Overall | Weatherwoman, A (Otenki-oneesan) (1996) | Weatherwoman Returns, A (Otenki-oneesan R) (1996)

Weatherwoman Box Set (Otenki-oneesan) (1996)

Weatherwoman Box Set (Otenki-oneesan) (1996)

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Released 8-May-2013

Cover Art

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Overall Package

     A Weatherwoman sets out to be satirical, weird, wacky and erotic but the result is a hodgepodge with masturbation, nudity, girl on girl, a raft of S & M plus some glitzy song and dance numbers. I think the film has not aged well but that may be just me.

     Made as a result of the unexpected cult success of A Weatherwoman, A Weatherwoman Returns has nothing to do with the first film. The plotting, dialogue and acting are poor, the humour crass, the direction and camera work sloppy and the two female leads spend a lot of time naked. A Weatherwoman was hardly high art, but A Weatherwoman Returns killed the franchise stone dead.

     Neither film is technically up to much, with non 16x9 transfers and Dolby Digital 2.0 sound.

     A Weatherwoman and A Weatherwoman Returns are released in a two DVD package by Madman. This is the same package that was released previously but if the films are of interest and you did not buy it previously you now have another chance.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE
Overall | Weatherwoman, A (Otenki-oneesan) (1996) | Weatherwoman Returns, A (Otenki-oneesan R) (1996)

Weatherwoman, A (Otenki-oneesan) (1996)

Weatherwoman, A (Otenki-oneesan) (1996)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 8-May-2013

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
BUY IT

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Trailer-Madman trailers x 3
Rating Rated R
Year Of Production 1996
Running Time 84:58
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Tomoaki Hosoyama
Studio
Distributor

Madman Entertainment
Starring Eisei Amamoto
Kiyomi Ito
Kiyoshi Koga
Kei Mizutani
Hiroshi Ôkôchi
Ren Osugi
Yasuyo Shiroshima
Takashi Sumida
Saori Taira
Ryûji Yamamoto
Case Amaray-Transparent-Dual
RPI ? Music Kunihiro Ida


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
Not 16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     When the usual TV weatherwoman is sick, Keiko (Kei Mizutani) takes over and flashes her panties at the end of the weather report. The station management is aghast, the Chairman supportive and the ratings go through the roof so Keiko gets the job, an executive suite at the station and all her whims met. Her weather reports get more outrageous, her panties more colourful, and her demands more outlandish, such as a line of half-naked men in the station corridor to applaud her after every show. But not everyone is happy with the situation including Michiko (Saori Taira), the previous weatherwoman who wants her old job back, and the Chairman’s daughter Kaori (Yasuyo Shirashima), who returns from Paris with ideas of her own. A conspiracy is put into place to trap and discredit Keiko, but when they succeed Keiko, with a bit of S & M, turns to the weather gods to get even and to get the job back.

     A Weatherwoman (Otenki-oneesan) is based upon the adult manga by Tetsu Adachi. It was written and directed by Tomoaki Hosoyama, who describes himself as the “Japanese John Waters”, whose other films include Lesbian Harem (1987) and A Weatherwoman Returns (1996) so he may have a point. A Weatherwoman sets out to be satirical, weird, wacky and erotic all at once and throws everything at the screen in rapid succession. The result is a hodgepodge. The film does make a point about the cult of personality on TV, and is meant to be funny although much of it comes across as off-colour. For example, A Weatherwoman starts with Keiko masturbating loudly on a rooftop while a man declares his love and devotion for her from the ground, then throws in some female nudity and girl on girl, a raft of S & M scenes with whips and leather gear, some glitzy song and dance numbers and ends with a contest between the two female “weather wizards” launching spells at each other before battling it out with a whip and sword.

     A Weatherwoman has acquired something of a cult reputation. A Weatherwoman started off in 1993 as a straight to video film then, because of success at various film festivals, it received a theatrical release in 1996 which was so profitable that a sequel was made by the same director but with a different actress as Keiko. I am a fan of crazy, off kilter Japanese cinema but to my mind the film has not aged well. What may have been risqué and drawn attention in 1993 is rather tame now so we are left with humour which is forced, and not particularly amusing, while any satire about the cult of instant personality fame is buried amid the S & M, simulated masturbation and occasional nudity. With everything thrown together as it is the tone of the film is very uneven, and just when one bit starts to build up some momentum, such as the surreal and glossy dance production number towards the end, it shifts to become something else entirely.

     The opening title of the film quotes a Japanese saying that, “nonsense comproses (sic) a life with love, fight, songs and orgasm”, which is where the film is obviously heading. But one could add that nonsense in film could still use a coherent tone, a script, and some decent acting. Given the reputation the film has acquired, I was expecting more from A Weatherwoman.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     A Weatherwoman is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, which is probably the original ratio, and is not 16x9 enhanced. It was a direct to video release.

     This is generally a soft print, especially in exteriors where the colours look quite faded. Interiors are better although during the glitzy dance numbers there was some colour bleed, especially the reds. Detail in internal close-ups is good. Skin tones are OK, but contrast does vary, blacks show a fair bit of grey and shadow detail can be indistinct. There is the occasional dirt mark, but nothing serious; otherwise artefacts were absent.

    English subtitles are in an easy to read yellow font and seemed to be timely and mistake free.

     A print that gets by.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     There are two audio choices: a Japanese and an English Dolby Digital 2.0, both 192 Kbps surround encoded.

     The two audio tracks are quite similar, except that the Japanese dialogue seems to be recorded at a lower level compared to the music score. In both tracks the dialogue is audible and centred although the Japanese voice acting was more strident and over the top, which suited the film. The surrounds and rears are used for music and the occasional effect which, not surprisingly, lacked depth. I noticed no subwoofer use.

