Tsuki ni Shizumu

by Aprilis on December 19, 2006 · 4 comments · AddThis

Tsuki ni Shizumu Tsuki ni Shizumu
Release Date: 2002.11.13
Product Code: AVBD-91117; AVJVC52030
Label: avex trax
Starring: Isao Yukisada, Ayumi Hamasaki

Ayumi Hamasaki , better known as Ayu by her fans, is one of the top selling artists in Japan. But before Ayu appear in the music industry, did you know she started out in the acting world? When she was young, she starred in a number of low-budget dorama and movies like Miseinen and Nagisa no Shindobaddo. Unfortunately, she never made it big in the acting industry and soon gave up. Shortly after, she was discovered by Max Matsuura and the rest was history. When Ayu released her 28th single, “Voyage”, she resumed her role as an actress by staring in the short movie, Tsuki ni Shizumu.

Tsuki ni Shizumu means “Sinking moon” and is based on Voyage’s lyrics. In fact, parts of the movie were used for the single’s promotional video (PV). As mention above, Ayu plays the leading role, opposite of Isao Yukisada. Other supporting roles were played by Kumi Nakamura, Teruyuki Kagawa, and Shigechito Itoi.

The story

Minamo (Ayumi Hamasaki) is a patient at a mental institute who keeps having the same dream. In the dream, there’s a small lake with a big bright moon shinning over it. Minamo sees herself in a boat on the lake. Her eyes are filled with tears of blood, and the boat is sinking slowly into the lake. The moon becomes red and she hears a voice calling her, Kagari… Kagari…

Minamo and the Visitor
Minamo and the Visitor

One day Minamo sees a visitor (Isao Yukisada) and goes mad. She tried to reach out to him, as if she knew him. But before Minamo can reach the visitor, she is pull away by the hospital attendants. Minamo’s doctor (Shigechito Itoi) later explains her condition to the visitor. The doctor beliefs that in Minamo’s past life, she died in despair. Thus it is necessary for her to meet her soul-mate in this life.

Sonshin, Kagari and head soldier
With the soldier's help, Sonshin and Kagari make their escape

It seems the doctor is right. In her past life, Minamo was Kagari (also played by Ayumi Hamasaki) who was chosen as a sacrificed to the moon. On the night of the sacrifice, Kagari’s soul mate Sonshin (also played by Isao Yukisada) decided to rescue Kagari from this cruel fate. Kagari and Sonshin managed to get away and the two shared a brief loving moment together. They were found shortly after and in the end Kagari ended up being sacrificed to the moon, just like in Minamo’s dream. And Sonshin died while trying to protect Kagari.

Back in the present day, Minamo and the visitor finally spoke with the other. They both realized that they are each other’s soul-mate.

The Review

Voyage is one of my all time favourite song and PV from Ayu. So when I managed to get a hold of Tsuki ni Shizumu’s VCD, I was more than thrilled. The first few minutes it pulled me in when the narrator began talking about soul-mate, thinking that the rest of the film will be just as deep and meaningful. When the movie finally ended, I was disappointed. There weren’t much dialog or interactions between the characters. A lot of the characters that did have a line remained nameless throughout the whole movie. I guess the name is not a really a problem, since I wouldn’t have recalled it anyway. But still, it would have been nice to have a name so I don’t always have to label them as the “doctor” or “visitor”. The plot was a disappointment too. Basically if you’ve seen the PV for Voyage, you’ve already seen the movie. Yes, the movie is used for the PV and is based on the lyrics of Voyage. But could they at least add a little something more to it, just to give the movie audience a little surprised? On the plus side, Ayu’s performance was great. Especially her eyes; they were filled with life and emotions. I wish the movie was longer, so she can really show us her acting skills.

making of, sinking boat scene
Making of Tsuki ni Shizumu: the sinking boat scene

Besides the movie, the VCD also included Voyage’s PV and the making of Tsuki ni Shizumu. I must say, I enjoyed watching the making of more than the actual movie. Partly because of the way they choose to present the making of clips. Besides showing the preparation for the movie and behind the scenes, it also showed clips from the actual filming. For example, they showed the scene where Kagari is sinking into the bottom of the lake. The camera will begin by showing the crew in the green room during the filming process. Then they’ll switch to the final product that appeared in the movie. This way the audience can compare the working production with the final product.

making of, lake scene
Making of Tsuki ni Shizumu: the lake scene where Minamo and the visitor finally found each other

Another reason why I liked the making of is because you get to see a different side of Ayu. In the latest CNN interview, Ayu commented that she’s a kid that will never grow up. Sure enough, when the camera isn’t rolling Ayu can be found joking with the other actors and hoping around. Furthermore, the crew members commented on Ayu’s hard working attitude and dedication towards her work. At the time when they filmed the lake scene, the temperature was 10°C while the water was 5°C. Not only did Ayu not complain about the cold, she did everything that the director asked perfectly. And I must comment on Avex’s endless effort to promote themselves. The umbrellas that were used and even Ayu’s jacket all had Avex’s logo on it. Every time I saw that logo during the making of clip, I just can’t help but laugh.


I had high hopes for this movie and when I finally watched it, I was disappointed. The story plot is excellent as a PV. But as a short movie, it is lacking a lot of elements. Although the quality of the movie wasn’t what I expected, Ayu fans should definitely check it out. Especially the making of clip, it’s really something worth watching.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Purchase this item: YesAsia US | YesAsia Global

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About the author

Aprilis was first introduced to the world of J-Pop through Ayumi Hamasaki's music. Through Ayu's music she was exposed to and fell in love with other J-Pop acts such as Ai Otsuka and Hello! Project. She is currently living in Japan and enjoying every moment of it.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

billance MALAYSIA October 23, 2008 at 7:14 am

i miss it….. i think i got to download the mvie ….
hav to watch ayu in acting…
love her so much XO


Rinoa May 9, 2007 at 5:30 am

I’ve just read this review and I was impressed at how you described it in great detail. I watched the movie ages ago and I’ve gotta agree that the movie was not impressive. It just fit the Asian movie stereotype of lost love and they left it at that. For me it sounded like an extended version of “Voyage” with a rather mechanical clip. I still hope Ayumi will manage to take more acting parts in the future, which are more interesting and appealing.


spellcheck UNITED STATES December 30, 2006 at 6:12 pm

I completely agree with you. Ayu’s acting skills were quite good and I really liked the PV. However, when I finally sat down and watched it, it lacked quite a lot. It seemed rushed and lacked structure. Walking away, I had the feeling that the purpose of this mini-movie was just another promotion device for Ayu’s career, without any real meaning. Either that, or it was once a long movie with many more details but it was just poorly cut down and consolidated into a shorter version. In any case, it lacked too much to truly be enjoyable. It’s too bad though, because the story has a lot of potential.

Thanks for the review! It’s a nice dash of diversity for the blog. ^^ Keep up the good work!


Naru UNITED STATES December 21, 2006 at 12:23 am

hahaha this was the first Ayumi song I had ever heard. I heard it on a plane too while flipping through the plane’s radio stations. Since then I’ve never been a fan of Ayumi except “HEAVEN”, but it is cool to know that the first Ayumi Hamasaki song I ever heard was also a movie.


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