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*Raindance Preview Review* Yellow Kid [2009] dir Tetsuya Mariko

YELLOW KID tells the story of Tamura, a young man who inspired by the "Yellow Kid" comic character decides to become a boxer. We are then introduced to Hattori, a mangaka who is looking to make a sequel to the original "Yellow Kid" and insinuates his way into a boxing gym to find his inspiration. Add to this a violent young thug, Enomoto, the middleweight boxing champion, Mikuni, who is engaged to Hattori's ex-girlfriend and just a few comic book sequences, that's Yellow Kid. It is an intense study of one man's frustration with everything around him; not only Tamura has lost both his parents and has to look after his grandma, he is abused by the thugs at his gym and has no prospects. Amidst all this madness he has not choice but to vent. As for Hattori, he is a rather pathetic character, not being able to get over the fact that his ex-girlfriend is pregnant by and engaged to Mikuni, nothing but a thug in his eyes, and less deserving of her love than he is. 
Nicholas Vroman (EL Magazine) perhaps expressed more deftly how the film is not solid enough in its' focus on the main story, feeling rather unstructured: "Yellow Kid unfortunately collapses with its obsessive and smothering plot, subplots, 2 alternate endings and to top it off, a final McGuffin in the last shot to confuse the issues even more." 
This is Mariko's first feature and it was produced as part of a post-grad program at Tokyo University of the Arts and is being distributed in a collaboration between the school and Euro Space. Mariko definitely has talent as a filmmaker, but he needs to refine his scripts and create a focus for a story. Will definitely be looking out for his next work. 


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About Tania Martins

Tania Martins

Filmmaker. Student. Blogger. Film Critic. Festival Organiser. Freelance Cameraperson. Explorer. Longboarder. WELCOME!


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