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Initiation Love - Film Review (Japanese Film Festival 2015)

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by Mon's Adventure (subscribe)
Documenting roadtrip adventures and foodie outings. See more at monsadventure.com!
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As part of the Japanese Film Festival, I went off to see Initiation Love - one of the more typical romance/drama films.

The film features some big drawcards for fans of Japanese pop culture. The lead male actor is Shota Matsuda, known as a character from the popular Japanese series Hana Yori Dango.

Meanwhile, the lead female actress, Atsuko Maeda, was part of the large pop group AKB48.

Initiation Love
Initiation Love poster


Despite being released in 2015, the film has an old-school feel with most of it set in the 80's. The fashion and the music will have you feeling like you've been transported back into the hippy era of Japan.

The overarching story has all the elements of your typical romance story, a first love, a dorky guy and pretty girl. But certain moments will remind you this is a Japanese film, like certain effects and reactions that are almost cartoon-like.

Initiation Love
A familiar romance storyline


Sometimes you really need to be in the right mindset or a fan of Japanese pop culture to "get" some of the humour.

If you want to watch a film at the festival, but you feel like the wacky, manga story lines won't cut it for you, this may be one of the closest to your typical love story.



One thing I will reveal is that it does have a twist somewhere, that not many people saw coming.

If you want to see more films at the festival, drop by the festival website or Hoyts/ACMI to pick up a program!

japanese film festival
Pick up a program at participating venues!


Why not also make it into a whole night of Japanese culture? We dropped by the sushi train at Melbourne Central for a quick serve of sushi and the next film I'm going to see will be preceded by slurping a bowl of ramen.

i.ne sushi train
i.ne sushi train


Don't miss out - there's only one more screening of Initiation Love and the entire festival finishes on December 6th!
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Why? To experience the quirky side of Japanese film
When: December 3rd, 6.30pm
Where: Hoyts Melbourne Central
Cost: $18.50 adults, $15.50 concession
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