Orpheus’ Lyre, The Rakugo Movie, The Last Scene You Were Loved, Sweet Sickness, Mahoro Ekimae Bangaichi and Other Trailer and the Japanese Movie Charts

Spirited Away Sail AwayHa! Potential anime overload? I have watched more anime this week than ever before. Even when anime was on the Sci-Fi channel and Toonami. The Studio Ghibli season continues unabated in the UK. I watched Arrietty, Howl’s Moving Castle, Ponyo (all of which I have seen in the cinema like today’s film Spirited Away – the scene on the left occurred just a few moments ago). I also watched Castle of Cagliostro and Pom Poko. Work meant I missed Ocean Waves and Whisper of the Heart but I managed to watch an episode of Serial Experiments Lain, Level E and Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan. When I watch anime I tend to practice my Japanese as well so fun and learning is combined! I also continued with xxxHOLiC and I even rewatched Heat After Dark. This massive list convinces me that Japanese entertainment is the best! That written, I really enjoyed the latest episode of Doctor Who.

LAMMY 2013 Consideration Genki Jason PosterAs far as my adventures in movie blogging continue I posted a review of Vulgaria, a very amusing comedy from Hong Kong filled with bawdy humour. I also posted my campaign pictures for the LAMMY awards and the head of the LAMB even took the time to reply! Writing about the LAMB, their latest Foreign Chops is up and it focusses on Anime. Five of my reviews are there and I am at the top with Berserk. The week then ended with the tragic news of the passing of Roger Ebert. I have read his writing for a while now and it saddens me to see a true cinephile go.

Here’s an obituary from the BFI.

Now excuse me, I’m going to watch Spirited Away and practice Japanese (plain forms!)

What do the Japanese film charts look like this week (March 30th-31st)?

  1. Dragon Ball Z: Battle of the Gods
  2. Wreck-It Ralph
  3. Doraemon Nobita’s Dinosaur
  4. Platina Data
  5. Aibou Series X Day
  6. Precure All Stars New Stage 2
  7. Oz the Great and Powerful
  8. Jack the Giant Slayer
  9. Himawari and Her Puppies
  10. My Diary of Our Exchange

Well Dragon Ball Z has torn up the Japanese film chart with an energy blast that could level an entire planet. It accrued over $7 million on its opening weekend and looks set to be one of the biggest releases of the year. Knowing how big the DBZ franchise is it comes as no surprise. Phew.

What’s released today?

Portrait of a Table                                Portrait of a Table Film Poster

Japanese Title: 食卓の肖像

Romaji: Shokutaku no Shouzou

Release Date: April 06th, 2013 (Japan)

Running Time: 103 mins.

Director: Satoshi Kaneko 

Satoshi Kaneko makes his debut in this documentary which takes an episode of food pollution named the “Yusho Incident” which happened in 1968. In Nagasaki and Fukuoka, people who used Kanemi rice oil suffered eye damage, hair loss and other problems with their health. People still suffer from these problems.



Orpheus’ Lyre (English Title) / Cherry Blossoms, Kanako’s Once More (Literal Title)            

Japanese Title: 桜、 ふたたび の 加奈子         Orpheus Lyre Film Poster

Romaji: Sakura, Futatabi no Kanako

Release Date: April 06th, 2013 (Japan)

Running Time: 105 mins.

Director: Minoru Kurimura

Writer: Kiyomi Niitsu (Original Novel), Minoru Kurimura (Screenplay),

Starring: Ryoko Hirosue, Goro Inagaki, Sho Takada, Kyoko Enami, Mayuko Fukuda, Mayuko Yoshioka, Rie Tanaka, Hideki Nagai,

This is the second film from Minoru Kurimura and it is an adaptation of  Kiyomi Niitsu’s novel of the same name, published way back in 2000. Kurimura’s first film, Food and Maiden, was awarded the prize for Best Asian International Film Festival in Moscow. The film is packed with stars like the incredibly beautiful and talented Ryoko Hirosue who has impressed me in comedies (Key of Life), crime mysteries (Zero Focus) and dramas (Departures). She gets to exercise her acting ability in a film which focusses on her but she is given able support by Goro Inagaki (Thirteen Assassins), Mayuko Fukuda (Mai Mai Miracle, Kamikaze Girls) and someone I am familiar with as an anime voice actress, Rie Tanaka who was Sammy in Time of Eve.


