Oedo 808 Scarlet Bird, Greenhorn, My Father’s Lifetime of Justice – Nakamura Masayoshi’s, Japanese Trailers and the Japanese Film Box Office

Genki Jason Welcomes 2013 BannerWelcome to the first weekend of 2013 and the first releases and charts of the year. Before that though, a round-up of the week.

I ended 2012 by creating a set of New Year’s Resolutions designed to shape the future of the blog and help to give me some objectives to hit. Very ambitious ones. I also posted about some of the anime and Japanese films that will be released in the UK in 2013.

To celebrate the New Year I watched Tokyo Drifter and Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows. The former was brilliant (expect a review) and with the latter I discovered that I did not miss out much by not watching it in a cinema despite liking the first film. I watched the anime Winds of Amnesia and relived some great old school anime I had not watched in over a decade. Over at AUKN, a day before the end of the year I finished my Winter Anime Preview. I am already starting the Spring preview because the only previews that matter are the earliest ones… I still owe some K-horror reviews that I promised from last year which is handy because I have got to get my Top Ten Films of 2013 started!

What does the first Japanese box office chart for the end of last year (22/23 Dec 2012) look like?

For those of you just joining me… technically the chart is for the end of last year but the charts are updated on Mondays when I like to post a review. New films are usually released on Fridays and Saturdays and a trailer post is a great way to include the charts.

  1. One Piece Film Z
  2. Les Miserables
  3. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
  4. Skyfall
  5. Love for Beginners
  6. Kamen Rider X Kamen Rider Wizard & Fourze: Movie War Ultimatum
  7. Humanoid Monster Bem
  8. The Castle of Crossed Destinies
  9. Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo
  10. Frankenweenie

One Piece still dominates the charts and looks set to beat the box office takings of Evangelion 3.0. The rest of the charts are filled with western releases taking up a lot of other entries (Skyfall sitting at four) and Love for Beginners at five.

What Japanese films are released in Japan today?

Greenhorn                                     Greenhorn Film Poster

Japanese Title:青二 才

Romaji: Ao ni sai

Release Date: 05th January 2013 (Japan)

Running Time: 82 mins.

Director: Toshiki Satō

Writer: N/A

Starring: Takeshi Ito, Sawa Masaki, Takuya Sakurai, Mutsuo Yoshioka, Kiyomi Ito

I did a search for the director and found a candidate with a bunch of pink films to his name. Said pink films have awful (and awfully amusing) titles. This must be his bid for serious critical attention. There are no major names in the cast but the actors do have good films to their names: Sawa Misaki was in The Ear Cleaner and Underwater Love, Mutsuo Yoshioka (Our Homeland) and Takeshi Ito who was in one of those awful slit-mouthed woman films. This is a drama and it looks grim…

Yuzo (Ito) is in his late forties and has a dead-end job delivering flyers. In his spare time he practices playing the guitar, chasing his one-time dream. Not that his wife approves and soon she meets another man. Can his life improve?


My Father’s Lifetime of Justice – Nakamura Masayoshi’s, Japanese Painter ofNakamura Masayoshi Film Poster Genius 

Japanese Title: 父をめぐる旅 異才の日本画家・中村正義の生涯

Romaji: Chichi wo Meguro Tabi Issai (genius) no Nihon Gaka – Nakamura Masayoshi No Shugai (Lifelong)

Release Date: 05th January 2013 (Japan)

Running Time: 102 mins.

Director: Masanori Kondo, K. Takeshige

Writer: N/A

Starring: Masayoshi Nakamura

My Japanese is decent enough to translate the title but it is the most leaden reading that has sucked the life out of it. Furthermore I am not familiar with the subject. I know about pre-20th Century Japanese art but very little from the modern period. My favourite art is that of the impressionists! This documentary is about Masayoshi Nakamura, a promising and challenging painter in the post-war Japanese art world who died young at the age of 52 because of cancer. His daughter Tomoko digs deep both in archives and memory trying to discover who he was and why he is important and defend his legacy.

Edited Version of the Play Oedo 808 Scarlet Bird Scarlet Bird Oedo 808 Film Poster

Japanese Title: 大江戸緋鳥808 劇場編集版

Romaji: Ooedo Hi Tori 808 Gekiba Henjibun

Release Date: 05th January 2013 (Japan)

Running Time: 102 mins.

Director: Shunichi Okamura

Writer: Kazunori Watanabe (Stageplay), Shotaro Ishinomori (Original Manga)

Starring: Daichi Mao, Ryuji Harada, Hidekazu Ichinose, Kei Takashiro

This is a version of a 2012 stage play that is broadcast in cinemas to commemorate 140 years since the building of the Meiji-za (Meiji Theatre). The play takes place in the Edo Shogunate follows Takao Tayu, a beautiful and vivacious person who was loved by many but who lives a double-life as a kunoichi named Scarlet Bird. She finds herself in danger when a group of ninja spies she once betrayed are seen. This is the best release of the week. Just watching videos from the stage production made me wish that I could have watched it in person. My Japanese would not have been good enough to understand what is happening but it looks gorgeous.