HAL, Blindly in Love, A Pale Woman, It’s a Beautiful Day, Miracle Apples, The Yakuza Wives Neo, The Star Hibari Misora, Dance Earth Beat Trip, Banana vs Peach Festival バナナ vs ピーチ まつり and Other Japanese Film Trailers

By the time you read this I’ll be in London enjoying the Terracotta far East Film Festival and Saturday Praymeeting fellow cinephiles! The majority of posts on my blog covered a variety of festivals taking place in the UK such as the fact that Japanese director Atsushi Funahashi will be in London at the end of the month for a documentary festival, the announcement of the guests at the Terracotta Far East Film Festival and the Japanese films playing at the Edinburgh International Film Festival. I also posted my final First Impression from the Spring 2013 Anime Season with Red Data Girl. Next week I am going to be up to my elbows in reviews and previews for films and the Summer 2013 anime. Enough from me, here are all of the films getting a release this week!

HAL                                  Hal Film Poster

Japanese Title: ハル

Romaji: Haru

Release Date: June 08th, 2013

Running Time: 125 mins.

Director: Ryōtarō Makihara

Writer: Izumi Kizara (Screenplay),

Starring: Yōko Hikasa, Yoshimasa Hosoya

Ryōtarō Makihara makes his theatrical directorial debut with this near-future romance mixes souls and androids. Makihara has a lot of experience with TV anime like directing episodes of Tatami GalaxyMonster, and Le Chevalier D’Eon. The seiyuu are lead by Yōko Hikasa (Occult Academy) and Yoshimasa Hosoya (Robotics;Notes.). The anime is produced by Wit Studio who are the guys behind the thrillingly dark and exciting Attack on Titan.

Kurumi (Hikasa) likes Haru (Hosoya) and the two seem happy life ends when a plane accident takes Haru from the mortal world. A robot version of Haru, Hal emerges as a substitute. As the two live together Kurumi gradually opens her memories and mind to him.

Blindly in Love (English Title) / Love of a Son who is in the Box (Literal Title)

Japanese Title: 箱入り 息子 の 恋      Blindly in Love Film Poster

Romaji: Hakoiri Musuko no Koi

Release Date: June 08th, 2013

Running Time: 117 mins.

Director: Masahide Ichii

Writer: Masahide Ichii, Takahiro Tamura (Screenplay),

Starring:  Gen Hoshino, Kaho, Sei Hiraizumi, Ryoko Moriyama, Ren Osugi, Hitomi Kuroki, Shuntaro Yanagi, Honoka, Kanji Furutachi, Miyako Takeuchi

I saw the trailer for this a couple of months back. It’s blend of romance and drama looked interesting primarily because of the two leading characters, one who is an introvert and the other who is blind. Around all of the shouting and crying looked to be a story where and it has some great comedy moments as the trailer reveals. It stars Gen Hoshino (Why Don’t You Play in Hell), Kaho (Beautiful World), Ren Osugi (Exte), Hitomi Kuroki (Kaidan, Dark Water), and Kanji Furutachi (The Woodsman and the Rain, GFP Bunny).

Kentaro Amanoshizuka (Hoshino) is a 35-year-old with no friends and a modest job in city hall. His life seems stuck in a rut as he still lives with his parents and there are of signs of him getting a promotion in work or socialising with anyone. His parents (Hiraizumi and Moriyama) worry and so they go to a parental matchmaking event hoping to find a woman for their son. Only one couple approaches them. The husband is Akita Imai (Osugi), a man who runs a successful company and after exchanging profiles with Toshi Amanoshizuka he believes that Kentaro is not worthy of his daughter who is blind. Kentaro and Kaho still meet up one fateful day. Can they be together?


A Pale Woman                                                A Pale Woman Film Poster

Japanese Title: 蒼白者 A Pale Woman

Romaji: Souhaku-sha A Pale Woman

Release Date: June 08th, 2013

Running Time: 90 mins.

