Mondays: See You 'This' Week! [Blu-ray]
Blu-ray A - Japan - Maxam
Review written by and copyright: James-Masaki Ryan (9th May 2023).
The Film

"Mondays: See You 'This' Week!" (MONDAYS/このタイムループ、上司に気づかせないと終わらない) (2022)

Akemi Yoshikawa (played by Wan Marui) is an advertising agent working non-stop during a busy week at her office in which she must come up with a marketing campaign for a new product - carbonated miso soup tablets. While she is busy with trying to please her client by bending over backwards at every turn and even getting into a car accident resulting in a mild head wound, she continues on with the tight deadline of next Monday. But it seems to be no ordinary week. Coworkers Takuto Endo (played by Kohki Osamura) and Ken Murata (played by Yugo Mikawa) keep telling her that they are stuck in a one week time loop, and every Monday the world resets to the previous Monday. While she is skeptical, they tell her to try to recall the moment on Monday morning when a pigeon crashes into the office window, causing everyone to jump, to trigger her memories of the week. When Akemi realizes the following Monday that she is truly in a time loop like everyone else, the three try to make all others in the office to realize the predicament, and try to figure out a way to escape the never-ending madness of the office.

The plot device of a time loop has been explored in a number of situations in a variety of genres, and "Mondays" fully realizes this as even the characters state references to other films such as "Happy Death Day" and "Groundhog Day". While those took place in a 24-hour period with only a single person being aware of the actions around them, "Mondays" takes it a step further by having an RPG effect, by recruiting others and making them realize that they are stuck in a time loop. with each new person being helpful in a chance to escape. While it is not certain how the office characters got into the situation, one thought is that the bracelet that the boss Mr. Nagahisa (played by Makita Sports) started to wear on Monday is a cursed object, and the only way to escape is to get the boss to realize the situation and for them to destroy the object. And for that, it means that every week, they must recruit more people to be aware. This means that the idol group loving Sotaro Moriyama (played by Kotaro Yagi and the mobile game addicted Ichiro Taira (played by Haruki Takano must also join the awakened.

This is production company Chocolate Inc.'s first feature length narrative film. The company produces artwork, marketing campaigns as well as documentaries and shorts, so having the setting at an advertising agency was a good choice as the filmmakers had experience to work with. There was a lot of research done with not only the office environment and the quirks found within, but also the rules that previous time loop films have had. Writer Saeri Natsuo's first script was 180 pages and was far too long for a single feature (and originally called "Endless Boss" as the working title). Working together with director Ryo Takebayashi, many subplots and scenes had to be scrapped, combined, or edited down to the bare minimum to get the story flowing at a reasonable pace and length. In addition to the storyline and making sure the tricky timeline could be followed, it was also important to create characters that were distinct and memorable.

The character of Akemi is the central figure, as most of the journey is seen through her eyes. From the hard first week only putting pressure on herself to work, not having enough time for her boyfriend who is eager to meet her, to the following weeks in which her confidence is turned upward as she knows exactly what her client wants and needs for the unusual miso soup tablets, with each week being able to fix her mistakes. But at the same time she is still putting her career ahead of everyone else, rather than working as a team in order to get to the goal of escaping the time loop. Endo and Murata are the veterans of the situation, with both of them experiencing the phenomenon over 20 times and trying everything from working hard to slacking off, and Murata has some memorable lines with his annoyance of people trying to reference movies and getting a few basic things wrong. Nagahisa and Taira also have their quirks at the office, with Nagahisa being nervous and without confidence and Taira being a bit self centered, but once they are on board, the teamwork with the five is set to go. Veteran comedian and actor Makita Sports as the unknowing boss is uplifting and awkwardly silly, reminiscent of Michael Scott from "The Office", and has a number of great scenes even if he is more of a supporting role. Even with the fairly short runtime and limited setting, with most of the film taking place within the main office space, the actors do a fine job with the characters and bringing them to life with flaws and strengths.

There are a few plot twists along they way such as with the seemingly inconsequential secretary Seiko (played by Momoi Shimada), the meeting in which Akemi meets the respected yet ambitiously terrifying Takako Kimoto (played by Harumi Shuhama), and the story keeps things fresh with its quick paced editing by Jo Kobayashi, and its various repeated happenings that are unavoidable. There are some things that could have been explored further with the time loop scenario, and so one flaw may be that there was a bit too much trimmed from the original script when having to shorten things down. On the plus side, it never feels too long or too short either.

Produced during the COVID-19 pandemic, the small production was not originally planned for theatrical release and was going straight to streaming. But during production it changed into a theatrical release, so Director Takebayashi looked to making things slightly more cinematic for the bigger screen in the process. With the widescreen cinematography by a Tatsuyuki Kozen, it certainly feels bigger and grander even if in a small setting as a tiny office. The filmmakers did quite an excellent job in the production, from the logistical nightmares of having a non-linear production that could easily be confusing for the performers as well as the viewers, and turning it into something welcoming and relatable to anyone who has worked in an environment in which every week feels just like the last one. Like most time loop films, there isn't a logical reason as to why it happened, and it is not particularly important. "Mondays" is a little indie comedy that works well with its quirky humor and unusual scenario, and works just as well with repeated viewings.

