[Movie] PikaNchi Life is Hard Dakedo Happy

2002

Starring: Aiba Masaki, Matsumoto Jun, Ninomiya Kazunari, Ohno Satoshi, Sakurai Sho...

Below is the full summary of the movie because it is the freakin' best Arashi movie ever. Spoilers are, of course, included.
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This movie tells the story of five final year highschoolers who live in the town of Yashio. In this suburban community of Yashio, these five teenagers who were going to have to choose their paths in life after school made a 'daring' excursion to Harajuku, Tokyo - a famous district where youngsters loiter around. With their main objective being to flirt and pick up girls, the five boys - Shun, Bon, Takuma, Haru and Chu wandered around the streets of Harajuku.

In the few hours that they five spent in Harajuku, they had encounters with various happenings which will be rather significant later in the movie. Apparently, for the people of Yashio, the journey that one embarks on to Tokyo is a perilous one and the danger is multiplied when it comes to places such as Shibuya and Harajuku. The fivesome marched on to Harajuku regardless of the 'danger' for the third time.
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Chu, a yankee who dropped out of highschool after behaving violently towards a teacher who molested a girl he had crush on, went to Harajuku to deliver a karate-like performance. Chu decided that he is a human weapon and broke a lot of tiles on the streets of Harajuku.
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Haru, a nerdy and strange boy who saved up his money for his Harajuku trip by doing a part-time job of delivering newspapers for months met a woman with large breasts. The woman later tried to sell Haru a piece of lousy painting and managed to swindle Haru's money away.
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Takuma, a leader-figure of the group who was the first to bring a skateboard into Yashio after a prior Harajuku expedition, decided to flaunt his skills in a larger arena - that being Harajuku. While he was doing that, a group of skateboarders whose skills are way beyond Takuma's opened his eyes. He later learned that it is in California that the pro skateboarders are at and that he is no match for skaters out there.
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Bon, a boy who lives on the 'rich' block in Yashio whose father runs a bar full of Vietnamese workers has had a fascination for crepes since their previous visit to Harajuku. This time around, Bon decided to set up a stall to sell crepes made by himself. Near the end of their visit, Bon got beaten up by local gangsters and the money he earned from selling crepes were taken away from him.
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Shun, the narrator of the movie, who considers himself average as compared to the others in the group, stayed true to their original objective - to pick up girls. After approaching many girls and failed to pick up one, he finally met the girl of his dreams, Miku. Shun and Miku would later continue to go on dates after Shun returns to Yashio.
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When they returned to Yashio, Haru met the girl of his dreams but was seduced by her mother instead, Chu faced many decisions as the leader of Samezu clan, Bon's father started to groom him into taking over his business by making him teach Vietnamese children names of food, Takuma's unhappy mother who was no longer willing to live in poverty finally left his father who descended into a state of depression, Shun continued to date the girl who casually suggested that Shun try to enter the prestigious Aoyama University.

With that, Shun's quest to improve his grades to enter said university began. Worrying that Shun would become one of the drunk adults who party on boats - people whom the five pledge to never turn into - the rest confronted Shun. They were also unhappy that Shun went to first base with his girlfriend (xD teenage boys...) without their knowledge and will be leaving if he is accepted to Aogaku. With this, Shun parted ways with the rest and went on with his betrayal by studying hard to enter the university to please his girlfriend. Also, Shun decided that he wanted out of the small town, sheltered life in Yashio while the rest deserted him for moving on.
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One fine day, Shun called for a meeting and vowed that he would sink the boat to prove that he won't be one of the drunkard salarymen like those on board the boat. When the night of the plan arrives, Shun delivered his promise and one by one, the others joined in Shun's efforts to sink the boat. In the process of doing so, Shun saw his girlfriend working as one of the hostesses on the boat. Disappointed, Shun decided that it didn't matter whether he entered Aogaku or not.

When the five were done with Operation Fuurinkazan (as Shun named it), the ecstatic group returned to Takuma's apartment to find Takuma's father, hanged to death. The other four decided to accompany Takuma throughout the night.
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The next day, Shun woke up to realize that he was running late to the entrance exam of Aogaku. The rest encouraged him to make a run for it and that he was their hope to break out of the shelter that they have been held in all their lives. Chu rushed Shun to Aogaku and reminded him that he now bears the responsibility of making the law that obliges women to go topless into the community pool - a legacy bestowed upon him by Bon who initially brought up the idea when he thought he was going to study abroad.
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Towards the end, Takuma decided that he would head for California to become a pro at skateboarding. The other four bade him goodbye and so ends the story of five idiotic, horny teenagers from Yashio.

*****

I am in doubts about where to begin with this movie. When I first watched it, I had a lot of questions in my mind. It is not a particularly good script, bad acting, especially Aiba, strange storyline too, above all strange reasoning to the plot. It took me some time to understand that with Arashi, you don't need reason. Just go with the flow. And blame it on Inocchi. Inocchi came up with the story. Inocchi of V6. If Sakamoto is the father of V6 and Nagano is the mother. Kamisen would be the younger triplets and Inocchi would be the retarded elder brother.

