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Midnight Sun (AKA: Song to the Sun) (Hong Kong Version) DVD Region 3

YUI (Actor) | Kishitani Goro (Actor) | Tsukamoto Takashi (Actor) | Asagi Kuniko
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Midnight Sun (AKA: Song to the Sun) (Hong Kong Version)
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All Editions Rating: Customer Review Rated Bad 7 - 7.5 out of 10 (6)

YesAsia Editorial Description

Can love really conquer all? That's the question at the heart of Taiyo no Uta, the tragic, yet beautiful love story from twenty-five year-old filmmaker Koizumi Norihiro! Also known by its English titles Song to the Sun and Midnight Sun, this 2006 romance stars YUI, a young idol on the rise, as she takes on the lead role of Amane Kaoru, a sixteen year old with a serious, life-threatening health problem. It seems Kaoru suffers from xeroderma pigmentosum (XP), a "sun allergy" of sorts, which makes exposure to direct sunlight a deadly risk for her. Since she cannot go out in the day, Kaoru spends her evenings indulging in her love of music, as she plays her guitar and sings away every night in front of the local train station. Singing is her only joy in life - that is, until one fateful encounter!

One morning, Kaoru returns home before sunrise, only to see a high school student (Tsukamoto Takashi, from Battle Royale) standing outside her bedroom window. Soon, she makes a special effort to watch the young man and his friends head to the beach each morning. Kaoru eventually meets the boy (named Koji), and they gradually fall for one another. Of course, Koji isn't initially aware of her illness. Things take a dramatic turn when an incident reveals her secret, and Kaoru gives up singing. But as her relationship with Koji deepens, Kaoru starts to change her tune and wishes to pick up the guitar once more. Unfortunately, her illness begins to worsen. Will there be a happy ending for this couple?

Having already spawned a TBS drama of the same name, Taito no Uta is strongly reminiscent of such recent "pure love" films as Be With You and Crying Out Love, In the Center of the World, making it one tenderhearted love story that romance fans won't want to miss!

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Technical Information

Product Title: Midnight Sun (AKA: Song to the Sun) (Hong Kong Version) 太陽之歌 (香港版) 太阳之歌 (香港版) タイヨウのうた (香港版) Midnight Sun (AKA: Song to the Sun) (Hong Kong Version)
Artist Name(s): YUI (Actor) | Kishitani Goro (Actor) | Tsukamoto Takashi (Actor) | Asagi Kuniko | Toriyama Airi YUI (Actor) | 岸谷五朗 (Actor) | 塚本高史 (Actor) | 麻木久仁子 | 通山愛里 YUI (Actor) | 岸谷五朗 (Actor) | 冢本高史 (Actor) | Asagi Kuniko | Toriyama Airi YUI (Actor) | 岸谷五朗 (Actor) | 塚本高史 (Actor) | 麻木久仁子 | 通山愛里 유이 (Actor) | Kishitani Goro (Actor) | Tsukamoto Takashi (Actor) | Asagi Kuniko | Toriyama Airi
Director: Koizumi Norihiro 小泉德宏 小泉德宏 小泉徳宏 Koizumi Norihiro
Release Date: 2007-04-27
Language: Japanese
Subtitles: English, Traditional Chinese
Country of Origin: Japan
Picture Format: NTSC What is it?
Aspect Ratio: 1.78 : 1
Widescreen Anamorphic: Yes
Sound Information: Dolby Digital EX(TM) / THX Surround EX(TM), DTS Extended Surround(TM) / DTS-ES(TM)
Disc Format(s): DVD, DVD-9
Region Code: 3 - South East Asia (including Hong Kong, S. Korea and Taiwan) What is it?
Rating: I
Duration: 122 (mins)
Publisher: Asia Video (HK)
Package Weight: 120 (g)
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1004778244

Product Information

* Screen Format: 16:9 Anamorphic Widescreen
* Sound Mix: Dolby EX, DTS ES
* DVD Type: DVD-9

導演︰小泉德宏
Director: Norihiro Koizumi

住在海邊的薰患上「色素性乾皮症」這種罕有疾病,不能給陽光直接照射,所以白天要留在家中,到日落之後才可走到街上呼吸新鮮空氣。她熱愛音樂,人生最大娛樂就是每晚拿著結他到街上唱出自己創作的歌曲,以及每朝睡前望著窗外準備去滑浪的孝治。有晚薰在街上見到孝治經過,忍不住追上前跟他說了一番傻話︰「我叫雨音薰,我喜歡音樂,我沒有男朋友……我最愛吃的香蕉是食物……」

