Sunday, November 1, 2009

Bitchin' Wakamatsu Koji Series this Month!

Hi Blog,

My programming for the Cinefamily (aka. The Silent Movie Theater) here in LA, continues with a pretty awesome seven-film Wakamatsu Koji series that kicks off this coming Wednesday with the masterful UNITED RED ARMY. (And that was a long sentence!) The series will then go on to run for the first three FRIDAYS in NOVEMBER, offering a pretty great selection of films (almost all collaborations with leftist political radical screenwriter Adachi Masao) -- some of which have never played in Los Angeles before.

The films, in order, are:

1. UNITED RED ARMY: Wednesday Nov. 4th 8pm

2. SHINJUKU MAD: Friday Nov. 7th, 7pm (Double Feature ONE)
3. ECSTASY OF THE ANGELS: Friday Nov. 7th 830pm (Double Feature ONE)

4. GO, GO SECOND TIME VIRGIN: Friday Nov. 14th, 7pm (Double Feature TWO)
5. RUNNING IN MADNESS, DYING IN LOVE (LA Premier and, oh yeah, what a fucking cool title?): Friday Nov. 14th, 8:30pm (Double Feature TWO)

6. VIOLATED ANGELS: Friday Nov. 21st, 7pm (Double Feature THREE)
7. VIOLENT VIRGIN: Friday Nov. 21st, 8:30pm (Double Feature THREE)

Here're the film write-ups I did for the series (with some copy-editing and some additional notes done by the editors up at the Cinefamily):


Divisive, exploitative, cruel, vengeful, erotic, political, provocative, avant-garde -- Koji Wakamatsu is all these things, and a ridiculous amount more. A country bumpkin who wandered his way through the Yakuza and into one of the most prolific directing careers in Japan, Wakamatsu has created an unsurpassed, massive filmography of unique and disobedient works. While inextricably connected to the pinku eiga (Japanese soft-core film), Wakamatsu himself has always insisted that his films were something more. Certainly they contain copious amounts of sex and nudity, but this often was a cover for leftist political diatribes decrying Japan’s imperial inclinations, and its subservience to US foreign affairs on Asian politics. Now in his seventies and having produced more than 200 films in his career, Wakamatsu and his uncompromising worldview show no signs of slowing. In addition to his latest epic transgression, United Red Army (2008), The Cinefamily is thrilled to present six of Wakamatsu's other treasures -- some of which have never before screened in America!

United Red Army

"Consensus is boring." -- Koji Wakamatsu

For 35 years, director Koji Wakamatsu has been mulling over what happened to the idealism and moral imperative of the far left Japanese student movement that left a rash of dead bodies and unanswered questions, and his latest film is as close to his heart as Schindler's List was for Spielberg. In the unflinchingly violent United Red Army, Wakamatsu dramatizes the self-immolation of the fiercest of Japan's underground paramilitary groups, who, in the early '70s, after internal strife led to the murders of fourteen of its own twenty-nine members, fled to a remote mountain location and instigated a police standoff which lives in infamy to this day. No stranger to radical politics, Wakamatsu not only drew from interviews with surviving URA members, but also from his own street-level experiences with the URA and other subversive organizations at the time -- affiliations which landed him on the U.S. State Department's no-visa blacklist, where he remains to this day. Backed by a searing psych rock score by former Sonic Youth member Jim O'Rourke, United Red Army is a film that doesn’t pretend to have the answers, but is instead an epic dissection of ideology can trump reason.

11/7 @ 7pm / SERIES: koji wakamatsu: sexfilmrevolution
Shinjuku Mad
shown with
Ecstasy of the Angels

With a sensationally violent and squelchy opening that sets up the plot of a father searching for his child’s murderer through the Shinjuku underworld, Shinjuku Mad never lets up its relentless assault as the blood flies, the bodies pile and the suffocating alienation multiplies like H1N1 in a school playground, all while Japanese '70s space rock band Food Brain provides harrowing cuts of fuzzy skronk on the soundtrack. The film was embraced by college students, artists and intellectuals upon its release, for its abrasive style and its honest countercultural insight (hippies and bikers are to be equally mistrusted!) Scripted by Wakamatsu’s partner in crime and leftist political radical, Masao Adachi, this film is purportedly one of Wakamatsu’s personal favorites for its "…vicarious portrait of Swinging Shinjuku in its vibrant heyday, making full use of local landmarks…" One of six(!) films Wakamatsu released in 1970.

