On Film: Ayaka is Your Angel

29 11 2011

Ayaka is Your Angel was Happy Chicken Pink's second film.

Recently, Ayaka is Your Angel got its first one star review on Amazon.com.  I’m always interested in what real people think of my films, and I don’t mind bad reviews as long as people state objectively why the didn’t like the film.  This person stated:

“This film is incredibly dull. Just a set of four scenarios (in a bath, in a shower …) in which a cute girl doesn’t show enough skin to get a thirteen year old boy excited.  There are much better Japanese pink films out there (Tokyo Decadence, Wife to be Sacrificed, …) In fact of the thirty or so I’ve owned or seen this is probably the tamest and lamest of them all.”

And I appreciate that.  All of the critical reviews that Ayaka is Your Angel received in the US were glowing, so in a way a negative response is a little breath of fresh air.  It’s much better than what a couple of people said about Thai Relax:

“I brought this DVD because of the cover. Cute girl but not what I thought.”

I think it’s obvious that the viewer thought he was purchasing porn.  We don’t mean to misrepresent; nowhere in the description did we hint at Thai Relax being pornographic film.  In this case I don’t think that it rated a one star review.  The second comment is much more scathing:

“90 minutes of the same girl getting pampered. Video quality is absolute junk, it looks like they shot it with a picture phone that they couldn’t get to focus. This movie is not worth the blu ray disk its on, don’t hit that order button trust me i wish someone had posted a comment like this before i bought it. this director must hate everyone.”

I don’t hate everyone.  In fact there are few people that I actually hate.  I’ve discussed this review with Jarod and we can’t figure out what he’s talking about in regards to picture quality; the film was shot 720p and I totally remastered and upscaled all the footage for the Blu-ray release.  It took over 24 working hours just to make the new master.  Maybe they were expecting a 4K Baracca quality picture.  Really, though, anyone who has a Blu-ray of a Happy Chicken Pink film should be glad that HD versions exist-  that’s a miracle in itself.

Getting back to Angel, it was never conceived as a movie film.  It’s really just a gravure idol film, and most of those have no narrative to speak of; they’re just scene, scene, scene, and then maybe at the end an interview with the girl talking about what it felt like to make the film and what her favorite kind of cake is.  I can’t remember when I started envisioning it having speaking scenes to link the gravure scenes; but I have to think it was inspired by an older gravure film I saw where a well known hair idol (meaning she’s filmed fully nude) spends a weekend in Okinawa and the various beach and hotel scenes are linked together with footage of her shopping accompanied by a voiceover of her explaining what she was doing.

Some copies of Ayaka is Your Angel came with a one-of-a-kind polaroid autographed of doodled on by Ayaka Uchiyama.

All of the angel scenes in Ayaka is Your Angel were filmed in my home in a second floor room called the tatami room.  I cleared it out and then fixed it up to look like what a single guy’s room might look like.  We shot it over the night and finished somewhere between 2 and 3 in the morning.  Her bust is held up with double-sided tape that was covered in glitter.  I still find random pieces of angel glitter in places.

That's my PC Engine Duo RX and games in the shot. As an added bonus I threw a card autographed by Morning Musume's Miki Fujimoto into the shot as well.

Angel also included one of our longest filming days.  All the scenes shot in the bar were filmed overnight, taking a little over 12 hours.  We used 5 or 6 lights, including 3 floods to really blast out those scenes.  Interestingly, the floods were yellow lights, and out fills were white lights.  You usually don’t want to mix the two; but the floods really pulled out the color in the Ayaka’s clothing and I really liked the resulting color pop.

Ayaka getting ready for the first shot. In the foreground you can see the chicken we used in the food scene. Ayaka was allergic to it and broke out in a rash after we were done filming.

Ayaka is Your Angel was Happy Chicken Pink’s first full gravure film (Sundae Girl was our first, but it’s short) and was released in the North America in September of 2009 on DVD followed by a Japanese release 7 months later.  A Blu-ray version of the film was released December, 2010.  American critics really seemed to like it.  The Adult Film Society even called it “one of the best pink films ever made.” Which surprised me because I didn’t think I had made a pink film.  Another critic hailed it as the creation of a new kind of pink film, “neo pinku”.  Maybe people see something I’m missing.  And although the one customer review on Amazon.com is far from glowing, our Japanese customers have been much more kind.  Ayaka is Your Angel averages 4 out of 5 stars in the Land of the Rising Sun.



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