This week I created a Film Review Archive (an excuse to use an image of Rin Takanashi) and trailers for the anime movies Gothicmade and Nerawareta Gakuen as well as the release details for Petty Romance. Reviews have been a bit light this week because I saw an uninspiring K-horror and I have been super busy with work helping set up a genuinely unnerving exhibition and trying to post at AUKN and other assorted projects – there are still two follow-up Tsukamoto posts to come. I am now coming into a period of calm and stability. In other words, blue skies are ahead and I can write a lot more. Blue skies the week after next week, to be more precise, because that is when I am going to attend some screenings at THE BFI LONDON FILM FESTIVAL.
What are the new entries in the Japanese box-office this week?
- Bayside Shakedown 4: The Final New Hope
- Resident Evil: Retribution
- The Bourne Legacy
- The Hunger Games
- Rurouni Kenshin
- Insight into the Universe
- Tiger and Bunny: The Beginning
- Key of Life
- Hotel Transylvania
The major change from last week in the chart is the fact that there are three western films muscling their way in. As far as Japanese films go, Resident Evil and Bayside Shakedown switch places at the top. Rurouni Kenshin and Insight into the Universe and Key of Life remain in the top ten while Intouchables remains at six. The Wolf Children Rain and Snow hangs in at number thirteen.
What are the Japanese films released today in Japan?
Japanese Title: 神秘 の 法
Romaji: Shinpi no Hou
Release Date: 05th October 2012 (Japan)
Running Time: 119 mins.
Starring: Takehito Koyasu, Daisuke Hirakawa, Ayumi Fujimura, Ryoka Yuzuki, Shinichiro Miki, Miki Ito
The Happy Science religion (Kofuku no Kagaku) has released their latest film yesterday in both the US and Japan and it is a feature length anime named Shinpi no Hou – The Mystical Laws.
It is the year 201X… and the newly-formed Empire of Godom has been able to gain access to technology offered to them by Reika Chang (Fujimura), the president of a trading company. With this technology they plan to take over the world. Shou Shishimaru (Koyasu) is the only one who can stop them because he has access to mystical technology as well. The Empire know this and decide to hunt him down but thanks to the intervention of mysterious Indians, he evades capture and sets about trying to fulfil a prophecy about the second coming of a saviour.
Yeah… The religion of Happy Science was founded in Japan on the 6th of October, 1986 by Ryuho Okawa who, according to Wikipedia, “claims to channel the spirits of Muhammad, Christ, Buddha and Confucious and claims to be the incarnation of the supreme spiritual being called El Centre.” If this sounds like a cult to you then you are not alone because mainstream Japanese media regard the as such. Still, the movie does look rather… special. Seiyuu involved include some pretty well known ones like Daisuke Hirakawa (Franz d’Epinay in Gankutsuou), Ayumi Fujimura (Miwa in Bartender, Raimei in Nabai no Ou, Takashi Natsume in Natsume Yuujinchou) and Takehito Koyasu (the legend that is Il Palazo in Excel Saga).
Japanese Title: アウトレイジ ビヨンド
Romaji: Autoreiji Biyondo
Release Date: 06th October, 2012 (Japan)
Running Time: 110 mins.
Director: Takeshi Kitano
Writer: Takeshi Kitano
Starring: Takeshi Kitano, Ryo Kase, Tomokazu Miura, Fumiyo Kohinata, Toshiyuki Nishida, Hirofumi Arai, Akira Nakao, Yutaka Matsushige, Kenta Kiritani, Sansei Shiomi, Hideo Nakano
Outrage Beyond recently had its world premiere at the Venice International Film Festival in competition and then at the Toronto International Film Festival. I have half read a review for it and it seems like those who loved the first will find that there is much to enjoy in this as the politics way heavy in the first half and the violence and gangster thrills come clobbering in during the second. The stars are on the poster but if you need more names then take a gander at these: Takeshi Kitano (Kids Return, Boiling Point), Ryo Kase (Like Someone in Love, SPEC: Heaven), Tomokazu Miura (Adrift in Tokyo, Survive Style 5+), Hirofumi Arai (A Road Stained Crimson), Kenta Kiritani (Beck), Yutaka Matsushige (Ring) and Fumiyo Kohinata (Ring 2, Audition) who plays that wiley cop Kataoka who wasn’t as dumb as he looked.
When Tokyo’s anti-gang investigator is found dead the police crack down on the Yakuza. Corrupt cop Kataoka (Kohinata) is in charge of the investigation and he finds himself caught in the machinations of two rival families. Cue the release from prison of Ohtomo (Kitano) who finds himself part of a police plot to destroy his former Yakuza brothers. Not that he would object considering his shabby treatment at their hands.
