Written by: Michael Den Boer on August 19th, 2004
Theatrical Release Date: Japan, 1999
Director: Atura Oikawa
Writers: Ataru Oikawa, Junji Ito
Cast: Runa Nagai, Akira Shirai, Atsushi Okuno, Nobuaki Kaneko, Chie Tanaka, Tomonori Yoshida
DVD Released: June 15th, 2004
Approximate Running Time: 72 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 4.3 Full
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1
DVD Release: Adness
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.99
Tomie another Face is broken up into three stories. The first story is about a high school student grieving the death of his girlfriend Tomie. His ex-girlfriend tries to comfort him and win him back now that Tomie is out of the picture, or is she? The second story is about a camera man who is haunted by a girl from his youth and one night when he goes to a bar he meets a girl name Tomie who looks just like her. Has he found his inspiration in Tomie or has he fallen into her trap? The final segment is about an ex-corner who has become obsessed with a girl named Tomie. He is not the only trying to obtain Tomie’s affection and they do anything to keep her all to themselves.
Tomie is based on the Manga written by Junji Ito, whose other Manga includes Kakashi, Oshikiri, Nagai Yume and Uzumaki all which have been adapted into movies. Tomie another Face was a television film based on Junji Ito’s popular Manga that was released shortly after Tomie Will Not Die the first film in a series of films based on the Tomie character to date. Atura Oikawa directed Tomie Will Not Die and Tomie another Face both in 1999.
Overall all three stories are really well done and filled with interesting characters. The second story about photographer is the strongest of the three segments. The beautiful Runa Nagai who plays Tomie in all three segments is a major part to this films success. Through her eyes and facial expressions she can bring even the strongest will man to their knees. Atura Oikawa direction really impressed me with home detail he captured on this low budget affair. He keeps his compositions inventive and his strong visual sense is evident in his color schemes. The films strange score with women’s voices singing over a haunting arrangement is reminiscent to some of Ennio Morricone’s work. While most adaptations fail to capture the essence of work they draw inspiration from Tomie another Face more then any other film in the series comes closest to capturing Junji Ito’s vision of Tomie.
Tomie another Face is presented in a full frame aspect ratio that retains the film compositions without cropping or losing any info. The film was shot on digital video and the overall quality of the print is in excellent shape the colors are lucid and the black levels are rich in detail. There is only one audio option included on this DVD the original Japanese audio track in Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. The audio track is free of distortion and the dialog is clear and easy to hear. The subtitles are easy to read and follow. The DVD box lists Tomie another Face’s running time at 95 minutes when the actual length of the movie is about 72 minutes.
Extras include trailers for all five Tomie movies and unlike some of the other Tomie movies released by Adness Tomie another Face is lacking in the extras department. It is too bad Adness elected not to put any real extras on this DVD. Tomie another Face is the first film that helped launch a series of films and it is fascinating film that explores supernatural with in the Horror genre. If you are a fan of Manga or Japanese horror films I recommend that you check out Tomie another Face.