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Memories of Matsuko (Normal Edition) (Japan Version) DVD Region 2

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Memories of Matsuko (Normal Edition) (Japan Version)
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All Editions Rating: Customer Review Rated Bad 9 - 9.5 out of 10 (2)

YesAsia Editorial Description

A Life Full of Love is a Life Full of Meaning!

When a young man is told that his aunt's body has been found in a park, he starts to discover the truth about her past, only to stumble upon more than he ever imagined in this fairytale-like tragedy from Nakashima Tetsuya, the man behind the international smash Shimotsuma Monogotari, a.k.a. Kamikaze Girls. Nakashima explodes genre conventions in Memories of Matsuko (Kiraware Matsuko no Issho) an entertaining, wholly unforgettable film that is equal parts drama, comedy, and musical!

Memories of Matsuko is a heartbreaking tale like no other, centering on the life of Kawajiri Matsuko (Nakatani Miki, from Densha Otoko), a dedicated, entirely hopeless romantic on the lookout for her very own Prince Charming! After Matsuko's death, her nephew Sho (Eita) begins cleaning out her apartment, finding keepsakes that suggest his aunt lived a truly meaningful life. The film then gives us glimpses into her past, as we first see Matsuko back in the 1970s as a popular high school teacher at the local junior high school. Her fortunes change, however, when she nobly takes the blame for a crime by one of her prized students. As a result, Matsuko loses her job, her reputation, the regard of her family, and much, much more.

In the past, Matsuko always sought the love of her dour father (Emoto Akira), but he always seemed to be more concerned about her chronically ill sibling. Now, with seemingly no one left to turn to, Matsuko looks to find any man who will return her love, even if that man resorts to physical abuse against her. Even worse, Matsuko eventually gets involved in prostitution and even goes to prison. Later, she crosses paths with Ryu (Yusuke Iseya), the young thief who cost Matsuko her teaching job. He reveals his lifelong affection for her, and Matsuko soon believes she has finally found her Knight in Shining Armor. But Ryu is a gangster, and his dangerous ways seem to spell doom for their relationship. Will their love prevail?

Full of dazzling CG-assisted visuals and amazing musical numbers that articulate the personal feelings of its lead character, Memories of Matsuko boasts a curious narrative approach, as the depressing, often dark subject matter is enlivened by the film's glossy veneer and upbeat point of view. Based on Yamada Muneki's best-selling novel, Memories of Matsuko sidesteps melodramatic cliches in order to get across its message: a life full of love is a life full of meaning indeed!

© 2006-2024 Ltd. All rights reserved. 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

Technical Information

Product Title: Memories of Matsuko (Normal Edition) (Japan Version) 花樣奇緣 (通常版) (日本版) 花样奇缘 (通常版) (日本版) 嫌われ松子の一生 (通常版) Memories of Matsuko (Normal Edition) (Japan Version)
Artist Name(s): Nakatani Miki | Iseya Yusuke | Shibasaki Ko | Emoto Akira | Aoi Sola | Kadono Takuzo | Katahira Nagisa | Kudo Kankuro | Gori | Kagawa Teruyuki | Tanihara Shosuke | Honda Hirotaro | Magy | Ichikawa Mikako | Kurosawa Asuka | Kimura Kaela | Komoto Masahiro | Nagayama Eita | Kimura Midoriko | Ai Risa 中谷美紀 | 伊勢谷友介 | 柴咲幸 | 柄本明 | 蒼井空 | 角野卓造 | Katahira Nagisa | 宮藤官九郎 | Gori | 香川照之 | 谷原章介 | 本田博太郎 | 兒島雄一 | 市川實日子 | 黑澤明日香 | Kimura Kaela | 甲本雅裕 | 永山瑛太 | Kimura Midoriko | 阿井莉沙 中谷美纪 | 伊势谷友介 | 柴咲幸 | 柄本明 | 苍井空 | 角野卓造 | Katahira Nagisa | 宫藤官九郎 | Gori | 香川照之 | 谷原章介 | 本田博太郎 | 儿岛雄一 | 市川实日子 | 黑泽明日香 | Kimura Kaela | 甲本雅裕 | 永山瑛太 | Kimura Midoriko | Ai Risa 中谷美紀 | 伊勢谷友介 | 柴咲コウ | エモトアキラ | 蒼井そら | 角野卓造 | 片平なぎさ | 宮藤官九郎 | ゴリ | 香川照之 | 谷原章介 | 本田博太郎 | マギー | イチカワ ミカコ | 黒沢あすか | 木村カエラ | 甲本雅裕 | 永山瑛太 | キムラ緑子 | 阿井莉沙 | 竹山隆範 | 奥ノ矢佳奈 Nakatani Miki | Iseya Yusuke | 시바사키 코우 | Emoto Akira | Aoi Sola | Kadono Takuzo | Katahira Nagisa | Kudo Kankuro | Gori | Kagawa Teruyuki | Tanihara Shosuke | Honda Hirotaro | Magy | Ichikawa Mikako | Kurosawa Asuka | Kimura Kaela | Komoto Masahiro | Nagayama Eita | Kimura Midoriko | Ai Risa
Director: Nakashima Tetsuya 中島 哲也 中岛哲也 中島哲也 Nakashima Tetsuya
Release Date: 2006-11-17
Publisher Product Code: ASBY-3597
Language: Japanese
Place of Origin: Japan
Picture Format: NTSC What is it?
Disc Format(s): DVD
Region Code: 2 - Japan, Europe, South Africa, Greenland and the Middle East (including Egypt) What is it?
Other Information: DVD
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1004489529

