Final Fantasy XIII Unfairly Hated?

Final Fantasy XV was shown at the recent Tokyo Game Show and I think it looks great buuuut… it has been in development for nearly TEN YEARS in which time is has had a reboot and new director in the shape of Hajime Tabata (director of the excellent Crisis Core). These delays and  makes me think of the troubled development and reception of Final Fantasy XIII.

What I remember about the launch of Final Fantasy XIII back in February 2011 was the critical reception of the game with websites and publications such as Edge magazine giving it 5 out of 10. This for a major entry in the main franchise! Could the poor scores have been justified? I was curious and bought the game.

Final Fantasy XIII Cast
The Cast of Final Fantasy XIII

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Mother, Zero, Fatal Frame, Danger Dolls, Fuja, Hunger Z, Akira No.2, Phantom Limb, Mono oki no Piano (Piano Barn), Girls High-school and Other Japanese Film Trailers

Amagi Brilliant Park Key Image 2The Raindance Film Festival has launched and I’ll be heading there next week – commitments at work mean that I cannot take a holiday sooner (not that I’m complaining because I’m thankful that I have a job!) and I’ll miss out on some of the Japanese films that are screening between now and when I get to London. I’ll be able to see the titles I miss when I get my signed copy of the New Directors From Japan DVD! Enough bragging.

I didn’t watch any films this week – I’m still trying to review about a dozen or more… I have watched lots of anime. Zankyou no Terror, Space Dandy, Barakamon, Shirogane no Ishi Argovellon. Great stuff. The only thing I posted about this week is the anime I’ll be watching in the autumn season.

What is released in Japan this weekend?

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Genkina hito’s Autumn 2014 Anime Picks

Autumn is here! New anime!

Genkina hito's Autumn 2014 Anime Picks

We are almost at the end of the year and 2014 has had a summer season to die for what with awesome titles like Space Dandy, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders, and Barakamon providing an excellent stream of entertainment, humour and great animation. Tokyo Ghoul was another standout as it compressed the manga to create an excellent action title. Expect series reviews for those titles!

With the help of Anime News Network and My Anime List, I got my autumn anime season previews published by Anime UK News at the beginning of the month (part one and two are up) and I found the experience to be an interesting mixture of comfort derived from doing something familiar and relief that the season doesn’t look too bad.

At first glance, the autumn season doesn’t look too stellar but I prefer to try avoid being negative because there are a few shows that have the right combination of staff and source material to make things work. There’s a strong fantasy element in this season and I’m willing to take a chance on quite a few titles.

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Bon Lin, Gajimaru Shokudo no Koi, Goose Bumps The Movie 2, Zakurozaka no Adauchi, Inagawa Ghost Story, Mister Home, Strike Witches: Operation Victory Arrow Vol. 1, Yowamushi Pedal Re:RIDE and Other Japanese Film Trailers

Psycho-Pass 2 Key Image 2Greetings from the still United Kingdom! I hope everyone is having a good weekend!

This week I posted about the Japanese films playing at the Vancouver International Film Festival and the release of Lesson of Evil from Third Window Films. I hope to tackle the films playing at the East Winds Film Festival and Tokyo International Film Festival. Maybe the London Korean Film Festival will get a mention.

With the onset of Autumn comes festival season. Plotting my trips to London for Raindance and the LFF involves visiting art galleries to see exhibitions. I’m hoping to catch The Wallace Collection. Autumn also means new anime and I announce my anime picks next week and you can read two previews here and here.

It’s a busy weekend with a few diamonds like Bon Lin!

Bon Lin   Bon Lin Film Poster

Japanese: ぼんとリンちゃん

Romaji: Bon to Lin chan

Release Date: September 20th, 2014 (Japan)

Running Time: 91 mins.

Director: Keiichi Kobayashi

Writer: Keiichi Kobayashi (Screenplay),

Starring: Ema Sakura, Mahiro Takasugi, Hakushu Togetsuan, Rino Higa, Kaho Tsukioka, Takayuki Suzuki,

The writer/director of About a Pink Sky (2012) is back with another youth picture which will play at this year’s Tokyo International Film Festival. I should get around to watching About a Pink Sky!

Natsuko Yotsuya (Sakura) is a teenage girl who is also known as Bon and she has a friend named Miyu. Bon is from a small town but Miyu lives in Tokyo with her boyfriend. When Natsuko finds out that Miyu is being abused by her partner, she heads to the big city to bring her homes. Tagging along is her childhood friend Rintaro Tomoda (Takasugi) who is also known as Lin. They meet a series of Otaku who help guide them through the streets of Tokyo to find Miyu.


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Third Window Films Releases Takashi Miike Film Lesson of Evil

Third Window Films will release Lesson of Evil on September 28th and I have had mine on pre-order since it became available on day one. I’ll wait until I get it before I review it but I am anticipating a barn-storming bit of entertainment. It’s a title I have kept track of ever since it played at the Rotterdam film festival and I was excited by the buzz because the reviews pointed to it as evidence that he was going back to his roots in gory horror and action titles and those are the films I first go to know him by. The film is based on a book written by Yusuke Kishi, an award winning novelist who specialises in horror and stars a lot of great actors.

