Sadako 3D: Zokuhen, The End of Summer, Moment Girl, R-18 Literary Prize Volume 2: Jelly Fish, Zentai, Soul Flower Train, Japan’s Tragedy, Black Lizard: Looking for Miwa Akihiro, Time Scoop Hunter Trailers

EntameThe week has been busy in movie terms. I watched four films, three of them were on DVD and directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa (one more tonight) and I had a trip to the cinema to see Elysium which was a decent sci-fi action film. Then there was plenty of anime. In terms of this blog, the week started with a review of The Story of Yonosuke, a great film that broke into my Top Ten of the year. I saw it all the way back in June at the Terracotta Far East Film Festival. I followed that up with my anime picks from the autumn season (part two comes next month) and I also looked at the Japanese films at the Toronto International Film Festival which looks so damn awesome.

Sadako 3D: Zokuhen      Sadako 3D 2 Film Poster

Japanese Title:  貞子 3D2

Romaji: Sadako 3D: Dai-2-dan

Release Date: August 30th, 2013

Running Time: N/A

Director: Tsutumo Hanabusa

Writer: Koji Suzuki (Original Novel), Daisuke Hosaka, Noriaki Sugihara (Screenplay)

Starring: Mirori Takimoto, Koji Seto, Kokoro Hirasawa, Itsumi Osawa, Satomi Ishihara, Takeshi Onishi, Yusuke Yamamto, Ryosei Tayama

I have never been so angry with a film as I was with last year’s Sadako 3D. Within the first five minutes I was having melodramatic thoughts about how the franchise had been killed by the teen idol injection its makers had used to update it for a new audience. It looks like more of the same with this sequel. The film stars Miori Takimoto (Higanjima), Yusuke Yamamoto (Ninja Kids!!!) and Koji Seto (Ju-On: Girl in Black).

Fuko Ando (Takimoto) is a twenty-four-year-old graduate student in psychology who has to look after her four-year-old niece who has mysterious events occurring around her. It stems from an incident involving a cursed video and Fuko finds herself digging into the mystery.


Japan’s Tragedy                                Japan's Tragedy Film Poster

Japanese Title: 日本 の 悲劇

Romaji: Nihon no Higeki

Release Date: August 31st, 2013

Running Time: 101 mins.

Director: Masahiro Kobayashi

Writer: Masahiro Kobayashi (Screenplay)

Starring: Tatsuya Nakadai, Shinobu Terajima, Kazuki Kitamura, Akemi Ohmori

Japan’s Tragedy played at this year’s Rotterdam film festival and when I first looked at it I described it as “the ultimate bleakie” because the film’s synopsis read like an absolute misery-fest and it deals with dark subject matter. Par for the course for Masahiro Kobayashi who is not one to shrink from tough subject as proven with the film that allowed him a degree of international recognition, Bashing which followed the homecoming of a Japanese hostage released by terrorists in Iraq. I recently got that on DVD. I haven’t had the courage to watch it yet… The film’s biggest star is Shinobu Terajima (Vibrator).


Fujio Murai (Nakadai) is unemployed and a widower. Although living with his son Yoshio (Ohmori) life seems bleak as he has been diagnosed with lung cancer and Yoshio’s wife and daughter have not been seen since the 2011 earthquake. Fujio decides to lock himself in his room and mummify himself. Trapped in the room, he thinks back over the course of his life.

Moment Girl                           Moment Girl Film Poster

Japanese Title:  瞬間少女

Romaji: Shunak Shoujo

Release Date: August 31st, 2013

Running Time: 101 mins.

Director: Kent Shimizu

Writer: Kent Shimizu (Screenplay)

Starring: Kanako Kataoka, Yura Komuro, Goshu, Tomimasa Kikuguchi, Mika Katsumura, Koichiro Kanzaki, Koichi Kase, Ryo Saeki

This teen relationship film full of final wishes and terminal illnesses looks rather more interesting than the usual idol junk. With lots of new acting faces like Kanako Kataoka and Yura Komura, it could be a refreshingly original take on familiar subject matter. It certainly has dark moments like murder. This only familiar name is the nurse played by Mika Katsuara who was in Bounce KO Gals.

Haruka Kobayashi (Kataoka) is an eighteen-year-old girl who only has three months left to live thanks to a terminal illness. She is alone in the world with no family and so decides to run away from her hospital to do something she has never done before. Aki Tsujima (Komuro) is also facing death and makes a bargain with Haruka to help her escape and fulfil her own wish.

The End of Summer            The End of Summer Film Poster

Japanese Title:  夏の終り

Romaji: Natsu no Owari

Release Date: August 31st, 2013

Running Time: 114 mins.

