Jinsei, Irodori, I’m Flash!, Akko-chan: The Movie, Hitori Kakurenbo Gekijouban Shin – Toshi Densetsu Trailers and Japanese Movie Chart

Hyouka Nichijou PicIt has been a bit of a quiet week for me. I managed to watch no Japanese films but I am making a renewed effort to finish the anime Le Chevalier D’eon (I started it last year but stopped watching due to Christmas). Anyway I posted a trailer for Kim Jee-Woon’s Hollywood debut, The Last Stand, the line-up for Scotland Loves Anime and a trailer for Berserk Movie III: Descent. What is happening in the charts?

  1. Rurouni Kenshin
  2. The Avengers
  3. Prometheus
  4. Umizaru 4: Brave Hearts
  5. The Wolf Children Ame and Yuki
  6. Total Recall (2012)
  7. Ushijia the Loan Shark
  8. Pokemon: Best Wishes 2012
  9. Kamen Rider Fourze the Movie: Everyone, Space is Here!
  10. The Dark Knight Rises

 Two of the Japanese films released last week enter the charts with Ushijima taking seventh place while Rurouni Kenshin takes the top spot. This has been the biggest opening of any Warner Bros. Japan’s releases… I think… and it has grossed $7 million. Pretty impressive. Prometheus entered at three and Umizaru and The Wolf Children remain in the top ten at four and five respectively.

What is released today? Lots of Japanese films! What a mix!

 

Jinsei, Irodori                                            

Jinsei Irodori Film Poster

Japanese Title: 人生、いろどり

Romaji: Jinsei, Iridori

Release Date: 01st September 2012 (Japan)

Running Time: 112 mins.

Director: Osamu Minorikawa

Writer: Noriko Nishiguchi

Starring: Sumiko Fuji, Kazuko Yoshiyuki, Yuta Hiraoka, Eri Murakawa, Mie Nakao, Tatsuya Fuji, Shigeyuki Totsugi

The third film from Osamu Minorikawa, Jinsei, Irodori is one of a couple of forthcoming films tackling the issue of the ageing population of Japan. It also reminds me of the anime Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita due to the plot involving food and a woman coming in from a large “agency” and helping a community… Tenuous, I must admit. Anyway the film stars a mixture of new talents like Eri Murakawa who starred in Train Brain Express (I keep referring to it as Take the A Train), Shigeyuki Totsugi (Mitsuko Delivers), and venerable talents like Kazuko Yoshiyuki who has starred in a wide variety of films like Maiko haaaan!!!, Glory to the Filmmaker, Departures, Gohatto and Lady Snowblood 2, Sumiko Fuji who has appeared in Summer Wars, Hula Girls and the original Thirteen Assassins and Tatsuya Fuji who I last saw in Bright Future.

Based on a true story, Kamikatsu in Tokushima prefecture is a small town where nearly half of the population are elderly people and its once thriving tangerine industry has collapsed. When a woman from the National Agricultural Cooperative Federation named Eda arrives and endeavours to revive the town by selling vegetables from the local area. She meets opposition but three women named Kaoru, Hanae, and Michiko join forces with Eda.

 

I’m Flash!                                                                          I'm Flash! Film Poster

Japanese Title: アイム フラッシュ!

Romaji: Aimu Furaashu!

Release Date: 01st September 2012 (Japan)

Running Time: 91 mins.

Director: Toshiaki Toyoda

Writer: Toshiaki Toyoda

Starring: Tatsuya Fujiwara, Ryuhei Matsuda, Kento Nagayama, Itsuji ITao, Kiko Mizuhara, Shigeru Nakano, Mayu Harada, Yukiya Kitamura, Michiyo Okusu

Toshiaki Toyoda (9 Souls) follows up Monsters Club with this thriller about a religious cult which stars a whole load of stars including the handsome Kento Nagayama (Villain), Tatsuya Fujiwara (Death Note, Battle Royale), Ryuheu Matsuda (Nightmare Detective, The Suicide Song), the beautiful Kiko Mizuhara (Norwegian Wood, Helter Skelter) and Mayu Harada (The Millennial Rapture) Happy birthday, Mayu! It also stars Itsuji Itao (Love Exposure, Tokyo Gore Police, Ghost Train, One Missed Call Final) who uses his ability to by slimy well in this.