Product Information

[アーティスト/ キャスト]
中島哲也 (監督、脚本) / 中谷美紀 / 瑛太 / 伊勢谷友介 / 山田宗樹 (原作)


製作国 : 日本 (Japan)
公開年 : 2006

女の子なら誰だって、お姫様みたいな人生に憧れる。 昭和22年・福岡県大野島生まれの川尻松子もそのひとり。でも現実は……  教師からソープ嬢、果ては殺人まで犯してしまう松子の壮絶な転落人生を描き大ベストセラーとなった「嫌われ松子の一生」。その原作が『下妻物語』(04年)で日本映画界に衝撃を与えた中島哲也監督とそのスタッフが、まるでディズニー映画のような究極のファンタジーとして映像化。悲惨な物語を彩る華麗な美術に音楽、400カットを超えるCGとアニメによって、誰も見たことがない極上のエンターテインメント作品に変貌を遂げた。 壮絶な不幸に揉みくちゃにされながらも、誰かを愛し、その人だけを信じて突き進む。そんな松子を演じるのは、『ケイゾク/映画』(00年)の柴田純・『電車男』(05年)のエルメスなど数々の印象に残る女性を演じてきた、中谷美紀。さらに、松子を取り巻く人々も実力派俳優から、ミュージシャン、コメディアンまでといった、ありえない?夢のキャスティングが実現。  傷ついても、傷ついても愛する人への思いを胸に夢を見つづける松子。 誰がどう考えたって不幸な人生なのに、彼女にとってはすごくハッピー! そんな松子のすべての人々が愛してしまう。『下妻物語』の中島哲也監督が贈る、おかしくて切ない……全く新しいシンデレラストーリーが誕生した!!

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This film has won 4 award(s) and received 7 award nomination(s).
  • Asian Film Awards 2007
    • Best Production Designer Nomination
    • Best Actress Winner, Nakatani Miki
  • Japan Academy Prize 2007
    • Director of the Year Nomination, Nakashima Tetsuya
    • Screen Play of the Year Nomination, Nakashima Tetsuya
    • Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role Winner, Nakatani Miki
    • Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography Nomination
    • Outstanding Achievement in Film Editing Winner
    • Outstanding Achievement in Art Direction Nomination
    • Outstanding Achievement in Music Winner
    • Outstanding Achievement in Sound Recording Nomination
    • Outstanding Achievement in Lighting Direction Nomination
All Award-Winning Asian Films

YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

Professional Review of "Memories of Matsuko (Normal Edition) (Japan Version)"

January 29, 2007

This professional review refers to Memories Of Matsuko (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)
Let's make no mistake - Memories of Matsuko is, by all general appearances, a pop song and its accompanying 130 minute promo video. It is the latest film from the director of the wonderful Kamikaze Girls (2004), and it sees Tetsuya Nakashima working with someone else's material other than his own, but giving a recognisable portrayal none the less. More money to play with, more detail and layers within the film, and, I think, something quite positively deceptive in its approach and results.

