(aka "Kamiya Etsuko no seishun" or "The Youth of Kamiya Etsuko" or "The Blossoming of Etsuko Kamiya")


directed by Kazuo Kuroki
Japan 2006


This was the last movie directed by Kazuo Kuroki that died before the theater's release. Keeping the wonderful "chamber theater" style and rich dialogues of his previous works, this is another very emotional release that reconstruct the early life and romance of the main characters during the WWII. Definitely a must see piece of art.

Luiz R.


The late great Kuroki Kazuo's The Youth of Kamiyo Etsuko presents a stirring conclusion to four decades of filmmaking. Director Kuroki passed away in April 2006, months before the release of this critically acclaimed film. Continuing with the themes of Tomorrow, Utsukushii Natsu Kirishima, and Face of Jizo, The Youth of Kamiyo Etsuko delves into the lives of ordinary Japanese people during the closing days of WWII. Based on a play by Matsuda Masataka, the film is strong, simple, and austerely shot, eschewing bells and whistles for a direct, affecting story and realistic, raw emotions. Though wartime worries underlie the story, Kuroki also brings out the humor of banality and futility with an accomplished screenplay that is sentimental, yet surprisingly lighthearted. Stars Nagase Masatoshi (The Hidden Blade), Harada Tomoyo (Until the Lights Come Back), and Matsuoka Shunsuke (Black Kiss) deliver subtle, affecting performances, capturing the lives and perspectives of both ordinary people trying to cope and young soldiers fighting a war they can't win.

Having already lost her parents in an air raid, young Kamiya Etsuko (Harada Tomoyo) lives with her brother and his wife in the rural town of Kagoshima. Air force officers Nagayo (Nagase Masatoshi), whom Etsuko's brother wants to set her up with, and Akashi (Matsuoka Shunsuke), whom she has long admired, come to visit. Unexpectedly, Etsuko's brother is transferred to another town, leaving Etsuko alone to entertain her two visitors and conflicting feelings. Though she is attracted to Nagoya's earnest personality, Etsuko's heart remains with Akashi. But everything changes when Akashi volunteers for a suicide mission

Theatrical Release: August 12th, 2006

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DVD Review: Bandai Visual (Standard Edition - Japan Version) - Region 2 - NTSC

Big thanks to Luiz R. for the Review!

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Bandai Visual

Region 2 - NTSC

Runtime 111 min

16:9 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.94 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio Japanese Dolby Digital Stereo (2.0)
Subtitles English
Features Release Information:
Studio: Bandai Visual

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 16:9

Edition Details:
• Dual-Layered DVD
• Kazuo Kuroki Retrospective
• Trailers

DVD Release Date: 06/22/2007
Keep Case

Chapters 12




This is the only release available that I could find - the price is high but the quality (as per usual Bandai releases) is excellent. The transfer is progressive with a clean image /sound and precise clear subtitles. I don't have any complaints whatsoever, excepting the commonplace overscan bars.

The extras are not much - just some trailers and a beautiful retrospective of the director, more like a homage, but there no subtitles available on the scant supplements. The extra's subtitles would be a welcomed upgrade, but I believe Bandai already exposed an amazing piece of work with this fabulous release - definitely worth the price in my opinion.

 - Luiz R.


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Bandai Visual

Region 2 - NTSC


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