Kaoru was suffering from xeroderma pigmentosum (XP), an illness, which also might be described as the allergy to the sun, and was not allowed to be exposed to sunlight. She led a lifestyle opposite the norm, sleeping during the day and active at night. The only motivation in her life was singing herself away every night after dark at a square in front of a train station with a guitar in her hands. Outside her room window, she spots a high school student standing with a surf board in his hands. It becomes her routine to watch him and his friends come and go to the ocean every morning, before going to sleep.
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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

Professional Review of "Midnight Sun (AKA: Song to the Sun) (Hong Kong Version)"

May 14, 2007

Midnight Sun belongs to a romantic subgenre dubbed the "Asian terminal illness tearjerker" by Kozo of LoveHKFilm.com in his review of the Korean sob-fest A Moment to Remember. The plot is always the same: boy meets girl, boy finds out girl has a debilitating illness, and boy loses girl permanently. Roll credits. Considering the sheer predictability of such a formula, what accounts for the continued popularity of these three hankie films? What keeps audiences coming back for more? Edgar Allan Poe once wrote, "The death […] of a beautiful woman, is, unquestionably, the most poetical topic in the world." As creepy as that may sound, there must be something to what Poe said, especially if you consider some of the better examples that have emerged from Japan, Korea, and Hong Kong. When it all comes down to it, there is something inherently romantic about people finding love on borrowed time.

On the flipside, however, it's so very easy to be cynical about these movies. There's been a rash of these pictures in the last few years, some worse than others, and there's just something so coldly calculative about using a disease to propel your romantic love plot, as we've seen leukemia, cancer, AIDS, and even Alzheimer's disease become fair game in both Japanese and Korean cinema. Personally, I'm waiting for osteogenesis imperfecta (brittle bone disease) to get its due, which oddly enough is one condition that would fit perfectly with the "innocent love" theme that typifies these movies.

But until then, I'll happily make do with Midnight Sun, which adds a new disease to the list, xeroderma pigmatosa. Also known as Taiyo no Uta ("A Song to the Sun"), the film centers on Kaoru Amane (YUI), a sixteen year old girl who suffers from the aforementioned skin condition, which makes her fatally vulnerable to ultraviolet radiation. As a result, Kaoru sleeps in the daytime and lives by night. After having a quick meal with the folks upon waking up in the evening, Kaoru takes her guitar in hand and sings in the street for fun. When she returns to her home before sunrise, she begins to take notice of a high school student named Koji Fujishiro (Takashi Tsukamoto), who usually waits at the bus stop outside her house to go surfing with his pals. After developing a crush on the young would-be surfer, Kaoru summons up the courage to talk to him, and although there's some initial confusion, the two decide to meet up in what becomes a whirlwind first date to end all first dates. But of course, they're having so much fun that Kaoru loses track of time. Can she get home in time to beat the sunrise? And will Koji still want to date her, considering her illness?

The answer to both questions is, of course, a great big yes. From this point forward, I'll try to be coy with the rest of the details, but any viewer even remotely familiar with the conventions of the genre will be able to plot out much of the remaining story. Even so, the filmmakers behind Midnight Sun should be commended for not pouring on the Korean-style melodrama, as the film takes a fairly matter-of-fact approach to both Kaoru's disease and the romance between the two teenagers. Even better, humor is often employed to deflate scenes just as they seem to be on the verge of becoming overly manipulative or emotional. Although the two young leads maintain much of this balance, Goro Kishitani turns in a nice performance as Kaoru's father, who alternates between grieving parent and comic relief in an utterly believable and welcome way.

But while it's refreshing that Midnight Sun doesn't try to force the tears from its audience with overblown pathos, it is worth mentioning that the film loses a bit of momentum sometime after Kaoru's illness is made known to Koji (which itself unfolds in a way strongly reminiscent of Crying Out Love in the Center of the World). Furthermore, the speed at which Koji goes from "Be my girlfriend" to "I love you!" is ridiculously fast, and while I'll agree that teenage love often goes like that, one would've hoped for a more extended, one-on-one development of their relationship, particularly since the film itself seems to slow down at this point. The actors do what they can to convey the increased emotional attachments they have for one another, but there's definitely something missing in the Kaoru/Koji relationship from the time he's told of her condition to the film's conclusion.

