Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Sadao Abe, Shinichi Tsutsumi, Kou Shibasaki
Director: Nobuo Mizuta
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama, Sports, Animation
From acclaimed screenwriter Kankuro Kudo (Ping Pong, Yaji, Kita: The Midnight Pilgrims and Takashi Miike's Zebraman), comes Maikohaaaan!!!, a colorful introduction to Japan s Maiko world and a slapstick comedy with an ener... more »
A great movie if your into random humor
D. Hanley | Brooklyn, NY | 06/20/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The movie is distinctly Japanese, so if your not into Japanese cinema that focuses heavily on the culture, don't bother watching this movie. For those of us who don't mind this, Maiko Haaaan!!!'s humor lies in its seemingly random senarios and the jerky actions of the cast. Its slapstick comedy in its finest. Again, if slapstick isn't your thing, you're not going to enjoy this. For those of you who do, make Maiko Haaaan!!! the top of your to watch this. At the very least this movie deserves a rental."
Melissa Henstra | Florida | 07/19/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"An over the top cofection of a film that had me laughing out loud while simultaneously cringing. Maiko Haaaan!! is the story of Kimihiko Onizuka who's all consuming obssesion with Maiko(Appentice Geisha) directs every aspect of hiis life. He's useless at his job,working in a ramen factory because he spends his time running a Maiko fanpage while having text wars with an unknown person who likes to post insults on Kimihiko's site. He's dating a co-worker, but only because she claims to be from Kyoto the epicenter of Geish culture, and his life's ambition is to spend an evening with a Geisha Playing Yakyuuken(basicly rock-paper-scissors with stripping.) But there is a problem, though Kimihiko has photographed many Geisha he has never so much as set foot in a teahouse(where Geisha entertain.)
All that is about to change though, cause "somtimes life smiles on you." Kimihiko is being transfered/demoted to a ramen topping factory in Kyoto. Believing that his wildest dreams are on the verge of coming true he cheerfully dumps his girlfriend, telling her that he could only ever truly love a Maiko, and heads off to begin a new life as a Geisha patron.
But it wouldn't be a comedy if getting in with the Geisha where as simple as emptying your bank account and heading off to a teahouse.
Kimihiko needs an in, and it so happens that in is the President of the the company he works for, the president is reluctant, but makes Kimihiko a deal. Find a way to make the failing factory into a cash cow and, in return the key to the city, or in this case the teahouse. Lo and behold it works, Kimihiko is exactly where he's dreamed of being since he was a teenager, and to top it all he's met the Maiko of his dreams. Unfotunately she's got some strange connection to the mysterious web poster, who is the cause of so much aggravtion and happens to also be a Geisha patron The two meet one night face to face, and from then on they become heated rivals determined to out do each other, Kimihiko becomes a baseball player, an actor, a kickboxer, and a polical hopeful all in the name of getting the best of one man. In the midsst of all this is Kimihiko's ex- girlfriend Fujiko who has her own side story, she decieds that the only way to when back her man is to go to Kyoto and become a Maiko herself.
This is a great movie as long as you watch it for what it is a silly slapstick comedy who's only only aim is to get laughs, Maiko Haaaan!! Features alot of Japenese cultural elements and pop culture which it helps to be somwhat formiliar with, otherwise it's easy to get lost and miss a lot of the humor. I really enjoyed this film and also suggest Kamikaze Girls [[ASIN:B0016QCBAY Memories of Matsuko and Sakuran"
Onizuka will stop at nothing!
Zack Davisson | Seattle, WA, USA | 05/04/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Maiko Haaaan!!!" delivers on two levels. Not only is it a highly entertaining screwball love comedy, but it is also one of the most authentic geisha-themed films I have ever seen. People wanting to know more about the Flower and Willow world would do far better watching this than Hollywood fantasies like Memoirs of a Geisha or My Geisha.
Pure over-the-top comedy delivered as only the Japanese can, the story follows four people, Onizuka Kimihiko (Abe Sado), Naito Kiichiro (Tsutsumi Shinichi), Osawa Fujiko (Shibasaki Kou) and Komoko (Koide Saori). Two guys and two girls. As Shakespeare said "the course of true love never did run smooth." An understatement at best.
Tokyo-born Onizuka is obsessed with geisha and maiko (apprentice geisha), and has been ever since he first saw them on a school trip to Kyoto. The only reason he is together with his current girlfriend, Fujiko, is because he believes that she was born in Kyoto. Onizuka also runs a geisha/maiko website, where he is in a constant flame-war with someone who knows the geisha world better than Onizuka ever could. Eventually, Onizuka is transferred to the Kyoto offices of his company (a dream come true!) where he finds that money is not enough to open the closed doors of the geisha. His maniacal quest to gain an introduction begins, as well as his quest to win the love of Komoko, one of the newest maiko to debut. Naito, his rival, one-ups him at every chance.
But this little synopsis doesn't cover even a small portion of the story. Things fly at break-neck speed, as Fujiko comes to Kyoto in order to apprentice as a geisha and win back Onizuka, and meanwhile Onizuka and Naito race each other through challenge after challenge, from professional baseball to blockbuster movies to K-1 Fighting even to being the mayor of Kyoto in an attempt to prove who is the better man and win the top spot in the geisha's world. Everything moves so fast it is hard to keep up, but then there are punctuating moments of calm and silence that puts meaning into the chaotic frenzy.
Abe Sado (Uzumaki, The Great Yokai War) puts all of his energy into Onizuka, and you are either going to love or hate the character. He does nothing but to the extreme, and will crawl over everyone to reach his goals. Shibasaki Kou (Battle Royale, One Missed Call) is really far too lovely to be the rejected girlfriend Fujiko, but that's the way it works in this kind of film. Tsutsumi Shinichi (also of "One Missed Call") is understated and stern, and a perfect foil for Onizuka's antics. The subplot with Naito and Komoko lends a really nice serious undertone for the film
I absolutely loved "Maiko Haaaan!!!" It had great balance as a film, winning performances from all the actors, and of course lots and lots of nice geisha eye-candy.
The DVD has a few bonus features like "The Making of Maiko Haaaan!!!" and Director & Cast Profiles. Some of the subtitles are a little funky, and I felt the translator tried a little bit too hard in spots to transfer the Japanese into "hip English," and it comes off as forced and doesn't carry the same meaning.
Note to the title: "Maiko" is the name for apprentice geisha, and "-han" is the honorific given in the Kyoto dialect, much like "-san" would be for a regular person. Normally, it would be "Maiko-han" but Onizuka never does anything like a regular person."