Director: Kazuyoshi Kumakiri

Writer: Jakucho Setouchi (Original Novel), Takashi Ujita (Screenplay)

Starring: Hikari Mitsushima, Gou Ayano, Kaoru Kobayashi, Satoko Abe

Director Kazuyoshi and screenwriter Ujita have collaborated on lots of projets together (Blazing Famiglia for one) and they unite to adapt Jakucho Setouchi’s 1966 novel. It has a cast of good actors with promising youngsters Hikari Mitsushima (Sawako Decides, Villain, Love Exposure) and Gou Ayano (The Story of Yonosuke) taking the lead and getting support from Kaoru Kobayashi (The Great Passage). It looks like a pretty decent period drama and I’m always up for a film with Hikari Mitsushima, a great actress.

Tomoko (Mitsushima) is fed up of being the mistress of a promising but unnoticed writer named Shingo (Kobayashi) who has a wife and children. She enters into a purely physical relationship with a younger man named Ryota (Ayano) but is still unsatisfied.


Time Scoop Hunter                 Time Scoop Hunter Film Poster

Japanese Title:  タイムスクープハンター

Romaji: Taimu Sku-pu Hanta-

Release Date: August 31st, 2013

Running Time: 102 mins.

Director: Hiroyuki Nakao

Writer: Hiroyuki Nakao (Screenplay)

Starring: Jun Kaname, Anne Watanabe, Kaho, Takashi Yamanaka, Saburo Tokito, Ken Utsui, Akito Kitsuka

This little sci-fi number is based on an NHK television show where a guy travels back in time to record events. Sounds like it could be educational but there’s a lot of gunfights and people getting shot with arrows in the trailer! It stars Jun Kaname (Wild 7), Anne Watanabe (Platinum Data, XXXHOLiC) and Kaho (Tokyo Girl).

The Time Scoop Company sends people back into the past through time travel to record how people once lived. Yuichi (Kaname) is a time scoop hunter who works with his navigator partner Minami Furuhashi (Watanabe). Their latest mission is to monitor Azuchi Castle which was built by Oda Nobunaga but burnt down six years later.


Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day Anohana Anime Film Image

Japanese Title:  劇場版 あの 日 見た 花 の 名前 を 僕達 は まだ 知らない

Romaji: Gekijouban Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae O Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai

Release Date: August 31st, 2013

Running Time: 99 mins.

Director: Tatsuyuki Nagai

Writer: Mari Okada (Screenplay)

Starring: Ai Kayano (Meiko Honma), Haruka Tomatsu (Naruko Anjou), Miyu Irino (Jinta Yadomi), Takahiro Sakurai (Atsumu Matsuyuki), Takayuki Kondou (Tetsudo Hisakawa), Saori Hayami (Chiriko Tsurumi)

The movie version of the Anohana TV anime is a retelling of the story from Meiko’s point of view. It is directed by the chap who was in charge of the TV series, Tatsuyuki Nagai and written by Mari Okada, writer of the TV series.

After the death of Meiko Honma, five childhood friends who were part of the “Super Peace Busters” gang grow apart. Jinta is hit especially hard since he was leader of their gang and resorts to being a hikikomori and stays away from high school. It is he who can see the ghost of Meiko and she asks him to fulfil the forgotten wish she made as a child.


Messiah: Chapter of Eternity                       Messiah Chapter of Eternity Film Poster

Japanese Title:  メサイア 漆黒 の 章

Romaji: Mesaia Shikkoku no Shou

Release Date: August 31st, 2013

Running Time: N/A

Director: Hiroki Yamaguchi

Writer: Ise Naohiro, Hiroki Yamaguchi (Screenplay)

Starring: Kyosuke Hamao, Motohiro Ota, Ryo Matsuda, Kento Ono, Junya Ikeda, Ryo Yamada, Yuya Nakahara

This seems to be part of a multiplatform franchise – novels, drama CDs, manga, theatre performances – which takes place in a future world where nations are undergoing disarmament measures but are now engaging in information warfare. A group of pretty-boy Japanese spies are investigating some anti-government hackers.

Black Lizard: Looking for Miwa Akihiro Looking for Miwa Akihiro Film Poster

Japanese Title:  美輪明宏 ドキュメンタリー 黒 蜥蜴 を 探して

Romaji: Miwa Akhiro Dokyumentari- Kuro Tokage o Sagashite

Release Date: August 31st, 2013

Running Time: 63 mins.

Director: Pascal = Alex Vincent

Writer: N/A

Starring: Miwa Akihiro, Kinji Fukasaku, Takeshi Kitano, Hayao Miyazaki

Who is Miwa Akihiro??? A singer, actor and Drag queen who has worked in various films directed by Kinji Fukusaku (Black Lizard), Takeshi Kitano (Takeshis’) and Hayao Miyazaki (Princess Mononoke and Howl’s Moving Castle). He has had an interesting life considering that he survived the atomic bombing of Nagasaki and has grown to be a massive cabaret/TV/film star in Japan.


