Koshien Movie Review

Koshien Movie Review
Friday Night Lights Japan Style

Summer Koshien is the annual national high school baseball championship of Japan, and it is the country's largest-scale amateur sports event. It takes place during summer vacation, culminating in August with a two-week final playoff among the top 49 teams. The entire tournament is single-elimination: one loss and you're out.
The 49 schools taking part in the final tourney represent regional champions of each of the prefectures of Japan (with two from Hokkaido and Tokyo). From mid-June until July, regional tournaments are held to decide who is sent to Koshien.

To give you an idea just how competitive this is, each team has approximately 130 players on their roster. Only 20 of them will make the final team and be able to play in the games, and there are 4,000 teams competing for Koshien. 

Ema Ryan Yamazaki's documentary on Koshien is centered on Yokohama Havato, one of the competing teams, and most of the film's focus is on their coach, Tetsuya Mizutani. He is an "old school" type coach who refers to himself as a stubborn man of the 20th century. In contrast to his methods we see the more modern Hiroshi Sasaki, the coach of a very successful team who was once mentored by Mizutani.

While all of Japan goes bonkers over the tournament, Yamazaki shows us background details that aren't available to the public. Mostly, it's the realization that the private lives of the coaches are not even a second thought within this world.

The coach's wife and family almost never see him. Mizutani's son is too young to participate in the tournament, but he plays lower-level baseball in the hopes of one day making it into the tournament. His father has never even seen him play.

There is a sadness below the surface of all of this. Family life is unrewarding. When so many young men are trying for so few available spots, there is constant disappointment. One thing "Koshien" pays very little attention to is females. We see the coach's wife and daughter, but they are afterthoughts.

It reminded me of "Friday Night Lights", H.G. Bissinger's brilliant book about high school football in Texas. I never saw the television series based on that book, so I can't compare it to "Koshien", but the book, I suppose because it is a book, gets to flesh out the story more. "Koshien" is worthwhile, but it left me wanting to know more than it told me.
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Koshien Movie Review Koshien Movie Review Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Saturday, December 12, 2020 Rating: 5

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