Director: Takuaki Tsunemoto

Writer: Norio Kida (Screenplay),

Starring: Kim Kkobbi, Shugo Oshinari Keisuke Kimura, Yoko Chousokabe, Aki Miyata, Anna Nakagawa,

This is the directorial debut of Takuaki Tsunemoto and it stars Korean actress Kim Kkobbi (City of Violence, King of Pigs) who is acting alongside a Japanese cast that has been in a diverse range of films like Shugo Oshinari (All About Lily Chou-Chou), Yoko Chousokabe (Noroi: The Curse, Retribution) and Anna Nakagawa (Cure). It actually looks like it could be a pretty good genre film since it has decent acting in the trailer and the visuals are different.

To save the man she loves Kim travels to Japan from Korea when she discovers that her mother has lured him into the criminal underworld. She devises a dangerous plan to rescue him.


It’s a Beautiful Day                                      It's a Beautiful Day Film Poster

Japanese Title: クソすばらしいこの世界

Romaji: Kuso Subarashii Kono Sekai

Release Date: June 08th, 2013

Running Time: 78 mins.

Director: Kayoko Asakura

Writer: Kayoko Asakura (Screenplay),

Starring: Kim Kkobbi, Nanako Ohata, Akihiro Kitamura, Shijimi

Ah, ironic title! A gory horror movie written and directed by a woman. Kayoko Asakura’s film looks like t has potential with its mix of character drama and mayhem. It also looks like it could be very derivative of western films like Funny Games and slashers. It looks like The Cabin in the Woods mixed with Friday 13th with its teens under siege in the middle of nowhere scenario. What’s this? Kim Kkobbi stars in it as well? She’s joined by a lot of new actors including Shijimi, who is my new crush!

A-Joong (Kkobbi) is a Korean international student staying with some Japanese students in a cottage in a coutry town n the suburbs of Los Angeles. A-Joong is irritated that the Japanese students are partying but she’ll have bigger things to contend with when a murderous family target the students!


Miracle Apples                                   Miracle Apples Film Poster

Japanese Title: 奇跡のリンゴ

Romaji: Souhaku-sha A Pale Woman

Release Date: June 08th, 2013

Running Time: 129 mins.

Director: Yoshihiro Nakamura

Writer: Yoshihiro Nakamura, Tomoko Yoshida (Screenplay),

Starring: Sadao Abe, Miho Kanno, Tsutomu Yamazaki, Tsumugi Hatakeyama, Mieko Harada, Hiroyuki Ikeuchi

Sadao Abe (Dreams for Sale), Miho Kanno (Sakuran) star as a husband and wife team who sell apples. Sounds awesome, right? Well it’s a little more complicated with characters struggling to grow the apples using natural processes and not chemicals. SO environment and economic themes about. It is based on a true story involving real life people Akinori Kimura and his wife Mieko. Yoshihiro Nakamura (Foreign Duck, See You Tomorrow, Everyone) is directing. It looks like one of those feel-good work hard and everything will turn out all right stories. How do we know everything turns out all right? Because the couple are still alive.

Akinori Kimura (Abe) and his wife Mieko (Kanno) open an apple orchad in their hometown of Hirosaki in Aomori Prefecture. Mieko is allergic to pesticides so Akinori grows his apples without chemicals. This causes all sorts of drains and the family resources and soon they are in financial difficulty with Akinori contemplating suicide. Then a miracle occurs…


The Yakuza Wives Neo                                Yakuza Wives Neo Image

Japanese Title: 極道 の 妻たちNEO

Romaji: Gokudo no Tsuma-tachi Neo

Release Date: June 08th, 2013

Running Time: 129 mins.

Director: Hideyuki Katsuki

Writer: Shoji Yonemura (Screenplay),

Starring: Tomoka Kurotani, Natsuki Harada, Masayuki Imai, Gota Watabe, Rina Koike, Yoshihiko Hakamda, Ren Osugi, Renji Ishibashi, Kazushige Nagashima, Yasuhito Shimao

Awesome title, poor trailer. The film looks too serious. I was expecting girls battling each other and tearing clothes off not all this shouting and kissing lark. The synopsis also reads like some overly melodramatic novel.

Kotone (Kurotani) is the wife of the head of the Kiba gang Mitsuru Kiba (Nagashima). Her arch nemesis is Azami (Harada), wife of the head of the Kato gang, Kato (Imai). The two gangs are in the Saikyo Alliance but a grudge between the girls stretching back to Kotone having a deadly romance with one of Azami’s lovers is about to kick off a war, It all centres around a girl named Sakura Nishizawa (Koike) who is being chased by Azami.

