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#1
Feb 18, 2010 1:56 PM

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A perfect topic to start things off. Quite simply, what are your favourite Japanese films?

I'm a huge fan of both Takeshi Kitano and Satoshi Kon and am in love with almost all of their films. My favourite from Kitano is Kikujiro, followed by Hana-bi. My favourite from Kon is Millennium Actress, which is also probably favourite animated film. Tokyo Godfathers has also become a bit of a tradition for me around Christmas time.

I also adore Kurosawa films, my favourites of his being Seven Samurai and Ran. A few other of my favourites include All About Lily Chou-Chou, Confessions, Twilight Samurai, Tokyo Sonata, Hana and Alice, The Man Who Stole the Sun, The Bird People in China and Ping Pong, the last of which was probably the first Japanese film I fell in love with.

What about you?
Modified by Touka, Jul 20, 2011 5:07 AM
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#2
Feb 19, 2010 5:16 PM

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I'm a big fan of Yasujiro Ozu films mainly, but I also love the films of Akira Kurosawa, Kenji Mizoguchi, Mikio Naruse, Sadao Yamanaka, and to a lesser extent Hirokazu Koreeda, Shohei Imamura, Isao Takahata and Hayao Miyazaki. When it comes to Ozu however, nearly every one of his films is a quiet masterpiece. Before I was exposed to his work, I never realized the amount of beauty there was in the simple, ordinary lives of everyday people. It was a real eye opening realization for me, and something I advice anyone interesting in Japanese film to find out for themselves.

That being said however, my favorite Japanese film would probably be Seven Samurai. A powerful statement on humanity and social roles, fantastic chracterization and 3 1/2 hours of engaging storyline culminating in the greatest battle ever seen on the screen. It's marvelous and endlessly entertaining.
 
#3
Feb 20, 2010 9:20 AM

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I've only seen one of Ozu's films, that being Tokyo Story, which was unforgettable. I was completely taken by how the film was shot; the use of low angles and how the camera remained almost completely static, yet the shots captured everything perfectly. I'd like to see more of Ozu's films, but the DVDs are either very expensive or too hard to come by.

Completely agree with you about Seven Samurai by the way. You wouldn't expect a three and a half hour black and white Japanese film to be so captivating, yet every second is just that. Plus the final battle is a great testament to how stunning an action sequence can be with a little elbow grease instead of special effects. If I had to choose an all time favourite Japanese film, I would also pick Seven Samurai.
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#4
Feb 24, 2010 3:59 AM

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There's a few Ozu films secretly uploaded on YouTube if you don't mind watching them in 10 minute sections. I found Equinox Flower, Early Spring, Tokyo Twilight, Late Autumn, both the silent and the color version of Floating Weeds, The End of Summer and Record of a Tenement Gentleman-- all of which are very solid films. Ozu's consistency was amazing, but it's too bad Late Spring isn't on there, I think that's his best work.
Modified by Mahlerite, Feb 24, 2010 4:07 AM
 
#5
Feb 25, 2010 2:36 PM

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I might just watch them on YouTube then. Usually I'd refuse to watch a movie on YouTube for qualities sake but these films were made in the 40s/50s so it shouldn't matter too much. :P
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#6
Feb 27, 2010 3:16 PM

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I'm a fan of Studio Ghibli and I have watched some other films but my favorite is Princess Mononoke.
 
#7
Feb 27, 2010 5:17 PM

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I never really got the deal with Princess Mononoke. I liked it, but didn't think it was anywhere near as good as some of Miyazaki's other films, mainly Spirited Away and Ponyo. To each his own, however.

I just took a quick peek at your list but can't see Sword of the Stranger, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time or Millennium Actress on there. I'd recommend looking into them. Essential viewing.
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#8
Feb 28, 2010 12:03 AM

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I think Princess Mononoke would be in Miyazaki's top 3 or 4 films, along with some of his early works. But when it comes to Ghibli, I usually side with Takahata being superior to his more famous colleague. Only Yesterday is probably my favorite animated film ever, even if you throw Disneys stuff into the mix.
 
