Girls for Keeps, Kotsutsubo, My House, Still Human Beings Trailers and Japanese box-office Charts

The Cannes film festival is winding down and critical responses have been mixed for Japanese films. Abbas Kiarostami’s latest film, Like Someone in Love, has had prLike Someone in Love Posteraise for the performances of the actors (particularly the gorgeous Rin Takanashi) but the story with its ambiguous ending has upset many. Thankfully Takashi Miike rescued proceedings with Ai to Makoto. Also flying the flag for Japan was Koji Wakamatsu with his Mishima biopic which has garnered a good review (more on that tomorrow).  I also had the pleasure of seeing the Olympic Flame pass by and managed to get a picture of the young lady carrying it. And all of the sponsors. And the Metropolitan Police Escort.

What is dominating the Japanese movie box-office charts?

  1.  Dark Shadows
  2.  Thermae Romae
  3.  Sadako 3D
  4.  Space Brothers
  5.  Detective Conan: The Mystery of the Eleventh Striker

Tim Burton storms to the top of the charts of the charts as the newest entry at number one while familiar franchise entries make up the rest of the top ten. Thermae Romae is doing excellent business as it remains in the top three  for the fourth week in a row. Enough of that… what Japanese films get released today?

Girls for Keeps                                             Girls for Keeps Movie Poster

Japanese Title: ガールGaru

Release Date: 26th May 2012 (Japan)

Running Time: 124 mins.

Director: Yoshihiro Fukagawa

Writer: Hideo Okuda (Novel)  

Starring: Kumiko Aso, Karina, Yuka Itaya, Rei Dan, Rosa Kato, Michiko Kichise, Osamu Mukai, Yusuke Kamiji, Jun Kaname, Kento Hayashi, Eriko Hatsune, Mei Kurokawa, Kenichi Yajima

Based on the 2006 anthology novel Girl, the movie adapts a number of short stories that follow women in their romantic lives and so on. Obviously I’m not the target audience but I recognise a lot of the names involved: Kumiko Aso (Pulse), Yuka Itaya (Suvive Style 5+, Apartment 1303). Eriko Hatsune (Norwegian Wood, Spiral) head the list of beautiful ladies while the handsome men include Kento Hayashi (Arakawa Under the Bridge), Jun Kaname (Casshern), and Kenichi Yajia (Sonatine, Kamikaze Taxi).


My House                                                         My House Movie Poster

Japanese Title: My House

Release Date: 26th May 2012 (Japan)

Running Time: N/A

Director: Yukihiko Tsutsumi

Writer: Kyohei Sakaguchi (Novel)  

Starring: Takao, Eri Ishida, Itsuji Itao, Tae Kimura

The director, Yukihiko Tsutsumi, has a pretty awesome list of movies to his name including SPEC: The Movie, 2LDK and the 20th Century Boys films. Names I recognise from the cast include Tae Kimura (Starfish Hotel, Infection, After Life) Itsuji Itao (Ghost Train, Tokyo Gore Police, Love Exposure and the mean teacher who hilariously betrays his students in One Missed Call: Final).

Based on Kyohei Sakaguchi’s novels Tokyo 0 Yen House 0 Yen Life and Sumidagawa no Edison (both 2008) the film is set in Nagoya and follows a homeless man named Suzuki (Takao).

Kotsutsubo                                            Kotsutsubo Poster

Japanese Title: 骨壷                                                

Release Date: 26th May 2012 (Japan)

Running Time: N/A

Director: Jiro Nagae

Writer:  Yoshimasa Akamatsu (screenplay), Yusuke Yamada (short story)

Starring: Natsumi Matsubara, Ai Shinozaki, Rurika Yokoyama, Aika Ohta, Ai Hashimoto, Kazuhiko Kanayama, Mamoru Tsubouchi

Horror novelist Yusuke Yamada is back haunting the charts with yet another one of his stories getting adapted for the big screen. This time it isn’t a ghost looking for a thumb (Oyayubi Sagashi) but a story involving the titular funeral urn and a number of J-pop talents from four different idols units including Natsumi Matsubara (AKB48), Rina Miyazaki (Super GiRlS), Rurika Yokoyama (Idoling!!!), and Ai Shinozaki (AeLL).


Eri (Matsubara) is a high school student who is anonymous unlike her friend Mitsuko (Yokoyama) who is the target of amorous advances from their teacher, Ichida (Tsubouchi). Eri comes across a novel way to protect Mitsuko: find a cursed funerary urn that contains ashes reputed to cause death and give said ashes to teacher.

Still Human Beings                                                       Mada Ningen

Japanese Title: まだ 人間 Mada, Ningen

Release Date: 26th May 2012 (Japan)

Running Time: 132 mins.

Director: Jumpei Matsumoto

Writer: Jumpei Matsumoto

Starring: Masako Tsujioka, Manabu Ueyama, Honoka,

Jumpei Matsumoto’s debut film is one that stars Masako Tsujioka (Bullet Ballet, Suicide Club, Vital) and pink-film star Honoka.

Takuya (Tsujioka) has embezzled a large amount of money from his company and loaned it out to Koji Yamamoto who has just died. Takuya is panicking over the loss of the money when he meets a struggling actor named Ryo (Ueyama) who was a friend of Koji’s and has a crush on Takuya. Just to make things more complicated is Koji’s super-sexy widow Luka (Honoka) who knows nothing about the cash but sparks a passion in Takuya. The three soon join forces in a search for Koji’s killer and the cash.

5 thoughts on “Girls for Keeps, Kotsutsubo, My House, Still Human Beings Trailers and Japanese box-office Charts

  1. “I also had the pleasure of seeing the Olympic Flame pass by and managed to get a picture of the young lady carrying it. And all of the sponsors. And the Metropolitan Police Escort.”

    Are you in the UK? Wasn’t Dr Who carrying it in Wales today (or yesterday)?

  2. Captain Banana

    My House looks good!.

    This appears to be a common occurrence with Japanese directors at the moment, they do a few commercial projects and then do a low budget art piece which I get the impression is what they actually wanted to do……….I’m not saying that is a bad thing though as these directors make some interesting commercial stuff too.

    1. I was surprised when I saw who the director was. My House looks like a pretty good drama (the best this week) so it will be interesting to see if it enters the top 20. I suppose coming off the back of a major motion picture smash like SPEC he wants to tackle something simple.

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