The film opened theatrically in limited screenings from October 14th, 2022, with wider screenings of over 70 screens two weeks later from October 28th, 2022 in Japan. There was great word of mouth and high critical praise, resulting in some theaters having to extend their screenings as it remained quite popular. At the 32nd Japanese Film Critics Awards, Takebayashi won Best New Director and Takebayashi and Kobayashi received the Best Editing award. In addition, Makita Sports won Best Supporting Actor at the Masademy Awards.

Note this is a region A Blu-ray


Maxam presents the film in the 2.39:1 aspect ratio in 1080p AVC MPEG-4. Shot digitally, the transfer here looks absolutely wonderful throughout. The mostly handheld cinematography is sharp throughout with crisp colors, sharp detail, and having an excellent array of colors reproduced from light to dark, depending on the sequence. An excellent presentation here.

The film's runtime is 83:04.


Japanese DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
The 5.1 track is presented in lossless form (although the main menu mistakenly states it is "Dolby Digital"). It is a surprisingly active surround track, with its clever use of sound and music. Dialogue is always centered and easy to hear and well balanced against the surrounds, which are used for sound cues, from the active music tracks like the idol song as well as the disorienting music cues that actively uses all the surrounding channels to encompass the viewers. The track is well balanced and sounds excellent with no particular issues of dropout or errors to speak of.

There are no subtitles available.


Audio commentary with director Ryo Takebayashi and writer Saeri Natsuo
In this commentary, Takebayashi and Natsuo give a screen specific talk about the production, from the creation of the opening credits sequence, setting up the timeloop scenario, the choice of having the pigeon as the signal, the low budget production and limited locations, information on the characters, deleted subplots, and more. While one would expect more technical information and about the script writing process, there actually isn't much here, with the two mostly giving basic comments on what is happening on screen.
in Japanese DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 without subtitles

Audio commentary with actors Wan Marui, Koki Osamura, Yugo Mikawa and Makita Sports
This actors commentary first has Marui, Osamura, and Mikawa discussing about the film while Makita Sports enters the conversation about 37 minutes in. It may have been because the commentary for the first 37 minutes was too bland, as the three would mostly just laugh and point out things on screen rather than giving in depth information. When Sports enters the conversation, he discusses with them about the script including bringing his own copy of the original version which had much more dialogue and subplots, about the rehearsals and the logistical issues with the production from the multiple timelines, as well as praising the details like the wardrobe, the comic, the lighting, the cinematography and more. In addition, since Sports was technically "out of the loop" compared to the rest of the office staff characters, he was able to sit at his character's desk and draw caricatures of all the cast members during his time off screen.
in Japanese DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 without subtitles

"Making of Mondays: See You 'This' Week!" featurette (28:06)
The featurette chronicles the story of the film from its inception, the research done, the character quirks, rehearsals, the difficulties in narrowing down the initially lengthy script, the production, the reception, and more. Though it is just under 30 minutes, there is a lot of fascinating information packed into this featurette and told extremely well through retrospective interviews from the various cast and crew. Also talked about are the difficulties in editing, the music choices, the wardrobe changes, the manga, spot checking for plotholes and even cases of goofs being spotted by the cast and crew after the film was completed.
in 1080p AVC MPEG-4, in 1.78:1, in Japanese DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 without subtitles

Trailer - 30 sec version (0:35)
Trailer - 90 sec version (1:32)
Trailer - reviews version (0:59)

Three original trailers are presented here. First is a 30 second teaser, the second is a full trailer, and the third with quotes from various critics, celebrities, and others on screen. The three trailers are embedded below, courtesy of the film's official YouTube channel.
in 1080p AVC MPEG-4, in 2.39:1, in Japanese DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 without subtitles

The commentaries are a bit of a disappointment in content, but the featurette stands out as being fantastic. It's a surprisingly bare release in terms of video extras, as there is no behind the scenes footage or interviews. Though the actors in their commentary stated that there was no making-of crew on set as it was a low budget feature and they had a limited crew due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Other notable clips:

Rehearsal footage.

An interview with director Ryo Takebayashi.


For the limited edition, the disc is packaged in a standard Blu-ray case. The inner inlay has artwork along with a chapter listing. Also included in the case is a sticker sheet with two stickers, one of the "Mondays" logo and the other of a pigeon. The keep case is housed in a hard slipbox which also has a 58 page booklet with cast and crew biographies, production notes, interviews, stills, credits, and a reproduction of the boss' manga as seen in the film.

Unusually, the only difference between the limited and standard editions is the packaging. The disc itself is the same. The standard edition just comes with a shorter 28 page booklet that only includes the manga and without a slipbox.


"Mondays: See You 'This' Week!" is a fun indie comedy that is "The Office" meets "Groundhog Day", with a few additional twists to the time loop genre. Maxam's Blu-ray is great in image and sound, with a great featurette, though having no English options will certainly be a turn-off for international viewers. Hopefully it will receive international releases as it's certainly a relatable and fun feature that deserves a wider audience. Highly recommended.

The Film: A- Video: A Audio: A Extras: B Overall: A-


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