The Life of Guskou Budori, Soup, Soreike! Anpanman Yomigaere Bananajima Trailers and the Japanese Movie Box Office Chart

This week saw me initiate a new Sion Sono Season with a focus on Suicide Circle and Noriko’s Dinner Table with a podcast I recorded with Goregirl due tomorrow.

What’s does the Japanese movie box-office chart look like this week?

  1.  The Amazing Spider-Man
  2.  Snow White and the Huntsman
  3.  Rinjo
  4.  Hotaru: It’s Only a Little Light in my Life
  5.  Thermae Romae

The Amazing Spider-Man takes number one while Japanese crime drama Rinjo enters at three. Thermae Romae spends a tenth week in the top five. Two major anime titles have taken a tumble with the latest Berserk film down at fourteen while Library War is performing better as it rests at thirteen.

What are the latest Japanese films released in Japan today? Well for me the highlight has to be a certain cat and his magical adventure.

The Life of Guskou Budori                      The Life of Guskou Budori Poster

Release Date: 07th July 2012 (Japan)

Running Time: N/A

Director: Gisaburo Sugii

Writer: Kenji Miyazawa (original novel), Gisaburo Sugii

Starring: Shun Oguri, Shiori Kutsuna, Akira Emoto, Kuranosuke Sasaki Tamiyo Kusakari, Ryuzo Hayashi

This is the anime movie adaptation of Kenji Miyazawa ‘s 1932 fairy tale The Life of Guskou Budori. As mentioned previously it stars Shun Oguri (Ghost Tunnel) in the lead vocal role with Shiori Kutsuna (My Back Pages) and Akira Emoto (Villain, Starfish Hotel) providing support.

Guskou is a cat who lives in the Tohoku forests in north eastern Japan in the 1920’s. A series of droughts and natural disasters forces Guskou to leave hoe ad search for a new place to live. He soon falls in with a group of scientists at the Ihatov Volcano Department and discovers that they are dealing with the same natural disasters that have altered Guskou’s life.

Soup                                                                                       Soup Movie Poster

Romaji: Supu Umarekawari no Monogatari

Japanese Title: スープ 生まれ変わり の 物語

Release Date: 07th July 2012 (Japan)

Running Time: 117 mins.

Director: Yuki Otsuka

Writer: Yuki Otsuka

Starring: Katsuhisa Namase, Manami Konishi, Yuiko Kariya, Shuhei Nomura, Alice Hirose, Ai Hashimoto, Suzuka Ohgo, Ayumi Ito, Arata Furuta, Hiroki Matsukata

Soup Rebirth Story…  This looks like the debut of Yuki Otsuka and a very heart-felt story (not the first reincarnation story of this year though) It stars Katsuhia Namase (Kamikaze Girls), Yuiko Kariya (Confessions), Manami Konishi (Tokyo Park), Ai Hashimoto (Another, Control Tower) Ayumi Ito (Vanished, All About Lily Chou-Chou), Arata Furuta (Tokyo Zombie, 13 Assassins), Hiroki Matsukata (Tajomaru, 13 Assassins).


Kenichi Shibuya (Namase) is a fifty-year-old recently divorced salaryman with a rocky relationship with his daughter Mika (Kariya). One day, he and his boss Yumi (Konishi) are both struck by lightning, die and head off to the afterlife where they head of a legendary soup that will allow a person who consumes it to be reborn. There’s just one catch, that person will lose their memories of their prior life. Shibuya wants to be reborn but he doesn’t want to lose his memories of Mika. Can he figure out the soup’s recipe and beat the catch?

Soreike! Anpanman Yomigaere Bananajima                   Soreike! Anpanman Yomigaere Bananajima Movie Poster

Romaji: Soreike! Anpanman Yomigaere Bananajima

Japanese Title: それいけ! アンパンマン よみがえれ バナナ島

Release Date: 07th July 2012 (Japan)

Running Time: N/A

Director: Hiroyuki Yano

Writer: Tomoko Komparu (Screenplay), Takashi Yanase (Original Creator)

Starring: Keiko Toda, Ryusei Nakao, Yoshino Kimura, Yuuki Himura

A kid’s film based on Takashi Yanase’s massively popular and long running picture book series which was, according to Wikipedia, inspired by Yanase’s struggles to survive as a soldier during World War II, when he was faced with starvation and dreamed of eating anpan (a bean-jam filled pastry). This is the 24th movie adaptation and it stars the voices of Keiko Toda (Osono in Kiki’s Delivery Service, Kitarou in GeGeGe no Kitarou… she also dubbed Scully in the X-Files) and Ryusei Nakao (Genkei in Mononoke), Yoshino Kimura (Fine, Totally Fine, Sukiyaki Western Django).


