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Ping Pong (2009)

Yosuke Kubozuka , Shidou Nakamura , Fumihiko Sori  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

List Price: $29.92
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Product Details

  • Actors: Yosuke Kubozuka, Shidou Nakamura, Sam Lee, Koji Ohkura
  • Directors: Fumihiko Sori
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Dolby, Subtitled, Color, NTSC
  • Language: Japanese (Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: Japanese
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: VIZ Pictures, Inc.
  • DVD Release Date: September 4, 2007
  • Run Time: 114 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000QXDG70
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #234,793 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Ping Pong" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Based on Taiyo Matsumoto's highly successful manga of the same name. Ever since the day Peco (Yôsuke Kubozuka) rescued Smile (Arata) from a gang of bullies and introduced him to the game of table tennis, the pair have been inseparable friends. Now Peco is a peculiar teenager who wants no less than to be the best player in the world, but lacks the self-discipline to carry his plan through - while the withdrawn, slightly arrogant Smile probably has more natural talent than anyone, but just plays'to kill time' rather than to win, and his reluctance to see other players (especially Peco) humiliated makes him hold back in his own game, much to the annoyance of Ota, his coach (Naoto Takenaka). After Peco is sorely beaten in a tournament and quits the game, Smile continues his rise to the top, preparing the way for the return of his hero Peco, whom he is destined to meet in one last match.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enter the Hero! July 27, 2007
Format:DVD
This film is just great, easily one of my favorite modern Japanese flicks, and goes to show that the best of a countries films are not always readily exported. While on one hand a spectacularly visual sports film, with super-speed ping pong matches and dynamic characters, it is also a deeply introspective look at friendship, and the role of a hero and what that is supposed to mean.

Based on a five-volume manga by Matsumoto Taiyo, "Ping Pong" is the story of two best friends and their love of the sport of Ping Pong. Nicknamed "Peco" and "Smile," they are a study of contrasts. Peco (the popular Kubozuka Yosuke from "Go") is brash, flashy and smug, always taunting his opponents and singing his own praises as the best player around. Smile, given the name because he never smiles, is a quiet, self-effacing boy whose calm demeanour is the absolute opposite of Peco. Since childhood, they have practiced at a local hangout run by Obaba/Granny (Natsuki Mari from "Samurai Fiction") who has trained and nurtured the kids character and talent. Now in high school, they are on the ping pong team coached by former champion "Butterfly Joe" (played by the always great Takenaka Naoto.) Peco is Smile's hero, and the natural order of their friendship has been maintained for years. There is only one problem. Smile is better than Peco, and has been purposely loosing to him so as not to topple his hero. Smile prefers to be second place, in deference to his skills. This revelation crushes Peco, and he must discover his own actual strength, and learn what it means to be a hero.

Into this mix are an amazing cast of characters each with a unique name and personality. "Dragon," the harsh and serious leader of a rival school, who cannot stand Peco's humor and silliness while playing.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A typical but good Japanese sport movie!!! January 30, 2007
Format:DVD
I said this is typical because this movie has the elements that are so abundant in Japanese dramas and movies, and even animation; very introspective, and its about sports and friendship.

Additionally, it has a very "innocent" perspective of high school sports, and the spirit of competition.

The movie is good for the fact that it revolves around ping pong or table tennis, which itself is a misunderstood, under appreciated, and sometime unfairly made fun of, sports, especially over here in US. I blamed that on ignorance.

Its fun, and lighthearted, and it teaches good values, give it a try, and I am sure you'll like it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enter the Hero! October 30, 2005
Format:DVD
This film is just great, easily one of my favorite modern Japanese flicks, and goes to show that the best of a countries films are not always readily exported. While on one hand a spectacularly visual sports film, with super-speed ping pong matches and dynamic characters, it is also a deeply introspective look at friendship, and the role of a hero and what that is supposed to mean.

Based on a five-volume manga by Matsumoto Taiyo, "Ping Pong" is the story of two best friends and their love of the sport of Ping Pong. Nicknamed "Peco" and "Smile," they are a study of contrasts. Peco (the popular Kubozuka Yosuke from "Go") is brash, flashy and smug, always taunting his opponents and singing his own praises as the best player around. Smile, given the name because he never smiles, is a quiet, self-effacing boy whose calm demeanour is the absolute opposite of Peco. Since childhood, they have practiced at a local hangout run by Obaba/Granny (Natsuki Mari from "Samurai Fiction") who has trained and nurtured the kids character and talent. Now in high school, they are on the ping pong team coached by former champion "Butterfly Joe" (played by the always great Takenaka Naoto.) Peco is Smile's hero, and the natural order of their friendship has been maintained for years. There is only one problem. Smile is better than Peco, and has been purposely loosing to him so as not to topple his hero. Smile prefers to be second place, in deference to his skills. This revelation crushes Peco, and he must discover his own actual strength, and learn what it means to be a hero.