Memories of Matsuko does represent (on the surface of it) many aspects that can be described as basic triggers of pleasure in the average viewer, it being very colorful and quite cursory with it's descriptions and portrayals - and it does have several decades or more to cover. The path we follow shifts around dramatically from moral lifestyles into more questionable territory with great ease as a result of it's ability to leave behind what was never entirely securely established.

I would expect that not many people can deny liking at least one or more pop songs - this is because there is the possibility for any given genre to contain both good and bad, and because there's hidden wisdom in all kinds of various places. The film itself is described by Nakashima as something which is preferably defined as a comedy-drama which provokes varied reactions from the audiences within the same scenes - some laugh, some cry at the comedy within the tragedy.

Matsuko, born into a family with a disabled younger sister and a doting father, struggles hard to build relationships that give her the security she desired in her youth. Beyond her childhood is where the very large majority of the film takes place, and we see the signs of her childhood insecurities bubble to the surface. Brief flashbacks show the strong connection between childhood trauma and adult decision-making, and the subsequent cycle of continuing trauma that results from it; this is where the expected intentional lack of sympathy for a situation ultimate of her direct creation and the unexpected newfound sympathy of showing life is never quite so clear-cut, and contradictory elements come in. All her relationships are out of her emotional necessity, to avoid being alone in the world rather than any possible mutual desire or requirement of any kind. Matsuko inadvertently has selfish objectives to seek a father figure and makes bad choices on a regular basis because of this.

Nakashima's film, an adaptation from a book written by female writer Muneki Yamada, blends both male and female views on this familiar way of living - the story begins at the end and returns to Matsuko's origins to trace the path through her turbulent life. Along the way we get what is essentially a parody of the cliches both within relationship films and life itself. Yes, it's a tragedy, but it's told with great sympathy and humor, and intends to teach the audience, or remind them of the necessity to be sensitive towards those in less fortunate situations. It doesn't entirely get sentimental, and it doesn't drown itself in sorrow or pity, essentially telling the story in a comedic manner, and so this is where the bittersweet aspects come from.

Peppering the story with songs (on one level, this is a musical) and using a lot of flash techniques to make the on-screen action highly colorful, visually bold, and detailed, Nakashima does confirm his television commercial background with great ease. Beyond this generalisation of human nature, though, there lies an emotionally wrenching, touching tale. It perhaps fits preconceptions of relationship films as well as regularly managing to display great imagination, insight, and understanding. This takes the films beyond its apparent cliches and pop video approach into a much more layered, variable story that has many great aspects of interest hidden within it. Yes, the truncation is necessary and it's also one key aspect of films I've often found questionably manipulative. The film is a spiral or descent into chaos shown in reverse, farcical and touching in great measures, while exploiting one negative aspect to give a lesson in life that, although clearly not unfamiliar, is sharply told. It's great fun, on one level not particularly original, and on many others it's something quite special.

The recently issued HK DVD is a two-disc affair. Firstly, the picture and sound quality on the feature itself are just superb, the translation flawless as far as I can tell. Disc Two contains only around 60 minutes or so of additional material. The making-of feature is the longest part, with a fascinating but brief behind-the-scenes from the director's perspective of the two-month-long shoot which reveals unexpected tensions within the production, plus a couple of short interviews with Miki Nakatani (Matsuko) and Nakashima again. This disc suffers from broken English translation as you might predict as possible from an HK DVD. I would suspect the features translation, Americanised in its spelling as it is, was prepared long in advance and the features were a nice, but ill-considered late addition. This looks like a part of the unsubbed R2 Japanese DVD, and I would have happily parted with what would have been several times the money for that disc at the time of its release.

Great film, and I look forward to more from Nakashima in the future - a director that flies in the face of what I am usually looking for, but does it in such a convincing, relatively deep fashion that it makes his works worth watching. Although this doesn't clearly tap into many youth culture aspects that likely gave Kamikaze Girls its young audience, the approach in Memories of Matsuko is similar for it's visuals. With a maturation in storytelling and filmmaking on Nakashima's part, Memories of Matsuko seems to be intentionally looking for an older audience, but it can also find ways of touching anyone open to its charms.

by logboy -

Editor's Pick of "Memories of Matsuko (Normal Edition) (Japan Version)"

Picked By Siu Heng
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November 29, 2006

The Magic of Conflicting Form and Content
Memories of Matsuko caught my attention because of Miki Nakatani - I wondered how she could transform from the elegant lady in Densha Otoko into the "disliked Matsuko" (the Japanese title of this film literally translates as "Disliked Matsuko's Lifetime") who makes funny faces despite a miserable life. The superficial flamboyance remarkably contrasts with the gloomy and saddening story. The film's attraction lies in how director Tetsuya Nakashima manipulates the conflict between form and content, and astonishingly imprints Matsuko's pathetic life on the viewers' mind.

