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  • Congratulations to Oguri Saori for her successful opening of “Darling wa Gaikokujin” movie

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on April 11th, 2010

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    Hi Blog.  Just a word of congratulations on apparently one of the more important intercultural events of the year — the successful movie release of Oguri Saori’s hit manga series “Darling wa Gaikokujin” (My Darling is a Foreigner).

    Officially released yesterday with balloons and girly frills, the movie is feted to make a splash with all the Japanese women jonesing to date foreign men (even though about three-quarters of all J-NJ marriages are J men to NJ women).

    Good for Saori.  I’ve known her for years (even stayed at the couple’s apartment for many days back in the ‘Nineties), and know her to be a person of great talent.

    Here are some photos from the grand opening party, courtesy of MS:




    And here are some links to what kind of person the series’ mascot actually is, scrubbing away the past by deleting historical archives while trying to launch a lawsuit to silence book JAPANESE ONLY.

    What a Darling.


    9 Responses to “Congratulations to Oguri Saori for her successful opening of “Darling wa Gaikokujin” movie”

    1. Level3 Says:

      If you must see it in the theater, do it quick.
      Got dragged to this on Saturday with the GF. There were only 4 other people in the entire theater, in a major suburban shopping mall.

      We figured there wasn’t much of an audience for this. It’s a “bad date movie”. What Japanese guy wants to take his girl only to be by upstaged by the stereotypical dream gaijin who, yes, DOES stop to smell the flowers (literally), oh, and is probably a male model. And what Japanese girl would want to put their man in a position to be so upstaged?

      Wish they had focused more on the quirks of international relationships and things in the manga rather than shoehorning in the standard intro–>awkward beginning–> happiness, complete with montage —> conflict –> many, many, many scenes of moping and staring out at the ocean –> resolution–> more montages –> happy ending. Yawn.

    2. Allen Says:

      Dang…some negative comments:

      “bobcatfish at 10:51 AM JST – 11th April

      I was also born in gaikoku-land and have a japanese wife. i find this all rather pathetic and somewhat insulting.”

      “LostinNagoya at 10:58 AM JST – 11th April

      What really catches the eyes…is that it’s so fake, so unnatural it becomes laughable…”

      “my2sense at 09:19 AM JST – 11th April

      I bet if I pulled these two apart and had a serious chat with them they would say… “Yes I confess… I milk it for all its worth….and yes they pay me” Wish my marriage was as good as theirs and guess that makes me jealous. Its all pink hearts and fairytales on the screen.”

      Well, I think its good. -_-

      — Need a link for the comments.

    3. Allen Says:

      Oh, sorry. The comments are in one of the sites you posted.

    4. Iago Says:

      Negative comments on Japan Today? Say it ain’t so.

    5. Jerry Says:

      […] I wouldn’t be surprised at all if it’s a horrible movie – but I doubt the Laszlos had anything to do with it other than selling the movie rights and making their contractual PR appearances. Good for them.

    6. Mark in Yayoi Says:

      I saw this movie at a pre-release screening. Debito, I know you and Tony don’t get along as well as you could, but that aside, I think this movie does a lot to promote many of the ideas and goals mentioned time and again here on

      Here’s an example of a foreign person who’s intelligent, considerate, honest, and (importantly) speaks Japanese very well. Think of how often foreign people are stereotyped by the media and government as being the exact opposite of all those things! We want to see NJ accepted into Japanese society to a greater extent, don’t we?

      In an early scene where a salaryman is unable to comprehend Tony’s good-enough Japanese just because his face looks “wrong”, the audience laughed — they might not have ever considered such incidents before, but maybe we foreign-looking guys just might be able to speak Japanese to strangers now without facing their befuddlement!

      Tony’s character is presented as a great partner for Saori and the audience is supposed to like him and sympathize with him; contrast this with his playboy friend (was that Patrick “Pakkun” Harlan?) who’s portrayed as a disreputable buffoon. “We” are meant to be on the side of the upstanding-citizen good guy.

      Level3, I don’t think a Japanese guy watching the movie with his date will feel upstaged any more than a typical Japanese woman might be envious of Mao Inoue’s youth and beauty.

      It was a fun movie. My “darling” and I found each other, starting with Tony trying to get directions in Japanese from the salaryman, looking at each other seemingly every few minutes thinking, “yes, that’s exactly what happens!”

      Now if only they hadn’t cut that scene where Tony is innocently riding his bicycle to Saori’s house, only to arrive late (and in a bad mood) because he was falsely accused of thievery by the nefarious koban cops. The audience needed to see that! ^_^;

      (OK, that scene doesn’t actually exist. But it should have!)

      Everybody I know who’s seen this movie likes it. Hopefully in the future the real Tony will lay off the lawsuits and let his film character continue being a good cultural ambassador.

      — Again, to repeat, I have nothing against Saori’s success or her creation, as I think her message is positive and constructive. Bravo for her.

      I have a lot against the person from whom the creation has been fictionalized. He is NOT on our side in this fight, and does not support internationalization, or the maintenance of the history behind it, except when it works towards his own personal gain. He will threaten people with legal action to suppress them and the record they maintain. More of that record catalogued in JAPANESE ONLY. People who try to erase our history deserve exposure and censure for it.

    7. Joe Says:

      Don’t know of a Japanese source for this information, but “Darling wa Gaikokujin”debuted as the #3 movie in Japan in it’s first week of release, and was #7 last week, having grossed $3,359,173 in two weeks time. It did about as well as the new Crayon Shin-Chan movie, despite being shown on only 250 screens compared to Shin-Chan’s 325.

      Alice in Wonderland was the winner for the week, no surprise given that it is being shown on about twice as many screens as anything else.

    8. holmes Says:

      On reflection, perhaps we are all too cynical here; I predicted the movie was so lame it would tank but it is doing well.
      I cringe and look the other way everytime it comes on the TV on the train, but although faintly patronizing and culturally insensitive-which is what I ve come to expect from life in Japan-it is fairly harmless and perhaps does more good than harm for the cause of gaikokujin.

      It would be interesting to see what demographic is going to see it; I cannot imagine it is a date movie, but who knows.

    9. Joe Says:

      Perhaps the demographic is simply the people who have purchased and enjoyed the manga?

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