The Tampopo and the Ramen Girl films are two unique films based on similar techniques and surroundings but different intended information to the audience. The different directors have their way of impressing the audience considering that the two films have been acted at different times in the past and recent centuries. The discussion will look at the plots of the two films, their similarities and differences.
The first film is Tampopo of Japanese origin, by Itami Juzo of 1985.The setting is of comedy genre starring Nobuko Miyamoto, Tsutomu Yamazaki, Ken Watanabe and Nobuko Miyamoto. The film starts with two drivers, Tsutomu Yamazaki and Ken Watanabe, stopping at a descriptive noodle (Ramen Girl) shop. The experience drivers save a boy from being harassed and beaten by his three schoolmates outside the noodle shop. The boy being a son to a widowed owner of one of the businesses that struggle in the region (Tampopo) had no means of safeguarding his security. When Pisken, one of the customers, harasses Tampopo, Goro dares him and his gag to come out and fight for the dignity of the noodle shop. The fight takes place and he is outnumbered and injured. When he recovers, he wakes up at Tampopo’s home the following morning. The lady asks him of how he feels about her noodles and his answer with that of the driver partner, Goro, did not impress her. Their blunt answers about her flat noodles and offered her some advice and they decide to become her teacher. The first step was to turn her noodle shop into a foundation of the art of making soup with noodle recipe. The driver takes her to see how other noodle shops are operating to study their weakness and strength in making businesses strong and survive the test of times. The steps studied could not help her make the required soup concoctions to impress the clients. He takes the next step of requesting Yoshi Kato (the old master) to teach her and bring out her expertise in soup making. An incidence also occurs during the regular sessions of their teachings when an old man is rescued from being chocked on their food. The old man offered the services of his driver to the ramen shop who was an expert in making noodles. The shop manages to get recipes from the other competitors and decided to change the name of the noodle shop to Tampopo. The earlier fight between Goro and Pisken also continued later and they have a draw during the fight. Pisken being a contractor offers to decorate the inside of the hotel but still the hotel has some few challenges. The contractor offers assistance that comes as a shock to all the men involved. The secret menu attracts new and more customers.
The second film is the Ramen Girl by Robert Allan Ackerman of 2008. The movie is of American origin based on Japanese background. The film is comedy in nature. The film is revolving around Abby, an American lady who travels to Tokyo to visit her boyfriend. The trip faces challenges when the boyfriend, Ethan, goes to Osaka for a commercial transaction that may take a while. The trip is further fueled with emotions when the two break up due to the failure of Abby not joining him. She leaves to a ramen restaurant where she meets chef Maezumi and Reiko his wife but they tell her it is closed. Abby ends up crying and the two owners of the restaurant invite her in and comfort her with a bowl of ramen that she enjoys. The following day she comes back and has a meal of the same. The routine continues and the following second day she find the menu not served as it was not cooked. When Abby views Reiko’s ankles, she wants to help her in the restaurant. She passed out in the night but when she is awakened she wants to cook ramen. She asks the ramen restaurant owners to each her and they agree to do so during the coming days. When she comes back, she is given the job of cleaning the pots and toilet. The consequent days also take the same procedures but she did not quit as the Maezumi family expected her to do. After a few weeks of tested results and creating relations with some of the customers, she is promoted to a waitress. The film also surrounds the love life Abby after she established her foundation in the country. She finally learns how to make ramen but it is considered not he expected standards. She is advised on how to cook with emotions and how it will affect the customers. The same idea is seen when she cooks while crying and the customers with her manager do the same. Her techniques improve and she gets praises from the noodles technicians. The time comes when Abby has to relocate back in the United States to start her new life. She gets to start her restaurant, the Ramen Girl, as seen at the end of the scene where she invites Toshi to enter the business premises in the new region.
The two films have a common set up based on the surrounding of food that has been brought out by the different actors. Both the films surround people who want how to make ramen in their specific location in their respective set ups. The theme of food has surrounded the Japanese culture of making good food to attract the different customers irrespective of where you locate your hotel an example is seen in the first film where it was in a remote place somewhere in Japan and the second film involves two restaurants where one is in Tokyo and the other in America but they offer good services. The importance of culture is represented in the two films by the manner through which the two different parties take unique steps and sacrifice to ensure they learn the recipe to the making of the cherished meal. The message in the two films has also faced a similar audience although the films have different directors and settings. The audience is informed of the challenges people have to go through to get success in any business or life experience.
The films have the drama and romance characteristics as associated with the different manner in which the actors have associated themselves. The issue of drama in the first film is through the relationships that occur among the different parties in relation to the hotel. The start of the film shows drivers who cannot be imagined of having expertise in noodle making. The child rescued happened to be the son of the owner of the hotel. Another twist comes in play where Goro as to fight with Pisken and his gang upon an issue. The fight also brought another twist where by the Goro was injures and Tampopo had to treat his injuries and later he returned the favor through assisting her in rebranding the ramen shop. Romance part is depicted though the love of food and the efforts made to create a loved meal by the customers. The other scenarios in the where romance is depicted is when Timpopo uses her charms to learn the techniques in making soup and impress the five men who tasted her food. In the second film, drama has been elaborated in various scenarios as depicted by the main actor. Drama beings where Abby and her boyfriend break up when she visits Tokyo to see him but he leaves for Osaka and he refuses to let her join him. The other scene is when she enjoys the ramen until she comes every day to have a taste and misses the soup in one of the days. Drama is further created where she takes steps to learn how to make the stop and it ends up being approved by experts in the area. Romance has also been seen in the film through the different love scenarios by the main actor, Abby. Her previous relationships have failed to bear fruits but changes occur in the days she is still learning how to cook ramen. The relationship between Toshi and Abby is another romantic scene that is finalized at the end of the scene when they kiss to signify their tight positions.
The differences in the two films come through the number of settings used and the time of the shooting. The first film was set in 1985 with an old set up to the audience. The minimal surroundings are done in one area of specific interest near the noodle soup shop. Every aspect of the film has surrounded the shop and it builds the actors in their different capacities. The second film has two settings, the Japanese approach and the American approach. The understanding is to show a diverse and similarity in the cultures of two different countries related to a single person. This approach show how Abby has survived to adopt herself in the two different worlds where cultures clash. She depicts the characteristic through creating new relations with new people apart from her ex-boyfriend. She manages to adapt to the new changes in the new environment through convincing her employer to teach her how to make ramen that she became very good at. When she returned to the United States her change of ideas in cultures was also adapted to carry on in the new environment. The other difference in the two films is the approach taken by the two main actors learning how to cook the new recipe. In the first film, Tampopo is taken through the cooking practice by another person who takes the initiative as a favor for kind gesture. The second film takes another perspective where Abby takes the steps to learn by herself through securing trust from the strange community surrounding her. She earns their trust and ensures her practices are put into proper use. The audience of the two films also varies in the country of origins and the expected feedback given. The first film is expected to intrigue a much wider Japanese audience with the need to promote how the culture can be adhered to and respected. In the second film, the audience attracted is of a much more contemporary generation that expects to show the need of learning new cultures and improving on the human relation. The audience is expected to bond with all the cultures in the world irrespective of the location of the set ups and cultures.
The two films though produced at the different generations in the film industry, they both depict the need to appreciate the small needs of culture in the society. The targeted audience must understand the need to appreciate changes in the society as the generations adopt new ways of surviving the business scenarios in the society.