Platina Data, Flower of Absolution, Bozo, Case of High Treason (Echo) is a 100 Year Echo, Precure All Stars New Stage 2: Kokoro no Tomodachi, I Can See From Heaven and Other Trailers and the Japanese Movie Box Office Chart

The week started off with March 11th, a date which will be forever associated with the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami which hit eastern Japan back in 2011. I posted about Third Window Films release of Vulgaria and then posted about Tohoku on Film, two films screening this weekend at the Japan Foundation. The films show Fukushima before and after the disaster. Roll on Wednesday and I started a list of films which deal directly with the aftermath of the disaster in a post called Great East Japan Earthquake Aftermath on Film and it contains details of some of the films that cover the aftermath of the disaster. I will update it as more films become available.

Film has been a key medium in keeping alive the memory of the disaster and those who suffered in it. Through film we can see the horror of the day, the effects on the people and the strength of the human spirit as survivors fight their way back from disaster. Whatever the genre, it will serve to remind the audience of that day.

Himizu is one such example. Sion Sono, former wild-man of the Japanese film industry channelled his creative talents to create a film so powerful thanks to its anger and life that it scorches itself on the memory. It was a powerful story about an individual but it also applied to Japan as a whole.



Himizu Sometani and Nikaidou

What does the Japanese film chart look like this week ( March 09th-10th).

  1.   Doraemon Nobita’s Dinosaur
  2.   Oz the Great and Powerful
  3.   Flight
  4.   A Good Day to Die Hard
  5.   Ted
  6.   Les Miserables
  7.   Toaru Majutsu no Index
  8.   Django Unchained
  9.   The Brain Man
  10.   Reunion
  11.   Argo
  12.   Strawberry Night

Did I predict Doraemon would dominate the charts last week or did I predict it would dominate the charts? It was never a question of how well it would do because Doraemon is one of the biggest characters in Japan, Asia… The world even. His fans will keep this at number one for a while now. The other new entry is Oz the Great and Powerful. March 11th drama Reunion sits at ten and Strawberry Night is at twelve.

What’s released in Japan this weekend?

Platina Data                                            Platina Data Film Poster

Japanese Title: プラチナデータ

Romaji:  Puratina De-ta

Release Date: March 16th, 2013 (Japan)

Running Time: 133 mins.

Director: Keishi Ohtomo

Writer: Keigo Higashino (Original Book), Hideya Hamada (Screenplay),Cool Platina Data Film Poster

Starring: Kazunari Ninomiya, Etsushi Toyokawa, Anne Watanabe, Kiko Mizuhara, Honami Suzuki, Katsuhisa Namase

Ha, when I was last in London I picked up the book as a present for my teacher. When I read that it was written by Keigo Higashino I figured it would be an excellent thriller because that’s how Higashino’s books roll! Turns out the movie is genuinely good according to the Japan Times Film Review and it’s the biggest movie released this week. It is directed by Keishi Ohtomo who had a hit last year with Rurouni Kenshin. The cast is full of big names like the Arashi singer Kazunari Ninomiya (Gantz, Letters from Iwo Jima, Tekkonkinkurito) and Anne Watanabe (Ninja Kids!!!, XXXHOLiC) as well as rising star Kiko Mizuhara (Norwegian Wood). My film of the week!

It is the year 2017 and the Japanese government attempts to secretly control the DNA of everybody in the country. When a scientist named Ryuhei Kagura (Ninomiya) who works at the National Police Agency is accused of murdering the DNA analysis system he helps run he goes on the run with veteran detective Reiji Asama on his trail! 

Flower of Absolution              Shamen Hana Film Poster

Japanese Title: 赦免花

Romaji:  Shamen Bana

Release Date: March 16th, 2013 (Japan)

Running Time: 107 mins.

