The Best of 2007 – Poll Results

18 January 2008

You, the Midnight Eye readers, have spoken... These Japanese films are your favourites of 2007.

Below are the final results, plus your personal comments and reactions. Many thanks to everyone who voted!

Find out what Midnight Eye's own favourites of the year were in our Best (and Worst) of 2007 feature.

Ranking Title Original title Director
1. (15.44%) PAPRIKA Satoshi Kon
2. (11.54%) Strawberry Shortcakes Hitoshi Yazaki
3. (10.10%) Memories of Matsuko Kiraware Matsuko no Issho Tetsuya Nakashima
4. (6.73%) Sukiyaki Western Django Takashi Miike
5. (5.77%) Retribution Sakebi Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Tekkon Kinkreet Michael Arias
6. (4.33%) Noriko's Dinner Table Noriko no Shokutaku Sion Sono
7. (3.36%) I Just Didn't Do It Soredemo Boku wa Yattenai Masayuki Suo
Nightmare Detective Akumu Tantei Shinya Tsukamoto
8. (2.88%) Glory to the Filmmaker! Kantoku Banzai Takeshi Kitano
Sakuran Mika Ninagawa
9. (2.40%) Hula Girls Lee Sang-Il
Love and Honor Bushi no Ichibun Yoji Yamada
Sad Vacation Shinji Aoyama
10. (1.44%) Exte: Hair Extensions EXTE Sion Sono
Maison de Himiko Isshin Inudo
The Milkwoman Itsuka Dokusho Suru Hi Akira Ogata
The Mourning Forest Mogari no Mori Naomi Kawase
The Rebirth Ai no Yokan Masahiro Kobayashi
Udon Katsuyuki Motohiro
11. (0.96%) Dainipponjin Hitoshi Matsumoto
Hana Hana Yori mo Naho Hirokazu Koreeda
Like a Dragon Ryu ga Gotoku Takashi Miike
M Ryuichi Hiroki
Sway Yureru Miwa Nishikawa
Tachigui: The Amazing Lives of Fast Food Grifters Tachigui Retsuden Mamoru Oshii
12. (0.48%) Bakushi Ryuichi Hiroki
Black Belt Kuro-Obi Shunichi Nagasaki
Dear Pyongyang Yonghi Yang
Freesia Kazuyoshi Kumakiri
Funuke: Show Some Love You Losers Funukedomo Kanashimi no Ai o Misero Daihachi Yoshida
Love on Sunday Koi Suru, Nichiyobi Ryuichi Hiroki
Maiko Haaaan!!! Nobuo Mizuta
The Matsugane Potshot Affair Matsugane Ransha Jiken Nobuhiro Yamashita
Bugmaster Mushishi Katsuhiro Otomo
Prisoner / Terrorist Yuheisha / Terorisuto Masao Adachi
Sumo Hot Pot Chanko Toshiki Sato
Tokyo Tower Joji Matsuoka
The World Sinks Except Japan Nihon Igai Zenbu Chinbotsu Minoru Kawasaki
13. (0.00%) Arch Angels Warau Daitenshi Issei Oda
Argentine Hag Argentine Baba Naoki Nagao
Cain's Descendant Kain no Matsue Shutaro Oku
Campaign (a.k.a. The Kawasaki Candidate) Senkyo Kazuhiro Soda
The Insects Unlisted in the Encyclopedia Zukan ni Notte nai Mushi Satoshi Miki
Faces of a Fig Tree Ichijiku no Kao Kaori Momoi
Fourteen 14-Sai Hiromasa Hirosue
Into a Dream Yume no naka e Sion Sono
Kitaro Gegege no Kitaro Katsuhide Motoki
Love Hotels Ryotaro Muramatsu
Nana 2 Kentaro Otani
Nikomihoppy Toshiro Enomoto
The Pavillion Salamandre Pavillion Sanshouo Masanori Tominaga
Umizaru 2: Test of Trust Eiichiro Hasumi
Uncle's Paradise Ojisan Tengoku Shinji Imaoka
Unholy Women Kowai Onna Amamiya, Suzuki & Toyoshima
The Yakiniku Movie: Bulgogi Purukogi Su-Yeon Gu
Yokohama Mary Takayuki Nakamura

Comments and reactions

On 23-01-2008 'anonymous' voted for 'Noriko's Dinner Table'

I wonder why THE DUCK AND THE COIN LOCKER is not on the list. Not to mention CROWS EPISODE 0. How about documentaries like ANTS, CATS OF MIRIKITANI or YASUKUNI? I don't think the list is very representative.

On 23-01-2008 'logboy' voted for 'Tekkon Kinkreet'

lots of film's i've seen in there, lot's i've not - same old story - a few. though, that i've bypassed in slight uncertainty and can catch on subbed dvd... which is a oddity in itself, and a treat. 'strawberry shortcakes' here i come - out there on R2 J and R3 K with english subs already.

i'd have trouble this year saying i was particularly impressed with continued botching, mishandling, and the general bloody-mindedness of most if not all companies issuing stuff in subbed form - particularly stateside - as the whole they're digging gets deeper and further out of their control; global recession will potentially see off more small labels, but that's long after people grasp the global nature of the format they've had to sell via in the most democratic fashion for the last decade... i perhaps enjoyed some of the non-2007 films more than the harder-to-pin-down contemporary stuff... more yasuzo masumura please.

so... hard to pick a favourite. nightmare detective, memories of matsuko. retribution and sakuran kind of stick in the memory. though, apart from the first of that small list, i'd say they're big leaps, major achievements or tipping towards classics / memorable for any great length of time.

i vote for tekkon kinkreet then. muddled story in many respects, easy to see as familiar or basic for the same reason i suspect, but technically stands out from most anime drivel - and anime struggles to stand out these days, so that's nice - and i vote for it in hope that more will see it, that someone will confirm shortly that both genius party films are coming our way on blu-ray.

at the cinema, american / non-japanese wise, 'zodiac' doesn't work for it's soundtrack, which seems misplaced (but is great on CD) and yet it's a good example, upon reflection, of this state of CGI. i like the tension in 'jesse james'... 'control' was fine, but a little calculated... everything else fades away through a combination of issues.