Ecstasy of the Angels, a jarring exercise in experimental cinema clothed in pink film trappings, trails a leftist terrorist unit that, after a failed attempt to steal weapons from a US military base, learns that they might have been set up to fail by their parent organization. Dispensing with conventional storytelling, Wakamatsu plunges the viewer into a melange of political dissertations, rough and sweaty sex, explosions and swanky nightclubs. Though it certainly looks and feels like an exploitation picture, Ecstasy clearly has much more on its mind. The infusion of radical politics into the head-spinning assault of nudity and gore makes for a very odd experience, and the rapid shifts in time, film stock (black and white alternating with colour), sound effects, and character affiliations make this a dense, truly rewarding hour and a half. Ecstasy was Wakamatsu's biggest production to date -- a fact that guaranteed that the film was still released even though the government viewed him as an instigator of violence and anarchy.

11/14 @ 7pm / SERIES: koji wakamatsu: sexfilmrevolution
Go, Go Second Time Virgin
shown with
Running In Madness, Dying In Love

An allegory for the end of the hippie movement? For the impotence of youth against the crushing oppression of a chaotic world? Or a cruel reflection of society’s self-destruction during the chaos of the 1960s? It’s up to you to draw your own conclusion, for Go, Go Second Time Virgin's grim teen rebellion has explosive impact that defies conventions. In the film, two psychologically battered teenagers of the opposite sex meet on a desolate urban rooftop and bare their psychic scars to each other. The boy feels a mixture of arousal and anguish when he sees the girl unclothed following a gang rape on the rooftop (in which he was a partial participant) but their relationship becomes far more devastating and perverse than a forced sexual encounter. Though running barely over an hour, Go, Go... packs a tremendous amount of artistry into every scene, as Wakamatsu gives us one of his most visceral and intensely focused works.

Lesser-known but still packing a mad punch, Running In Madness... tells of a student activist who is forced to flee Tokyo with his sister-in-law after he inadvertently shoots his police officer brother at a protest rally. We follow the two as they travel north to their hometown of Hokkaido, across a majestic winter landscape. Shot in a stellar psychedelic style and scripted by frequent collaborator Masao Adachi, the story was influenced by Adachi’s time spent with master director Nagisa Oshima, which led to Adachi's development of a more rigorous, formal approach to his work. Running In Madness is one of the first Japanese films to employ "Landscape Theory" (fukei-ron), a style of storytelling, according to Adachi, in which "all the landscapes one faces in...daily life, even those such as the beautiful sites shown on a postcard, are essentially related to the figure of a ruling power."

11/21 @ 7:30pm / SERIES: koji wakamatsu: sexfilmrevolution
Violated Angels
shown with
Violent Virgin

One of Koji Wakamatsu’s more infamous productions (and inspired by the real-life case of Richard Speck's 1960s student nurse killing spree in Chicago,) Violated Angels is a compact celluloid acid trip into one man’s derangement as he kills a group of nurses and regresses to a child-like state. Acting more as a protest piece than Grand Guignol debauchery -- although it strongly delivers the goods in that department, with shocking deaths filmed in lurid color by Hideo Ito (In The Realm of the Senses), and a bevy of ravaged beauties -- the film draws a strong analogy between the man’s dehumanized actions and the Vietnam War protest movement going on concurrently with its production in 1967. Filmed Corman-style in less than one week in order to seize upon the wave of publicity wafting off of the Speck murders, this melancholy mini-masterpiece plunges the viewer headlong into ice-cold madness.

Easily the most divisive film in this series, Violent Virgin is guaranteed to bewilder, titillate and spark debate in the theater lobby. Shot on a punishingly low budget and tight schedule, the film follows the bizarre ritual of a group of Yakuza and their female companions, who all go to the countryside to punish their boss’s unfaithful mistress and her chinpira (low-level Yakuza) lover. A simple-enough scenario for your average twisted pink film, but Wakamatsu, never one to take the straight and narrow path, grabs the material by its neck and yanks it into a Jodorowsky-esque realm of Christ symbology, dream logic and all-around bat-shit insanity. As well, it's all couched inside another nod to underground political struggles, as the Japanese title, Shojo Geba Geba (reportedly suggested by Nagisa Oshima) refers to the German word "Gewalt", linked specifically to violence from student protestors. Filled with sex and cruelty, as well as Wakamatsu's trademark fantastic eye for black-and-white images, Violent Virgin is one of the headiest and rawest works in all of late '60s Japanese cinema.
More info on the Cinefamily website. See you there!

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Hi Blog,

It's been a while, eh?

I've been helping do some Asian Film programming over at the excellent Cinefamily theater here in LA and am happy to announce the LA Premier of Tomomatsu Naoyuki and Nishimura Yoshihiro's light-footed gorefest VAMPIRE GIRL VS FRANKENSTEIN GIRL. If you're reading this blog, then chances are good that you already know about it. But if not, here's the write-up that I did for the Cinefamily's calendar:

After barnstorming and brain-frying the minds of Asian film fanatics all around the world with knife-legged dog women and flesh key wielding "engineers" in 2008's cinematic acid tab Tokyo Gore Police, Japanese SFX-meister and genre director extraordinaire Yoshihiro Nishimura is back with this campier (and bloodier?) gore freakout. Co-directed with Naoyuki Tomomatsu (Stacy) and based on the manga by Shungiku Uchida, Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl tells of two schoolgirls who pine for the love of the same boy. But did we mention that one girl is a vampire with a love for blood filled chocolates, while the other is a woman whose mad scientist father uses possessed and squirming pet screws to turn his daughter into an ass-kicking Frankenstein monster? More gonzo then you can ever imagine, this Japanese splatter film slips and trips across the line of good taste and does what most Hollywood horror films seem incapable of doing nowadays: entertain!

BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE! Not content to let this film alone melt your mind out of your ears and nose, we went and dug up the rare and totally freaked short films that Nishimura and his band of SFX maniacs have made when they're between jobs -- and we're showing them all! Tokyo Gore Night is like a GWAR concert -- without the bloodstained clothes, and in Japanese!

The fine folks from Eleven Arts (the film's distributors) will be in attendance and the [blood red colored?] booze should be flowing freely.

Looking to next month, we will be giving Sono Sion's excellent LOVE EXPOSURE a proper Los Angeles screening with a special LOVE EXPOSURE event. While the movie did play in LA earlier this year, during the Asian Pacific Film Festival, the screening was poorly advertised and attended. Suffice to say, a film like LOVE EXPOSURE doesn't come along very often and so we're breaking out the big guns to have - what promises to be - one hell of a fun night out that you won't want to miss. I'll post about this screening in the coming weeks.

Ta-ta for now!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Angelinos! FUNKY FORREST Playing Friday June 5th at Midnight!

Hi Blog,

Katsuhito Ishii's gigantically weird film ナイスの森 (aka FUNKY FORREST) will be playing this Friday, June 5th, at midnight at the Silent Movie theater.

What's to say about the film? Well, it features color coordinated girls DJ-ing gnarled and moss covered trees; prolapsed anuses built into TV-sets; men dressed up as fuzzy animals with, erm... tails coming out of their crotches... Oh and it features Tadanobu Asasno and a fat, chocolate bar eating Caucasian kid as the Guitar Brothers. I dunno... You all should just go and see it. This is one film that is better on the big screen with a crowd (that is potentially high/drunk).

Here's what the Subway Cinema folks wrote about the film when they screened it in NYC back in 2006:
Not since David Lynch slunk onto the scene with ERASERHEAD has a more singular vision broken out of one man's skull and run riot across the silver screen seducing audiences with its sugary strangeness. But FUNKY FOREST: THE FIRST CONTACT is a hermetically sealed, fifth dimensional artifact from Planet Japan beaming out of our eyes and into our universe. The only movie with an A side and a B side this is a full-on invasion of third-dimensional Earthling brains by a twelfth dimensional alien consciousness.

