Directed by: Yosuo Furuhata
Actors: Shima Iwashita, Shinobu Sakagami, Kaori Okomoto,
Also known as: Ma no toki (original Japanaes tittle)
Description: Filled with guilt over his forbidden desires, young man leaves home and his studies. He finds a new smaller place to stay, a low-paying but satisfying job and a girlfriend. Then his mother, unable to fight her forbidden desires, shows up.
Director Furuhata Yasuo’s incest-themed film “Ma No Toki” promises an unconventional and seductive romantic tale but falls short of delivering on a convincing story or erotic spectacle and instead becomes a melodramatic tease.
Often referred to as “Time of Wickedness”, the title actually can be better translated to “A Moment of Sin” and features the beautiful Iwashita Shima as Mizuo Ryoko, the ultimate MILF who enters into a taboo relationship with her own son, Fukashi (Sakagami Shinobu). Fukashi is an earnest and serious high school graduate who had fled his affluent family in Tokyo to live in a small coastal town in the far North, living a humble and carefree life as a clerk at a fish market at the harbor. Fukashi’s estranged mother, after months of searching finally tracks him down and tries to reconnect with him. She rents an small apartment overlooking the market and frequently visits Fukashi as he sells fish to the local merchants and town folk. As the story unfolds, we slowly learn (in flashback) about the dark details of Fukashi and his mother’s past. A couple years earlier Fukashi had been studying for the entrance exams for the prestigious Todai (Tokyo University), however in typical youthful rebellion, Fukashi had strayed from his studies (getting involved with a youth biker gang) and developing an apathetic outlook on life. His mother Ryoko (the wife of an elite businessman) is devastated by his changing attitude. She is already suffering stress as her relationship with Fukashi’s father (the always reliable Koyama Shigeru) has cooled and become distant. The two wounded and needy souls soon find themselves entering into a taboo relationship. Despite their precautions, they are soon caught after one of their many sexual encounters and Ryoko ends her relationship with Fukashi. Ashamed and hurt, Fukashi flees Tokyo in the hopes of reevaluating his life. Falling in love with another girl (a former gang member), Fukashi hopes to begin a new life but with the return of his mother, can he? Those expecting a bawdy, erotic, lurid sex filled “Roman Porno” style story may be somewhat disappointed by the film’s fairly tame approach on a controversial subject. While Iwashita Shima is absolutely gorgeous in the movie, her brief nude scenes are very far and few in-between and director Furuhata suggests more than than actually shows. Iwashita (Gyakudo No Onna Tachi series) has always been a favorite of mine and she delivers a good performance here, making Ryoko a sympathetic and likable character and not some caricature.
Sakagami Shinobu is also very good as the confused son but he tends to be a bit too whiny and weak and doesn’t solicit much sympathy (although viewers like myself are a bit envious of his scenes with Iwashita).
Screenwriter Tanaka Yozo make a good attempt at adapting the original novel by Kitaizumi Yuko and trying to make it into a “The Graduate” but it doesn’t quite work. It would have been nice if the approach could have been more like other erotic dramas that deal in obsession like “9 1/2 Weeks” or “Last Tango In Paris”.
Fans of Iwashita Shima may find this an enjoyable curio piece but for those who strictly want the taboo sex should stick with the numerous incest themed (Kinshinsoukan) Japanese AVs from companies like “Ruby” who have made a fortune based on the concept (I suspect they might of also been partly inspired by this film as well).
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