On 23-01-2008 'Maria' voted for 'Sakuran'

My favorite production design in a movie ever. Mika Ninagawa is a goddess.

On 23-01-2008 'V.A. Musetto' voted for 'Noriko's Dinner Table'

Runner-up: Strawberry Shortcakes

On 23-01-2008 'Andy' voted for 'Paprika'

I got this on DVD for Xmas!

On 23-01-2008 'Jasper Sharp' voted for 'Strawberry Shortcakes'

Well, it has to be Strawberry Shortcakes doesn't it, just like I said inthe main Best of list.

On 23-01-2008 'Mirco H?lling' voted for 'The Rebirth'

Radical. A Film!!

On 23-01-2008 'Christian' voted for 'Paprika'

Only got to see 2 this year from the 2007 list, but will work to fix that quickly, especially with midnight eyes top 10 out. Koreeda's Hana I thought was amazing.

On 23-01-2008 'Hibino' voted for 'Paprika'

Visually spectacular

On 23-01-2008 'Imran Jaffery' voted for 'Strawberry Shortcakes'

A very solid year for Japanese cinema. If I could suggest a write-in vote it would be for the amazing indie This World of Ours by Ryo Nakajima.

On 23-01-2008 'Kadikoylu' voted for 'Paprika'

Crazy animation with higly strange twists!

On 24-01-2008 'Giampiero' voted for 'Love and Honor'

Wonderful jidaigeki!

On 24-01-2008 'Toni' voted for 'Memories of Matsuko'

biggest surprise. equally hated and loved this movie. would have never thought that the stupid grimace I saw on the one sheet would make me that sad in the movie. didn't et the chance to see all the other movies that would have certainly be better suited for the "best" title, so this leaves me with this one. stayed longer with me than Kitano's new one, Sakuran, Django or the always-overrrated bore Kurosawa.

On 24-01-2008 'Olexei Tolchev' voted for 'Sukiyaki Western Django'

Miike always entertains, kudos to him.

On 24-01-2008 'Renee Saracki' voted for 'Sukiyaki Western Django'

The title speaks for itself.

On 24-01-2008 'Peter Weber' voted for 'Strawberry Shortcakes'

Strawberry Shortcakes is the best Japanese film I have seen in years and I can't imagine any other film beating it.

On 24-01-2008 'rus' voted for 'Sad Vacation'

If it was listed though i would vote for 'This World of Ours'

On 25-01-2008 'MICHEL' voted for 'Exte: Hair Extensions'

you forgot to include "this world of ours" which is by far the best movie , thanks j

On 26-01-2008 'David W.' voted for 'Tekkon Kinkreet'

Sadly I've seen so few of the films listed.

On 29-01-2008 'Daniel Asenlund' voted for 'I Just Didn't Do It'

In contrast to movies such as "Maiko Haaaan!!!", "Soredemo Boku wa Yattenai" raises a very serious and deeply overlooked issue, a wound bleeding from the core of the, viewed from the surface, injury free modern Japanese society.

On 01-02-2008 'evian' voted for 'Paprika'

saw this year:

1. Paprika

2. Big Bang Love, Juvenile

3. Sway

4. Green Mind Metal Bats

5. Glory to the Filmmaker

6. Matsugane Potshot Affair

7. Sakuran

8. Memories of Matsuko

9. Retribution

10. Love and Honor


Arch Angels


Hula Girls

Nightmare Detective

Noriko's Dinner Table

On 03-02-2008 'anonymous' voted for 'Glory to the Filmmaker!'

a film for filmmakers

On 07-02-2008 'Choto21' voted for 'Retribution'

Now that Kurosawa's status begins to falter among critics and public (unfairly), it's time to recognize the man as what it is: an unique voice in a genre that desperately needs ones.

On 17-02-2008 'Peter Ellison' voted for 'Strawberry Shortcakes'

Strawberry Shotcakes was easily the best film of last year and your review is probably the only one to do it any justice! Good work

On 22-02-2008 'Steve' voted for 'Hana'

I saw so few of these movies, I have to go with Hana only because it was the sweetest in recollection. Maybe I was burned out, maybe I just had less access. I will say that of the films I saw, my favorites were all from 2006: Tazza, Isabella and Heavenly Kings.

On 22-02-2008 'shaun m.' voted for 'Paprika'

most enjoyable Japanese film all year.

On 26-02-2008 'Daniel H.' voted for 'Noriko's Dinner Table'

Noriko's Dinner Table caught me totally off guard. The interesting characters, the engaging story and the surreal atmoshpere made it one of my personal highlights in 2007.

On 14-03-2008 'Igwe' voted for 'Love and Honor'

Pure Cinema. Watched this and didn't even keep track of the time.

On 15-03-2008 'Zac' voted for 'Love and Honor'

Like Yoji Yamada's other two films in his beautiful romance trilogy, this film had made me a complete soaking wreck by the end, and in the best possible way.