#9
Feb 28, 2010 1:54 AM

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Touka said:
I just took a quick peek at your list but can't see Sword of the Stranger, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time or Millennium Actress on there. I'd recommend looking into them. Essential viewing.
I have seen the Sword of the Stranger I just forgot to add it to the completed list ,the other two I'm planing to watch them soon.
 
Feb 28, 2010 5:22 AM

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I'd say Miyazaki's top four films would be Spirited Away, My Neighbour Totoro, Nausicaa and Ponyo. Could someone briefly explain why Princess Mononoke is regarded as one of his best? Also, what do you guys think of Howl's Moving Castle? That too was nominated for an Oscar, and it has quite an overwhelming score on both IMDb and on here. I personally enjoyed it but felt it was a little rough around the edges. Far from Miyazaki's best.
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Feb 28, 2010 10:57 AM

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Hmm since I suck at explaining things I would say that everyone has his own sense of good and bad regarding an anime or a movie ,So I liked princess mononoke because of the story and maybe because it's the first anime I bought.The thing regarding Howl's Moving Castle I don't think it's bad it's actually good as the rest of Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli movies.
 
Feb 28, 2010 11:06 AM

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But the story is a little lopsided, no?
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Mar 1, 2010 3:54 AM

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I don't know.
 
Mar 1, 2010 10:50 AM

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In terms of live action japanese films i guess i'm not too familiar in that area of cinema, but i do have to say that Ping Pong id one of the most interesting and humourous films i've seen a long time, i still long to own it. When it comes to favourite anime film i guess i dont have one, Sword of the Stranger, The Girl Who Left Through Time and Paprika would be my first picks also along with Spirited Away and Ponyo.
 
Mar 1, 2010 11:05 AM

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You would pick Paprika out of all of Satoshi Kon's films? Thats interesting. Paprika was definitely a visual feast with quite an intricate story. I'd personally say Millennium Actress is my favourite of his though. It was the first film of his I saw and it was done in such an interesting way I instantly fell in love with it. I'd also probably put Tokyo Godfathers before Paprika simply because of how enjoyable it is. I'll never get bored of that film.

Also, while we're on the topic of Satoshi Kon... I love how he incorporates elements of filmmaking into a lot of his films and often disaplays his obsession with the art on screen. Perfect Blue focuses on an actress and a film production, Millennium Actress also focuses on an actress and Satoshi Kon explains her life through the films she made and in Paprika the main character is a film enthusiast and a little bit of a filmmaker himself. Good stuff! :D
Like Japanese films? Swing by the Cinema of Japan club! ( ´ ▽ ` )ノ
 
Mar 3, 2010 10:26 AM

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That is incredible, small yet key aspects of film that linke Satohi Kon's films together and i feel they give you some insight into the mind of the creator.
 
Mar 3, 2010 11:49 AM

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Well the man himself did say the following...

"To create Paranoia Agent, Tokyo Godfathers was necessary, and for Tokyo Godfathers to be born there needed to be a Millennium Actress before it. I don't take the works as separate pieces."

There is a lot more than just references to Kon's love for filmmaking that link the films, though. For one they all blur the line between realism and fantasy and he does have a frequent soundtrack collaborator. All of his character designs aren't so different either.
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Mar 9, 2010 10:10 AM

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Wow, that is amazing,Satoshi Kon is a man who is very very interesting, i'd love to meet the guy and discuss many things like his views on life and if there's anything specifically that inspires his work.
 
Apr 5, 2010 6:52 AM
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Hi!
I joined the club just few seconds ago.
The Japanese horros are cool, like Grudge, and the Ring.
 
Apr 6, 2010 8:07 PM

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the only live acted Japanese movie ive seen was Iga Ninpocho... and it kicked so much ass!
 