Matsuko's never ceases to love others, but her love is never reciprocal. Every time when somebody responds to her yearn for love, the surreal and splendid visuals or the Broadway-like performance reminds us how lonely and depressed she is at times of abandonment. Her perseverance and positive attitude, despite repeated failures in her quest for love and affection, ironically highlights her tragic life. She remains naive and faithful in love, and thus finds meaning in life - although others, her brother for instance, see her way of living as beyond redemption.

The humorous and comedic elements is, oddly enough, more sorrowful than hilarious. I laughed at Matsuko's funny face, but I was sorry for her to a greater extent when I saw her making funny face only to cheer up her father, who pays far more attention to her terminally illed sister. Matsuko keeps cheering up herself, as long as she finds someone to love despite all the misfortunes in life. The many apparently joyful scenes, from parodies of TV commercials to exaggerated acts when she gets involved in prostitution, turn out to be ironical in the context. Matsuko's colorful perception of the world, thanks to CG technologies which brings us that splendor, reveals a gray-toned reality that is most depressing. The discord between the most cheerful form and the most depressing content, under careful manipulation, gives rise to a unique sensibility in the extraordinary Memories of Matsuko.

Feature articles that mention "Memories of Matsuko (Normal Edition) (Japan Version)"

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 "Memories of Matsuko (Normal Edition) (Japan Version)"

Average Customer Rating for All Editions of this Product: Customer Review Rated Bad 9 - 9.5 out of 10 (2)

See all my reviews

October 6, 2008

This customer review refers to Memories Of Matsuko (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)
1 people found this review helpful

One of the best HK releases I have seen Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10
... from my limited HK releases collection!

Once again, this is a product review... though apparently it reflects my rating because I would also give the film top marks!

First off, I really like the case of the HK Special Edition, so presentation is really good.

Since this film is quite the visual fest, the digital transfer also matters, and it's great. Subtitles are in order, no missing letters or misspelled, no missing dialogue. It's all in order with the main disc. The 2nd disc which contains small interviews with Miki Nakatani, and another one with Tetsuya Nakashima, as well as a Making Of, and Film-to-Storyboard Comparisons for many of the musical numbers... so this 2nd disc is full of information I didn't know! Like the difficult actress-director relationship there was...

Totally worth getting, in my opinion!
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Kevin Kennedy
See all my reviews

August 30, 2007

This customer review refers to Memories Of Matsuko (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)
1 people found this review helpful

"Memories" is unforgettable! Customer Review Rated Bad 9 - 9 out of 10
"Memories of Matsuko" is an eye-popping, garish, comic, and deeply affecting vision of a woman's descent into madness.

The first half hour of "Memories of Matsuko" bowls the viewer over with its manic energy and seemingly chaotic approach to storytelling. It is splashy, colorful, and noisy, but I found it off-putting and wondered whether I wanted to endure much more of it.

I am glad that I did. I'm not sure whether the film settles down a bit or the viewer adjusts to the director's bizarre approach, but during the film's second half hour I became caught up in the tale of poor Matsuko's unhappy life.

Matsuko grew up in a home in which the father clearly favored her bed-ridden sister. Matsuko longs for the unconditional love of her father, but, unable to attain it, settles for the smiles she can get from him by adopting a self-abasing goofy expression on her face.

This habit of trading willful self-abasement in exchange for attention becomes a destructive pattern in her life. The movie shows her descent from a lovely, happy music teacher to an overweight, unwashed, unhinged recluse.

The director's dazzling style and the occasional light-hearted pop tune make Matsuko's descent bearable to watch. Indeed, as the story proceeds, the viewer becomes thoroughly engrossed, rooting for Matsuko to pull herself out of her downward spiral, hoping that somehow someone will embrace her with the love she needs.

Much of the film's success is owed to the performance of its lead actress, Nakatani Miki, as Matsuko. Miss Nakatani is a great artist, able to appear glamorous or downtrodden, effervescent or deflated. She creates a believable, sympathetic character and breathes glorious life into her. And she will leave you weeping at film's end.

"Memories of Matsuko" is very highly recommended.
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