Chat Noir Lucy
Japanese Title: くろ ねこ ルーシー
Romaji: Kuro Neko Rushi (literally Black Cat Lucy)
Release Date: 06th October 2012 (Japan)
Running Time: N/A
Director: Toru Kamei
Writer: Yuji Nagamori
Starring: Muga Tsukaji, Megumi Yasu
I a totally unfamiliar with the director and the actors’ Muga Tsukaji (Akko-chan: The Movie) and Megumi Yasu but the trailer is amusing. Both leads have acted alongside each other before in Honcho Azumi television series so I am assuming that fans of that are going to be drawn to this film.
Ken Kamoshida (Tsukaji) is a middle-aged fortune teller who is highly superstitious. Since splitting from his wife (Yasu), he has been beset by difficulties. One day, he encounters two black kittens which represent misfortune and they seem to be living up to the legend since he takes to caring for them but soon he uses them in his fortune telling and he sees what is really important to him.
Japanese Title: 新しい 靴 を 買わなくちゃ
Romaji: Atarashii Kutsu wo Kawanakucha
Release Date: 06th October 2012 (Japan)
Running Time: 115 mins.
Director: Eriko Kitagawa
Writer: Eriko Kitagawa
Starring: Miho Nakayama, Osamu Mukai, Mirei Kiritani, Gou Ayano
I would probably avoid this based on the poster and title. I am not even a familiar with two of the actors – Miho Nakayama, Osamu Mukai (Beck, Girls for Keeps). I am familiar with Gou Ayano (The Samurai that Night, Helter Skelter, Tajomaru) and Mirei Kiritani who was Maya in Ace Attorney and Nino in Arakawa Under the Bridge. It is directed and written by Eriko Kitagawa and this is the third film directed by a Japanese woman I have written about this year. She was apparently inspired when she read about the actress Miho Nakayama and her life in France. It is produced by Shunji Iwai (All About Lily Chou-Chou, Vampire, April Story).
Aoi Teshigahara (Nakayama) is a freelance writer based in Paris. She meets Sen Yagami (Mukai) who is a photographer who has just arrived in the city of flowers to join his younger sister Suzume (Kiritani). When Aoi and Sen meet they fall in love over the next three days while Suzume and Kango (Ayano), the beau at the other long distance relationship, meet.
Japanese Title: ツナグ
Release Date: 06th October 2012 (Japan)
Running Time: 129 mins.
Director: Yuichiro Hirakawa
Writer: Mizuki Tsujimura (Novel)
Starring: Tori Matsuzaka, Kirin Kiki, Ryuta Sato, Mirei Kiritani, Ai Hashimoto, Ito Ono, Tetsuya Bessho, Miyoko Asada, Kenichi Endo, Manami Honjou
This featured over at Otherwhere in a trailer weekly where I first saw it. It stars Tori Matsuzaka (The King and I, The Wings of the Kirin) and Kirin Kiki (Still Walking, Villain) in the leads with support from Ryuta Sato (Umizaru 4: Brave Hearts, Insight into the Universe) and Ai Hashimoto (Control Tower, Sadako 3D, Another, The Kirishima Thing).
Ayumi (Matsuzaka) is a high school student who is being trained by his grandmother (Kiki) as a tsunagu, an intermediary between the living and the dead.
Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie Part 1
Japanese Title: 劇場版 魔法少女まどか☆マギカ ［前編］始まりの物語
Romaji: Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magika Movie 1
Release Date: 06th October 2012 (Japan)
Running Time: 130 mins.
Director: Akiyuki Shinbou
Writer: Gen Urobuchi
Starring: Aoi Yuuki (Madoka Kaname), Kaori Mizuhashi (Mami Tomoe), Eri Kitamura (Sayaka Miki), Chiwa Saito (Homura Akemi), Emiri Kato (Kyuubey)
I have no interest in magical girl anime. I watched a few episodes of Sailor Moon and that was enough for me. However, the Madoka Magica franchise is getting such positive buzz that I may have to check it out. It is looking like the Evangelion of magical girl anime what with its post-modern take on the genre and devastating psychological intrigues. Anyway, the first in the trilogy of movie adaptations is released today and it covers the first eight episodes of the television series. It has been directed by Akiyuki Shinbou who has been connected to some of the most important anime of the last five years like Arakawa Under the Bridge and Bakemonogatari.
Madoka Kanome (Yuuki) is a normal school girl with a caring family and good friends like Sayaka (Kitamura). She leads a calm life until she meets a new transfer student named Homura Akemi (Saito). What changes? She sees Homura attack a creature. When Madoka tries to stop Homura she finds herself transported to a strange world where scary creatures exist and it is only with the help of a girl called Mami Tomoe (Mizuhashi) that she manages to escape. She soon finds herself in a world of magic but soon finds it can be very deadly.