Rui (Fujiwara) is the charismatic leader of a new religious group who attracts the attention of the media after a car accident leaves a man dead. He retreats to his group’s compound in Okinawa where his chief aide (Itao) hires three bodyguards (Matsuda, Nagayama, Nakano) to look after him, his sister (Harada), brother (Kitamura). Why the need for bodyguards? What is the threat and is Rui happy with the life and his religious group?  

 

 

Akko-chan: The Movie

Japanese Title: 映画ひみつ の アッコちゃん

Romaji: Eiga Himitsu no Akko-chan

Release Date: 01st September 2012 (Japan)

Running Time: 120 mins.

Director: Yasuhiro Kawamura

Writer: Mika Omori,Fujio Akatsuka (manga)

Starring: Haruka Ayase, Masaki Okada, Kazue Fukiishi, Teruyuki Kagawa, Shosuke Tanihara, Ren Osugi,

Yasuhiro Kawamura seems to like adapting manga since he has worked on two Nodame  Cantabile films, Kochikame – The Movie and now Akko-chan: The Movie which is based on Fujio Akatsuka’s old-school mahou shoujo manga masterpiece Himitsu no Akko-chan (1962-65) which was about a girl with a magical mirror that allows her to transform into anything she wants. He is working with screenwriter Mika Omori who has also worked on adapting manga (Detroit Metal City). It stars an interesting mix of actors including Haruka Ayase (Ichi) Teruyuki Kagawa (Tokyo Sonata), Ren Osugi (Exte), Masaki Okada (Confessions, Space Brothers) and the gorgeous Kazue Fukiishi (Noriko’s Dinner Table, Thirteen Assassins, One Missed Call).

When Atsuko (Akko) Kagami (Ayase) gets a hold of a magical mirror from a fairy (Kagawa) she finds that it is a magical item that allows her to transform into anything she wants. Now she sets her mind to saving a cosmetics company and while doing this she also falls in love with a chap named Naoto Hayase (Masaki) who works at the company.

 

Hi-Zai                                                                                         Hai-Zai Movie Poster

Japanese Title: ハイザイ 神さま の 言う と おり

Romaji: Jinsei, Haizai Kamisama no Iu Toori

Release Date: 01st September 2012 (Japan)

Running Time: 74 mins.

Director: Shuhei Fukunaga, Masahiro Izuo

Writer: Masahiro Izuo

Starring: Motoki Ochiai, Rie Tomosaka, Sayaka Fukita, Motoki Fukami, Alisa

The synopsis is intriguing and the trailer interests me the most out of all of today’s films. It stars Motoko Ochiai (The Kirishima Thing), Rie Tomosaka (Abraxas), Motoki Fukami (The Land of Hope, Love Expsoure), J-pop stars Alisa, Miina from the group Luck Color’s and Suneohair (Abraxas) who also performs the film’s theme song.

The island of Okinawa will see six different people cross paths:

A yakuza is ordered by his boss to kidnap a woman who can read people’s fortunes but he ends up getting the wrong person. Meanwhile a bullied high school student and a couple of tourists from Tokyo get involved in the messy situation.

 

Hitori Kakurenbo Gekijouban Shin – Toshi Densetsu   Hitori Kakurenbo Movie Poster

Japanese Title: ひとり かくれんぼ 劇場版

Romaji: Hitori Kakurenbo Gekijouban Shin – Toshi Densetsu

Release Date: 01st September 2012 (Japan)

Running Time: N/A

Director: Yasushi Torii Tsuyoshi

Writer: N/A

Starring: Misato Nonaka, Taiyo Ayukawa, Momoko Kaechi, Ryoko Tanaka

The genre named J-pop Idol Horror which has had some entries like Kotsutsubo and Shirome – White Eyes gets a new instalment when Misato Nonaka (member of AKB48’s Team K) Taiyo Ayukawa (member of the J-pop group Ya-Ya-Yah), Momoko Kaechi (member of the group Girl <S> ACTRY) and gravure idol Ryoko Tanaka are chased around an abandoned school.