Where’s the violence Hideyuki Katsuki, director of The Love Leading to Tomorrow? Okay, he doesn’t direct violent movies like Miike but Shoji Yonemura has penned decent thrillers like Doubles (2001). Well the Yakuza wives are kind of foxy (and bossy – a very unattractive trait for anybody) with Tomoka Kurotani and Natsuki Harada taking the lead roles. Anyway, wasn’t Yakuza wives the name of the film the girls were auditioning for in 2LDK?

The Star Hibari Misora                                       The Star Misora Hibari Film Poster

Japanese Title: ザ スター 美空ひばり

Romaji: Za Suta- Misora Hibari

Release Date: June 08th, 2013

Running Time: 108 mins.

Director: Toru Uehara

Starring: Hiroshi Tamaki (Narrator), Hibari Misora (Subject)

Thanks to the wonders of digital technoloqy, the hugely popular enka singer/actress Hibari Misora is back on the big screen that airs footage of The Star, a collection of her great performances and unaired footage and unreleased songs.



Dance Earth Beat Trip                Dance Earth Beat Trip Film Poster

Release Date: June 08th, 2013

Running Time: 95 mins.

Director: Tetsuya Sato

Starring: USA, MATSU

A documentary following the dance group “EXILE” and their travels in Spain, Tanzania, Kenya, Bali, Jamaica and the US.

Rāmen yori taisetsunamono Higashiikebukuro daishōken 50-nen no himitsuKazuo Yamagishi Film Poster

Japanese Title: ラーメンより大切なもの 東池袋大勝軒 50年の秘密

Romaji: Rāmen yori taisetsunamono Higashiikebukuro daishōken 50-nen no himitsu

Release Date: June 08th, 2013

Running Time: N/A

Director: Inami Takashi

Writer: N/A

Starring: Kazuo Yamagishi

A documentary focusing on Kazuo Yamagishi the owner of the ramen shop Taishoken, a pretty famous place in Tokyo. Yamagishi is the inventor of tsukemen (dipping ramen) where noodles and soup are served separately instead of together in a bowl. We get to see the state of the shop, the customer’s reactions to the ramen, the staff in action and the owner himself. We also get an insight into the creation of the shop. Jiro Dreams of Sushi? Kazuo Dreams of Ramen!


Rape Zombie Strikes Back, Rape Zombie 2 & 3 LUST OF THE DEAD & Akiba Rape Zombie ImageEmpire

Japanese Title: レイプゾンビ2&3 LUST OF THE DEAD アキバ帝国の逆襲

 Romaji: Reipu Zonbi 2 & 3 LUST OF THE DEAD Akiba Teikokunogyakushuu

Release Date: June 08th, 2013

Running Time: 114 mins.

Director: Naoyuki Tomomatsu

Writer: Yuko Momochi (Screenplay),

Starring: Alice Ozawa, Asami, Yui Aikawa, Saya Kobayashi, Ai, Miyamura, Ken Nakazawa, Tomoaki Sandan, Yuya Kiyama

Naoyuki Tomomatsu, one of the directors of Vampire Girl vs Frankenstein Girl is here with a re-edit for the two sequels to Rape Zombie, a film released back in 2012 and screened at the Yubari Fantastic Film Festival. In this saga 90% of men around the world have become zombies  and women must organise themselves to protect themselves. It stars Alice Ozawa (Stripper 2012), Asami (Zombie Ass: Toilet of the Dead, Dead Sushi) and it looks as awful as it sounds.


Banana vs Peach Festival バナナ vs ピーチ まつり                             Banana vs Peach Festival Poster

Remember all of those short films from the Peach festival that cropped up in the past three weeks? Well they were created and showcased in the Peach Film Festival which supports female directors. Here is another festival where films by male and female filmmakers are showcased films together. The films revolve around themes like sin and pain (Sounds delicious. Sin and Punishment) and the directors use the same actors. The films star a mixture and new and veteran actors and they span genres from drama to comedy. There are a lot of interesting short films on offer but not all of them have trailers. Here they are. The festival is so cool it has its own promotional video and song!


