I’m a fan of Japanese video, whether it be anime, cheesy Japanese dramas with overly melodramatic acting, or even movies (some of which also have melodrama). In the past, I’ve had to find dubious ways to watch some of these. Living here in Japan now, I can relinquish these actions to the past.
Several years ago there was a drama called Nodame Cantabile. I watched the series, loved it, watched the extra TV specials and enjoyed the series, which focuses on musical prodigies who play in orchestras. It turns out the second movie recently debuted in Japan, so I took it upon myself to see my first movie at a theater in Japan.
A few things that were a shock to me: a 5:30 p.m. showing on Saturday was 1,800 yen (roughly $18 USD). However, when you purchase the ticket, you get to pick what seat you want before you actually go in. Kind of nice to know you and friends will be next to each other.. but maybe you choose to sit next to someone you don’t want to.
Concession prices were about on par for what I paid back in the states, though I think soda sizes here are a bit smaller. On the plus side, I had a huge churro for about 300 yen. I think the last time I had a churro was in middle school about 15 years ago. It was delicious.
I went into the theater, and sad down in a mostly empty theater, though the seat I chose was next to a cute girl there by herself. She probably wasn’t too thrilled to have me sitting next to her, but oh well. Standard etiquette at the theater is asked for with an on-screen announcement: no cell phones, no talking, no recording devices. Trailer show, then the movie.
Something which surprised–or maybe it was just this particular audience–is that it seemed to be etiquette to wait for the house lights to come on before leaving. That means staying at watching the entire ending credits sequence. Also of surprise is that people were incredibly quiet, even during the funny parts of the movie, of which there are several.
One of my favorite anime series, Trigun, has a movie that was just released April 24. Sadly, at the moment it’s not showing at my local theater, so a trip to another city may be required to see it. I hope I can make the journey to experience a different theater and setting.