From the director and cast who brought you last year's Audience Award Winner THE TASTE OF TEA, this flick invites you to drink the Kool Aid, take the red pill, show us your dancing and break the chains of reason and logic that bind our brains. Director Katsuhito Ishii (who directed the animation in KILL BILL VOL 1) and a crew of ace comedic actors (including Tadanobu Asano as the laconic Guitar Brother) have made a movie featuring TV's made of giant buttholes, powered by belly button energy and capable of producing miniature sushi chefs. Not everyone can master this frequency. As the Shorty Trio says, "Some days people laugh, some days…they don't." With its shoe obsession, fixation on Snickers bars, and its firm belief that the secrets of the universe can be unlocked by dancing, FUNKY FOREST: THE FIRST CONTACT strips everyday life of meaning, turns mundane tasks into bizarre rituals, and makes surrealist hay out of our most sacred ideals. This is not a movie. This is an invitation to join a dancing army of holy fools and travel through time and space to the super-elastic, thoroughly fantastic Planet of Piko Riko." (Link)

Other stuff I've written about Ishii.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Wings of Defeat Documentary Airing Tuesday May 5th

Hi Blog,

I was the original editor on Risa Morimoto's documentary WINGS OF DEFEAT, about three years ago (back when it was still called "BEYOND THE SUN"). I've written about it here before. Anyway, Risa's documentary is a deeply personal exploration of the history of the Tokkotai (aka. the Japanese 'special attack force' that the Kamikaze pilots were a division of) and the effect that the war had on a generation of young men (both in Japan and in the US).

This is a very, very good documentary and while I'm bummed out that the version that is airing on PBS' [I]ndependent Lens this coming Tuesday, May 5th, is a shortened 52 minute cut, it's absolutely worth your time to watch. And then, if you feel inspired you can hit the PBS website for the film and vote for it if you like it. AND THEN, if you have the spare change, you can buy the full-length feature from the WINGS OF DEFEAT website, where you can also buy the follow up documentary that Risa and Linda Hoaglund made called WINGS OF DEFEAT: ANOTHER JOURNEY. (Not the best title in the world... Perhaps...)

Do try to check out the film. It really is worth your time.


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Sono's Love Exposure playing this Monday in LA!

Hi Blog,

Just stumbled on the news that Sono Sion's 4 hour magnum opus AI NO MUKIDASHI (Love Exposure) will be screening this coming Monday, May 4th, 2009 as part of the Los Angeles Asian Film Festival.

I watched this back in March and have to say that without question it's the best film by Sono Sion that I've seen. Is it flawed? Yeah. But there's something incredible about watching a 4 hour long exploitation film about Catholic guilt, up-skirt photography and revenge.

Those in the loop about current Japanese film (which includes just about everyone who reads my blog, so I'm preaching to the converted) will already know about this. But for those who don't please check out these links for more info. (Japan Times; Jason Gray; Ground Report)

I will end this by saying I did a very interesting interview with Sono Sion for Midnight Eye where we talked at length about the making of Love Exposure as well as his highly anticipated adaptation of the legendary (and totally excellent) history of Black Metal book, LORDS OF CHAOS. Look for that on Midnight Eye in the coming months.

Here's a link to the LA screening.

And here's the trailer:

ps - I've been told that LOVE EXPOSURE, which played at Shibuya's EURO SPACE, was a smash hit and broke all box office records there. Not bad for a 4 hour long movie!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Real Shaolin Screening This Saturday!

Hi Blog,

The feature documentary I co-wrote with writer/director Alexander Lee, The Real Shaolin, will be having its US Premier at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival (aka. the VC Film Fest) this Saturday, May 2nd, 2009 at 5pm.

Regardless of my involvement in this film, I think that it's an interesting subject matter that is well made and executed. For all of the fans out there of Kung Fu movies and Asian martial arts, in general, this is a different view of the world of martial arts that shows the cold, commercial reality of Shaolin.

If you live in LA, definitely come to the Laemmle's Sunset 5 and see the film. I think you'll like it.

VC Film Festival page.

Previous postings here.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Angelinos! Kurosawa Kiyoshi Coming to LA 3/10!

Hi Blog,

Just learned that Kurosawa Kiyoshi will be giving a talk at a Japan Film Festival** symposium next Tuesday, March 10th!

