Suu, Mai and Sawa – Righting the Girl Ship, Bad Communication, The Dark System Full Version, Winter Day, Tofu Fa, Fukushima Not Forgotten, Anime Mirai 2013, Mobile Suit Gundam UC: Episode 6 and Other Trailers and the Japanese Film Box Office

Little Witch Academia Film ImageAh, I have just arrived home after my commute from work where I encountered two Japanese people by chance and had a good old chat with them. The pluses of public  transport! This week I received Skyfall, the 2LDK/Aragami double release, the Blue Exorcist anime and I Come with the Rain and I am expecting Detroit Metal City soon. As far as movies watched goes I watched Heat After Dark a further two times despite my review giving the impression that I did not rate it that much… I also wrote about Makoto Shinkai’s forthcoming film The Garden of Words and the anime Mysterious Girlfriend X. The former has the potential to be great while the latter wasted its potential to become just another fan-service show.

What do the Japanese charts look like this week (Feb 23/24 2013)?

  1.       A Good Day to Die Hard
  2.       Ted
  3.       The Brain Man
  4.       Les Miserables
  5.       Strrawberry Night
  6.       Life of Pi
  7.       Zero Dark Thirty
  8.      Chair of the Grasslands
  9.       Story of Yonosuke
  10.      Reunion

Well three of the Japanese films released last week (A Story of Yonosuke, Reunion and Chair of the Grasslands) break into the top ten but it is US/UK films that are dominating the charts.

Ah, this week sees the release of Flight and Django Unchained so I guess distributors are holding back big titles and resorting to counter-programming with a real mixed bag of titles… there are quite a few short films released and they have a whole gamut of rising stars of Japan’s directorial world. There are three documentaries, a loot of short films and two indie films while the one big-budget flick issssss now:

Suu, Mai and Sawa – Righting the Girl Ship   Sue, Mai and Sawa - Righting the Girl Ship Film Poster

Japanese Title: すーちゃん まいちゃんさわ子さん

Romaji: Su-chan, Mai-chan, Sawako-san

Release Date: March 02nd, 2013 (Japan)

Running Time: 106 mins.

Director: Osamu Minorikawa

Writer: Miri Masuda (Original Manga), Sachiko Tanaka (Screenplay)

Starring: Kou Shibasaki, Yoko Maki, Shinobu Terajima, Hana Kino, Akiko Kazami, Megumi Sato, Aoi Yoshikura, Ai Takabe, Shota Sometani, Arata

Osamu Minorikawa released Jinsei Irodori last year and is back with an adaptation of Miri Masuda’s manga. It stars Kou Shibasaki (One Missed Call, Battle Royale), Yoko Maki (Infection, Battle Royale II, and The Grudge), Shinobu Terajima(Vibrator, The Millennial Rapture) and Megumi Sato (Exte: Hair Extension). The males of the cast are Arata (After Life, Ping Pong) and Shota Sometani (Himizu, Lesson of the Evil). The film is a slice-of-life tale for adult women based on a four-panel gag manga and the trailer starts with a woman crying and not a gunfight or anything that would catch my attention but Rebirth had a trailer that made me uncertain and then I was blown away by it. Plus the review over at the Japan Times is intriguing… If The Japan Foundation screens it I will watch it! And then watch Heat After Dark for a dose of testosterone.

Sue (Shibasaki), Mai (Maki) and Sawako (Terajima) are three former companions who have remained friends. Sue works at a coffee shop and likes her manager. Mai works at an OA machine maker and is in a relationship with a married man and Sawako is a web designer who takes care of her grandmother.

Bad Communication                               Bad Communication Film Poster

Japanese Title: Bad コミュニケーション

Romaji: Bad Comyunike-shon

Release Date: March 02nd, 2013 (Japan)

Running Time: 30 mins.

Director: Haruhi Oguri

Writer: Haruhi Oguri (Screenplay)

Starring: Daiki Shiomi, Yoshino Motoyama, Yūta Hashimoto, Yūya Inechū, Ryūto Tanaka, Iemori Nagata,

Haruhi Oguri follows up Toilet and Women (that’s the actual title of a film released last year) with a youth movie depicting a group of friends in a seaside town as they leave school, enter college in Tokyo and experience the death of one of their number. The five leads are new to the acting game. Bad Communication is the title of a song by the cool J-rock group B’z and it reminds me of Ill Communication by the Beastie Boys which was cool. Random thoughts ended. the trailer doesn’t really interest me as much as the one for Toilet and Women.

The Dark System Full Version                        Dark System Film Poster

Japanese Title: Bad ダークシステム 完全版

Romaji: Da-ku Shisutemu Kanzenhan

Release Date: March 02nd, 2013 (Japan)

Running Time: 113 mins.

Director: Shūji Yuki

Writer: Shūji Yuki (Screenplay)

Starring: Makoto Takunomasaki, Katsumi Furuya, Yuko Kamata, Takehiro Kamibaba

Shūji Yuki’s two Dark System short films have been re-edited and re-constructed to make a feature-length film about two friends who split over a girl and soon turn to wire-tapping their homes and even violence. I would watch this if this were a DVD extra. I’m not sure I would go to a cinema to see this.


Here is where the short-films begin:

Winter Day                                Fuyu no Hi/Tofu Fa Film Poster

Japanese Title: 冬の日

Romaji: Fuyu no Hi

Release Date: March 02nd, 2013 (Japan)

Running Time: 28 mins.

Director: Hiroshi Kurosaki

Writer: N/A

Starring: Masami Nagasawa, Jun Fubuki, Kenta Uchino, Masayo Umezawa

Movie PAO have produced a second volume of shorts directed by three young directors Fuyu no Hi Snow Film Imagewith the aim of nurturing talent and allowing them to work with industry vets. The directors have got the chance to make whatever they want. The first title is Winter Day which stars Masami Nagasawa (Kiseki) and the great actress Jun Fubuki (Séance, Rebirth). Here’s a funny advert that I found after looking for a trailer. It could be a parody trailer of a dorama what with its music and slice-of-life setting. All Yuko wanted to do was eat oranges but when her father came home something emotional happened 😛

Lisa (Nagasawa) gives up on her dreams of becoming a photographer and heads back to her parent’s photo studio. It is snowing and in the snow she meets a woman (Fubuki) who will reveal a secret about her family.


Tofu Fa                                           Tofu fa Image

Japanese Title: ファの豆腐

Romaji: Fa no Toufu

Release Date: March 02nd, 2013 (Japan)

Running Time: 40 mins.

Director: Shinji Kuma

Writer: Yuka Honchō (Screenplay)

Starring: Akiko Kikuchi, Sansei Shiomi, Yuki Makoto Miura, Reiko Seno

Another Movie PAO title. The very foxy Akiko Kikuchi who co-starred with Koji Yakusho in last year’s Chronicle of My Mother, takes the lead role of a chef named Asako who runs a tofu shop with her father, who is reunited with a childhood friend which sparks subtle changes in her life. The trailer has segments from other Movie PAO titles but the first one is Tofu Fa like in the trailer above.

Continue reading “Suu, Mai and Sawa – Righting the Girl Ship, Bad Communication, The Dark System Full Version, Winter Day, Tofu Fa, Fukushima Not Forgotten, Anime Mirai 2013, Mobile Suit Gundam UC: Episode 6 and Other Trailers and the Japanese Film Box Office”