Apr 15, 2010 9:21 AM

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CityLights pretty much named all the basics: I love Ozu, Kurosawa, Mizoguchi, Imamura, etc. as well as Seijun Suzuki (Youth of the Beast, Fighting Elegy, many others), Hiroshi Teshigahara (Woman in the Dunes, The Face of Another), Kihachi Okamoto (Sword of Doom!), Kinji Fukasaku (Yakuza Papers, Battle Royale), Takeshi Kitano (Hana-bi), and some of the newer directors like Shinya Tsukamoto (Tetsuo), Takashi Miike (though I'm really selective about which of his movies I like — Audition, Visitor Q, etc.), Kiyoshi Kurosawa (Cure, Pulse), Sion Sono (Suicide Circle), etc. I'm also into older Japanese horror and pinkie violence like House, School of the Holy Beast, Lady Snowblood, etc.

Not to mention Miyazaki, Takahata, Oshii, etc.
 
Apr 23, 2010 10:13 AM

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Right now, since I havent watched too much, it's All About Lily Chou-Chou.
But want to see as much as I'm capable of XD.
 
Apr 25, 2010 7:31 AM

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Oh wow, I totally forgot about All About Lily Chou-Chou. I've wanted to see it for years ever since Jonathan Ross talked about it in his Asian Invasion programme. Curse it being so expensive on Amazon!
Like Japanese films? Swing by the Cinema of Japan club! ( ´ ▽ ` )ノ
 
Apr 28, 2010 7:44 AM

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Yep! Too bad I only have the dvix rip, but is sooo damn worth it.
 
Apr 29, 2010 10:28 AM
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Kids Return is my favourite atm.

Other good ones is;

Blue Spring
All about lily chou chou
Love Exposure(epic :D)
Go
Madness in Bloom
Tokyo Sonata
 
Apr 29, 2010 3:23 PM

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Kid's Return is quite an interesting choice.

Blue Spring is another film I've wanted to see for ages after reading the manga. Hoping it's in the same vein as Ping Pong, since they're both adaptations of manga from the same author.
Like Japanese films? Swing by the Cinema of Japan club! ( ´ ▽ ` )ノ
 
Apr 29, 2010 5:15 PM
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Touka said:
Kid's Return is quite an interesting choice.

Blue Spring is another film I've wanted to see for ages after reading the manga. Hoping it's in the same vein as Ping Pong, since they're both adaptations of manga from the same author.


Yeah, I really really liked it. Rewatched alot of scenes hours after having seen it and the rewatching continued for few days.
Blue Spring <3.
Modified by TakeshiKitano, Jun 6, 2012 5:19 PM
 
May 1, 2010 9:01 AM
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Film?? does "Icchi" consider as it?
http://www.ichithemovie.co.uk/
 
Jun 7, 2010 5:38 AM

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Rashomon

One of my favorite all time movies.
Really loved the view into human psychology and symbolism.
Also the some melancholic scenes :)
No sig :(
 
Jun 21, 2010 3:19 AM

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Reckful said:
The soundtrack is really sick too!

Yeah, the soundtrack is wonderful. It's a real shame Joe Hisaishi doesn't collaborate with Kitano anymore.



Thats what its all about.
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Jun 25, 2010 3:08 PM

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Love Exposure
and my favorite anime film is Kara no Kyoukai~The Garden of Sinners~A Study in Murder(Part2)~...not nothing heart
 
Jun 27, 2010 4:37 AM

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BLeakXBuRSTX19 said:
Love Exposure


Gahh, I kept meaning to try and get hold of that. It was on at a film festival that I went to but I never got a chance to see it.
Not watched any Japanese films for a while, but I absolutely adore Seven Samurai.
I'm a huge Beat Takeshi fan. I couldn't tell you what my favourite Kitano film is, but Hana-bi is probably one of them. I'm sure that was one that had a lot of Kitano's artwork in it? I can't remember, hahaha.
I absolutely adore the movie Sakuran One of the first DVDs I imported from Japan x3
頭脳は子供、見た目は大人! ƪ(˘⌣˘)ʃ
 
