Bingo, The King and I, End of the Night Trailers and the Japanese Movie Box Office Chart

Haizai CharactersThe week that has passed has been pretty mixed for me thanks to time constraints but at least I have a new television to enjoy watching Japanese films on and just in time for Shinya Tsukamoto Season which is entering its final phase. This week saw four new entries including the release details for Kotoko, a review of Tetsuo II: Body Hammer (classic!) and the extras on the Tetsuo release (which had the awesome and bizarre short film The Adventures of Electric Rod Boy!) as well as Tokyo Fist (incredible!). Look out for Vital, Snake of June and Kotoko next week!

What does the Japanese box-office chart look like?

  1. Resident Evil: Retribution
  2. Bayside Shakedown 4: The Final New Hope
  3. Rurouni Kenshin
  4. Insight into the Universe
  5. Dear
  6. The Avengers
  7. Key of Life
  8. Mirror Mirror
  9. Intouchables
  10. Akko-chan: The Movie

Two of last week’s releases, Key of Life and Insight into the Universe, enter the chart at number seven and four. I am going to see Key of Life at the BFI London Film Festival (I am so hype for this) and it is great to see that there is at least one country on this planet where a film mostly about science and a historical figure can break into the top ten. Rurouni Kenshin hangs in the top three in third position and The Wolf Children Rain and Snow drops to fourteenth (another film I am hype for).

What Japanese films are getting released today? Two films full of teen talent and one genuinely interesting noir title!


Bingo                                              Bingo Movie Poster

Japanese Title: ビンゴ

Romaji: Bingo

Release Date:  22nd September 2012 (Japan)

Running Time: 99 mins.

Director: Yohei Fukuda

Writer: Yusuke Yamada (Original Story), Yohei Fukuda (Screenplay)

Starring: Kazuki Shimizu, Sakiko Matsui

Yusuke Yamada is back with another of his fiendish short stories getting adapted for the big screen. Out of all the ones I have covered this year, this one is probably the most ridiculous. It stars Sakiko Matsui (a member of AKB48) in her first motion picture role abd is directed by Yohei Fukuda who directed Chanbara Beauty and X Game.


Set some time in the distant future, the death penalty in Japan has been altered. Now a death sentence is decided by game of bingo played by the victim’s family. Masaya (Shimizu) is a prisoner who will find out if he will be given the death sentence. Mayumi (Matsui) is part of the staff who monitor the game.


The King and I                                   King and I Movie Poster

Japanese Title: 王様 と ボク

Romaji: Osama to Boku

Release Date:  22nd September 2012 (Japan)

Running Time: 84 mins.

Director: Tetsu Maeda

Writer: Yamada Naito (Original Manga), Tetsu Maeda (Screenplay)

Starring: Tori Matsuzaka, Masaki Suda, Hiroki Aiba, Fumi Nikado, Masataka Nakaguchi, Miyuki Matsuda

A manga adaptation which stars a bunch of pretty boys in the shape of Tori Matsuzaka and Masaki Suda (The Wings of the Kirin) and the brilliant actresses Miyuki Matsuda who I can remember from Audition and Fumi Nikaido who made me cry in Himizu.


It is Mikihiko’s (Matsuzaka) 18th birthday and he thinks of his friend Morio (Suda) who has been in a vegetative state since being involved in an accident at the age of 6. Almost as if on cue, Morio wakes up but he still has his 6-year-old mentality. This reappearance causes Mikihiko to question the direction his life is about to take


End of the Night                                               The End of the Night Movie Poster

Japanese Title: 夜 が 終る 場所

Romaji: Yoru ga Owaru  Basho

Release Date:  22nd September 2012 (Japan)

Running Time: 79 mins.

Director: Daisuke Miyazaki

Writer: Daisuke Miyazaki (Script/Original Story)

Starring: Kuniaki Nakamura, Masayuki Shionoya, Nami Komiyama

This is the debut feature of Daisuke Miyazaki who was an assistant director to Kiyoshi Kurosawa and has won many prizes for his short films. Of all the films released today, this is the one that interests me most and no, not because it is violent but because it is grounded in every day mundanity and feature black humour found in Kitano films. It stars Kuniaki Nakamura, Masayuki Shionoya who starred in Kiyoshi Kurosawa;’s horror film Charisma and Sogo Ishii’s Angel Dust and Nami Komiyama.

Akira’s (Nakamura) parents died shortly after his birth and so he has been raised by Tamegoro (Shionoya), the man who killed said parents. Tamegoro runs a futon store as a front but has been training Akira to be a hitman. After Akira’s first hit he finds himself troubled but a cosplay club/sex-worker named Yukine draws out his more human side. Still, the police are on Akira’s trail and this places Yukine in the firing line.