When Yoko (Hirosue) loses her daughter Kanako in an accident she is consumed by a wave of grief and guilt so powerful she commits suicide in her daughter’s bedroom. She is saved but has been acting strangely since the incident. Her husband Nobuki (Inagaki)wants to support her but finds life a strain. Things take a dark turn when Yoko meets a pregnant high school student named Masami (Fukuda) and comes to believe that Masami’s baby us Kanako reincarnated.


The Last Scene You Were Loved             Love and Eros Film Poster

Japanese Title: 君が愛した ラストシーン

Romaji: Kimi ga Aishita Rasutoshiin

Release Date: April 06th, 2013 (Japan)

Running Time: 75 mins.

Director: Tsukasa Satou

Writer: Shuji Kataoka (Screenplay),

Starring: Rei Yoshii, Shunsuke Kubozuka, Midori Ezawa, Mao Miyaji, Yoshioka Mutsuo, Erika Asakura, Mayumi Oka

Last week saw the first part of the 2nd season of the Love & Eros Cinema Collection released and this week sees the second part which is directed by Tsukasa Satou which follows a widower named Kosuke who, three years after the death of his wife, is still depressed, When he watches their favourite film, “My Angel”, the main character, a nurse named Minami emerges from out of the screen! It stars Rei Yoshii (The Parasite Doctor Suzune), Mao Miyaji (With the Dog Tag and the Coquette), and Shunshuke Kubozuka (King Game).

If only a woman who looked like that would emerge from my television… Uh, better not go there.


Sweet Sickness                                         Sweet Sickness Film Poster

Japanese Title: Sweet Sickness

Release Date: April 06th, 2013 (Japan)

Running Time: 90 mins.

Director: Shinya Nishimura

Writer: Shinya Nishimura (Screenplay),

Starring: Yukichi Kobayashi, Yuko Hosoe, Yoichiro Saito, Ayaka Katamiya

Yuko Hosoe, star of No One’s Ark and the live-action adaptation of Cream Lemon is back with only her second film after a lengthy eight-year hiatus from the big screen. Cream Lemon was an incest drama between a step-brother and sister and this film has a similar story in which a doting younger brother named Tetsuya Chigira (Kobayashi) finds he and his sister Rin (Hosoe) are growing closer than is acceptable after their parents die. Yukichi Kobayashi is an up and coming star who has been directed by veteran directors in solid dramas that have graced international festivals like River, The Egoists, The Millennial Rapture and Playback.


Mahoro Ekimae Bangaichi                      Mahoro Eki Mae Dorama Poster

Japanese Title: まほろ 駅前 番外地

Romaji: Mahoro Ekimae Bangaichi

Release Date: April 06th, 2013 (Japan)

Running Time: N/A

Director: Hitoshi One

Writer: Hitoshi One, Hikaru Kurozumi, Yashikikenji (Screenplay),

Starring: Eita, Ryuhei Matsudam Yuki Makoto Miura, Makiko Watanabe, Sakai Maki, Yukie Kawamura, Hirofumi Arai, Masaki Miura

Eita and Ryuhei Matsuda are two of the most talented actors in Japanese movies and between the two of them they have worked with some of the biggest names in Japanese film like Nagisa Oshima (Gohatto), Takashi Miike, Takeshi Kitano (Izo), Toshiyaki Toyoda (9 Souls), Ryuichi Hiroki (April Bride) and Shinya Tsukamoto (Nightmare Detective). They have appeared together in The Foreign Duck, the Native Duck & God in a Coin Locker and Tada’s Do It All House which is the precursor to the television show which is the basis of this film! The film version will screen all 12 episodes of the television series in batches of 3 over the next 4 weeks at the Eurospace theatre in Shibuya (thanks for the link, Paul!).



The film is set in the fictional city of Mahoro and follows Keisuke Tada (Eita) and Haruhiko Gyoten (Matsuda), two thirty-something divorcees who run a “benriya” (odd jobs for hire) business. We witness their interactions with their customers. All over again if you saw the original television series! Joy for the fans, then. The number of big actors that crop up is impressive with Kengo Kora (A Story of Yonosuke, Norwegian Wood), Masaki Miura (Cold Fish), Makiko Watanabe (Love Exposure, Himizu, GFP Bunny), Haru Kuroki (Wolf Children), Asami Usuda (Cold Boom, The Woodsman & the Rain) and Yoko Maki (Infection, The Grudge). The poster comes from the dorama.