Jun 27, 2010 5:50 AM

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Yeah, it was Hana-bi that featured his artwork and rather masterfully so. This scene was mesmerizingly beautiful. Kikujiro also featured some of his artwork.
Modified by Touka, Jun 27, 2010 5:55 AM
Like Japanese films? Swing by the Cinema of Japan club! ( ´ ▽ ` )ノ
 
Jul 2, 2010 10:22 AM

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I remember dubbing that scene FloraXFauna when I watched it. It's brilliant. I especially love the penguins.
I can't believe I forgot about Kikujirou. That's one of my favourite Office Kitano films (not that there are any that I dislike)

I remember watching a Japanese film on TV about a group who go on a coach trip, all with the intention of commiting suicide. I cannot for the life of me remember the name of the film, but I enjoyed it a lot. Any idea what it may be?
頭脳は子供、見た目は大人! ƪ(˘⌣˘)ʃ
 
Jul 19, 2010 3:20 PM

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Pheefa said:

I remember watching a Japanese film on TV about a group who go on a coach trip, all with the intention of commiting suicide. I cannot for the life of me remember the name of the film, but I enjoyed it a lot. Any idea what it may be?


That's probably Ikinai.
 
Jul 21, 2010 12:39 AM

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Top 10 would probably be:

Strawberry Shortcakes
Vacation
Tokyo Sonata
Departures
Aruitemo, Aruitemo
Blue Spring
Linda Linda Linda
Hanging Garden
Kaza-hana
Hana and Alice

Surprisingly, I noticed those are all post-2000. That's not the case with my favorite non-Japanese films. Huh.
 
Jul 21, 2010 1:11 PM

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Too many ... but on first place Shichinin no samurai and other Kurosawa movies: Ran, Akahige, Nora inu.

 
Jul 22, 2010 7:00 PM

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I've been growing more fond of High and Low lately, a slightly overlooked film in the Kurosawa oeuvre I think. Gotta be right up there with Rashomon and Ikiru for me.
 
Jul 31, 2010 3:02 AM
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Touka said:
Also, what do you guys think of Howl's Moving Castle? That too was nominated for an Oscar, and it has quite an overwhelming score on both IMDb and on here. I personally enjoyed it but felt it was a little rough around the edges. Far from Miyazaki's best.


Upon repeated viewings (of which I only do for films I thoroughly enjoyed, though it often results in me thinking less of them), Howl's Moving Castle has actually held up quite well. I'd almost go so far as to call it my favorite, but I've yet to see the rest of his collection aside from Spirited Away and Ponyo more than once.

As for my favorite Japanese film, I'd have to say The Girl Who Leapt Through Time is just fantastic, even on repeated viewings (which means a lot coming from me).

In the live-action arena I was also impressed by the first two Death Note films and I did enjoy Returner, though perhaps not because of the plot.
 
Oct 2, 2010 8:25 PM

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I'd have to say Kamikaze Girls. It was hilarious, yet serious at the same time.
(゚∀゚)
 
Oct 5, 2010 1:49 AM

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In terms of Japanese movies, I say my favorite Anime movies are Sword of the Stranger, Spirited Away and The Girl Who Leapt Through Time.

As for Live Action, I've only seen Battle Royale but I did like it so as of now its my favorite Live Action Japanese movie.
 
Oct 12, 2010 9:52 PM

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Just joined this club~ I tend to only watch more recent japanese films though.

But I'll try to limit myself. My favorite japanese films are Heavenly Forest, Waterboys, and Tenshi no Koi. I also like Hula Girls, Dear Doctor, The Magic Hour, and others.... :P

Of course, Cyborg She is another great japanese film, but falls short in comparison to the director's korean films (Classic, Windstruck, My sassy girl...)
 
