Yoshii Cinema, Valentine Riot, Hunter x Hunter: Phantom Rouge, Konshin, Shin Shin Shin, Suzuki Sensei, Yuki Sasaki, Aragure, About the Pink Sky, Space Battleship Yamato 2199 Chapter IV Battle of the Frontier to the Galaxy, Geki x Cine Seven Skull Castle Trailers and the Japanese Film Box Office Chart

Biomega NiheiMajor movie news this week as The BAFTA’s and the Oscars announced their nominations. Despite watching the announcements and enjoying them (Seth MacFarlane looks like he’ll be a great host) I will not be commenting on them like I did last year as I want to focus on Asian movies and I will only repeat past lamentations about how Ghibli/anime were overlooked. You can go and visit Otherwhere for a good preview.

This week I watched a lot of anime and Japanese films and I have been eating Japanese food… Okay, it was mostly Chinese. As per my resolutions made at the end of last year, I am also speaking, reading and writing Japanese every day which is a big improvement on last year. Speaking of last year, this week has seen me try and catch up on last year’s Genki Christmas season by posting a review for I Saw the Devil. Then I posted a preview and review for the brilliant The Foreign Duck, The Native Duck & God in a Coin Locker which is one of the films that was mentioned in my preview of live-action Japanese film releases for this year.

What does the Japanese Movie Box Office (January 5-6) look like this week?

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

One Piece Film Z remains at the top smashing the latest Evangelion’s records in box-office gains. The British musical Les Miserables sticks in the top three and outperforms The Hobbit. Skyfall and Humanoid Monster Bem round out the top five.

You know last week when there were only three Japanese films released… This week there are a lot of films released this Friday/Saturday. Back to business as usual. This covers the Japanese releases for this week.

Yoshii Cinema                                        Yoshii Cinemas Film Poster

Japanese Title:Yoshii Cinema

Romaji: Yoshii Cinema

Release Date: January 11th 2013 (Japan)

Running Time: 64 mins.

Director: Toru Yamamoto

Writer: N/A

Starring: Kazuya Yoshii

Yoshii Cinema is a documentary that tracks the work of Kazuya Yoshii who was the vocalist for the rock band The Yellow Monkey which disbanded in 2004. Since then, Yoshii has toured with solo projects and engaged in working in other art forms. It is directed by Toru Yamamoto who released a punk-rock movie last month called Good Morning Everyone!


Valentine Riot                                               Valentine Riot Film Poster

Japanese Title: バレンタイン ー 機

Romaji: Barentain ki

Release Date: January 12th 2013 (Japan)

Running Time: 64 mins.

Director: Hitomi Yoshimura

Writer: N/A

Starring: N/A

Hitomi Yoshimura’s documentary looks at the issue of child labour in Ghana. More specifically, it follows the efforts of three young Japanese people who go to Ghana to see how the NGO ACE are working to eliminate child labour in the cocoa industry and to better understand the daily lives of children in Ghana and the impact that fair trade chocolate can have on special occasions in Japan like Valentine’s Day and White Day.

Also, I found this video for Hyadain’s Christmas single from 2011. Sexy Office Ladies.


Hunter x Hunter: Phantom Rouge   Hunter x Hunter Poster

Japanese Title: 劇場版 HUNTER X HUNTER 緋色 の 幻影 (ファントム フージュ)

Romaji: Gekijouban Hunter x Hunter: Hiiro no Genei (Fantomu Fu-jyu)

Release Date:  12th Jnuary 2013 (Japan)

Running Time: N/A

Director: Yuzo Sato (Original Creator)

Writer:  Yoshihiro Togashi

Starring: Yuki Kaida (Kurapika), Junko Takeuchi (Gon Freecss), Kanako Mitsuhashi (Killua Zoldyck), Hozumi Gouda (Leorio Paladiknight)

The film is directed by Yuzo Sato who has worked on a variety of anime from medieval demon hunting adventure Claymore to the more sci-fi leaning Biohunter. The Character designer is Takahiro Yoshimatsu who has also had a wide variety of experiences such as being an animation director on Black Cat, character designer on Supernatural the Animation and even the director of Nyanpire The Animation. Music comes from Yoshihisa Hirano who scored the Death Note anime. The seiyuu involved include Yuki Kaida (Kouga in Zetman) and Junko Takeuchi (Naruto Uzumaki in Naruto).