The Rakugo (Storyteller) Movie            The Rakugo Movie Poster

Japanese Title: らくご えいが

Romaji: Rakugo Eiga

Release Date: April 06th, 2013 (Japan)

Running Time: N/A

Director: Mikihiro Endou, Issei Matsui, Yuuichirou Sakashita

Writer: Rei Tsuruga, Shuuji Saga, Takero Uragami (Screenplay),

Starring: Yuko Yamamoto, Shinya Sugiyama, Shigeru Saiki, Tajima Yumika, Haruna Kondo, Yoji Tanaka, Takako Kato, Haruka Minowa, Shigeyuki Totsugi

This is an omnibus movie which adapts three short stories for the big screen. The central protagonists are employees for a movie production company that is looking for the location in the film adaptation of a hit cartoon. Their lives spiral into weirdness as they encounter a man with the ability to see death (about as much as I could make out from the plot). I like the trailer a lot. It looks genuinely funny (unlike the one for Intermission a few weeks back!) and the cast list is very impressive. TRAILER OF THE WEEK!


The film has a cast of new and veteran stars like Yumika Tajima who was in the live-action The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Isn’t Anyone Alive?. Shigeru Saiki (Suzuki Sensei), Takayuki Yamada (13 Assassins, Seaside Motel), Yoshiyuki Morishita (The Woodsman & the Rain, Thermae Romae), Takako Kato (Atlanta Boogie) and Shigeyuki Totsugi (Crow’s Thumb).

17 thoughts on “Orpheus’ Lyre, The Rakugo Movie, The Last Scene You Were Loved, Sweet Sickness, Mahoro Ekimae Bangaichi and Other Trailer and the Japanese Movie Charts

  1. Forgot you were watching xxxHolic. Really enjoyed ep. 6 – Sometani was really good in it. Anne, unfortunately, remains not particularly interesting with her characters, which I feel just watches and doesn’t do anything much.

    I keep wondering if they’ll cap it off with episode 8, or if they will leave it open so as to be able to extend the series (I wonder what the rating in Japan have been!).

    What’s this Mahoro Ekimae Bangaichi? A new film? A special to follow up the dorama? Or the compilation screening of the dorama?

    1. Compilation screening of the dorama.

      “this film which screens all 12 episodes of the television series which is set in the fictional city of Mahoro and follows Keisuke Tada (Eita) and Haruhiko Gyoten (Matsuda)”

  2. Tired Paul

    Mahoro Ekimae Bangaichi will screen in 4 parts, each part has 3 episodes and are shown over the next two weeks…………….I really liked the movie and tv show.

    Ditto on The Rakugo lots of recognisable faces, the performances seem natural and I’m interested in Rakugo.

    1. Thanks for clearing it up Paul! I took a look at next week’s releases and there are a lot of David Cronenberg films!

      Rakugo definitely looked the easiest film to watch and enjoy. Add it to my list of films from 2013 I desperately want to see alongside Shing Shing Shing and Yuki Sasaki

      1. Thanks for the update! I’ve altered the synopsis and details to reflect the info.

        A lot of the films I feature tend to play at specialist theatres in Tokyo. Much like the UK, there may be a lot of documentaries and short films made but they tend not to hit the multiplexes outside of the capital. I just want to cover as many films released over a weekend 😉

        I just finished updating my 3.11 post and putting the finishing touches to a draft celebrating a Tsutomu Nihei manga. Now I’m logging off for the night to finish up my Japanese revision and watch anime and Heat After Dark!

    1. That’s a great list of favourites. I recently watched Howl’s and I liked it more on a second viewing (my first was in a cinema). I watched Spirited Away (my favourite) twice yesterday so that makes it… a lot of times I have seen the film! 😉

  3. So jealous of all your anime! Although, to be fair, I have watched Ponyo, Spirited Away and Howl’s only recently – they can also suffer a rewatch though!!
    Can YOU actually watch to much anime? I’m not sure.
    DBZ at the top! 😀

    1. Ha, I’ve watched a lot more anime in the period between this post and now! I never get sick of it… Well, the stuff I Iike at least. The second episode of Doctor Who was bleh but the next one looks decent.

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