In 2018, actor Suda Masaki and actress Komatsu Nana became official ambassadors for Niko and, a famous Japanese brand which specializes in interior design, furniture, clothes, food and drinks. On September 6, Niko and released a second short film for their autumn promotional campaign: Kakeru/カケル.
Plot: Takagi (Suda), a manga author, and Haruno, a manga artist argue over the making of their new production. Takagi wants Haruno to work on the characters and design with ink and brush. Will they come to terms?
As Niko and… is about to release ‘Evolution’ (進化) a new CM-Short Film featuring brand’s ambassadors Suda Masaki and Komatsu Nana, let’s go back to the very first CM released by the lifestyle company on March 9 2018: 君とノートとコーヒーと. Directed by Yuichi Fukuda – Runtime: 10’34”.
Plot: in a small house coffee shop, a young woman pens down a note on a free-writing notebook, when she comes back to the place a stranger has left a reply. And there’s Momiji, the cat.
Prior to her breaking role in The World of Kanako (2014) and even before she appeared in the Tadaima short film (2013), Nana Komatsu had a first film experience with Shabondama, directed by Seta Natsuki.
This short film (runtime is 6’46”) was part of a 18-piece ensemble called Nihon no uta, a compilation of Japanese nursery rhymes and kids songs illustrated by a wide range of directors. The Nihon no uta DVD originally released in November 2010, is still available from various online stores: Amazon Japan.
‘You know what is the rarest thing on earth? It’s not gold, it is not stardust, it is not platinum nor antimatter. The rarest thing of all is benevolence.’ This is one of the lines you hear from an unnamed character in ‘There is no tomorrow’ (明日なんてない – Ashita nante nai), a short film by French photographer, director and writer Julien Levy.
The self-produced movie (released in 2016 – runtime: 10’24”) showcased actress Nana Komatsu in a long monologue, filmed and directed by Lévy. Their collaboration was based on a common wish to make something ‘radical’.
The previous year, Julien Lévy organised a photo session with the actress for his forthcoming photobook, Every Day Is Doomsday, which is still available from various online stores, including Amazon.
Sumire, a teenage girl, convinces a taxi driver to take her to her homeplace in the Tohoku region. There, they find an area which was ravaged by the tsunami that followed the megathrust earthquake on March 11, 2011. The disaster destroyed her house and took away her parents. Through compassion and carefully chosen words, the man will offer the young girl what she has lost: the will to survive and live.
Tadaima enjoyed a second life when the company decided to release it on DVD in October 2016. That was good timing as the actress and model film and media exposure was quite spectacular that year. The digipack item included a booklet, the film on DVD and a bonus music clip, an alternate version of Tin Plate/ブリキ by Radwimps, featuring Nana Komatsu.
It has become a rather hard to find collectable item these days, it is no longer available from any store, including the Qotori Online store for the company no longer exists and ceased all activities last December. Yahoo Japan Auctions might be a good option to get a copy.
I truly recommend Tadaima, it is a moving story full of grief and hope. Nana Komatsu fans will also find out that some of her acting characteristics were already there: natural, spontaneous, nuanced and ‘old school’ as much is conveyed through her eyes. Fun and excentricity too, there’s a rather comical passage once she gets in the cab (watch the excerpt below).