Oct 20, 2010 9:50 AM
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my top 30 (no anime included)

30. Funeral Parade of Roses
29. Woman in the Dunes
28. The Life of Oharu
27. The Burmese Harp
26. Remembrance
25. Fireworks
24. The Story of the Late Chrysanthemums
23. Tokyo Story
22. To Live
21. The Crucified Lovers
20. There Was a Father
19. All About Lily Chou-Chou
18. Rashomon
17. The Bird People in China
16. Red Beard
15. Ugetsu
14. Throw Away Your Books, Rally in the Streets
13. Blessing Bell
12. Ritual
11. Eureka
10. Harakiri
9. Ballad of Narayama (Kinoshita's film, not Imamura's)
8. Nanami: The Inferno of First Love
7. A Page of Madness
6. The Taste of Tea
5. Sansho the Bailiff
4. Sleeping Man
3. Grass Labyrinth
2. House
1. Pastoral: To Die in the Country
 
Oct 20, 2010 6:01 PM

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That's a terrific list, chumlum. I have probably heard of half of those films, but the other half I'm adding to my queue. Thanks.
 
Oct 21, 2010 5:46 AM

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Yes, quite a stunning list! I was a bit hesitant about watching Eureka but think I'll give it the priority now after having seen you rate it so high.

Also, welcome katsup! Lovely to see more fans of Waterboys! :D
Like Japanese films? Swing by the Cinema of Japan club! ( ´ ▽ ` )ノ
 
Oct 21, 2010 7:02 AM
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eureka felt more like 1 and a half hour actually! if you're a fan of noise rock you should see My God, My God, Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me? which is by the same director
 
Nov 14, 2010 7:40 AM

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i love most of the movies i've seen directed by Takashi Miike: Audition, Ichi the Killer , Gozu, Visitor Q, Crows 0 part 1 and 2, Dead or Alive , Fudoh, segment Box from "Three extremes" , Imprint (still have to see the bird people in china..it's next on my to see list )
Ran and Seven Samurai by Kurosawa ( still have a lot of his movies to see)
Tetsuo:the Iron Man
Survive Style 5+
Battle Royale
The tale of Zatoichi (1962)
Twilight Samurai

as for my favourite animated movies: The Girl Who Leapt Through Time and Ninja Scroll

i'm still a noob when it comes to Japanese cinema..and hopefully in the future i'll add more titles to this list..sooo many movies to see
 
Nov 22, 2010 7:11 AM
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Late joining in on the group but lots of good stuff has been mentioned! Departures I just watched about a month ago. I loved it, was really struck by its quiet beauty.

I won't bother salivating over the old masters like Kurosawa, Ozu, etc etc, since I can't say anything that hasn't been said. I will add Mikio Naruse to the list, if he hasn't been already. "Sound of the Mountain," based off the absolutely amazing novel by Yasunari Kawabata, is really good. I think you can only get it in a Masters of Cinema boxset with three of his other films but I'd be willing to bet that Criterion will release it one of these days.

Also, to the person who mentioned Ichi, hell yeah it counts! Good movie. I've only seen the first four original Zatoichi films on Hulu though. I watch them whenever I have a lazy Sunday. They're really good films with some great lines in them. One that stands out from I think the third film is, "It's time I started regretting things." Beautiful sentiment. I'm rambling.
 
Dec 21, 2010 2:51 PM
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evanc88 said:
"Sound of the Mountain," based off the absolutely amazing novel by Yasunari Kawabata, is really good.


I love this movie. I also love Repast, by Naruse also.

A fantastic Japanese film I've seen since I posted my list is "Silence has no Wings"

One of the more obscure titles from the Japanese New Wave, and I highly recommend it.
 
Jan 17, 2011 10:29 PM

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I've always had trouble watching pre-1995 films, which was when I started watching movies a lot... All my favorites are in the 2000s.

Ima, Ai ni Yukimasu (Be With You)
Shinkokyuu no Hitsuyou (Breathe In, Breathe Out)
Dolls
Tada, Kimi wo Aishiteru (Heavenly Forest)
Jyuusannin no Shikaku (13 Assassins)
Tenten
Unmei ja nai Hito (A Stranger of Mine)
Ping Pong
Kokuhaku (Confessions)
Departures
Aoi Tori (The Blue Bird)
Quiet Room e Youkoso (Welcome to the Quiet Room)
 
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