The Woodsman and the Rain, Hayabusa: Harukanaru Kikan, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, Dragon Age: Dawn of the Seeker Trailers

There are a better set of Japanese films released this week namely Phoenix Wright!!! The Woodsman and the Rain also looks equally good with Koji Yakusho, who I can watch in any sort of film, and Shun Oguri. The Japanese box-office looks like this:

01. Always: Sunset on Third Street 3(Japan)
02. The Wings of the Kirin (Japan)
03. Japan’s Wildlife: The Untold Story(Japan)
04. Tower Heist (USA)
05. Robo-G (Japan)

There must be something to the top two films as they have maintained their positions from last week and Always: Sunset on Third Street has earned a lot of money. It’s still early days for the movie adaptation of Arakawa Under the Bridge and Berserk but I’m interested in seeing how well they do over the coming weeks.

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney

Release Date:  11th February 2012

Running Time: 109 min.

Director: Takashi Miike

Writer: N/A

Starring: Hiroki Narimiya, Mirei Kiritani, Takumi Saito, Akiyoshi Nakao, Shunske Daito, Ryo Ishibashi

Rejoice fellow Phoenix Wright fans! The film goes on general release in Japan today! This comes after it premiered at the International Film Festival Rotterdam where director Takashi Miike expressed the view that the film would probably get an international release.


In the near future, serious crime is on the rise and in response the justice system has changed the rules of court-room trials:

Cases last a maximum of three days and sentences are usually imposed immediately.

This change has led to exciting face-offs between public prosecutors and defenders who have to score points with the judge rapidly in order to win the case. Enter Phoenix Wright, Ace Attorney! In a series of cases based on the original games he will face off against rival prosecutors including the equally awesome Miles Edgeworth!

Hayabusa: The Long Voyage Home

Release Date:  11th February 2012

Running Time: 109 min.

Director: Tomoyuki Takimoto

Writer: Takuya Nishioka, Kazuma Yamane

Starring: Ken Watanabe, Yosuke Eguchi, Yui Natsukawa, Yukiyoshi Ozawa, Yuri Nakamura, Renji Ishibashi, Tsutomo Yamazaki

This film follows the 7 year journey of the Hayabusa spacecraft which was launched back in 2003 and returned to earth with asteroid samples. It stars the prolific and probably most recognisable Japanese actor for westerners, Ken Watanabe (Inception, The Last Samurai, Memoirs of a Geisha, Letters From Iwo Jima). So we know the ending because the probe returned safely and the earth is still here. Where’s the drama? I guess there will be some emotional strain on one of the characters plus there was equipment failure at some points. I got a Twin Spica vibe from this. Anyway check the trailer.

The Woodsman and the Rain

Release Date:  11th February 2012

Running Time: 129 min.

Director: Shuichi Okita

Writer: Shuichi Okita, Satoshi Arashi

Starring: Koji Yakusho, Shun Oguri, Kengo Kora, Asami Usuda, Masato Ibu, Tsutomu Yamazaki

A movie about making movies!

Shun Oguri plays a movie director named Koichi. It’s his first project and it involves filming in a mountain village named Yamamura. The cast and crew find themselves helped by the villagers including a reluctant volunteer, lumber-jack Katsuhiko played by Koji Yakusho. Shun Oguri and Koji Yakusho are great actors. Also in the film are the equally good Tsutomu Yamazaki and Asami Usuda.

Dragon Age: Dawn of the Seeker

Release Date: 11th February, 2012

Running Time: N/A

Director: Fumihiko Sori

Writer: Jeffrey Scott (script writer for Dragon Age Origins)

Starring: Chiaki Kuriyama, Shosuke Tanihara, Gackt

The story follows Cassandra a member of the Seekers who is called in to assist the Chantry, a religious order dedicated to bringing stability to a world corrupted by magic and restraining mages and their cabals. One evening, Cassandra witnesses a colleague named Master Byron remove a girl from prison because he believes she is the key to a huge conspiracy. As he reveals this they are attacked by an evil group of mages named Blood Meiji.

Dawn of the Seeker is based in the world of Bioware’s popular fantasy RPG Dragon Age Origins and acts as a prequel to the next Dragon Age. It stars Chiaki Kuriyama, best known for her roles in Battle Royale and Kill Bill and Shikoku who takes the lead as Cassandra Pentaghast. She is accompanied by Shosuke Tanihara (Vexille, The Sky Crawlers) who plays a mage named Regalyan D’Marcall and singer/actor Gackt (Supernatural: The Anime Series) plays a knight-commander and sings the opening theme song “Until the Last Day.”

When I reported this on Anime UK News there were few replies and they were all disappointed. After viewing the trailer I too was also disappointed.

I don’t want to end on disappointment… so I’ll go back to reviewing Japanese films after posting about Carnage. I’ll conclude my look at Takashi Shimizu films and a biography of my favourite Japanese director Kiyoshi Kurosawa. Hopefully I can find a copy of his film Charisma that doesn’t carry the price-tag: bankruptcy.

5 thoughts on “The Woodsman and the Rain, Hayabusa: Harukanaru Kikan, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, Dragon Age: Dawn of the Seeker Trailers

  1. Raku

    “It’s still early days for the movie adaptation of Arakawa Under the Bridge and Berserk but I’m interested in seeing how well they do over the coming weeks.”

    Sucks to say it but usually it’s downhill from where the movie debuts in the box office 😦

    I’m also a fan of Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s movies too but mainly his non-horror stuff (although I’ve heard Tokyo Sonata being described as family horror)

    Same goes for Shion Sono I’m mainly a fan of his more recent movies.

    1. Berserk and Arakawa do look like they’re doing poorly but I remember Ghibli’s From Up On Poppy Hill had an equally poor start yet it held on in the top ten and slowly crept up the chart. It will be interesting to see their positions next week.

      On to more important things – Kiyoshi Kurosawa! I love his films. I’ve reviewed most of the major ones (apart from Charisma). As far as I’m concerned he’s one of the few horror directors who truly understands the supernatural and loves exploring it. In recent years he has moved into ‘normal territory’ but his films are still brilliant and maintain a rigorous and intellectual edge. Tokyo Sonata is just genius. Borderline horror.

  2. Icha

    Hi, I want to see the Hayabusa movie very much. Will it have the English subtitle? I want to buy the DVD (if it is English-subbed) later. Thanks!

  3. Icha

    Eh, I think the trailer you inserted here for Hayabusa isn’t the Hayabusa: Harukanaru Kikan (The Long Voyage Home). There are at least two other Hayabusa movies made in Japan this year, and the one you attached maybe the ‘Welcome Home, Hayabusa’.

    1. Thanks for the heads up! I did a check and replaced the video!

      There were four films made about Hayabusa. I posted “Welcome Home, Hayabusa” last week and after a little checking I found out the trailer I posted was for a film carrying the title “Hayabusa” which came out last year… and stars Yuko Takeuchi. The fourth Hayabusa film is a documentary called “Hayabusa: Back to Earth”. すみません!

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