Admit it! If you’ve seen the other five Tomie films (or at least every one you could get your hands on) you’ll need to see this one too. For those of you in this situation, Beginning has several notable strengths (corresponding to the list I outlined above) but will likely conclude in that same ambiguous sensation we experienced at the end of most Tomie films, a sensation which strongly suggests “I know there is more to Tomie than that“.
But by now, you and I are quite accustomed to that sensation, and so its possibility should certainly NOT be a deterrent to watching this SIXTH installment of the Tomie collection.
One final comment on the notion that this film describes Tomie’s “beginning”. It does not. At least not in the sense you think it ought. You may recall (I certainly do) the rather deceptive manner in which Tomie: Forbidden Fruit was advertised, suggesting that “forbidden fruit” implied sensuality when in actuality it referenced the fact that a character ate a persimmon (the connection being, fruit lovers, that some circles believed persimmons to be the “forbidden fruit” of Genesis 1, blah blah blah). Well, that same anti-climax caused by the persimmon is coming your way if you think “beginning” means “THE” beginning. It doesn’t. Instead, it means “A” beginning and refers back to my earlier statement that this film posits a (scientific) theory as to how Tomie rejuvenates. Thus, the beginning here refers solely to a thorough description of her rebirth (abilities) and has utterly nothing to do with the “past”, especially not Tomie’s supposed origins in Meiji or pre-Meiji eras. (That the trailers suggest otherwise by depicting a historical-looking, kimono-clad Tomie is, alas, persimonny deception.) I just thought you should know that.
Version reviewed: Unsubtitled VHS