Winter’s Record

Japanese Title: ウインターズ レコード

Romaji: Uinta-zu Reko-do

Release Date: June 08th, 2013

Running Time: 25 mins.

Director: Wataru Hiranami

Writer: N/A

Starring: Hatsunori Hasegawa, Merii, Kota Satsunai

The theme is sin. Yuichi works in a record store and is in love but cannot express his feelings for the girl he loves who might just be crazy. Things get crazier when a guy dressed like Santa shows up



Japanese Title: 共犯者たち

Romaji: Kyouhan-sha Tachi

Release Date: June 08th, 2013

Running Time: 25 mins.

Director: Yukiko Sowate

Writer: N/A,

Starring: Hatsunori Hasegawa, Merii, Keigo Kasuya

The theme is sin. A husband and wife who have been separated for the last 10 years are in town attending the funeral of the aunt who opposed their marriage. They stay at the same hotel and in separate beds are they really so distant from each other?


Muscle Pain Girl

Japanese Title: 欽肉痛 少女

Romaji: Kin’nikutsuu Shoujo

Release Date: June 08th, 2013

Running Time: 17 mins.

Director: Tomoya Maeno

Writer: N/A

Starring: Megumi Harukawa, Taiga, Yaeko Kiyose, Kanako Mochida, Kojin Serizawa

The theme for this one is pain and it follows a high school girl named Kaoru who is on the verge of being late for class one morning because her body is wracked with pain. Soon it starts to spread to others…



Japanese Title: 雑音

Romaji: Zatsuon

Release Date: June 08th, 2013

Running Time: 18 mins.

Director: Yuki Uehara

Writer: N/A (Screenplay),

Starring: Megumi Harukawa, Taiga, Mayui Yokoyawa, Akio Nakadai

Another high school story but one where the decision of a girl causes her immense pain…


All is Vanity

Japanese Title: 色即是空

Romaji: Shikisokuzekuu

Release Date: June 08th, 2013

Running Time: 22 mins.

Director: Chihiro Amano

Writer: N/A

Starring: Aki Hashimoto, Eita Okuno, TAKU, Natsumi Suzuki

The theme for this short is world desires. The setting is the Buddhist altar room and the event is the chanting of sutras led by a Buddhist priest on the anniversary of the death of a grandfather. Things get a little hot when the worldly desires of the mother and the son start tingling.



Onerous Ability

Japanese Title: 煩能力

Romaji: Bon Noh Ryoku

Release Date: June 08th, 2013

Running Time: 23 mins.

Director: Debi Kobayashi

Writer: N/A

Starring: Eita Okuno, Aki Hashimoto, Yoshimi Aida

The theme for this one is worldly desires and unlike the comedy of the other short this one is all sci-fi where people with ESP head into the country to escape the law.

The World Feels Rough

Japanese Title: 世のなく は ざらざらしている

Romaji: Yononaka ha Zarazara Shite Iru

Release Date: June 08th, 2013

Running Time: 30 mins.

Director: Madoka Kumagai

Writer: N/A

Starring: Makiko Watanabe, Kondo Yoshimasa

The theme for this short is memory and it stars Makiko Watanabe (scary in Love Exposure). A man and a women met in the suburbs and travel together deciding whether they want to simply be friends or lovers.


Radio Days

Japanese Title: ラジオデイズ

Romaji: Rajio Deizu

Release Date: June 08th, 2013

Running Time: 129 mins.

Director: Hideyuki Katsuki

Writer: Shoji Yonemura (Screenplay),

Starring: Kondo Yoshimasa, Makiko Watanabe, Kanako Mochida, Gen Sato,

Again, the theme here is memory and there are the same actors. A middle-aged police officer is in love with the owner of a diner in a small town but there’s the issue of her estranged husband to deal with.

2 thoughts on “HAL, Blindly in Love, A Pale Woman, It’s a Beautiful Day, Miracle Apples, The Yakuza Wives Neo, The Star Hibari Misora, Dance Earth Beat Trip, Banana vs Peach Festival バナナ vs ピーチ まつり and Other Japanese Film Trailers

    1. HAL does look good but I don’t think it would make me cry (that’s a challenge going out to the filmmakers – send me a review copy!)

      Creepy like HAL 9000? Aw, he isn’t that scary. I kind of felt sorry for him when I read the book 😉

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