Production and Distribution

Train Man

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The film Train Man was a big success at the box office, making the story popular in other countries through remakes and movies [1]. According to the Anime News Network website, when Train Man was released in 2005, it ranked 14th in Japan and remainedin the box office’s top 10 movies for 10 weeks after its release [1]. After its initial release, the film grossed over $35 million [1].

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In the foreign markets, the movie gained popularity and gained a cult following after VIZ Media and its partner company VIZ Pictures distributed the movie in the U.S. [2]. VIZ Media is a major publisher of Japanese anime and comics, and VIZ Pictures–a recently started company at the time–is an associate company devoted to Japanese live-action distribution [2]. In fact, Train Man was the first release for VIZ Pictures [2]. Prior to the movie’s release on DVD in January of 2007, VIZ Media released the film in July at the  Anime Expo in 2006 before its release in major cities in September 2006 [2].

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Following its release, VIZ Media also published the manga series with the same storyline in October of the same year [2].

My Sassy Girl

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Similar to Train Man’s relative success, My Sassy Girl had great success in South Korea, performing well in the box offices and being the highest grossing comedy that year [3]. This success is also reflected in director Kwak Jae-yong’s success following the film:  in October he was hired to direct three additional films during the next six years [3].

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    Regarding the star actor and actress, Cha Tae-hyun and Jeon Ji-hyun were able to further develop their respective careers after the film’s success. Prior to the film, Cha Tae-hyun, who stars as Kyun-woo, was well-known to the Korean public in the media as well as the pop music industry [3]. Sassy Girl gave him his first major role in the film industry [3]. Jeon Ji-hyun, who stars as “the girl,” is another well-known Korean celebrity, and through her role she was able to change her image from a “nice girl” in previous films to something “with a little more fire” [3]. Much of the film’s success is attributed to her [3].

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My Sassy Girl also had great success in East and Southeast Asia to the extent that it inspired remakes and television shows based on its story. My Sassy Girl inspired remakes in the U.S., Japan, India, and China, showing how its story has crossed international borders [4]. Also, this ability to transcend international boundaries is reflected in Jeon Ji-hyun’s widespread popularity in China. After airing cell phone commercials starring Jeon Ji-hyun, Chinese company VK Corporation saw huge increases in cell phone sales due to their brand name’s association with Jeon Ji-hyun, and coined it the “Jeon Effect” [5].

 Scene Analysis of Train_Man

[1] “Top Movies in Japan in 2005”. Anime News Networks. 2006-01-02. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2006-01-02/top-movies-in-japan-in-2005.

[2] “VIZ Media Announces Release of Train Man”. Anime News Networks. 2006-06-28. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/press-release/2006-06-28/viz-media-announces-release-of-train-man.

[3] “Korean Movie Reviews for 2001: My Sassy Girl”. Koreanfilm.org. 2004-12-23. http://www.koreanfilm.org/kfilm01.html.

[4] “My Sassy Girl”. Wikipedia. 2014-04-03. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/My_Sassy_Girl.

[5] “Top Korean Female Star Makes Waves in the Chinese Mobile Market”. The Chosun Ilbo (English Edition). 2004-05-07. http://english.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2004/05/07/2004050761026.html.

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