Written by: Michael Den Boer on September 6th, 2008
Theatrical Release Date: Japan, 2006
Director: Keisuke Yoshida
Writer: Keisuke Yoshida
Cast: Sora Aoi, Yutaka Mishima
DVD released: April 22nd, 2008
Approximate running time: 57 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Letterboxed Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo Japanese
DVD Release: Pathfinder Home Entertainment
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.98
Synopsis: A salaryman named Masuo becomes obsessed with a young school girl who he encounters on a daily basis on the subway. To shy and unable to approach her Masuo’s obsession further withdraws him from the rest of the world. Masuo finally gets the nerve and approaches the young woman who rejects his advances. The young woman’s rejection ultimately pushes Masuo’s over the edge.
Raw Summer is writer/director Keisuke Yoshida first feature film. Visually and story wise Raw Summer has all the things one would expect from a pink film. Even though the film clocks in at just under an hour there is enough that occurs in the film making it feel longer then it’s actually running time. The structure of the film is almost like two separate films with the film half focusing more on Masuo’s obsession with the young school girl while the second half focuses more on his guilt.
Without given away the first of the films two big reveals let’s just say that about half way through the film an event happens that totally throws you off to were the film eventually leads. The second and more obvious reveal is the film’s ending that almost feels anticlimactic when it arrives. Yutaka Mishima perfectly captures the loneliness and desperation of Masuo. The main reason to watch Raw Summer is for its lead actress Sora Aoi who is most famous for starring in Japanese AV idol. Performance wise she holds her own as Anko the young woman who Masuo stalks.
Raw Summer is presented in a letterboxed widescreen that preserves the film’s original aspect ratio. Despite being a non anamorphic transfer details look crisp throughout and colors look nicely saturated. Some of the darker scenes are not as sharp as scenes that are in daylight.
This release comes with one audio option a Dolby Digital stereo mix in Japanese and English subtitles have been included. The audio sound clear, evenly balanced and there are no audio defects.
Extras for this release include trailers, cast bios and a twenty five minute behind the scenes documentary that includes comments from the cast and director Keisuke Yoshida. Overall Raw Summer gets a good DVD release from Pathfinder Home Entertainment that leaves some room for improvement especially in the films transfer.