13 thoughts on “Mystical Laws, Outrage Beyond, Chat Noir Lucy, I Need to Buy New Shoes, Tsunagu, Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie Part 1 Trailers and the Japanese Movie Box Office Charts”
“I am now coming into a period of calm and stability. In other words, blue skies are ahead and I can write a lot more.” — You should let the rest of us in on the secret of how to get to a “period of calm and stability” (never mind that that sounds just so zen). Blue skies?!
神秘の法 (Shinpi no Hou) – This looks like a story that has been done a zillion times before, whether in animated or non-animated form. Kinda depressing that film companies continue to make things with zero attempt at any originality or creativity…
くろねこルーシー (Kuro Neko Rushi) – I didn’t go to see it, but they had this at the recent Zipangu Fest. It might be nothing too special, but it doesn’t look bad at all (plus those super kawaii nekos!).
新しい靴を買わなくちゃ (Atarashii Kutsu wo Kawanakucha) – I watched the trailer for this a while back and it just looked so cliché (hence it never made it onto a Trailer Weekly). Of course that girl had to stumble in her stupid shoes (film/TV characters in Asian productions wear high heels in the most ridiculous of situations). I also have issues with Kitagawa Eriko – she just hasn’t delivered in just about all the things I have seen that she written/directed. Sunao ni Narenakute (dorama) didn’t work for me, especially the wishy-washy ending. Harufuwei (film) was half-baked, the female character annoyed the hell out of me. Only Okada Masaki kept me happy while watching. Heaven’s Postman was, in terms of the script, weak as well – and that was apparently something she wrote for Jaejoong, which never made sense to me at all. Why write a script for an idol that has had just about no acting experience? So if she wrote Atarasii Kutsu wo Kawanakucha “inspired” by someone, that makes me just wary. The only thing I ever liked by Kitagawa is Tatta Hitotsu no Koi (dorama) which is a kind cheesy (though heartrending) love story as well, but in contrast to the majority of TV dramas didn’t have any of those super-unrealistic twists and stock characters that drive me bonkers. No evil ex for once! Coincidentally, I rewatched all of Tatta Hitotsu no Koi last night (don’t even ask, it just sorta happened…).
How do I get a period of calm and stability? Well work has calmed down a bit so I can now plot out my days with more certainty and so I have at least two hours a day when I have turned off my television/mobile and I focus on writing while listening to J-rock/J-film/anime/bullet-curtain OSTs. Nobody bothers me and I forget everything else.
Blue skies? I just wanted the picture of no clouds/obstacles on the horizon and then I saw I had this image of Noel Vermillion!
神秘の法 (Shinpi no Hou) – I was giggling while writing the plot synopsis. I believe this is one of a number of animated titles from the religion.
くろねこルーシー (Kuro Neko Rushi) – When I considered which films I would see if I was at a Japanese cinema, this came second while Tsunagu came third. I also like cats.
新しい靴を買わなくちゃ (Atarashii Kutsu wo Kawanakucha) – The poster and title put me off immediately. I am unfamiliar with Eriko Kitagawa’s work but from your descriptions it sees that she specialises in flimsy love stories… much like this film. I bow down to your knowledge of Asian drama on this one and I won’t ask why you re-watched all of that drama last night even though you could have been watching a J-horror 😉
Well you know, doramas and k-dramas…. it’s black hole that sucks you in. But sometimes you gotta have something to balance out all the intellectual stuff. ;-P
Yeah, you go to dramas starring pretty boys and I head for horror starring pretty girls 😉
Me? Shallow? I think very deeply about these beautiful women in peril.
Chat Noir Lucy looks pretty corny-probably wouldn’t be something I would see, but you know how I feel about black cats – the cats are freaking adorable. Tsunagu is interesting and Outrage Beyond is a must see. I Have to Buy New Shoes?! Oh boy; I think I threw up in my mouth a little. I think I’d have to take a pass on that one. 😉
I could never see you watching I Have to Buy New Shoes 😉 I agree about (black) cats being adorable. This year I ran across Rent-a-Cat and a film called I am a Cat Stalker. This is truly the year of the cat!
Have you seen Outrage? It’s a brilliant yakuza flick!
I have not seen Outrage! I know! I know! I need to see more Takeshi “Beat” Kitano films! I did rent a little Japanese pinky called Rafureshia which I’ll be watching tonight. Sounds whacked!
You need to watch Outrage before Outrage Beyond otherwise you’ll be lost amidst all of the Yakuza politics! Try out Boiling Point and Kikujiro after that.
You got a Japanese pink film? I’d be interested in your review. The two pink films I saw were weird.
I’ve seen Boiling Point and loved i! I think Kikujiro is on my list to see – but if it isn’t it will definitely be added.
Haha-Rafureshia definitely sounds warped!
One of my local theaters was showing The Mystical Laws, and I was confused because no one seemed to have heard of it. Now I know why. Thanks so much for the information!
Glad I was able to help! If you do go and see the film, let me know what it’s like. The plot is like something a cult would churn out but it could be interesting.