I've met him several times and even had an opportunity to interpret for him and can promise you that it's well worth your time to attend this talk. (Plus, it's free!) Not only is Kurosawa one of the best directors currently working in Japan, he's also very intelligent and articulate with an encyclopedic knowledge of world cinema -- as to be expect from a man who is both a professor and critical film theorist.
Japan Film Festival Symposium co-hosted by JVTA/ UCLA-JABA
Theme: Creating Films for an International Audience

Date: March 10 (Tue)
Time: Open 4:30pm Start 5:00pm
Place: UCLA Korn Convocation Hall
Admission: Free

Special Guest: Director Kiyoshi Kurosawa

Japan Film Festival Committee and Japan Visualmedia Translation Academy are proud to present prolific Japanese director; Kiyoshi Kurosawa. Mr. Kurosawa will speak about his experiences as a director and explain how to correlate Japanese culture through film. There will be a Q&A session at the end of this presentation.

Do not miss this exciting event!!

Due to the limited seating, please RSVP to with your name and number of attendees.

Incidentally, I'm betting that the Japan Film Festival will screen TOKYO SONATA, even though it played at the LA Film Festival last November.

Link to the Midnight Eye interview with Kurosawa Kiyoshi.

Here's the trailer for one of my personal Kurosawa faves, CURE:

** This is the same film festival that I spoke at last year.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Death and the Debt Collectors

Hi Blog,

This isn't Japan related, but I'm posting it because, well, I've been waiting for this day to come for a while now. Today's NY Times has what I felt is a mindbogglingly horrifying article on debt collecting from the recently deceased.

So why am I posting about it? Well, you see, I've long believed that it's only a matter of time before the collection agencies figure out how to enter the afterlife -- FLATLINERS like -- and get their payments* and this article appears to be the first broad step in that direction. The question is, how will they exact the payment? I think it'll be indentured servitude via the afterlife. Something like setting up a database or call a center from the land of the dead or something like that. (The plus side for the corporations is that the undead a) don't get tired and therefore don't need breaks and b) no health care costs or worker's comp claims to contend with.)

Anyway, you can read the article here and be gobsmacked by the total lack of decency and class that the DCM folks are operating under. I was particularly impressed by the three-week sensitivity training course that the operators undergo to better cajole the money out of the bereaved-- who incidentally are under no obligation to pay back the deceased's debt, but are never alerted to this fact.
"New hires at DCM train for three weeks in what the company calls “empathic active listening,” which mixes the comforting air of a funeral director with the nonjudgmental tones of a friend. The new employees learn to use such anger-deflecting phrases as “If I hear you correctly, you’d like...”

“You get to be the person who cares,” the training manager, Autumn Boomgaarden, told a class of four new hires."
What a bunch of vultures.

Try reading the article while listening to Faith No More's classic: 'Surprise! You're Dead!' I've embeded it below.

Apparently in Japan there is a responsibility to pay debt, but this can be passed on to other (more distant) family members if the appropriate forms are filed with the government. But do you really want to mess with Japanese debt collectors - aka. the Yakuza?

* Incidentally, some people believe that this won't be the case. They feel that in fact credit will be given against your future offspring's indentured servitude. Could be...

Saturday, February 21, 2009

That queasy feeling you have in your stomach? It's the bugs.

Hi Blog,

People collect bugs in Japan. This isn't the something just for kids-- but in fact adults, with paychecks, buy them in stores or even on Yahoo! Auction.

Look this one here ->

Costs 4100円

(Here's the auction page if you want to buy it.)

Anyhoo, it appears that sometimes folks also collect bugs to watch them fight. And sometimes they record these fights and post them on the interwubs with pro-wrestling announcements and flying graphics. Like this site:

Before you think that this is a free-for-all, apparently there are rules. Three of them. And they are not to be broken. ("Rule 3: No Outside Weapons." !?)

I will freely admit that I couldn't stop watching these videos and that I had the creeps the whole time. That queasy feeling you have in your stomach? It's the bugs.

Here're a couple of the fights. (For some reason, the folks who do this site love fighting with scorpions. I've tried to mix it up a bit.)

Oh! And if you have your own bug fights that you've recorded and want to share with Japan Bug Fights, go for it! There's a submission link on their front page.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Midnight Eye Best of 2008!

Hi Blog,

Woah, so I'm like totally, totally, really, unbelievably late in posting this. And I'm sure that most of you fine folks who read this blog have already checked it out so maybe this is totally useless, and yet I'll announce it nonetheless...