Soul Flower Train            Soul Flower Train Film Poster

Japanese Title:  ソウル フラワー トレイン

Romaji: Souru Furawa- Torein

Release Date: August 31st, 2013

Running Time: 91 mins.

Director: Koushi Nishio

Writer: Yuki Uehara (Screenplay), Robin Nishi (Original Work)

Starring: Mitsuru Hirata, Saki Seishi, Kensuke Owada, Mio Otani, Kaoru Kusumi, Megumi Wada, Shoichi Asano

Robin Nishi, the mind behind the comic/anime Mind Game has another of his works adapted. In this tale, a father named Amamoto  heads to Osaka to track down his daughter Yuki but ends up getting lost and caught up in a surreal adventure on the island. Soundtrack by Shounen Knife.

Zentai                zentai_main_visual_b1

Japanese Title:  ゼンタイ

Romaji: Zentai

Release Date: August 31st, 2013

Running Time: 62 mins.

Director: Ryosuke Hashiguchi

Writer: Ryosuke Hashiguchi (Screenplay),

Starring: Atsushi Shinohara, Noriko Iwasaki, Ellen, Koji Yamashita,

Zentai? Full-body-suit fetishists, normal men and women and the freedom they feel when they don those body hugging uniforms and masks. It’s a low-budget omnibus film with six episodes full of impromptu performances such as one where same-sex groups are in conversation and we have to guess which person is a zentai fetishist and one in a karaoke bar where one room has a zentai group and the other has housewives.

Uchi no Hara no Uchi                    Uchi no Hara no Uchi Film Image

Japanese Title:  ウチ の はら の うち

Romaji: Uchi no Hara no Uchi

Release Date: August 31st, 2013

Running Time: 55 mins.

Director: Chikako Iwashita

Writer: Chikako Iwashita (Screenplay),

Starring: Nanako Okochi, Matsunaga Nagisa, Udatakaki, Chihiro KAsahara, Yui Tokiya,

A teen drama about a girl named Chihiro (Matsunaga) who is the middle child of a family of five and is caught between her sisters. She heads to Tokyo where she meets a girl named Yayoi who wants to be an entertainer and the two live together.



R-18 Literary Prize Volume 2: Jelly Fish  Jellyfish Film Poster

Japanese Title:  R-18文学賞 vol.2 ジェリー・フィッシュ

Romaji: R – 18 bungaku-shō vol. 2 Jerī fisshu

Release Date: August 31st, 2013

Running Time: 92 mins.

Director: Shusuke Kaneko

Writer: Miyuki Takahashi (Screenplay), Sarie Hinakura (Original Work)

Starring: Mio Ohtani, Rumi Hanai, Hiroki Kawata, Ryosuke Kawamura, Megumi Okina, Naomi Akimoto, Naoto Takenaka, Kotaro Kakimoto

This is the second film adaptation of a winner for the R-18 Literary Prize for Women (the last one was back in February) and it was written by Sarie Hinakura (雛倉さりえ). The concept is simple: the film captures the fragile and cruel, yet warm and beautiful world of adolescent girls who are amorous yet poisonous with a painful sting like a jellyfish but so full of love.

4 thoughts on “Sadako 3D: Zokuhen, The End of Summer, Moment Girl, R-18 Literary Prize Volume 2: Jelly Fish, Zentai, Soul Flower Train, Japan’s Tragedy, Black Lizard: Looking for Miwa Akihiro, Time Scoop Hunter Trailers

  1. Quizoxy

    I didn’t watch the first Sadako 3D as none of my friends were ready for it. I saw the teaser for the second Sadako and was hesitating if I should watch the first portion prior to that. Do you think it’s worth the time going through that or can I just go with the second piece?

    1. Ginnie

      I hope it´s okay to reply, too. 🙂 It´s no problem to watch Sadako 3D 2 without having seen the first movie (through it´s setting up the relationship between two central characters which are also very important in here). But it would be really helpful to have watched the Rasen (aka Spiral) movie first, since without it, you wouldn´t exactly know what´s going on nor anything about one certain important person in here. 🙂

      1. Thanks for clearing that up Ginnie 🙂

        I’m curious as to what you thought about the first film? I’m a big fan of the first trilogy of books and films and have watched some of the TV dramas so I was disappointed with Sadako 3D which seemed a bit of a let-down.

      2. Quizoxy

        Oh that’s great! I guess I will prefer to watch the first movie prior to the next one in that case to have a better understanding then! I believe i only missed the first sadako film so should be fine. Thanks for the reply, very kind of you!

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