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April Story (1998) (Blu-ray) (Taiwan Version) Blu-ray Region A

Matsu Takako (Actor) | Tanabe Seiichi (Actor) | Eguchi Yosuke (Actor) | Fujii Kaori (Actor)
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All Editions Rating: Customer Review Rated Bad 7 - 7.3 out of 10 (15)

YesAsia Editorial Description

Acclaimed director Iwai Shunji first rose to fame with the hauntingly beautiful Love Letter in 1995. Known as a visual artist, Iwai infuses his films with stunning imagery and a keen sensibility that captures the sentiments of contemporary youth and modern life. Reminiscent of Love Letter, his 1998 film April Story is a visually enrapturing and emotionally rewarding experience, unfolding like a beautiful still life painting that is short in length but rich in colors. Small screen star Matsu Takako (Love Generation) brings alive the quiet, moving tale of a young woman's journey into life.

With the coming of spring, Hokkaido native Nireno Uzuki (Matsu Takako) leaves home for Tokyo to begin a new life as a university student. Shy, awkward, and lonely, she slowly adjusts to her new home, finding solace in the local bookstore and joy in the sight of cherry blossoms, fluttering in the wind. During orientation, Uzuki is thrown off by a seemingly simple question - why did she choose this university? She is unable to answer, for her reason is as at once simple and complex, encompassing a world of memories and emotions.

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Technical Information

Product Title: April Story (1998) (Blu-ray) (Taiwan Version) 四月物語 (1998) (Blu-ray) (台灣版) 四月物语 (1998) (Blu-ray) (台湾版) 四月物語(1998/日本) (Blu-ray) (台湾版) April Story (1998) (Blu-ray) (Taiwan Version)
Artist Name(s): Matsu Takako (Actor) | Tanabe Seiichi (Actor) | Eguchi Yosuke (Actor) | Fujii Kaori (Actor) | Ichikawa Somegoro (Actor) | Mitsuishi Ken (Actor) | Matsumoto Koshiro (Actor) 松隆子 (Actor) | 田邊誠一 (Actor) | 江口洋介 (Actor) | 藤井香織 (Actor) | 市川染五郎 (Actor) | 光石研 (Actor) | 松本 幸四郎 (Actor) 松隆子 (Actor) | 田边诚一 (Actor) | 江口洋介 (Actor) | 藤井 香织 (Actor) | 市川染五郎 (Actor) | 光石研 (Actor) | 松本幸四郎 (Actor) 松たか子 (Actor) | 田辺誠一 (Actor) | 江口洋介 (Actor) | 藤井香織 (Actor) | 市川染五郎 (Actor) | 光石研 (Actor) | 松本幸四郎 (Actor) 마츠 타카코 (Actor) | Tanabe Seiichi (Actor) | Eguchi Yosuke (Actor) | Fujii Kaori (Actor) | Ichikawa Somegoro (Actor) | Mitsuishi Ken (Actor) | Matsumoto Koshiro (Actor)
Director: Iwai Shunji 岩井俊二 岩井俊二 岩井俊二 이와이 슌지
Writer: Iwai Shunji 岩井俊二 岩井俊二 岩井俊二 이와이 슌지
Blu-ray Region Code: A - Americas (North, Central and South except French Guiana), Korea, Japan, South East Asia (including Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan) What is it?
Release Date: 2015-07-31
Language: Japanese
Subtitles: Traditional Chinese, Japanese
Country of Origin: Japan
Picture Format: [HD] High Definition What is it?
Aspect Ratio: 1.78 : 1
Sound Information: Dolby Digital 2.0, Dolby Digital 5.1
Disc Format(s): Blu-ray
Duration: 67 (mins)
Publisher: Taisheng Multimedia Corporation
Package Weight: 120 (g)
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1044421749

Product Information

岩井俊二之青春三部曲 【HD高畫質數位全新復刻版】
【HERO】松隆子 【莎喲娜拉!小黑】田邊誠一 主演

※韓國釜山國際電影節 最佳觀眾票選獎



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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

Professional Review of "April Story (1998) (Blu-ray) (Taiwan Version)"

August 1, 2006

This professional review refers to April Story (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)
Unlike much of the world, where September marks new beginnings, the New Year begins in April in Japan; it is the season of the sakura bloom, the beginning of a new fiscal year for the government, and also the start of a new school year for Japanese schools, when hordes of new students invade college campuses around the country. One of those students is Uzuki Nireno(Takako Matsu). Leaving her family in the isolated northern prefecture of Hokkaido, Uzuki is looking for a new beginning all the way out in Tokyo as a freshman at Musashino University.

Thus marks the beginning of April Story, a gentle fairy tale from director Shunji Iwai that returns to the lighthearted tone of his debut feature Love Letter after the dark gritty fantasy that was Swallowtail Butterfly. The 64-minute film chronicles Uzuki's adjustment period at Musashino University. An awkward introduction where she can't seem to explain her reason for choosing Musashino doesn't earn her any new friends, except for a blunt classmate who drags her into the fly fishing club. Even there, she embarrasses herself by naming the wrong Brad Pitt movie that features fly fishing (clue: he doesn't get killed by a bear at the end). Meanwhile, Uzuki tries to adjust to her new life in Tokyo, but not only can she not fit everything she wants in her apartment, her neighbor won't talk to her with an open door, and she can't even go out without encountering shady characters. However, with one single encounter, Uzuki is reminded of why she chose Musashino...

