11.25 The Day He Chose His Own Fate, Black Dawn, Mask the Kekkou Reborn, The Final Judgement Trailers Japanese Movie Box Office Charts

I finally got around to reviewing films this week and found that Crime or Punishment?!? and Fine, Totally Fine are charming comedies that combined existential angst, surrealism, and wonderful characters. Himizu was also given its UK theatrical release yesterday and I highly suggest you get yourself to a theatre playing it! Right now I’m reading Murakami’s 1Q84, finishing up Chrono Trigger DS, knee-deep is Lynchian madness with Deadly Premonition and looking forward to doing more reviews.

What does the top of the Japanese movie box-office charts look like?

  1.  Men in Black III
  2.  Dark Shadows
  3.  Thermae Romae
  4.  Girls for Keeps
  5.  Sadako 3D

Two so-so Hollywood comedies are dominating while Thermae Romae refuses to leave the top three even after 5 weeks. The only new film released last week to break into the top ten was Girls for Keeps while the interesting looking and well received film My House failed to make it which is a bit of a shame.

What’s released this week?

11.25 The Day He Chose His Own Fate                                                                        11.25 Mishima Drama Poster

Japanese Title: 11.25 Jiketsu no Hi: Mishia Yukio to Wakamono-Tachi 11.25自決の ひ 三島 由紀夫 と 若者 たち

Release Date: 2nd June 2012 (Japan), Premieres at Cannes

Running Time: N/A

Director: Koji Wakamatsu

Writer: Masayuki Kakegawa

Starring: Arata, Shinnosuke Mitsushima, Tasuku Nagaoka, Takatsugu Iwama

Koji Wakamatsu’s latest film screened at Cannes in the Un Certain Regard category and managed to collect mixed reviews. It is another politically charged movie which tackles the writer, critic, and nationalist Yukio Mishima.

Taking place in 1960’s Japan at a time when economic growth sky-rocketed but the nation was wracked by political turmoil and social changes from sexual liberation to student riots over individual’s rights and the US military presence in Japan, author and intellectual Yukio Mishima was a major voice, a nationalist who espoused traditional values based on the Bushido code while having a controversial private life. He and his militia will attempt a coup d’Etat by taking a military commander hostage.

Black Dawn                                                               Black Dawn Gaiji Keisatsu Movie Poster

Japanese Title: Gaiji Keisatsu 外事 警察

Release Date: 02nd June 2012 (Japan)

Running Time: 129 mins.

Director: Kentaro Horikirzono

Writer: N/A

Starring: Atsuro Watabe, Machiko Ono, Kim Kang-Woo, Yoko Maki, Min Tanaka, Ryo Ishibashi

The Anti-Terrorism Investigators make the leap from the small-screen to the silver-screen. In the cast are Atsuro Watabe who was in Love Exposure and Ryo Ishibashi who appeared in Audition and The Grudge.

When Japan is hit by the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami it falls into chaos. The disaster coincides with news from the CIA that uranium is being smuggled in Japan. Kenji Sumimoto (Watabe) is part of the foreign affairs division of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police. A detective with the willingness to bend the rule, he finds himself handed a hot case when sensitive documents and enriched uranium go missing following the disaster. His mission is to uncover the truth of the smuggling operation which stretches to the Korean peninsula. His one lead is Kaori Okuda (Maki), the wife of a businessman thought to be a spy. He will soon be joined by an undercover Korean policeman named Ahn Min-Chul (Kang-Woo) in what will become an explosive adventure.

Mask the Kekkou Reborn                                                                                     Mask the Kekkou Reborn

Japanese Title: Kekko-Kamen Shinsei – Reborn けっこう仮面 新生 Reborn

Release Date: 02nd June 2012 (Japan)

Running Time: N/A

Director: Nozomu Kasagi

Writer: Go Nagai (Manga)  

Starring: Aino Kishi, Rei Toda

AV actress Aino Kishi (Samurai Priness) is back with Rei Today (star in this year’s Futari Ecchi movie) in the latest live-action version (eighth to be exact) of Go Nagai’s manga Splendid Mask. Yes, go Nagai of Cutie Honey and Mazinger Z fame and Shameless School notoriety. Having watched anime adaptations of Nagai’s Devilman and Violence Jack stories I picture this as an unrepentantly silly example of exploitation cinema.

There is a boarding school that goes by the name Spartan Institute of Higher Education run by a demon named Toenail of Satan. It is a misogyistic and evil place run by demons who get their kicks by sexually humiliating students who make mistakes. Who can protect the students? Kekkou Kamen can. She is a female who only wears a mask, gloves, scarf, and boots and uses a combination of acrobatic martial arts and her deadly pubic hair jump special move to subdue the teachers.

The Final Judgement                                                The Final Judgement Movie Poster

Romaji: Fuuinaru Jajjimento

Japanese Title: フアイナル ジャッジメント

Release Date: 02nd June 2012 (Japan)

Running Time: 111 mins.

Director: Masaki Hamamoto

Writer: Ryuho Okawa (Novel)  

Starring: Kota Mirua, Umali Thilakarathna, Ken Kaito, Jo Shishido, Shiro Namiki, Ryo Tamura, Fumiko Mizuta, Tomoki Fukuzawa

I don’t recognise the principal staff or cast but I recognise some of the support like Shiro Namiki (Mitsuko Delivers, Land of Hope) and Fumiko Mizuta (Shibuya Kaidan/The Locker).

Shogo Washio (Miura) tries to warn the world about the dangerous expansionist policies of the nation of Ouran (the high school host club?!?!?) and teams up with Kenzo Nakagishi (Kaito) to forms a political party. Nobody listens to them and Ouran continues to grow in power until they conquer Japan. Martial law is imposed and freedoms are taken away but this only causes the emergence of a resistance organisation named ROLE which Washio joins.

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