Sasayaki (Moonlight Whispers)

  • 1999
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Drama

Puppy love it ain't. Coiled beneath the composed surface of this gauzy Japanese teen romance lies a wickedly perverse tale of dominance, submission, voyeurism and obsessive desire. Based on cult magna artist Masahiko Kikuni's kinky adult comic book Gekko no Sasayaki, it's the story of two seemingly innocent high-school students who find pleasure in pain....read more

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Reviewed by Ken Fox
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Puppy love it ain't. Coiled beneath the composed surface of this gauzy Japanese teen romance lies a wickedly perverse tale of dominance, submission, voyeurism and obsessive desire. Based on cult magna artist Masahiko Kikuni's kinky adult comic book

Gekko no Sasayaki, it's the story of two seemingly innocent high-school students who find pleasure in pain. Takuya (Masahiko Kikuni) has long loved Satsuki (Tsugumi) from afar, but he's content to spar with her at kendo practice (he especially likes it when she whacks him over the head with

her bamboo sword) and break into her locker to fondle her underwear. But when Satsuki confesses her love for him, they agree to date, exchanging photos, riding together to school on Takuya's bike and sneaking kisses in the library stacks. Takuya, however, is more interested in his fantasy

of Satsuki than Satsuki herself, so he's oddly indifferent when she offers him her virginity. Satsuki discovers a drawer full of the personal items Takuyu has stolen from her (socks, lip balm), as well as a stack of leering photos and an audio tape Takuya made of her tinkling, and sets out to hurt

Takuya as payback. She flaunts her new boyfriend (Kota Kusano), and arranges it so that Takuya can watch while they have sex. But the abuse not only fires Takuya's masochism, it awakens Satsuki's latent sadism, and the two teens are soon locked in a dangerous dance of cruelty and degradation.

Depending on your sense of humor, you'll either be repelled or amused. The film is beautifully shot by Shoei Imamura's favorite cinematographer, Shigeru Komatsubara (THE EEL, DR. AKAGI), and director Akihiko Shiota maintains his poker face throughout; the film never degenerates into out-and-out

comedy or self-parody. Best of all is Tsugumi's wild performance: As she goes from sweet teen in ankle socks to merciless dominatrix, she's simultaneously appalled and aroused, and altogether marvelous. (In Japanese, with English subtitles.)

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  • Released: 1999
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Puppy love it ain't. Coiled beneath the composed surface of this gauzy Japanese teen romance lies a wickedly perverse tale of dominance, submission, voyeurism and obsessive desire. Based on cult magna artist Masahiko Kikuni's kinky adult comic book Gekko… (more)

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