My Departure, A Terminal Trust, Resident Evil: Damnation, 009 Re:Cyborg, Smile PreCure! The Movie: Everyone is All Mixed Up Inside the Picture Book! Trailers and the Japanese Movie Box Office Chart

FFXIII LightningThis week a gallery that had remained dormant opens and so there has been extra work for me to do. Not that it stopped me from posting information for Terracotta’s forthcoming release of a double-bill of Kim Ki-Duk movies in the form of Arirang and Crocodile, the Japanese films at the London International Animation Festival and a trailer for the hotly anticipated Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo anime movie. I also wrote a small obituary for the Japanese filmmaker Koji Wakamatsu who tragically died last week. I had a day off earlier in the week which allowed me to write up my notes from the BFI London Film Festival and do a lot of previews for films. My prediction about getting free time made a couple of weeks back did not quite pan out as expected but I am running slightly ahead of schedule (writing this did not feel like a desperate struggle).

What does the Japanese movie chart look like?

  1. The Expendables 2
  2. Tsunagu
  3. Bayside Shakedown 4: The Final New Hope
  4. Outrage Beyond
  5. Uchu Keiji Gyaban: The Movie
  6. Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax
  7. The Mystical Law
  8. Resident Evil: Retribution
  9. Bakarea High School
  10. Intouchables

The big change is the fact that The Expendables 2 is at the top spot and Space Ranger Gavan is at five. Sono latest film, The Land of Hope is apparently not in the top ten which strikes me as a crime, especially as it has had good reviews.

What is released in Japan today? A lot of anime!


My Departure                   My Departure Movie Poster

Japanese Title: 旅 の 贈りもの 明日へ

Romaji: Tabi no Okurimono Ashitae

Release Date:  27th October 2012 (Japan)

Running Time: 109 mins.

Director: Tetsu Maeda

Writer: Takashi Shinohara

Starring: Kiyoshi Maekawa, Wakako Saki, Yu Yamada, Kurumi Shimizu, Shono Hayama, Yu Tokui Taro Suruga, Atsuka Sakurai

Tetsu Maeda… That name rings a bell That’s right! Late last month his film The King and I was released. Well he’s back with My Departure, a film which stars the popular enka singer Kiyoshi Maekawa, Wakako Sakai, Yu Yamada (Nodame Cantabile live-action films). Being a gaikokujin and completely unfamiliar with Japanese television beyond Keizoku, The Water Margin and Monkey Magic, the only people I recognise are Yu Yokui (Keizoku, Swing Girls, Insight into the Universe, Dark Water, and the amusingly titled I am a Cat Stalker) Kurumi Shimizu and that’s only because I wrote up a film she was in last month called The Kirishima Thing, which I really want to see. From the synopsis I thought I might not like the trailer but actually… I kind of liked it. Maybe it is because I commute to work via train.

A man from Tokyo who worked for a construction company, a woman from Nagoya who is a hair stylist and another woman from Osaka who is about to get married travel by train to the city of Fukui As they travel by train these three people go on a journey both physical and personal.


A Terminal Trust                        The Terminal Trust

Japanese Title: 終 の 信託

Romaji: Tsui no Shintaku

Release Date:  27th October 2012 (Japan)

Running Time: 144 mins.

Director: Masayuki Suo

Writer: Saku Tatsuki (Original Short Story)

Starring: Koji Yakusho,Tadanobu Asano, Takao Osawa, Yoshihiko Hosoda, Tamiyo Kusakari

Masayuki Suo, director of I Just Didn’t Do It and the smash-hit film Shall We Dance? reunites two cast members from the latter film with Tamiyo Kusakari and Koji Yakusho (Séance, Cure) as the trailer shows at the beginning. They are joined by Tadanobu Asano (The Kids Return, Bright Future, Vital, Survive Style 5+) and Takao Osawa (All About Lily Chou-Chou, Ichi) This medical/legal drama is based on a short story named Tsui no Shintaki (The Final Request) by the lawyer Saku Tatsuki.

Doctor Ayano Orii (Kusakari) is placed in a difficult position when a patient named Shinzo Egi (Yakusho) who suffers severe asthma requests that he does not want to be put on life support following an attack. When he does die she is questioned in a criminal case. 