Banana Island is located in the topics and shaped like a banana. On this island delicious bananas grow but cold weather threatens them and it looks like Baikinman (Bacteria Man), a villain from the “Germ World”, is behind this problem. Enter Anpanman, a character whose head is an anpan to save the island.

7 thoughts on “The Life of Guskou Budori, Soup, Soreike! Anpanman Yomigaere Bananajima Trailers and the Japanese Movie Box Office Chart

  1. I’m anticipating that certain cat too… I wonder if I should hold any hope out for it ending up on the Scotland Loves Anime festival… London Film Festival probably wouldn’t pick it up (or Hosoda’s soon-to-be released film?). Probably Hosoda stands a better chance at either festival, given that he’s made several successful anime.

    I can’t say that Supu Umarekawari no Monogatari really gets me interested. Magical soup? I have a hard time finding that compelling. But familiar faces in that trailer Kariya Yuiko (saw her in Kingyo Kurabi and Hashimoto Ai (loved her in Kanseito).

    1. I was curious about Guskou’s chances of showing up on UK shores and I did a search of my own blog and found Makoto Shinkai’s Children Who Chase Lost Voices From Deep Below at last year’s festival. The question is, will Guskou catch the attention of whoever selects films? We need to organise a campaign! Bombard the BFI with correspondence!

      Speaking of Hosoda… he recently met with Gisaburo Sugii.

      1. Well, I don’t anything about Gisaburo Sugii. Does he have any international fame? Shinkai (who is in Paris these days with Hoshi o Ou Kodomo) isn’t a huge name, outside of Japan I mean and beyond us J-anime lovers, but he has definitely been getting quite some attention abroad. (France, if I’m not wrong, is releasing Hoshi o Ou Kodomo in cinemas, not just screening it at festivals. But then again France is super anime-forward, with Poppy Hill having had its cinematic release, Colourful screening in cinemas too and Ookami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki getting its WORLD PREMIERE there).

        I think probably Scotland Loves Anime is more likely to pick up Guskou, the BFI barely screens any animations for the main festival. (I can’t remember if it screened any others last year.) I actually saw Hoshi at the BFI festival and it was sold out though it screened in one of the biggest-capacity theatres on Leicester Square
        (but I was really, really annoyed that only 2/3 of seats were taken as some people did not bother to show up).

        How “big” a film is Guskou considered to be in Japan? Do you know? I’m all up for campaigning for it! If it came to London, would you make the trip? 🙂

      2. From what I can see Guskou is pretty big in Japan – major studio involvement from Warner Bros. Japan. Gisaburo Sugii is pretty much known only to major anime fans – he has some great titles in his filmography – he directed Lament of the Lamb which stars Shun Oguri.

        I made a trip to see Himizu on the big screen so I would venture forth again for more Japanese films and make an extended trip out of it.

        Shinkai and Hosoda are much more well known and anime labels are pushing them as auteurs.

      3. We might stand a chance for Ookami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki at the BFI. If not there, Scotland Loves Anime is bound to try and get it. Guskou only at Scotland Loves Anime I think – as big as it might be in Japan, it just feels like too much an “insider” tip, especially with what you say about its director. Raindance, I think, isn’t very big on animated films. Well, I’m purely going my “hunches” here…

        If there’s only one UK premiere for one of the animated films I want to see, I will make the trip to Scotland – Edinburgh is one of my favourite places in the UK in any case so it will be worth even for one film (or none!). I have blocked out that weekend on my calendar already 🙂

      4. Edinburgh does look splendid. Athens of the north, the Enlightenment and all. If we do campaign to get Guskou on the big screen at the BFI London Film Festival, where do we start? Should we send nice e-mails promoting the film or threatening ones with some of the most disturbing imagery anime has to offer?

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