And Arashi decided that, hey lets star in the movie that Inocchi came up with. Thus, this piece of crack was the result of Inocchi's attempt at thinking.

But to say it was crack will not be entirely accurate. If you want to be all brainy about it, we can look at it from another perspective. These five teenagers are from a town that is all to itself, detached from Honshu. And being from a small town myself, I can understand that it takes a lot of guts to just head off and take a chance outside. While I am studying in a local university, I hope that someday, I can find employment opportunities elsewhere and see things other than this place that I grew up in. Shun's struggle with his studies, though at the beginning was for all the wrong reasons, towards the end, when the other four said that he is their hope to break out of the shell that they live it. I can comprehend the fact that perhaps there is an underlying seriousness to the plot after all.

Of course, this movie, above all, is about friendship. Highschool could be a lot of fun. It is the time when you are almost independent yet you still have a bit of immaturity - enough to play stupid pranks and do silly things just for the heck of it. I had that period of time. Now, I barely see my friends regardless of whether they are here or not. It is life. The five of them, they went on a lot of adventures together, their trips to Harajuku, sinking ships, watching porn together. They stuck by each other through hard times. It is very sweet. And then Takuma left. People leave to find their place on earth. Life goes on. You go on and search for your place on earth. And if you have watched the second movie, you realize that some of them found their place... xD But that can wait...

The comedy in the movie is amazingly outrageous, crazy and above all, hilarious. From the meaningless things they did at Harajuku to their absurd resolutions of having girls swim topless in the pool to their bare asses which they flashed at the people on the boat. Well, Japanese cinema had always had a bizarre edge to them, this is not the weirdest I have seen.

Now... I am taking time off as the regular movie-watcher and transform into the Arashi fangirl. Pardon me. I know they are trying to make them look like your average, not so hot highschool boys. But what the fuck did they do with Aiba Masaki? Aiba has delicate features. Features that if you don't handle them well, can be a total trainwreck. But Aiba Masaki (to me) at his best, outshines even MatsuJun. But that is just me. But his acting is totally fake and it is so bad, it is non-laughable. Now when someone asks why Aiba is not in a drama/movie, shove this into their mouth. I haven't seen one of his plays so I cannot comment on how far he's grown. But in "Kiiroi Namida"... he has clearly made progress.

Ohno's Haru... is the one that is extremely odd. I don't get him. I don't get his character. Perhaps he's just a bit slow or something. But he is very adorable. Haru is just like Ohno, except dumb and even more spaced out. He, like Chu, is not the one in the spotlight in this movie but in the second installment, Haru will play a bigger role while Shun moves to the backseat.

Jun's character is a total gem. From his hilarious exclamations of "Jesus" to him calling really ugly broads "kawaii" to him being 'excited' even as the porn video showed a buffed man. His wide grin was something that was absent for a long time until recent years. And he was smiling for the most part of this movie. His combover (that is not attempted to cover any bald spots) suited him so well, no words can explain it. xD His costume of endless polo shirts and vests was perfect for his suburban rich-boy character.

Sho's Chu was probably the one with the biggest transformation. A fulltime yankee with that typical yankee hairstyle and he also sported a scar near his right eye. The way he speaks. It is not the best acting, but it sure is entertaining. But I feel that his character lacks a storyline. He's a yankee who dropped out of school. That is about all.

Takuma as portrayed by Nino is probably the character that bears the most similarities to the actor. Takuma is the leader and I always thought that Nino is the shadow leader of Arashi in the sense that when Nino speaks, it matters. Numerous times I have seen Nino asking another member to eat yucky food or perform a task and the members would just proceed with barely any protests. Takuma is Nino, only a bit more angry, a bit less gay and very poor.

Overall, it is good entertainment. I won't rave about how good the movie is, but it is a very entertaining one. Odd, funny, but it comes with its own heartfelt moments and something to convey. If I have to guess... it would be youthful insanity and friendship.

That's my second review of the movie. The first one didn't do it justice. So I spent the entire night rewatching and typing this. Ah... the feeling of accomplishment.

Reitings: 4/5 (Because I am biased...)
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3 Farted :: [Movie] PikaNchi Life is Hard Dakedo Happy

  1. where the FUCK can i watch this movie for free?? i dont wanna download it, just watch it ONE FUCKING SIMPLE TIME, SORRY FOR MY BAD LANGUAGE, BUT I'VE LITTERALLY SEARCHED FOR THIS FUCKING VIDEO EVERYDAY IN 2 MONTHS, AND ITS LIKE IT DOSNT EXIST. i cant pay for it, i just want to watch it one time please help me, i know i speak for other arashi fans too. HELP US!!!!

  2. I only know where to download it, anonymous. Sorry... :3

  3. nice review ~
    nee... i downloaded the movie, bu there seems to be a part missing x3 do you know where can i donwload the whole thing!?
    i'm dying to know how it ends XD

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