But what a conclusion! Those expecting a heavy downer will be pleasantly surprised by Midnight Sun. While the terminal illness tearjerkers have a tendency to end with a whimper rather than a bang, Midnight Sun crescendos with a surprisingly rousing conclusion that more than makes up for the lost momentum of the film's heel-dragging second act. At the finish, director Norihiro Koizumi uses his female lead's talents to their finest and creates a perfect marriage of image and sound, resulting in an ending that is both exhilarating and fittingly touching. Although the film definitely has some structural and developmental problems, when all is said and done, Midnight Sun defies the genre by ending on a high note, and if you're a sucker for a movie that explores "the most poetical topic in the world," this is one rare cry-fest that's likely to leave you soaring.

By Calvin McMillin

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 "Midnight Sun (AKA: Song to the Sun) (Hong Kong Version)"

Average Customer Rating for All Editions of this Product: Customer Review Rated Bad 7 - 7.5 out of 10 (6)

Nancee
See all my reviews


August 12, 2009

This customer review refers to Midnight Sun Premium Edition (Japan Version)
Good but... Customer Review Rated Bad 6 - 6 out of 10
I bought this a about a year or so ago and i thought it'd be worth the money coz of the reviews, but i was really dissappointed because i didn't get any of the mentioned extra stuff, like the necklace and the diary. Admittedly though it was a while after the film came out so basically i think it was like a "First come, first serve" basis. This was the only thing wrong, the film however i really like :D even though i can understand very little of what they say! In fact you don't really need to understand Japanese to watch this film, it is very easy to understand (plus not much dialogue) really leaves you to interpret what's going on and the characters feelings. But i'd recommend you just buy the normal edition :]
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yuiiuy
See all my reviews


May 12, 2007

This customer review refers to Midnight Sun Premium Edition (Japan Version)
2 people found this review helpful

Worth The $$ Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10
Don't let the price fool you. The Premium Edition contains a box with the YUI diary, a necklace, and the movie. Inside the YUI diary, YUI talks about what goes on during the movie and has some nice pictures of her off set. :) Also the necklace is placed in a cardboard box with the city setting and has the words Live Life Love. The movie has one DVD for the actual movie and the other for the making of. As for the story line, it's very sweet and simple. Unlike the drama, I thought that this movie was less dragged out and the actors and actresses actually fit more for the plot. YUI especially showcased her acting scenes well. This movie made me smile alot: it's a feel good movie. I recommend this movie to anyone who is looking for a movie to keep that you can watch over and over again. AND, support YUI of course!
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Amy
See all my reviews


March 18, 2007

This customer review refers to Midnight Sun Premium Edition (Japan Version)
Beautiful Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10
This movie was just absolutely beautiful. The story was great, the music was addicting and the cast were outstanding. After watching this, I've become YUI's new dedicated fan. She has such a haunting voice that gets stuck in your head. All in all I loved this movie. It has become my favorite movie of the year.
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Danny
See all my reviews


March 16, 2007

This customer review refers to Taiyo no Uta Standard Edition (Japan Version)
Really nice to watch Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10
Really not award winning or anything, but it was really nice to watch. For her acting debut, YUI does pretty well (or I'm just really biased when it comes to YUI). It has a nice tempo and flowed very nicely. It also didn't go overkill on saying how bad the disease is and how she's going to die before she's 20 (unlike in the drama series, which got quite annoying at the beginning). Of course, the best part is of course the music performed by YUI ! ^_^ b Anyways, I loved this movie, hope you guys do, too !

~ ciao
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butters
See all my reviews


December 17, 2006

This customer review refers to Taiyo no Uta Standard Edition (Japan Version)
Love you can actually feel Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10
This the first show that i bought a DVD after watching the movie. N i've never heard of YUI before watching the movie. The romance featured in the movie is one that you can actually appreciate, and it does not give the "paper-thin" feeling u get from 2 hour shows. The movie protray the optimistic side of a person who knows she's dying, not the tears and group hugs you see from shows like "1 litres of tears", ie it does not use the pity factor. YUI's performance may seem awkard at times, but the innocence, the "teenage-in-love" and the strength to live on is protrayed perfectly. Compare this to Mika in Nana and you'll know what i mean. In essence, i think its a great movie, great mood and story flow, good job YUI!
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