Also, awesome DVD case!

Here are the release details:


Lesson of Evil DVD Case

A film by Takashi Miike (Audition, 13 Assassins, For Love’s Sake)

Japan / 2012 / 129 Mins / In Japanese with English subtitles / Colour

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Japanese Films at the 2014 Vancouver International Film Festival

Vancouver International Film Festival 2013 Logo

Canada is awesome. Two film festivals and both featuring lots of excellent films! The first Canadian film festival I’m thinking about is the Toronto International Film Festival which had a plethora of great titles and that one finished yesterday. The second film festival I’m thinking about is The Vancouver International Film Festival which kicks off on September 25th and finishes on October 10th. It features a lot of Japanese films and Tony Rayns has written up about them.

As ever, the titles link to the festival pages which have more information such as times and prices and fuller descriptions.

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Rurouni Kenshin The Legend Ends, Honey Flappers, Maiko wa Lady, Umi wo Kanjiru Toki (When I Sense the Sea), Murder Workshop, Cardfight!! Vanguard The Movie: Neon Messiah, Atorie Iroiro (Atelier of Variety), Club Andalusia Ginza Namiki Street, The Pinkie Japanese Film Trailers

Welcome to another trailer post. We’re almost midway through The Pinkie Film Image 7September and that means closer to the Raindance Film Festival (here’s my preview). I’ll be attending that and, hopefully, interviewing some directors. I’ll have to see how my schedule shapes up. It will be tight because I’ll also be going to see the Tate’s exhibition about JMW Turner’s painting towards the end of his career. After Raindance, I’ll be going to the BFI London Film Festival (here’s my preview). Fewer films to see there but there is The World of Kanako, my most anticipated title of 2014. I hope to get the preview of the Vancouver Film Festival completed next week.

The week has been very busy with lots of extra hours at work, Japanese class and yet I still found time to write up my autumn anime season picks for the blog and start on a massive backlog of reviews including one from last year’s Raindance and this year’s Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme. I also completed Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology on the PSP. Truthfully, I was ready to complete it long ago but I stopped playing it because it was not that much fun. Time to start playing Star Ocean: First Departure. No Space Dandy and Scarletmovies watched this week. As far as anime goes, I watched all of the latest episodes from my summer picks – the Space Dandy episode Lovers Are Trendy, Baby, was fun and heart-breaking. Scarlet and Dandy made such a good couple. Tokyo Ghoul is getting even more exciting and over the top and Barakamon is maintaining its high quality brilliance but the biggest investment in time, attention and effort for me happened when I started watching the anime adaptation of Monster again, a mature and dark anime I rate highly. 70+ episodes and it is worth it!

This week I posted about the London Film Festival and Takashi Miike’s latest horror title, As the God’s Will which is released next month.

What’s released this weekend in Japan? Lots of excellent films, much like last year’s September!

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As the Gods Will Teaser Trailer and Information

As the Gods Will   Kami-sama no Iu Toori Film Still

Japanese: 神さまの言うとおり

Romaji: Kami-sama no Iutoori

Release Date: November 15th, 2014 (Japan)

Running Time: 83 mins.

Director: Takashi Miike

Writer: Hiroyuki Yatsu (Screenplay), Muneyuki Kaneshiro, Akeji Fujimura (Original Manga)

Starring: Sota Fukushi, Hirona Yamazaki, Ryunosuke Kamiki, Mio Yuki, Shota Sometani, Nao Omori, Lily Franky

When Takashi Miike announced he was going back to making gory and funny films I couldn’t help but grin. When I saw this trailer I replayed it a dozen times and possibly (probably) cackled with glee at the comedy! This trailer is just fun!

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Japanese Films at the BFI London Film Festival 2014

BFI London Film Festival Logo

The BFI London Film Festival launches next month and lasts from October 08th to October 19th. It takes place over 12 days in 17 venues and there are 248 films getting screened.

All but one of the films have been released in Japan, played at different festivals around the world and have UK distribution deals in place. Of the films playing, The World of Kanako is the one I’m gunning to see and own on DVD while I’m very intrigued by The Furthest End Awaits, an interesting choice for the festival since it has zero buzz around it in terms of cast/staff and awards and hasn’t been released in Japan yet.

Enough of the preamble, here are the films:

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A Record of Sweet Murder, In the Hero, Hozuki-san Chi no Aneki, Ghost in the Shell: ARISE border: 4 Ghost Stands Alone Japanese Film Trailers

Psycho-Pass Season 2 MikaWelcome to another trailer post. The autumn season is upon us which means that many of the major British film film festivals have started announcing their programmes. Scotland Loves Anime were the first off the mark (and you can read more about that festival over at Otherwhere) followed by Raindance and the BFI London Film Festival. I’ve already written up the preview for the Japanese films at Raindance and the LFF will follow this post on Monday.

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