Director: Shinichi Karube

Writer: Yu Orihara (Screenplay/Original Book)

Starring: Yaeko Mizutani (Narrator), Misaki Saijo, Hidekazu Ichinose, Naoto Takenaka, Taro Kawano, Natsuo Ishido, Monica Takano, Mariko Yasui,

Shinichi Karube, producer of Fly with the Gold, brings together quite the cast for a period drama set at the end of the Edo period in which a samurai named Kengo (Ichinose) is exiled to Sado island on the charge of disobeying the Shogunate. On the island he meets a former prostitute named Yuki (Misaki) and the two fall in love with each other. The two conceive a child but with Kengo being offered a pardon Yuki is faced with raising the child alone or attempting an abortion… Hidekazu Ichinose has a few films to his name (Snakes and Earrings) but Misaki Saijo appears to be an AV actress… a pretty hot one. If I were Kengo I’d tell the Shogun to stuff his pardon but then I’d make a rubbish samurai 😉

Bozo                                                      Bozo Film Poster

Japanese Title: ぼつちゃん

Romaji:  Botsu-Chan

Release Date: March 16th, 2013 (Japan)

Running Time: 130 mins.

Director: Tatsushi Ōmori

Writer: Hidemori Tsuchiya, Tatsushi Ōmori (Screenplay)

Starring: Shingo Mizusawa, Shohei Uno, Ai Tamura, Shinsuke Suzuki, Fuchigami Yasushi, Mayumi Takahashi, Asako Ogawa, Yasushi Fuchikami, Masashi Endo, Emiko Imaizumi

Tatsushi Omori is an actor/director/screenwriter who has worked on Our Homeland (actor), Tada’s Do-It-All House (director/screenwriter) and this is his latest film. It looks miserable and funny, the main character physically divorced from reality and mentally drifting off the map to boot. It also looks like a pretty strong psychological drama full of everyday horror that pushes people to the edge. It draws inspiration from a real life criminal case where Tomohiro Kato indiscriminately killed people in Akihabara in 2008. Shingo Mizusawa (Roadside Fugitive) takes the lead role alongside Shohei Uno (The Drudgery Train, Toilet and Women) and Ai Tamura (Asakusa Daydreams) and Masashi Endo (Sawako Decides). I would want to see this one as well.

Tomoyuki Kaji (Mizusawa) is a temporary worker at a factory in Nagano Prefecture and spends his free time writing about his loneliness on an internet forum. He meets Tanaka (Uno), another lonely guy and they both become friends but Tomoyuki suffers a series of misfortunes like being fired, betrayed by his friend and having unfulfilled love. At the edge of an abyss, he goes to Akihabara…

Case of High Treason (Echo) is a 100 Year Echo                    High Treason 100 Years On Film Poster

Japanese Title: 100年の谺(こだま) 大逆事件は生きている

Romaji: 100-Nen no kodama (Kodama) dai gyaku jiken wa ikite iru

Release Date: March 16th, 2013 (Japan)

Running Time: 90 mins.

Director: Kei Tanaka

Writer: Tomoko Fujiwara

A documentary that raises the historical case 12 people who were hanged and another 12 who were given a sentence of life imprisonment in 1911 for what the government deemed “high treason”. It brings together studies and research that aims to prove that the people condemned were done under false accusations and the sentences were passed to silence socialists and anarchists in Japan. It looks fascinating.

Precure All Stars New Stage 2: Kokoro no TomodachiPrecure All Stars New Stage 2 Kokoro no Tomodachi Film Poster

Japanese Title: プリキュアオールスターズ New Stage こころのともだち

Romaji:  Puri Kyua O-ru Suta-zu New Stage 2 Kokoro no Tomodachi

Release Date: March 16th, 2013 (Japan)

Running Time: 90 mins.

Director: Kōji Ogawa

Writer: Yoshimi Narita (Screenplay)

Starring: Ai Nagano, Aya Hisakawa, Eri Kitamura, Hisako Kanemoto, Fumie Mizusawa, Akiko Nakagawa, Asami Tano, Rie Tanaka, Kanako Miyamoto,

Another year another Pretty Cure film. The director is Kōji Ogawa and it is his first big directorial job although he has worked on a number of awesome titles like Moldiver, Noein and Azumanga Daioh. The screenplay is from a Pretty Cure veteran, Yoshimi Narita, who has written for a number of the other films and television series. Feel the magic!

In this adventure the PreCure girls get a party invitation from the school fairy at a time when items are being stolen and suspicious shadows are emerging. Can the PreCure girls stop the shadows, solve the mysterious thefts and get to the party?

Continue reading “Platina Data, Flower of Absolution, Bozo, Case of High Treason (Echo) is a 100 Year Echo, Precure All Stars New Stage 2: Kokoro no Tomodachi, I Can See From Heaven and Other Trailers and the Japanese Movie Box Office Chart”