This week has been very interesting. After Nadia’s passionate response to seeing footage from the latest Berserk film I started watching the original anime and I must say that I’m gripped by it. Great seinen anime at a time flooded with moe and ecchi. I’ve even started listening to the opening theme whenever I write. Meanwhile I’ve watched two Akira Kurosawa films this week – Sanshiro Sugata parts 1 and 2. Whatever negative comments I made about Kurosawa’s 1940’s films I take back. I highly enjoyed these!
In other movie news I took part in the 2012 Korean Cinema Blogathon! My entry was the classic 1998 film The Quiet Family, the debut film by Kim Je-woon (A Tale of Two Sisters, A Bittersweet Life) which stars Song Kang-ho (The Host), Choi Min-sik (Old Boy). These should be familiar names to anybody with even a vague interest in Asian film and I highly recommend you check out their back-catalogues starting with The Quiet Family.
Anyway… The Japanese charts and this week’s releases!
3rd – 4th March
01. Doraemon: Animal Adventure
02. Liar Game: Reborn
04. In Time
05. War Horse
The top three has an interesting mix of films even if they don’t appeal to me. Doraemon is a classic character so his domination of the charts is to be expected. Even more interesting is the fact that Pheonix Wright is hanging in the top 20 at number 12 having earned a respectable $5,689,207 whilst Arakawa is at 16 with $3,213,698.
Released in Japan Today!
Release Date: 23rd March 2012 (Japan)
Running Time: 107 mins.
Director: Masahiro Kondo
Starring: Kazutoyo Koyabu, Saki Aibu, Yoichi Nukumizu, Yuika Motokariya, Medaka Ikeno, Hirohito Goto, Sakura Inagaki Saki, Toshiyuki Nishida, Takashi Sasano, Ren Osugi
Just from reading the synopsis I decided I would dislike the film but the trailer made me smile. That said it reminded me of the Nick Frost/Simon Pegg film Paul which left me underwhelmed so I guess I’ll skip this.
Mitsuo Hirano (Koyabu) is a factory worker in Osaka who is hugely unpopular with women and has a crush on an office worker named Nanami Takasaki (Aibu) who is also a single mother. When playing a game of baseball he witnesses an alien fall to earth. This alien is named Shikata (Nukumizu) and he’s also unpopular with women. What do you know? This similarity means that they become friends.
Release Date: 10th March 2012 (Japan)
Running Time: 89 mins.
Director: Ryuichi Hiroki
Writer: Ryuichi Hiroki, Nami Yoshikawa
Starring: Misako Renbutsu, Mami Nakamura, Yukichi Kobayashi, Yuto Kobayashi, Toshie Negishi, Anna Odaka, Nahana, Tokio Emoto, Tomorowo Taguchi
This one stars Misako Renbutsu who was in Quirky Guys and Gals and takes place in the otaku paradise of Akihabara. I’m getting Adrift in Tokyo vibes minus the humour. The director is Ryuichi Hiroki who has helmed Vibrator which was an emotionally deep film that analysed our modern age and is ripe for rediscovery.
Hikari is suffering an emotional crisis after losing her boyfriend in a random killing in Akihabara. It is so bad that she shuts herself up in her home. Her family and friends try to help her back into the outside world. Soon she begins to explore Akihabara and meets the people that inhabit the place.
Welcome Home, Hayabusa
Release Date: 10th March 2012 (Japan)
Running Time: N/A
Director: Katsuhide Motoki
Starring: Tatsuya Fujiwara, Anne Watanabe, Tomokazu Miura, Oshiro Maeda, Yoko Moriguchi, Naoki Tanaka, Yoshiko Miyazaki, Kosuke Toyohara, Ren Osugi, Baijaku Nakamura, Takuto Sueoka
Battle Royale pretty-boy Tatsuya Fujiwara stars in another film about the unmanned Hayabusa spacecraft which sounds suspiciously close to the manga Twin Spica. Anne Watanabe co-stars and she’s the daughter of Ken Watanabe who was in another film about the Hayabusa probe. Oh and it’s in 3D.
Kento Ohashi (Tatsuya Fujiwara) is an engineer working as part of a team involved with the Hayabusa spacecraft. His connection with space exploration runs deep because his father Isao (Tomokazu Miura) was the leader of a previous failed space probe. Kento is determined to succeed where his father failed.