The Midnight Eye Best of 2008 list is finally up on-line! As usual, I'm represented there. This is something like year seven for me to contribute to the list and as always, you should keep in mind that this is just one man's opinion. (For better or for worse...)

The one film that I would've totally added to my list if I had seen it in time is Johnnie To's SPARROW. What an amazing film. It's as if LE SAMOURAI were a light-footed musical with some Johnnie To ELECTION tossed in for good measure. Anyway, it'll undoubtedly show up on my best of 2009 list, just as a super advanced head's up.

Here's the link.

Out of the Darkness Now Playing in NYC!

Hi Blog,

My film Out of the Darkness has been playing on Monday nights in NYC-- in Elmhurst, Queens specifically-- this month (Feb '09) as part of a screening series called CINEMONDAYS. I know there's only like, ONE more Monday left this month, but if you can swing by the Terraza 7 Train Cafe, you can see it along with some other short films. You know, maybe have a drink there as well.

Terraza 7 Train Café
40-19 Gleane Street
Elmhurst, NY 11373

Info here.

Friday, January 23, 2009

ウララ ウララ ウラウララ〜♪ Time for a Yamamoto Linda Hip Thrust

Hi Blog,

Ooh la la indeed!!

Getting bogged down here in writing and desperately need a pick me up. Sure a shot of espresso or a some ice cubes down the pants could work, but it's not nearly as satisfying as watching the glorious sequined 1970s bombshell Yamamoto Linda belt out some tunes courtesy of the old YouTube time machine.

Up first, 狙いうち (Nerai-Uchi! - Aim and Fire!):

Up next, どうにもとまらない (Donimo tomaranai! - Can't Stop Myself!):

いいねIf you like her stuff, there's plenty more of it on line. I leave you to find it on your own. (BTW, she's not nearly as interesting now... But that's the way it goes, I suppose...)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Studio 4ºC UPDATE: Genius Party Box Set & Mind Game in Los Angeles

Hi Blog,

I'm happy to report to two tasty bite-sized bits of Studio 4ºC news: the mind-blowingly awesome and totally worth your time in every way possible anime MIND GAME will play in Los Angeles this FRIDAY night at midnight. Although it's a digital projection (can't be helped, I suppose) it is Studio 4ºC sanctioned and as such, it should be supported.

Now why should you go and see this? Two reasons really: it is one of the most inspiring films I've seen in a long time -- seriously, you will leave the theater reassessing and reprioritizing your life. Also, you will come to an perspective shifting realization that animation in the west is trapped in some 20th century stasis like a mosquito in amber while Studio 4ºC's animation has been created and broadcast to us like Ranman aliens with higher evolved aesthetics and execution. (Or something.)

Anyhoo, do see the film. It's playing at the Silent Movie Theater in Los Angeles. Friday. Midnight. Details here.

Also, I just received an email from a producer at Studio 4ºC and she is happy to announce that the uber-excellent GENIUS PARTY and GENIUS PARTY BEYOND will be released this March in a 3-disc box set in Japan. Although, Midnight Eye has been slow to post our critical picks for 2008, those two films easily made my best of list and if I ever get off of my ass and write it, I have a lot of thoughts to share about those films that I'd like to put in a review.

But, come on Rucka, is GENIUS PARTY really that good? Well, to be frank, since it's an 'omnibus' collection there's the good stuff and the not so good stuff. But what's always so cool about watching a Studio 4ºC release is that when the good stuff works, MAN does it work! As the west trends towards photo-realism and CGI, Studio 4ºC is working on challenging the very form of anime: from experimenting with the use of voice talent all the way to choosing new ways of photographing and animating their cell animation. (Some of it bordering on experimentalism.)

Maybe, eventually, we'll see this kind of fresh thinking out here in the west. But in the meantime, I'm sure it'll show up on the internubs on March 21st with sub par fansubs (although, it could be like the MIND GAME DVD and have excellent subs already on it?) and that'll be the way that the fans will be able to watch it until a proper export edition comes out...

You can buy it through Amazon Japan.

Lots and LOTS of previous posts about MIND GAME and Studio 4ºC here!

Interview that I did with the head of Studio 4ºC, Ms. Eiko Tanaka, here!