Went to the movies in Yokohama just for the experience. And ONLY for the experience because I won’t be doing THAT again. 1) Tickets were 2,000 yen (about $24.28, if you’re wondering), 2) we had to order/purchase tickets on lobby kiosks that were COMPLETELY in Kanji. Ended up at least picking Resident Evil by luck and it HAPPENED to be in English, thank God, and 3) we had the weirdest occurrence ever at a movie theater. Well, at least weirder than when we have to stand for the national anthem before every movie on base. Patriotic, yes, but come on. Anyway, Japanese theaters:
Resident Evil: Afterlife 3D, awesome. Zombies (I know, the infected, whatever), Boris Kodjoe, gore, huge monster grim reaper dude, more zombies. #win. So 97 minutes later, a cliffhanger ending (as expected, I’m awaiting RE5 or 6 or whatever we’re on now, a la the Saw series), the uninfected are [kinda] safe and BAM: screen goes black and credits roll. Soooo, my friend and I rock forward in our seats in preparation to stand and exit. Uh, wrong. Theater is still dark, folks are still sitting in full reclined position WITH 3D glasses on, munching popcorn and intently reading each line of credit as they scroll. 300 people. NOBODY moves, nobody leaves. So we just sit and stare around, slowly slink back into our seats (which have two armrests each, BTW, no sharing). Then a little encore of the movie plays. Ah, so that’s what everyone was waiting for. Right? Nuh uh. Encore finishes, they all still sit. A blond couple, obviously not Japanese, to the front left exits. We’d watched them; they were as confused as we but I guess they gave up. The theater was completely silent and dark, only thing moving was the eyes of Japanese nationals darting back and forth over the names of those who’d toiled on this movie (now over by like 7 minutes).
We finally gave up, too. “Sumimasen”, (i.e. excuse me) in hushed voices as we tipped passed the people on the end of our row. So eerie as we walked down the staircase leading past EVERYONE else still sitting down watching the credits in silence, sipping Coke. We looked back once. I know everyone talked trash about us to SOMEone when they went home. “These rude idiot Americans…” Now you know though. If you ever go to the movies in Japan, don’t move until everyone else does. We probably broke some Japanese custom or something. Oh well.