Originally conceived as a short film, April Story is, unlike Love Letter and Swallowtail, remarkably simple. In an almost documentary fashion, Iwai simply follows Uzuki around as she deals with a new school and a new environment until her reason for choosing Tokyo and Musashino is finally revealed. Iwai indulges in details rather than narrative, an approach that Iwai has always indulged in a little too much in his previous films and might alienate viewers who prefer their films with plots and character developments. But unlike his previous films, where Iwai's self-indulgent use of details detracted from the plot, April Story benefits from its immense details because of its nature as a character study.

In addition to his attention to details, Iwai also sticks close to his personal style, opting for a dreamy visual look that matches the fairy tale tone of his film. From the sight of falling sakura petals along an empty street to Uzuki running in the rain under a red umbrella, suburban Tokyo has never looked more beautiful. But the real star of the film is Takako Matsu. As the focus of the film, Matsu, who was still college age at the time, brings a charming innocence to Uzuki. Despite her initial awkwardness and her character's ulterior motives, her character is easy to relate to because she is so awkward. Uzuki may just be another young fish out of the water in big, bad Tokyo, but it's Matsu's performance that keeps Uzuki a compelling enough character to warrant the focus.

Cynics may expect April Story to be about darker aspects of college life. After all, Iwai depicted the horrors of high school life in All About Lily Chou-Chou and Love Letter. But in the end, April Story is just a simple story about a new beginning that is easy to relate to. No one can nor should expect Iwai to pull off another Love Letter or Swallowtail in a scant 64 minutes. What Iwai does pull off here is a fairy tale come true. But unlike other cinematic fairy tales, the film feels true thanks to its authenticity. Even when Iwai gets a little liberal with saccharine-filled moments towards the end, there is not one false note of sentimentality; every emotion is earned, and smiles are practically guaranteed when the screen goes black. College may not be that sweet in real life, but Iwai and co. certainly convince you that it might be. Just for that, April Story may just be one of the best college movies ever made.

by Kevin Ma

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

Customer Review of "April Story (1998) (Blu-ray) (Taiwan Version)"

Average Customer Rating for All Editions of this Product: Customer Review Rated Bad 7 - 7.3 out of 10 (15)

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January 26, 2007

This customer review refers to April Story (Korean Version)
1 people found this review helpful

A little disappointed Customer Review Rated Bad 5 - 5 out of 10
I bought this DVD on the strength of Shunji Iwai's other well known movie "Love Letter" but was a little disappointed by this one. Yes it seemed short and there did not seem to be a coherent plot. I left feeling like the film ended prematurely. I also felt the movie dragged at times. The saving grace is that Matsu Takako's performance was good and she is very pretty. Also the scenery in Japan is so beautiful. I remember one scene where snow was lightly falling amidst what I believe were cherry trees. Absolutely stunning. It made me want to go to Japan to live and experience life there. It is not a bad film but I wish it were a little longer and with a better story line.
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June 10, 2006

This customer review refers to April Story (Shigatsu Monogatari) (Japan Version)
3 people found this review helpful

Beautiful Artistic movie Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10
"April Story" stars the sweet and beautiful Matsu Takako (famous for her tv dramas: Love Generation and Hero). This movie is about a shy, sweet, good girl who is from Hokkaido, she is moving to Tokyo to attend college. She is quite nervous, yet excited, and tries her best to fit in at school and with her neighbors. Back in Hokkaido, she had a crush on a fellow high school classmate. This classmate is one year ahead of her, he was very smart and greatly admired by many girls in school. He was accepted into a college in Tokyo. Therefore, she liked him so much, that she wanted to study and go for the exam to try to get into the same college. She was accepted to the college and moved to Tokyo. Every day, while in Tokyo, during her free time, she went to the bookstore to buy books. One day, she sees him working at the bookstore. He looks at her and recognizes her. They start to talk and become better acquainted.

This movie is short and has very little dialogue. The audience must rely on watching the actions and facial expressions of the actors to fully appreciate the beauty of this film. I like this movie a lot because it is an artistic movie with a simple message. It's about how love can help a person to conquer their fears. Love can help give a person confidence to go for what they desire. The music and sceneries are very pleasant, when watching this movie, it is very relaxing.
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March 30, 2006

This customer review refers to April Story (DTS Version) (Taiwan Version)
2 people found this review helpful

Simple and meaningful Customer Review Rated Bad 7 - 7 out of 10
The seemingly simplicity of this movie has an hypnotic effect so much so that when it ended, it left me wondering if that was it. Upon reflection, I couldn't help but be cheered by the main lead's simple motivation and the immense happiness she derived from it. One can't help and think that life is not just about big dreams but it is the simple things that keep people going especially leading a highly stressful urban lifestyle. A simple, beautiful and meaningful movie.
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January 9, 2005

This customer review refers to April Story (Korean Version)
3 people found this review helpful

DISAPPOINTING MOVIE EVER!! Customer Review Rated Bad 1 - 1 out of 10
I bought this DVD all because it's directed by Shunji-Iwai! I liked his previous movies because of his use of contrast with colours and his ability to capture the innocence of his characters in his movies. This film however, was FAR from what I had expected. The story DRAGGED behind although he used blurry lens and good directing skills, the story itself was a real downfall. The main character was alright with her performance BUT she was TOO innocent that it really annoyed me when she never gave a good reponse in conversations with her other characters in most scenes, it was always either 'hum?'or 'huh'?. The ending was also disappointing, it didn't finish the story well, I was left feeling clueless as the movie seemed to end in the middle of the story. I think the main purpose to produce such a film was to focus on the directing skills rather than a story itself! Don't buy this if you want a love story or any story at all in a movie!
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December 6, 2004

This customer review refers to April Story (Korean Version)
1 people found this review helpful

10 Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10
10 - A very humble love story. It has great simplicity and balanced direction. I can't help but walk away feeling good every time I watch this movie. Although this movie is complete even for its short running time, I still wish there was more.
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