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Maiko Haaaan!!! (VCD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) VCD

Tsutsumi Shinichi (Actor) | Shibasaki Ko (Actor) | Kitamura Kazuki (Actor) | Yamada Takayuki (Actor)
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Maiko Haaaan!!! (VCD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)
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All Editions Rating: Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10 (1)

YesAsia Editorial Description

Kudo Kankuro, the acclaimed screenwriter of Ping Pong and his own directorial effort Yaji & Kita: The Midnight Pilgrims, teams up with director Mizuta Nobuo (Hanada Shonen-shi) for the exuberant comedy Maiko Haaaan!!!. Geisha are a perennial source of fascination both in Japan and abroad, and this buoyant film takes a comedic look at male obsession with the elusive, elegant beauties. Amusing and unpredictable, Maiko Haaaan!!! earns its extra exclamation points with a fast-paced narrative, flashy song and dance sequences, and raucous comedy against a graceful environment. Though far from serious, Maiko Haaaan!!! also offers a peek into the state of modern geisha culture, be it the lives of geisha or the strict rules, high-level contacts, and big wallets necessary for patrons to enter the hallowed doors of Ginza's most exclusive establishments. Popular veteran comedian Abe Sadao (Yaji & Kita) leads the cast alongside Tsutsumi Shinichi (Always - Sunset on Third Street) and Shibasaki Kou (Dororo), as a maiko or apprentice geisha.

Nerdy noodle company salaryman Onizuka Kimihiko (Abe Sadao) is obsessed with geisha, to the extent that he keeps a blog dedicated to geisha happenings. In order to get closer to the subject, he moves to Kyoto and happily throws himself into the city's geisha district. His greatest goal is to reach the prestigious inner circles, but he can't get too far with his low status and even lower funds. This fact is rubbed in his face by abrasive baseball player and teahouse regular Kiichiro Naito (Tsutsumi Shinichi). The two quickly develop an immature rivalry, with Kimihiko setting his eyes on the ultimate goal: a drinking game of strip baseball with the geisha.

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Technical Information

Product Title: Maiko Haaaan!!! (VCD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) 舞妓 (VCD) (香港版) 舞妓 (VCD) (香港版) 舞妓Haaaan!!! Maiko Haaaan!!! (VCD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)
Artist Name(s): Tsutsumi Shinichi (Actor) | Shibasaki Ko (Actor) | Kitamura Kazuki (Actor) | Yamada Takayuki (Actor) | Kudo Kankuro | Abe Sadao (Actor) | Maya Miki (Actor) | Ito Shiro (Actor) 堤真一 (Actor) | 柴咲幸 (Actor) | 北村一輝 (Actor) | 山田孝之 (Actor) | 宮藤官九郎 | 阿部貞夫 (Actor) | 真矢美季 (Actor) | 伊東四朗 (Actor) 堤真一 (Actor) | 柴咲幸 (Actor) | 北村一辉 (Actor) | 山田孝之 (Actor) | 宫藤官九郎 | 阿部贞夫 (Actor) | 真矢美季 (Actor) | 伊东四朗 (Actor) 堤真一 (Actor) | 柴咲コウ (Actor) | 北村一輝 (Actor) | 山田孝之 (Actor) | 宮藤官九郎 | 阿部サダヲ (Actor) | 真矢みき (Actor) | 伊東四朗 (Actor) Tsutsumi Shinichi (Actor) | 시바사키 코우 (Actor) | Kitamura Kazuki (Actor) | Yamada Takayuki (Actor) | Kudo Kankuro | Abe Sadao (Actor) | Maya Miki (Actor) | Ito Shiro (Actor)
Director: Mizuta Nobuo 水田伸生 水田伸生 水田伸生 Mizuta Nobuo
Release Date: 2009-01-21
Language: Cantonese, Japanese
Subtitles: English, Traditional Chinese
Place of Origin: Japan
Disc Format(s): VCD
Publisher: Mei Ah (HK)
Other Information: 2VCDs
Package Weight: 120 (g)
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1014045404

Product Information

Director: Nobuo Mizta

Kimihiko is an ordinary office worker who works in a food company in Tokyo. He is extremely fanatic for geisha girls! For Kimihiko, his first encounter with Geisha Girl was 10 years ago, when he was still a high school student. He lost his way and asked a geisha for help. It was the first time for him to see a geisha girl, and he had never seen such a beautiful girl before. He decided. "I will go to a Geisha House when I grow up!" one day, a chance came his way. he got transferred to the Kyoto branch of his company! He dumped his girlfriend, Fujiko and happily moved to Kyoto. The highest bar for entering a Geisha House is that the price is expensive, and there is a traditional unwritten rule of "No first-timers". He worked really hard and finally went into a Geisha House and was about to play the special geisha game he had dreamt of for a long time. Then Suddenly, a professional baseball player, Naito, who was totally drunk, stormed into his room and ruined his plan. Kimihiko decided. "I will become a professional baseball player and get even with him!" In Tokyo around the same time, Kimihiko's ex-girlfriend Fujiko also made up her mind. "I will become a geisha girl in Kyoto!" People's dreams, jealousy, pride etc.... come and go in the geishi world... You never know what will happen next. A hilarious story now begins!
Additional Information may be provided by the manufacturer, supplier, or a third party, and may be in its original language

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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

Professional Review of "Maiko Haaaan!!! (VCD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)"

January 14, 2009

This professional review refers to Maiko Haaaan!!! (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Taiwan Version)
You don't have to be obsessed with geishas to have a good time with Maiko Haaaan!!!, the insane comedy written by hot screenwriter Kankuro Kudo, responsible for the critically-acclaimed Go and the cult favorite Yaji and Kita: The Midnight Pilgrims. Here, Kudo takes a more mainstream route, telling a story about fetishes, male competitiveness, and cup noodles with crowd-pleasing results (and the box office gross to prove it). Even though Maiko Haaan!!! is high-energy, manic, and doesn't make a whole lot of sense, it's an efficient comedy that delivers on its promised goods.