 

Ever heard of the occult game “hide-and-seek alone” (hitori kakurenbo)? It involves contacting the dead through a ritual involving a doll. Movie club members Sakura Kurata (Nonaka) and Kosuke Tsukamoto (Ayukawa) decide to shoot a film which involves the urban legend. They persuade their teacher advisor to let them film at the school. Bad stuff happens.

 

11 thoughts on “Jinsei, Irodori, I’m Flash!, Akko-chan: The Movie, Hitori Kakurenbo Gekijouban Shin – Toshi Densetsu Trailers and Japanese Movie Chart”

  1. I’m super-pleased with how Rurouni Kenshin is faring at the box office.

    I remember the poster from Hi-Zai which I looked at (the trailer I mean) quite a while back… but then I think I forgot to include it in a Trailer Weekly or wasn’t entirely convinced (I don’t remember which). Or maybe I was just concerned about the number of J-pop stars/musicians it stars, though the premise of the film itself seems interesting enough.

    1. Rurouni Kenshin is doing pretty well much like The Wolf Children. I figure this will increase its chances of getting a western release – DVD if we’re being realistic.

      This week has a nice mix although I felt that the generic J-horror and Jinsei, Idori didn’t grab me as much as Hi-Zai which looked like it would be far more entertaining. I’m not familiar with most of the cast/crew but I did enjoy the trailer a lot.

      1. Ookami no Kodomo is getting festival release, which, I feel, might be a bit harder for Rurouni Kenshin (since it is mainstream in one sense, but not Western mainstream and not quirky enough for all those indie J-film festivals we get). But DVD seems to be a good bet and it that’s all that there will be, I’m fine with it. (As long as I get to see it…)

        I’m just generally suspicious of idol actors, especially if it’s a film with several of them. I’m not saying all idols can’t act – some can and, indeed, some are better at acting than singing (Matsujun, for example, I just don’t think he can sing at all, but I rather like him in doramas – not quite so convinced he has the range for a film actor though). But films with multiple idols usually spell trouble because someone is so going to underperform (not to say perform atrociously).

      2. Warner Bros. has been funding Japanese films and releasing them in the west for a while. I think I first noticed it when I watched the credits for Higanjima I believe and another film I reviewed last year which I found dull. I reckon this means that a DVD release for Rurouni Kenshin seems probable. Their willingness to let the Berserk movies get licensed by Kaze and screened at festivals also shows how good the odds are of Rurouni getting a release. I agree about it being to mainstream for the art crowd but a canny distributor with links to anime might pick it up and play on its popularity amongst hard-core manga fans… Studio Canal perhaps?

      3. I think Warner Bros. is definitely aiming for an international audience – the subtitled trailers indicated as much. If the English DVD isn’t forthcoming, I’ll take the Spanish one. The French one would be a bit of stretch.

        I suppose, as a manga adaptation, it could end up at something like Scotland Loves Anime (think Ace Attorney), but then they only have one live-action film showing this year.

      4. Good point.

        I’m hoping Phoenix Wright screens at the BFI London Film Festival – that will really make me want to go. The fact that the BFI are picking up on titles like Tiger and Bunny and are working with Scotland Loves Anime makes me feel confident that such a thing can happen.

  2. wow…big applause to Kenshin. I hope the DVD will be released here too.

    Prometheus in 2nd is quite shocking…not because it’s bad, I love it…but Japan is really late.

    So.. Tatsuya fujiwara is still around *sigh* he is the only Japanere actor in my actors I dont get the appeal of list. Hi-zai sounds interesting.

    1. It looks like Rurouni Kenshin will be a hit. It’s looks entertaining and it is based on a respected source and it has a great cast.

      I don’t quite get the appeal of Tatsuya Fujiwara either… I liked him in Battle Royale but he has never quite impressed me in his performances in other films. It’s interesting to see him take a role from a director like Toyoda.

      1. Ah…unlike you, his performance in Battle Royale is one of the reason I don’t like him…he doesn’t make a perfect or even near perfect Shuya Nanahara.

      2. I hadn’t read the book or the manga at the time I watched the film. I thought he captured the right performance for a extreme teen melodrama. I still haven’t read the manga despite having volume 1 on my bookshelf for the last seven years.

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