I watched two baseball-related Asian films, KANO and Vancouver Asahi on the same day. Although the situations are a little bit different, both are about baseball players before the world war and based on real stories. KANO is about how Taiwanese high school students aim to enter the Koshien, Japanese national baseball high school championship, when Taiwan was under Japanese government. Whereas, Vancouver Asahi is about a Japanese amateur baseball team in Canada. Since both movies handle similar themes, I would like to compare them.
First, the biggest difference is KANO uses actual baseball players whereas Vancouver Asahi uses actors. The director of KANO, Umin Boya says “I can teach acting. All I want is the ability of baseball” in an interview. Therefore, I can see their acting is not that good. In the movie, the Taiwanese boys speak Japanese, but honestly, I could not understand some of them although my first language is Japanese. On the other hand, the acting in Vancouver Asahi was really good. The actors are quite famous in Japan indeed. Actually, those actors had baseball experience, not professional level though, so I didn’t feel any awkwardness in the baseball scene at all. I do not know much about baseball, but to be honest, the form of the pitcher in KANO was kind of strange and abnormal. Umin seems very proud of using real baseball players, but I don’t think it was necessary.
Second was the introduction of history. At the end of the movie, KANO takes time and introduces the history of each person that was in the movie, such as what he did or when he died. I think it is a really good idea and makes this movie much better, because it draws our sympathy and shows respect for the people in history. This is a very nice ending I believe. On the other hand, Vancouver Asahi only introduced the names of people who were on the team. I believe they should introduce more about them and the history behind the story.
Third, the costumes in Vancouver Asahi were really chic, classy and awesome. Everyone wore cute costumes, but not all same kind. I believe that was very hard work. However, in KANO, although they practiced very hard every day, their uniforms were not dirty at all. In addition, they wore similar clothing; not only the baseball players, but teachers.
Finally, I thought Vancouver Asahi were very monotone. There were not any big events or accidents, so it was kind of boring. I know they had a championship and some problems, but they were very small. For example, they were issued a suspension of championships, but it was taken away immediately. On the other hand, KANO has Koshien, the huge goal. Although it was a really sob and sappy story, since the movie has the big aim, the axis was not blurred. For those reasons, I cannot say which is better, but as I said, KANO left quite a good aftertaste. Since the situations of both films are very interesting, I was a little bit disappointed that they had many points that could have been better.