Andrew Lau have put an actress who knows only Japanese into the heroine. It’s an adventure. Seto Asaka is certainly outstanding in Japan and the staffs were ready for making a film in where Leon Lai and her work perfectly together. In result, they made a rare masterpiece among Hong Kong and Japan collaborations of the early 00s.
This film is famous rather among the fans of Leon Lai in Japan. He has a lot of his fans also in Japan. The girls saw this film for him and I’m sure that they were satisfied. Likewise, Hong Kong guys would be satisfied with Seto Asaka.
Putting a Japanese actress who speaks only Japanese in the centre of the story. This is an adventure. However, the film was already ready to her.
The writer, Thirteen Chan told in the interview that he enough researched on the acting style of Seto Asaka through Japanese films and TV series before writing the story. Then, their thorough efforts brought a marvellous result.
The collaboration between Leon Lai and Seto Asaka seemed quite natural. I did not know that Seto Asaka was such skilful at acting. Especially, she has a strong personality. She is my rare favourite Japanese actress since she was a teen idol.
Japanese show business is not diplomatic. A Japanese actor learns from another Japanese actor. They are domestically living and seeing almost only domestic things. So, the mediocre actors have all the same expression.
That’s why I’m not generally interested in Japanese actress. I don’t like their typical artificial smile. However, Seto Asaka is natural. She does not have a sick of Japanese TV.
Comparing with others
There are several collaboration works between Hong Kong and Japanese actors around the year 2000. Gen-X Cops, China Strike Force, Tokyo Raiders, A Fighter’s Blues and Fulltime Killer etc.
Andy Lau is my absolute hero, nevertheless, in my opinion, China Strike Force or Bullet of Love is the best. Among Japanese actors, Fujiwara Norika and Seto Asaka are outstanding. They are the only Japanese actresses who are able to star in Hong Kong film which requires the creativity, the enthusiasm and the physical actions.
If the heroine of A Fighter’s Blues was Seto Asaka… By the way, Andrew Lau made Initial D in 2005. This is a definitive masterpiece based on a Japanese manga featuring Taiwan stars such as Jay Chou and Will Liu with a Japanese idol.
Terence Yin, he is the villain as usual. He was initially collaborated with Leon Lai in Skyline Cruisers. He plays always an insane or a pervert though he looks pretty smart. A film starring him as for example a blade master, is strongly required.
I have scattered memories of Martial Angels which was a typical trial & error film of around the year 2000. I even don’t remember who was a hero. It was simply an excessive Shu Qi film. However, I strongly remember Terence Yin. He was the sole impressive actor. I think that this film is worth only for seeing his acting.
We know well Frankie Ng from the series Teddyboy or a film of Andy Lau. He plays Tiger who is a sort of innocent adult children despite looks like strong. In reality, he was famous as a mafia before being an actor. He is the key to open the door to the climax of this story where Michael Chan shows hundreds of blow at mach!
Abnormal aspect ratio on Japanese DVD
The distributor is Touei, a cineast surely knows this name, one of the big Japanese film makers. They shamelessly delivered a bootleg quality production.
The aspect ratio is "Abnormal". It’s horizontally condensed from 16:9. It’s approximately "15:9". You can’t believe it, but it’s true. The screen gets vertically extended. This aspect ratio is too strange to correct by a media player. It’s impossible.
How to get back the normal aspect ratio
My idea is using PowerDVD on Windows or Wine. Play this DVD on "Stretch" mode which is the aspect ratio free. Then, maximise the window. Now, the screen will be vertically condensed and horizontally extended due to Taskbar. The aspect ratio will be regulated to almost 16:9.
I suppose that the encoder used an old capture software which does not have the aspect ratio regulator. He or she encoded the VHS or VCD from a maximised window. The aspect ratio got mad because of the software menu, Taskbar or something. It’s a child’s play. The result, this product got the worst quality ever. No one verified the product. No one watched this DVD.
Before preparing a strange DVD cover, Toei DVD sales department has a thing to learn. What is the aspect ratio. They must restart from the whole beginning. It’s a shame.