    Lip synchronisation for the Japanese language was occasionally out; for the English dub it was very approximate.

     The original score by Kunihiko Ida was loud, obvious and occasionally distracting.

     The audio was acceptable.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Madman Trailers

     Trailers for Volcano High (2:02), Versus (2:01) and Infernal Affairs (1:53).

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     The Region 0 US release of A Weather Woman Collection with both films is listed for sale on Amazon.com for $US140! The previous US release of A Weatherwoman has DVD-ROM extras, but does not seem to be available. There is no UK Region 2 release listed at present. Our two disc Region 4 re-release of A Weatherwoman and A Weatherwoman Returns by Madman is the way to go.

Summary

     A Weatherwoman includes an attractive weatherwoman showing off her panties, masturbation, nudity, girl on girl, a raft of S & M plus some glitzy song and dance numbers. The film has become somewhat of a cult favourite; I think the film has not aged well but that may be just me.

     The video is average, the audio acceptable; there are no relevant extras.

     A Weatherwoman and A Weatherwoman Returns are released in a two DVD package by Madman. This is the same package that was released previously but if the films are of interest and you did not buy it previously you now have another chance.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Monday, July 15, 2013
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S580, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE
Overall | Weatherwoman, A (Otenki-oneesan) (1996) | Weatherwoman Returns, A (Otenki-oneesan R) (1996)

Weatherwoman Returns, A (Otenki-oneesan R) (1996)

Weatherwoman Returns, A (Otenki-oneesan R) (1996)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 8-May-2013

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
BUY IT

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Trailer-Madman trailers x 3
Rating Rated R
Year Of Production 1996
Running Time 84:56
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Tomoaki Hosoyama
Studio
Distributor

Madman Entertainment
Starring Misa Aika
Ryoko Kata
Ryo Kurihara
Case Amaray-Transparent-Dual
RPI ? Music Kunihiro Ida


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
Not 16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     Keiko (Misa Aika) is a schoolgirl whose father owns a local TV station with minimal ratings, no sponsors and a mountain of debt. When he dies suddenly, Keiko decides to leave school and take over the station. Her ideas to revitalise the station go nowhere, mostly being sabotaged by rival TV station owner Megumi (Ryoko Kata), who wants to take over Keiko’s station, and her offsider Sakaguchi (Ryo Kurihara). Keiko comes up with a plan to revamp the weather report, and hires an attractive presenter after a local talent contest. But when the presenter becomes sick before the first report, Keiko takes over and at the end of the segment flashes her panties. The weather is an instant hit, but Megumi fights back and the result is a televised contest to determine who will be the reigning weather woman champion.

     Made as a result of the unexpected cult success of A Weatherwoman, A Weatherwoman Returns (Otenki-oneesan R) has nothing to do with the first film other than having the same writer / director, Tomoaki Hosoyama, the same name for the main character (although in the sequel Keiko is a very different character and played by a different actress), and the fact that a weather presenter shows her underwear to get attention and ratings. Whatever satire the first film attempted about the cult of personality is now absent and A Weatherwoman Returns is just plain bad, but not bad enough to be interesting. The plotting, dialogue and acting are poor, the humour crass, the direction and camera work sloppy; instead the film ramps up the erotic quota and the two female leads spend a lot of time naked in either a bath or hot springs. They are certainly both good looking, but this is pretty much the only redeeming feature of A Weatherwoman Returns.

     A Weatherwoman was hardly high art, but did acquire a cult following. A Weatherwoman Returns, made on the popularity of the earlier film, finished the franchise with a thud.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     A Weatherwoman is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, probably the original ratio, and is not 16x9 enhanced. It is a direct to video release.

     This is a soft print, not helped by the fact that in a number of scenes the camera panned quickly from one speaker to another in a swaying motion. The colours in exteriors look quite faded. It is hard to know what to make of the interiors, especially Megumi’s suite which is glitzy, garish and dull all at the same time with colours bleeding into each other. Blacks are good, but shadow detail can be very indistinct; when Sakaguchi is at the bar, for example, it is hard to see what is going on.

     There is digital noise reduction in the darker scenes, but it is not excessive. Skin tones, brightness and contrast vary and there is an occasional dirt mark and some aliasing, but nothing serious.

    English subtitles are in a yellow font and easy to read except where they were superimposed over white Japanese titles. They seemed to be timely and mistake free.

     A print that gets by, just.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     Audio is a Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0, surround encoded at a surprisingly robust 448 Kbps.

     Dialogue seemed clear and understandable. There were not a lot of effects in the film and the surrounds and rears were used mostly for the music. This score by Kunihiko Ida was loud in the mix and very intrusive, playing loudly in dialogue sections. I found it distracting.

     On occasion there was a slight hiss in the audio, such as at 13:29.

    Lip synchronisation looked fine.

     The audio was just passible.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Madman Trailers

     Trailers for Godzilla vs Mothra (2:16), The Grudge (2:07) and Howl’s Moving Castle (1:38).

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     The Region 0 US release of A Weather Woman Collection with both films is listed on Amazon.com for $US140! There does not seem to be a current listing for a single disc edition of A Weatherwoman Returns. Our two disc Region 4 re-release of A Weatherwoman and A Weatherwoman Returns by Madman is the way to go.

Summary

     Made as a result of the unexpected cult success of A Weatherwoman, A Weatherwoman Returns has nothing to do with the first film. It is a poor film, the assets of the two main female leads being its only redeeming features.

     The video is average, the audio just passible; there are no relevant extras.

     A Weatherwoman and A Weatherwoman Returns are released in a two DVD package by Madman. This is the same package that was released previously but if the films are of interest and you did not buy it previously you now have another chance.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S580, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE