Tuesday, October 14, 2014

This looks fun (and more suggestions): Roppongi Hills Halloween parade

Roppongi Hills Halloween parade

I've never been to the Roppongi Hills Halloween parade, but I'm in favor of most Halloween-related events, especially ones that call for participants to dress in costumes (this year it's "famous movie characters," certainly a fun choice).  There's another Halloween parade in Kawasaki, as wellUniversal Studios Japan in Osaka has "Halloween Horror Nights," which started back in September and runs until November 9th this year.  With the addition of "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter," this would be a fun Halloween destination.  Tokyo Disneyland's Halloween celebration actually ends on October 31st, but you can still enjoy the Haunted Mansion's "Holiday Nightmare" until January 4th, 2015.  These are not free like the two parades, though, so watch out!

Last year, we visited Hamamatsu Flower Park's Halloween display.  Seasonal pumpkins and scarecrows and a fun photo opportunity complete with costume elements provided some gentle afternoon fun on a very sunny, cool day.  That's always an option if you're in the area and in need of some budget-friendly Halloween entertainment.  Assuming they do it again this year.  And why wouldn't they?

If you want an even cheaper alternative, you can always eat Halloween candy and chill out with some spooky Japanese horror flicks.  Many candy companies have seasonal bags to get you in the mood.  Here are some recommendations:

1) Battle Royale.  The all-time coolest Japanese cult flick.  A junior high class find themselves trapped on an island with no way off for anyone... except for the lone survivor.  Turns out the government has chosen them to participate in the yearly "Battle Royale" event where armed kids kill each other off until only one remains.  Gross-out violence, a hard-working cast and some knock-out sequences make up for some of the plot holes and the central premise's ridiculousness.

2) Uzumaki.  Director Higuchinsky adapts Junji Ito's disgustingly fun, Lovecraftian manga into a silly romp.  The story involves a coastal town plagued by spirals.  Enjoy a dish of escargot while you watch for maximum impact!

3) The Happiness of the Katakuris.  Takashi Miike is at it again, this time with a sickly hilarious flick about a luckless family trying to run a bed and breakfast.  Their guests have the bad habit of dying on them, which leads to complications and singing and dancing.

4) Ju-On.  The original TV drama version, with several inter-connected segments.  Chiaki Kuriyama of Battle Royale appears in the third one.  This is part of the Ju-on franchise, which gave the world Sadako.  You know Sadako, right?  Long black hair in her face, white dress, tendency to climb out of televisions?

5) Tomie:  Unlimited.  The most recent in the nine-film (so far) Tomie series, adapted from Junji Ito's manga about a girl who is so beautiful she drives her lovers to madness and murder.  But every bit of Tomie can grow into a complete Tomie.  The Tomie stories share a loose continuity, with the tale of Tsukiko, an unscrupulous member of a high school photography club, as the protagonist of the most cohesive narrative.  As with the first  theatrical Tomie, that story serves as a starting point for the movie's plot.  I haven't seen it yet, but I'm planning to.

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