I really enjoyed the live-action “Great Teacher Onizuka”, so when I found out that Takashi Sorimachi, Onizuka-sensei’s actor had been in a big budget movie in 2005, I had to track it down.
That movie – “Otokotachi no Yamato”, which I usually see translated as “Men of the Yamato” even if my mind is screaming at me that that’s backwards – wound up sitting on our DVD rack for a few months before it finally found its way into the DVD player last night.
Historical fact: The “Yamato” was a really big Japanese battleship that we Americans sunk near the end of WWII, killing a few thousand sailors. Granted, at the time they were doing their level best to kill us, too, and really, it’s been 60 years so can we let bygones be bygones?
This movie is pretty brutal in portraying the war from the viewpoint of the Japanese on the ship – first convinced that America doesn’t have the stomach for a long war, then convinced of victory, then finally succumbing to the knowledge that they’re basically on a suicide run. Couple with scene after scene of fighter planes strafing the decks of the Yamato and it’s a bit difficult to watch – there’s definitely a sense of feeling sorry for the crew of the ship but it’s hard to cheer for them at the same time.
Definitely not light hearted popcorn fare, though Sorimachi is damn cool in it.