With a subject as traditionally Japanese as geishas (the "maiko" in the title refers to an apprentice geisha), it's surprising how well Maiko Haaaan!!! works for non-Japanese audiences. Working from Kudo's busy screenplay, Nibou Mizuta - who's worked on everything from television dramas to variety shows - uses all of his past experiences as a director, frantically throwing out one hilarious physical gag after another at a breakneck pace. At two full hours, the film almost becomes exhausting by the third act, when the screenplay's energy is diverted to give the film dramatic and emotional footing.

However, Maiko Haaaan!!! is stuck with a not-very-likable protagonist in Onizuka (Sadao Abe), a salaryman at a cup noodle company who spends company time managing his website devoted to all things geisha. His dreams come true when he's transferred to Kyoto, where traditional Japan remains alive and well - especially geisha houses. Faced with the opportunity of "all maikos, all the time", Onizuka promptly dumps his homely girlfriend Fujiko (Kou Shibasaki) and heads to Kyoto. But when Onizuka pays his first visit to the geisha house, he finds out that he can't be allowed in without someone to vouch for him. Fortunately, his new boss volunteers to be his voucher if he can pick up sales, hence beginning his ambitious quest to create the new hit cup noodle. However, even when Onizuka finally enters the geisha house, he immediately finds a rival in Naito (Shinichi Tsutsumi), a baseball star who has challenged Onizuka's knowledge of maikos ever since his website days. Thus begins a battle between the two men to be the best in just about everything.

The central conflict is easily the most fun aspect of the film, but the problem is that there is no one to root for in the battle. Abe's performance as Onizuka is appropriately over-the-top and funny, but his character is ultimately not a very likable person, with an obsession that is borderline creepy. Meanwhile, Tsutsumi makes a formidable antagonist as Naito with an equally amusing performance, but his arrogant persona makes him a comic villain with a sympathetic side. That leaves Shibasaki's Fujiko, who goes off to Kyoto to learn to become a maiko after being dumped. However, her involvement in the grand scheme serves only as an excuse for Kuro and co. to show how the maiko world works and has little bearing on the plot until the finale.

Nevertheless, Kudo has a talent for upping the comic stakes in the battle between the two men, with each resorting to actions that continuously stretch credibility to the breaking point. These actions are done in a comic and over-the-top manner, recalling the days of the mo lei tau comedy of Hong Kong, which utilizes irrelevant and exaggerated humor that work charmingly. However, the screenplay is so focused on delivering the laughs that the ending comes far too quickly. The third act finally sets up the dramatic aspect of the story with a crucial twist, but Kudo seems to realize that he's run out of pages and simply brings the story to a convenient ending. While that means that Maiko Haaan!!! avoids the Japanese comedy curse of overstaying its welcome (though the melodrama remains intact here), the ending comes too abrupt to satisfy. As a result, the film delivers the comedy in spades, but doesn't quite succeed as a complete whole.

It's hard to create a likable comedy with an unlikable lead character, but Mizuta and Kudo manage to pull it off splendidly. Their total disregard for logic actually works for them, thanks to their ability to get high-energy performances out of their cast and their earnest intention to simply make people laugh. In the end, to criticize a comedy such as Maiko Haaaan!!! of not delivering the drama is equivalent of contributing the failure of an arthouse film for its lack of martial arts. Maiko Haaaan!!! may have its flaws, but for what it's worth, it's one of the funniest Japanese comedies of 2007.

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 "Maiko Haaaan!!! (VCD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)"

Average Customer Rating for All Editions of this Product: Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10 (1)

Kevin Kennedy
See all my reviews


February 10, 2009

This customer review refers to Maiko Haaaan!!! (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)
1 people found this review helpful

Wild comedy of one man's obsession with geisha Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10
In "Maiko Haaaan!!!", Abe Sadao stars as Onizuka Kimihiko, a childish nerd who is demoted by his noodle company employer from its Tokyo headquarters to its backwater office in Kyoto. Onizuka, however, is thrilled at the move because he is the ultimate geisha otaku. He has been infatuated with geishas ever since, as a nerdy teenager, they helped him when ditched by his classmates on a school field trip. Now that he is reassigned to Kyoto, he sets about trying to gain entrance to a geisha teahouse. However, he finds his path blocked by the rules and restrictions maintained by the geisha to keep out the riff-raff. He realizes that he will have to use all of his ingenuity to gain the status to actually visit geisha.

Back in Tokyo, Onizuka has left behind his girlfriend Fujiko (Shibasaki Kou). Fujiko decides to follow him to Kyoto where she will become an apprentice geisha in order to win Onizuka back. But nothing goes quite as planned in this film, which piles one absurd plot twist upon another.

Abe Sadao's over-the-top comedic acting took a while to grow on me. Think of him as a combination of Jim Carrey and Adam Sandler at their wackiest. The film makes full use of Abe's comic madness, setting him in a world in which it seems that almost anything is possible (and in which the cast just might break into a Busby Berkeley-style song and dance number at any moment). However, at its heart, "Maiko Haaaan!!!" in its uniquely wild way tells an engaging and affecting love story. After some initial misgivings, I ended up captivated by the film and enjoyed it very much.
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