Resident Evil: Damnation                             Resident Evil Damnation

Romaji: Baiohazādo: Damunēshon

Japanese Title: バイオハザード ダムネーション

Japanese Release Date: 27th October 2012 (Japan)

Running Time: N/A

Director: Makoto Kamiya

Writer: Shotaro Suga

Starring: Paul Mercier (Leon), Alyson Court (Claire Redfield), Sam Riegel (Steve Burnside), Patricia Jay Lee (Jill Valentine)

I am old enough to remember when Resident Evil was first released… I think I played it that same year. Over the intervening years I have lost interest in the franchise – the last one I played was Code Veronica on the Dreamcast – but I still watch the films if I have nothing better to do. Anyway a trailer for Resident Evil: Damnation, the 3D CGI anime film sequel to Resident Evil: Degeneraton, was released last week.

In this story Leon S. Kennedy takes centre stage as he finds himself in a war-torn European country, the East Slavic Republic to verify that Bio Organic Weapons (BOWs) are being used in a civil war which both the US and Russia plan to intervene in. Obviously there are BOWs since the trailer shows Leon battling Lickers. Makoto Kamiya who directed Resident Evil: Degeneration and has handled the special effects on Gantz, acted in Tokyo Gore Police and was assistant director on Mamoru Oshii’s Avalon is directing this. Takahashi Tetsuya (AppleseedHalo Legends) is composing the music.

009 Re:Cyborg                                                           009 ReCyborg Poster

Japanese Title: ゼロゼロナイン リサイボーグ

Romaji: Zero Zero Nain Resaibo-gu

Release Date:  27th October 2012 (Japan)

Running Time: N/A

Director: Kenji Kamiyama

Writer:  Kenji Kamiyama (Script), Shotaro Ishimori (Original Creator)

Starring: Sakiko Tamagawa (Cyborg 001 / Ivan Whisky),Daisuke Ono (Cyborg 002 / Jet Link), Chiwa Saito (Cyborg 003 / Françoise Arnoul), Toru Ohkawa (Cyborg 004 / Albert Heinrich), Teruyuki Tanzawa (Cyborg 005 / Geronimo Jr), Tarou Masuoka (Cyborg 006 / Chang Changku), Hiroyuki Yoshino (Cyborg 007 / Great Britain), Noriaki Sugiyama (Cyborg 008 / Pyunma), Mamoru Miyano (Cyborg 009 / Joe Shimamura)

Production I.G.’s 3D anime take on Shotaro Ishinomori’s classic manga is released today. Kenji Kamiyama (Eden of the EastGitS: Stand Alone Complex) has taken on the roles of director and screen-writer for the movie. Other notable staff attached to the movie include Yusuke Takeda (Blood: The Last VampireGhost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex) as the art director, Gatou Asou (Moribito – Guardian of the SpiritOccult Academy) as the character design Masanori Uetaki who has handled 3D CG on titles like Asura Cryin’ and Tiger & Bunny, is lead animator, and Kenji Kawai (Patlabor!Ghost in the Shell!!) handling the soundtrack.

The story follows a group of nine people who have been kidnapped from across the world for a project involving human experimentation. These people are turned into cyborgs but escape and turn their new powers against their former captors in order to protect humanity from them.

Smile PreCure!  The Movie: Everyone is All Mixed Up Inside the Picture Book!Precure Mixed Up Movie Poster

Japanese Title: 映画 スマイル プリキュア! 絵本 の なか はみんな チグハグ

Romaji:  Eiga Sumairu Purikyua! Ehon no naka wa minna Chiguhagu

Release Date:  27th October 2012 (Japan)

Running Time: N/A

Director: Narumi Koda

Writer:  Shoji Yonemura (Script), 

Starring: Asami Tano (Akane Hino/Cure Sunny),Chinami Nishimura (Reika Aoki/Cure Beauty), Hisako Kanemoto (Yayoi Kise/Cure Peace), Marina Inoue (Nao Midorikawa/Cure March), Misato Fukuen (Miyuki Hoshizora/Cure Happy), Daisuke Sakaguchi (Pop), Ikue Ohtani (Candy), Megumi Hayashibara (Niko)


The PreCure anime is popular amongst girls in Japan where it is a massive franchise. I am not a girl or Japanese, therefore this has no effect on me. The film is directed by Narumi Kuroda who has acted as a director on the differenttelevision series. Shoji Yonemura (Glass Fleet, Fairy Tale, Smile PreCure!) is writing the script for the film and characters designs come from PreCure franchise veteran Toshie Kawamura.  Kozue Komatsu is also aiding Kawamura in character design as well as fulfilling the role of animation director. Chie Satou, another PreCure franchise familiar is handling the art direction.

Voice actors from the PreCure franchise are also reprising their roles and they are joined by Megumi Hayashibara (Rei Ayaname in Evangelion).

The five legendary PreCure girls find themselves transported into a picture book and are guided in their journey out by Niko, a girl who lives in fairy tales.