Haven’t watched the movie yet? Check out my blog post with a brief synopsis and link to stream and purchase online!
Sunny is one of the very few pieces of entertainment that I think truly gets Gyaru right. From the use of obvious props in the 90’s like the shopper bags, the exact brands, the old EGG magazines all the way to the more subtle ones like the hibiscus earrings, ALBA-inspired clothing and Amura style in certain scenes all the way to the lifestyle (both good and bad); The best parts are the characteristics giving a hats-off to ANGELEEK and EGG. The music is a salute overall to the music that paved the way for Eurobeat’s popularity in later years, especially the fact that Namie Amuro’s songs were introduced in the movie both in the past and present segments was pretty much perfect.
The contrast in lifestyle between 1999 and 2018 where the movie takes place is an eye-opener for anyone that didn’t actually see Gyaru develop in person. You read about it, but going off of the sole example of a forum I translated a few thoughts of from veteran Gyaru, it isn’t until you watch the movie that you begin to truly understand these former Gyaru’s feelings. The most depressing part of this contrast is seeing the effect that the SNS trend has on current youth (i.e. glued to the phones instead of having fun like veteran Gyaru did back in the 90’s), which is something two of the characters briefly touch on while visiting a McDonald’s(?) in their present life. The movie also touches on dark subjects like drugs, alcohol, prostitution at young ages which was really common within the scene.
The movie in its entirety, though it touches on dark topics including one of the main character’s predicament, is still light and manages to keep things fun and entertaining to a certain extent. When you’re watching the movie, it kind of feels like you’re in the passenger seat and a part of the movie though that may differ depending on how immersed in Gyau culture you are (knowledge-wise if that makes sense).
On a personal level, I laughed, I smiled, I literally cried. I was angry when the younger main character gets betrayed accidentally, I was incredulous at the ending until the last few minutes, I cried the moment shit hit the fan, so to speak, etc. I resonated greatly with the leader of this group of friends Serika (played by Yuka Itaya and Maika Yamamoto) down to the very prediction she had of her older self: successful, business owner, headstrong personality, therefore never married and no kids. Talk about hitting the nail on the head! 😩
Despite whoever you relate to personally like I did, every character young and old has a certain uniqueness about them that grabs at you and demands your attention and understanding. Towards the end, even if it sneaks up on you, you feel like you saw a home movie. You begin to wonder if maybe Nana resents the group, if Yuko gets better, if Serika pulls through. You’re left asking yourself so many questions along the way, some answered during the plot of the movie, others at the ending, and the rest left for you to decide. Even if a certain character resonates with you, the impact that the entire cast has makes it impossible not to care about the rest of them and feel for them when they succeed and/or fail.
Have you seen the movie yet? If not, what are you waiting for?! Let me know via Instagram or this post what your thoughts on the movie are or if you made a review. I’d love to see others’ perspectives on it!