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Quirky Guys and Gals 
Written by: on October 2nd, 2011

Theatrical Release Date: Japan, 2011
Directors: Yosuke Fujita, Gen Sekiguchi, Mipo O, Tomoko Matsunashi
Writers: Yosuke Fujita, Gen Sekiguchi, Mipo O, Tomoko Matsunashi
Cast: YosiYosi Arakawa, Aoi Nakamura, Tenkyu Fukuda, Misako Renbutsu, Kyoko Koizumi, Tomochika, Tetsuji Tanaka

DVD released: October 3rd, 2011
Approximate running time: 91 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Rating: 12A (UK)
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 Japanese
Subtitles: English
DVD Release: Third Window Films
Region Coding: Region 2 PAL (UK)
Retail Price: £10.99

Cheer Girls: A trio of cheerleaders seek out the depressed individuals and cheer them up.

Boy? Meets Girl: In order to get closer to a girl he likes, a nerdy high school boy dresses up as a girl.

Claim Night: Angered after her power was shut off, for failing to pay the bill, a young woman takes advantage of kindness of the representative sent to her home to take care of her complaint.

Abandoned Businessman: A housewife invites men, who have been recently fired to stay at her home during the day, so that they can put off letting their families known that they no longer have jobs.

Content wise, though all four segments share protagonists, who are ‘quirky’ and narrative structures that follow a similar evolution, this is also were all similarities end. Since each of these four segments are strong enough, that they hold up on their own. Also anyone expecting something rooted in reality, have come to the wrong place, all four segments have a whimsical quality that is prevalent throughout modern Japanese cinema.

The strongest of the four segments is the one titled ‘Claim Night’, while the second segment titled ‘Boy? Meets Girl’ is too cute for its own good. Without a doubt the film’s opening segment ‘Cheer Girls’ puts a subversive spin on the art of cheering, while the film’s closing segment ‘Abandoned Businessman’ is the oddest of the lot.

From a directing stand point all four segments are all extremely well made and the performances from the various cast members are all pitch perfect, especially Kyoko Koizumi (Tokyo Sonata) in the role of the housewife, who collects unemployed men. Ultimately all four segments which make up Quirky Guys and Gals, more than live up to this films name and then some.

The DVD:

Third Window Films presents Quirky Guys and Gals in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film’s original aspect ratio. This is another very good transfer from Third Windows films that has nicely saturated colors, healthy looking flesh tones, consistent black levels and details generally look crisp. Unfortunately like many of their transfers, this transfer is a NTSC to PAL standards conversion. Thankfully there combing is never a major issue.

This release comes with one option, a Dolby Digital Stereo Japanese and removable English subtitles have included with this release. Range wise this audio mix is rather limited with the films score being the only part of this audio mix that sounds robust. There are no problems with background noise or distortion and dialog comes through clearly enough to follow.

Extras for this release include four interviews, one with each director, Yosuke Fujita (16 minutes 58 seconds – anamorphic widescreen, in Japanese with English subtitles), Tomoko Matsunashi (12 minutes – anamorphic widescreen, in Japanese with English subtitles), Mipo O (22 minutes 56 seconds – anamorphic widescreen, in Japanese with English subtitles) and Gen Sekiguchi (12 minutes 33 seconds  – anamorphic widescreen, in Japanese with English subtitles). All four interviews do a superb job putting each segment into perspective. Rounding out the extras are trailers for Villain, Sawako Decides, Cold Fish, Confessions, Confessions of a Dog, Memories of Matsuko, Kamikaze Girls, Kakera Piece of Love, Fish Story, Lala Pipo, Love Exposure, Instant Swamp, Fine Totally Fine, Turtles are Surprisingly Fast Swimmers, Funuke Show Some Love, You Losers! and Dasepo Naughty Girls. Overall Quirky Guys and Gals get a well rounded DVD release from Third Window Films.

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