A light hearted comedy following a group of friends in a science-fiction club, who spend their summer holidays fooling around at their club house, have a mission to go back into time, using a time machine that appeared out of nowhere, in order to save their summer days from unbearable heat by retrieving the remote control for their air conditioner. But wouldn’t changing the past have an effect on the future? Be prepared for a wild ride regarding time travel with a bunch of whacky characters and theories thrown into the mix.
Title: Summer Time Machine Blues
Other Names: サマータイムマシンブルース (Samaa Taimu Mashin Buruusu)
Director: Katsuyuki Motohiro
Cast: Eita, Juri Ueno, Yoshiaki Yoza, Daijiro Kawaoka, Munenori Nagano, Yoko Maki, Tsuyoshi Muro, Riki Honda, Kuranosuke Sasaki
Running Time: 1hrs 47mins
As I should have mentioned before, comedy is one of my favourite genres; anything that can induce laughter is great in my books. As I was searching the net for Japanese comedies, I saw in a few forums that Summer Time Machine Blues was really good, and after seeing the trailer I decided that it would be an interesting watch. I managed to get a copy of the movie from a guy at the anime and manga society at my university. Although the movie is a bit confusing at times, and not much else is there apart from their mission to get the remote as well as finding out about why things have turned out the way they have, I found it to be a really good teen comedy to get lost into.
Summer Time Machine Blues is based around a group of friends in a science-fiction club who spend their days fooling around at the clubhouse. We are given a glimpse of their daily antics, however, through a series of chain events, Coke (the soft drink!) is accidentally spilt all over the air-conditioner remote. Everyone rushes to try to clean the remote off, but it’s too late. The remote is broken and they cannot turn on the air-conditioner. This immediately becomes a problem as the day becomes hotter. While trying to find another solution, the boys discover a strange machine. They fool around discovering that it is a time machine as they travel into the past to save the remote control from their own carelessness. But as soon as they step back one day, they run into problems that could change their lives forever.
The movie starts of with the sci-fi club playing baseball and the photography club taking their pictures during their holidays; a seemingly ordinary day in the lives of the nerdy college students. We are exposed to the different characters and their whacky sense of humour throughout the first 15 minutes of the movie, but we also catch small glimpses of characters and inexplicable events/scenes suggesting that something is amiss. We learn that the club’s remote control for the air conditioner gets busted and, in the unbearable heat, they must find a way to resolve their problem. From seeking help from their science teacher, to rummaging through the garbage, the solution cannot be found, until, out of nowhere, a boy appears in a strange machine and, upon confrontation with the sci-fi club, runs away.
After inspecting the machine, the sci-fi club members conclude it as a prank; how can there possibly be such a thing as a time machine. But being the jokers they are, they decide to fool around with the machine and end up making one of the members disappear. Thus marks the start of their hilarious adventure of time travel that will leave you in stitches.
But isn’t time travel dangerous?
The movie explains some theories of time travel through the scientist; who gives lectures to the sci-fi club throughout the movie. The students then have to make sure that no one from the past sees the future selves and that nothing is changed that could possible significantly alter the future. This proves to be much harder than it seems, as the urge to fool around proves to be too strong for some of the members.
Can they save the remote control from themselves without affecting the rest of their lives?
This is a great movie to pass the time, especially if you are interested in a theory of how time travel works. The movie has an interesting cast with really whacky personalities that add to the ridiculousness of the story. Actually parts of the movie reminded me of the game Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, where if you kill Revolver Ocelot, the game ends and the general tells Snake that he cant go around creating paradoxes; that just cracked me up. So although there isn’t much else to it apart from time machine, the remote control and the mysterious visitor, Summer Time Machine Blues does a grand job of relating everything together in a clever way, while leaving aspects of ending up to the viewer to decide on. This is a great mix of comedy and time travel, but not much else is present regarding plot or character development, etc.
I give this an 8/10 (if it wasn’t for the weird comedy which I found hilarious, I probably would have given it a 7/10).
You can buy Summer Time Machine Blues from Yes Asia.
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You can buy Summer Time Machine Blues from Play-Asia.