Japanese Box Office and POV ~Norowareta Film~, Afro Tanaka, Utahime, Are Any of You Alive? Trailers

Another week packed full of films. I’ve started watching Akira Kurosawa classics – Yojimbo and Seven Samurai so far with I Live in Fear next on the schedule. I also saw The Woman in Black in a packed cinema yesterday and loved every minute of it despite the squealing of the Harry Potter-brigade. Speaking of cinemas… what does the Japanese box office look like this week?

01. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
02. Always: Sunset on Third Street 3
03. The Wings of the Kirin
04. Hayabusa: The Long Voyage Home
05. Ace Attorney

Well Phoenix Wright didn’t break into the top three but it’s still a respectable entry unlike Berserk, Arakawa and The Woodsman and the Rain which are all outside the top ten (ouch!). Released this week are a pretty awesome set of films. And Afro Tanaka.

Fish on Land

Release date:  18th of February, 2012

Running time: 108 mins.

Director: Yusuke Iseya

Writer: Tomoki Tsujichi (novel)

Starring: Mirai Moriyama, Hidetoshi Nishijima, Nae Yuki, Hirofumi Arai, Kenichi Takito, Kiyohiko Shibukawa, Masahiko Tsugawa

Based on Tomoki Tsujiuchi’s best-selling novel the film looks like a class act. It is directed by Yusuke Iseya who starred in the awesome 13 Assassins, the awesome Kore-eda film After Life and the amusing Sukiyaki Western Django.

Mirai Moriyama plays a university student on the cusp of graduation, With a job already waiting for him he decides to take a bicycle trip on his last summer vacation. During this trip he comes across a drive-in theatre called House 475 which is run by Seiji (Hidetoshi Nishijma. He decides to help out at the drive-in and through working with Seiji begins to change his view on life.

Afro Tanaka

Release date:  18th of February, 2012

Running time: N/A

Director: Daigo Matsui

Writer: Masafumi Nishida (script), Masaharu Noritsuke (original manga)

Starring: Shota Matsuda, Nozomi Sasaki, Atsushi Tsutsumishita, Kei Tanaka, Kaname Endo, Ryusuke Komakine

Based on Noritsuke Masaharu’s gag manga of the same name the story follows 24 year old high school drop-out Hiroshi Tanaka (Shota Matsuda) who is a chap with a perm that looks like an afro, that symbol of black consciousness. Anyway that’s his natural hair and it causes him all sorts of grief so he goes to Tokyo to work as a tunnel digger which is helpful I guess because people won’t be so quick to take notice of his hair. Whilst in Tokyo he hears from an old friend who informs him that he is going to get married. Hiroshi realises that he has let life pass him by and is determined to get a girlfriend. It just so happens that a beautiful lass by the name of Aya Kato (Nozomi Sasaki) has shown up in his life but what will she make of the afro???

Seriously if you’re going to adapt a manga try Kurosagi Corpse Delivery. I’d pay good money to see that!


POV ~Norowareta Film~   POV Norowareta Film Poster

Release Date: 18th February 2012

Running Time: N/A

Director: Norio Tsuruta

Writer: N/A

Starring: Mirai Shida, Haruna Kawaguchi

Norio Tsuruta is back with another film involving spooks popping up on camera. The unfortunates getting terrorised this time are Mirai Shida and Haruna Kawaguchi who are in the process of making a film based on psychic investigation.

Are Any of You Alive?   

Release Date: 18th February 2012

Running Time: N/A

Director: Gakuryu Ishii (previously known as Sogo Ishii)

Writer: Gakuryu Ishii, Shiro Maeda

Starring: Shota Sometani, Rin Takanashi, Hakka Shiraihi, Asato Iida, Mai Takahashi

Shota Sometani has appeared in some exciting films lately like “Himizu” and “A Man with Style” and this film looks very interesting. So much so that writing up a synopsis is a bit hard.

Set in a university campus that is attached to a hospital, there is a escaped female patient, a strange man, students and a café worker in a love triangle, a mother looking for a lost child, a love-sick doctor and an unreceptive nurse and an urband legend which could be linked to the end of the world.


Release Date: 18th February, 2012

Running Time: 113 mins.

Director: Yoshiko Hoshida

Writer: Yumiko Kamiyama, Takahisa Igarashi (novel)

Starring: Hitomi Kuroki, Hiroko Kurisaka, Masahiko Nishimura, Tae Kimura, Shizuyo Yamazaki, Miki Maya, Masahiko Nishimura, Seiji Rokkaku

I’m so not the target audience for this.

Mieko (Hitomi Kuroki) is unhappily married. Her husband (Masahiko Nishimura) ignores her and her daughter Sayako (Hiroko Kurisaki) is rebelling. Then Kaori (Tae Kimura) a person from her past as an office lady enters her life. Unfortunately Kaori was unhappily married, swindled out of money and is now divorced and in debt. Mieko loans Kaori money and in order to cover that loan Mieko takes a job in a combini where she catches a shoplifter named Yukimi (Shizuyo Yamazaki). Well things do sound depressing but the three women, Mieko, Kaori and Yukimi actually get on well together and when at a karaoke bar decide to form a rock band with Shinko (Miki Maya).

3 thoughts on “Japanese Box Office and POV ~Norowareta Film~, Afro Tanaka, Utahime, Are Any of You Alive? Trailers

  1. Raku

    Mentioned on another post how I want to see Fish on Land…..I’m seriously looking forward to Are Any of You Alive? Shota Sometani (understandably) seems to be the go-to young actor at the moment, he first appeared on my radar with Yuriko’s Aroma and I saw him in two movies at the same festival last year (Tokyo Park and A Man With Style) both were relatively small parts but both made an impression.

    He’s in two very promising movies this year too, the movie above and Shion Sono’s Himizu, my guess is I’ll be seeing both at a film festival, I’m 100% sure about Himizu (announced for Terracotta Film Festival) and fingers crossed for Are Any of You Alive?

    He definitely has staying power, I’m sure he’ll be around long after current idols crash and burn.

  2. I agree with you on his staying power. He seems to be picking genuinely interesting projects with passionate film makers. Still I’m surprised at how fast his rise has been. I first heard of Shota Sometani in relation to Himizu which is getting a release via Third Window Films this year. This feeling that he’s a serious actor was reinforced when he started appearing in Yuya Ishii’s films. He’s in a film at the Berlin Film Festival as well.

    I REALLY want to see Are Any of You Alive!

  3. Raku

    Ahh I forgot about that movie at Berlinale, if it’s at Berlinale it’s possible it will make an appearance in the UK too.

    Talking about Himizu again it has someone else who I think we’ll be seeing a lot more in the future….Fumi Nikaido, still want to see Sorasoi and am really hoping I’ll get to see The Warped Forest on a cinema screen this year.

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