Thanks to the heads-up from Matt Fraction in the comments section, we now know that PING PONG the 2002 film adaptation of the Taiyo Matsumoto manga we talked about yesterday opens in New York City. Edit: It might only be playing tonight?

The New York Times reviewed the film and mentioned where it’s playing, and they seemed to really like it. Maybe you will too?

Most interesting? It’s being released by “Viz Pictures”, which strongly implies a DVD release from Viz, and if that does well, who knows? EDIT: Who knew? Apparently, Viz Pictures has a website? Check it out at and see the info for more screenings, in Chicago and Seattle.


– Christopher


  1. Well, it was released in 2002 in Japan, and it’s screened at a bunch of film festivals internationally, but it looks to have just picked up official distribution from Viz. Have you seen it?

  2. Yeah, my brother has it. He’s a big fan of asian cinema and buys in big chunks from places like

    It’s clever and entertaining, but very much a kids film in a way. We were kind of surprised how straightforward it was.

  3. Tom, they play ping pong against one another in PING PONG HEAVEN, awash in the holy light of Perfect Game! The linear narrative is fractured in pieces! Characters can HEAR the ball spin! What the FUCK does straightforward mean at your brother’s house?

  4. Well, we only get to do the movie marathon thing twice a year, and watching 15 movies in two days does tend to fuck with your standards. I have a terrible memory for film, too. Like Survive Style 5, all I remember without being prompted is 1) I liked it, and 2) one of the characters drove the same station wagon my dad did.

    To answer your question, I think I’m remembering the character-types and the final outcome were recognizable for their sports drama antecedents and the exaggerated action stuff was reasonably familiar from other recent movies, too. Even the deadpan stuff was a lot like some recent Korean comedies.

    I liked it, though! It’s one I’d watch again, for sure.

    And now I’m mad at Fraction because in checking IMDB for a paragraph I erased I just saw they’re making an English-language version of Oldboy. Yecch!

  5. I love, love, love PING PONG. Might be in my top ten movies, period.

    I would rather swallow my tongue than watch OLD BOY, however, so I might be partial to sweetness and light.

  6. ok! so thanks for posting this, because it indeed reminded me about this showing that i had meant to remember some weeks back.

    movie was AWESOME and i actually found myself really getting into the ping pong matches by the end.

    i was a huge fan of the smart, natural character stuff. just really well put together. also very stoked that the chinese player was none other than SAM LEE!

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