its not a movie filled with action and nail biting drama but it sure does pull at your heart strings. there's something so deeply profound about a love being so simple and pure..i highly recommend this movie for any hopeless romantic :)|
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February 6, 2007
This customer review refers to Tada, Kimi wo Aishiteru (Heavenly Forest) (Special Edition) (Japan Version)
|I recently saw this movie on a flight from Japan. Although the subtitles were sometimes hard to read, (probably due to the lighting on the screen) the context of the movie and the attendant conversations were easy to follow. The movie plot was so simple and complex and the Love Story was one that I would like to call my own. This was one of the best movies that I have ever seen. I can't wait to own my copy so I can share it with my Oncology classmates as an example of Life, Love, and dying.|