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Issue #169 HOME E-mail: mail@dighkmovies.com BACK ISSUES July 21st, 2003

Tomie: Forbidden Fruit
(2002; Daiei)

A Masterpiece
Highly Recommended
Very Good
Marginal Recommendation
Not Recommended
Definitely Not Recommended

Cantonese: Tomie: Saishuu-sho-kindan no kajitsu
Alternate English Title: Tomie: The Final Chapter -- Forbidden Fruit

Tomie Hashimoto (Aoi Miyazaki) is a meek, artistically inclined teenager routinely badgered by her classmates. One day, she meets another girl named Tomie (Nozomi Ando) who is her mirror opposite and also the spitting image of her father's childhood sweetheart. That girl was also named Tomie and his daughter's new friend acts like she actually is the man's old flame, unchanged after 25 years and anxious to pick up where they left off. Mr. Hashimoto (ICHI THE KILLER's Jun Kunimura) quickly falls under the mysterious figure's spell, while she also deeply ingratiates herself with his lonely daughter. Driven to burn all reminders of his deceased wife, Hashimoto's behavior becomes increasingly bizarre, to the point where he seems to be entertaining thoughts of eliminating his daughter. The man eventually becomes aware of just what is happening to him and kills the other Tomie, dumping her dismembered body in a river. However, as anyone familiar with this series knows, Tomie cannot be destroyed and Hashimoto's distraught daughter discovers the creature's still-living head. Hiding away from her increasingly unstable father, the human Tomie decides to care for her monstrous counterpart, while the latter generates a new body. However, the teen soon cannot abide by the being's increasingly bizarre and selfish demands.

The fourth entry in the series (all based on Junji Ito's manga series), Toru Nakahara's TOMIE: FORBIDDEN FRUIT is a strange and darkly comic mood piece with a surprising amount of heart. Aoi Miyazaki and Jun Kunimura are very good as father and daughter, living their lives in a haze of stifled emotions and feelings following the loss of the girl's mother. Even though the audience is very aware of the creature's true nature, Tomie's attraction to it in the opening third is rather touching. The sequences following the being's "demise" are also perversely amusing, particularly when Tomie takes her friend (little more than a talking head at this point) out for a stroll in a baby carriage. The fact that she has merely gone from acquiescing to her bullying "friends" at school to serving this domineering mutation is not lost on Tomie and the film becomes a battle of wills between the two girls, with Hashimoto being driven around the bend fighting his lust for the creature (who orders him to eliminate this "other woman") and the inherent desire to protect his own flesh and blood. As strange as events become, the father and daughter retain an intrinsic humanity and so does the film, preventing it from devolving into the sort of bloody burlesque this outlandish premise would seem to demand.

Cover art courtesy Universe.

Aoi Miyazaki. Image courtesy Universe.

Nozomi Ando. Image courtesy Universe.
Universe #6470 (Hong Kong label)

Dolby Digital 2.0

Post-synced Japanese Language

Optional Subtitles in English and Chinese (Traditional or Simplified)

8 Chapters Illustrated in the Menu With Clips

Enhanced for 16:9 Displays

Letterboxed (1.98:1)

Coded for Region 3 Only

NTSC Format

91 Minutes

Contains moderate violence and horror

DVD menu courtesy Universe.

Hong Kong: IIB

Somewhat overmatted, the image is conceptually drab at times but appears to be accurately transferred. Dialogue is post-synced and sounds unnatural though, overall, the mix imparts the right atmosphere. The English subtitles have plenty of errors but remain preferable to those provided on Universe's release of the original film (reviewed in issue #123a). A small photo gallery, theatrical trailer, and additional trailers for UZUMAKI and KAKASHI (both of which are also based on the work of Junji Ito) are included as supplements.

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