Hunting is respected profession. You can hunt money, criminals, animals, recipe ingredients… yes. You can hunt whatever you want so long as you have the talent to become a hunter. While the TV series focussed on a pre-teen boy named Gon, this one focusses on Kurapika who wishes to track down and take revenge on a group of criminals known as the Phantom Troupe. Why? They massacred his clan for having eyes that can turn scarlet during moments of emotional stress. These eyes are considered treasures and Kurapika’s eyes are in danger but with the help of Gon, Killua and Leorio, he is determined to have his revenge.


Konshin                              Kon-shin Film Poster

Japanese Title: 渾身

Romaji: Konshin

Release Date: January 12th 2013 (Japan)

Running Time: 134 mins.

Director: Yoshinari Nishikori

Writer: Yoshinari Nishikori (Screenplay), Kenichi Kawakami (Original Novel)

Starring: Sho Aoyagi, Ayumi Ito, Harumi Inoue, Masahiro Komoto, Yoshiko Miyazaki, Katsuo Nakamura, Takashi Sasano, Naomi Zaizen 

This film is based on Kenichi Kawakami’s original novel and aims to show a side of Japan foreigners may not be familiar with. We get a sport steeped in ancient traditions in a place that holds onto traditional culture amidst the beautiful setting of Oki Island. It stars Sho Aoyagi who was in last year’s teen romance feature Love for Beginners is supported by an able cast including Ayumi Ito (All About Lily Chou-Chou, Penance, A Story of Yonosuke), Masahiro Komoto (Space Travellers, The Magic Hour, Linda, Linda, Linda) and Takashi Sasano (Departures, Adrift in Tokyo, Thermae Romae).

We are on the Oki Islands in Shimane Prefecture, a place with a tradition of creating sumo wrestlers. Sakamoto (Aoyagi) is determined to master the sport as a tournament comes around


Shin Shin Shin                               Shin Shin Shin Film Poster

Japanese Title: しんしんしん

Romaji: Shin Shin Shin

Release Date: January 12th 2013 (Japan)

Running Time: 135 mins.

Director: Kouhei Sanada

Writer: Kouhei Sanada

Starring: Hoshi Ishida, Miwako Wagatsuma, Kazuhiro Sano, Yuya Okutsu. Megumi Kagurazaka

Shing, Shing, Shing. Interesting title. It comes from a song of the same name by the folk rock band Happy End. Is this it? Hey, it’s not bad! This is a road movie which has some interesting names in its staff and cast. Director Kouhei Sanada studied under Kiyoshi Kurosawa at the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music. Actress Miwako Wagatsuma was in Sentimental Yasuko and End of Puberty while Sion Sono fans will be more than familiar with Megumi Kagurazaka who was in Cold Fish. While my synopsis does not make it sound interesting, the trailer has certainly left me very curious.

Tomoyuki (Ishida) is a high school student who gathers together with a group of strangers, his father Yoshio (Sano), and a girl that Tomoyuki likes named Yuki (Wagatsuma) and they travel from town to town by truck searching for stable relationships in a story of love and loss.

  Continue reading “Yoshii Cinema, Valentine Riot, Hunter x Hunter: Phantom Rouge, Konshin, Shin Shin Shin, Suzuki Sensei, Yuki Sasaki, Aragure, About the Pink Sky, Space Battleship Yamato 2199 Chapter IV Battle of the Frontier to the Galaxy, Geki x Cine Seven Skull Castle Trailers and the Japanese Film Box Office Chart”