Into this mix are an amazing cast of characters each with a unique name and personality. "Dragon," the harsh and serious leader of a rival school, who cannot stand Peco's humor and silliness while playing.
Read more ›
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ping pong(concerning japanese version) October 4, 2005
By Ms.CSM
Format:DVD
I Thought that this movie was slow at the begining and at the end but over all funny, and different you can really tell that some of these characters are based off of manga characters(hopefully some of these people dont have a real life counter part.)
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Do you believe in heroes? July 23, 2006
Format:DVD
This is a fun (and often funny) film that revolves around the unique world of High School Ping Pong (in Japan). It's a sports movie that grows to be a little more than a sports movie... while managing to not become too over-the-top (like too many mainstream high school sports movies are). The great thing about this film is the fact that there are no bad guys, and you get to watch just about every character change and grow through the course of the film. Great performances from the entire cast, too.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
Ping Pong is a lot of fun, with an intriguing cast of characters, a very unique style and an exciting theme. The film really catches you off guard, because while the characters can be a bit silly and over the top they are never less than unique individuals who very quickly captured my attention and empathy. Smile never smiles and seemed destined to be an outcast until the cocky young ping pong player Paco took him under his wing and taught him to play. After that they were inseparable, and the only hang up is that Smile has the greater talent, and holds back in order to let Paco win. Everyone can see this except for them. What struck me most about the film is that it is distinctively Japanese -- that this is not a film designed for export but that makes it all the more refreshing and revelatory -- and as a sports film doesn't fall prey to any (or many) of the cliches that are part of the American sports film genre. There is of course the obligatory "rising to the challenge" montage -- when the two main characters take their sport seriously and we see them being pushed through a series of exercises by their coaches -- but even that felt distinctive and amusing. The film is not really about winning but about the ways in which friends can become heroes for each other. I enjoyed it quite a bit.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars a favorite!
This is simply as clever and fun as can be. My students and family all enjoyed it. Be certain to clarify this began as a manga (comic book); that detail helps one understand the... Read more
Published 2 months ago by SEMTsensei
3.0 out of 5 stars A little too childish.
It was okay enought to keep watching till the end, but it can be better.
Everything were mediocre. It's just not so good.
Almost forgot... Read more
Published 6 months ago by John W.
3.0 out of 5 stars Double Meaning
A rather comedy is of a Japanese teens' quest for the ping-pong champion title, incorporating too much double-meaning while showing funny young-young-young male characters... Read more
Published 22 months ago by Michael Kerjman
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique film
This movie is one of my all time favorites. That's not to say everyone will love its odd Japanese humor and random, theatrical characters, but this anime-based movie keeps me... Read more
Published on December 30, 2011 by landed
5.0 out of 5 stars Ping Pong review, something to watch, very enjoyable
This is a film about two heroes, one who lost his way and other that doesn't want to demonstrate how good he is. Read more
Published on September 25, 2011 by Fernando Altamirano Ruiseco
5.0 out of 5 stars Different perspectives on life
This is about diametrically opposing approaches to life. The common bond is the childhood friendship that continues into adulthood, galvanised and tested by a passion for ping-pong... Read more
Published on September 10, 2011 by Ian Hunter
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the movie Rocky wanted to make!
Wow. This movie works on many different levels, for it is all of the following: Rocky pic, modern samurai movie, chop-sockie, gunfighter flick, coming of age tale, children's... Read more
Published on May 20, 2009 by Zendicant Penguin
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing directer and emotional depth
From manga to anime to literature to film, one thing Japanese art does undeniably better than any other country's is the sports story. Read more
Published on May 2, 2009 by Evan R. Cassity
1.0 out of 5 stars Total waste of time and money
The story, the dialogue, and the actors are terrible. The ping-pong matches are pathetic. Why the director did not try to use real ping-pong players as actors? Read more
Published on February 7, 2009 by Michael Cuchanski
2.0 out of 5 stars very bad screenplay with very bad script
then was further messed up by bad directing and jumpy editing. sometimes lost focus on every possible scenario. Read more
Published on April 29, 2007 by JustAReader
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