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Tomie: Another Face

Review by: 
Samara's Madness
Release Date: 
Aspect Ratio: 
Directed by: 
ToshirĂ´ Inomata
Nobuki Kaneko
Runa Nagai
Bottom Line: 

This collection is so obscure I can’t even tell you who directed it, not even the DVD case knew.
Some of you may have noticed I used the word “collection”, that’s because this is really not a feature film but a made for T.V. Japanese miniseries compiled on to one disc. Now, made for T.V. doesn’t have to mean bad, it just does in this case. How bad? Well, you may think you’ve put up with some shit from this franchise, but until you watch Runa Nagai dance you don’t know the half of it. Don’t tell me I don’t know what Vietnam is like.
The label “made for T.V.” has a certain stigma attached to it, but it’s rare that one manages to degrade into the depths of sleaze that gave it that reputation in the first place; “Another Face” manages nicely though. The production values are incredibly low and the first fifteen minutes look like a washed out digital camera. Indeed, watching “Another Face” is like sitting through a bad language tutorial video in Japanese class (yes they offer Japanese in high schools where I live, I heard your nay saying brainwaves), only they’re teaching you how to kill women. The direction is incredibly stale, like the product of a film student’s final project. In fact, everything about this movie put me back in high school, even the acting, and almost no one in this cast is worth mentioning (much like those who shared your graduating class). God rescue me from this living, text book oriented nightmare!
The series is broken up into three stories called (aptly if un-creatively) story one, two, and three, and the WRITING really isn’t that bad. The plots actually delve into a couple of places in the Tomie mythos that were overlooked by the feature films. I think my problem here is that when I consider a bad production that’s incongruent to its good writing I always think; ANIMATE this. Tomie: Another Face is a prime example of the anime that should have been. 
An animated Tomie with Runa Nagai’s VOICE would have been excellent, but instead I have to watch at the REAL Runa Nagai while she tries to be expressive. She’s a BUNNY, a fucking brainless BUNNY! With big wet brown eyes that gaze vacuously at the camera. Her only real talent acting is opening her eyelids to varying degrees, cut by the occasional smile or pout. I want to have a cross eyed hunter shoot her on a moonless night; then we’d at least get a lucky rabbit’s foot out of her.
Interestingly enough, “Another Face” makes a good point in story three. You may have noticed that most Tomie installments introduce fire as a final solution to the problem. Makes sense right? Unless of course you were one of those people who thought “hey, if every piece of Tomie regenerates, wouldn’t every single tiny flake of ash regenerate too?” cause if you did, kudos; you figured it out. Seems that burning Tomie is the worst possible thing you could do for yourself. This is only worth mentioning, of course, because Tomie: Forbidden Fruit poses a much better and similar solution, only completely different (have your brain chew on that for a while).
You would think that for such a piss poor series Adness would at least pump it up in the extras department, but no, they don’t even manage to redeem themselves there - all we get are trailers. Thanks guys, I’m glad I wasn’t expecting much anyways; I might have been disappointed.
For those of you who have read my reviews you’ll notice I’m a little short this time (it’s cold out, you understand) but that’s only because there’s nothing worth talking about. Everything from the acting to the direction is amateurish; the writing being the only exception, and even that’s not enough to make it watchable. Like I said, had this been an anime it would have been a pleasurable viewing experience, and probably a lot more gory too. Instead, I just watch; having daydreams of hanging Runa Nagai from a clothesline by her cottontail, douse her with kerosene and burn all her hair off. If you think that fantasy was inappropriate just remember it’s a true story and was no less appropriate when my freshmen English teacher told our class; and if it bothers you that it involved scorching fur off rabbits, don’t worry… in his version they were actually cats.

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