Why Don’t You Play in Hell?, Like Father, Like Son, The King of Apology, Flying Goldfish & the Secret of the World, House of the Rising Sun, I’m Home, The Road Less Travelled and Other Japanese Film Trailers

Galilei Donna ImageThe Raindance Film Festival is less than a week away. Japanese film goodness will soon be mine… Actually, I watch lots of Japanese films most weeks. For example, I watched Shinji Aoyama’s Tokyo Koen which I liked quite a lot. I watch lots of films generally like Citizen Kane which was on BBC Four last week Sunday. Anime is always on my viewing list and the last episodes of Dog and Scissors, Gatchaman Crowds, Watamote, Sunday Without God and Attack on Titan have/played out this week. This week I posted about License to Live, the last film in my Kiyoshi Kurosawa Season, more of my Autumn 2013 Anime Selection, and a review for The Drudgery Train which stars Mirai Moriyama, Kengo Kora and Atsuko Maeda.

Why Don’t You Play in Hell?           Why Don't You Play In Hell Film Poster

Japanese Title: 地獄 で なぜ 悪い Why Don’t You Play in Hell?

Romaji: Jigoku de Naze Warui Why Don’t You Play in Hell?

Running Time: 126 mins

Release Date: September 28th, 2013

Director: Sion Sono

Writer: Sion Sono (Screenplay),

Starring: Jun Kunimura, Shinichi Tsutsumi, Fumi Nikaido, Tomochika, Hiroki Hasegawa, Kotou Lorena, Gen Hoshino, Tak Sakaguchi 

Why Don’t You Play in Hell? gets its Japanese release today. I’ve blogged about it so much and replayed the trailer so many times that to repeat myself further would be wrong and probably bore the few dedicated reads I have. For those who are new but wary of all my babble, let us just say this is the most dangerous and awesome film of the year and I get to see it at the BFI London Film Festival. YERSH!

Muto (Kunimura) and Ikegami (Tsutsumi) are rival gangsters who despise each other especially since Muto’s wife Shizue (Tomochika) butchered a boss in Ikegami’s gang. She gets sent to prison and jeopardises her daughter’s acting career. Ten years later and days before Shizue is due to be released, Muto is desperate to make his daughter a big-screen star and recruits Koji (Hoshino), a timid passer-by who is mistaken for being a film director.

When dealing with gangsters you don’t mess about so Koji gets a cinephile friend named Hirata (Hasegawa) who dreams of being a movie director and has a ragtag film crew named The Fuck Bombers. Hirata seizes his chance and loses his mind as he casts Mitsuko in a fictional gang war but it soon goes wrong when it turns real.




Like Father, Like Son                          Like Father Like Son Cannes Poster

Japanese Title: そして 父 に なる

Romaji: Soshite Chichi ni Naru

Running Time: 120 mins.

Release Date: September 28th, 2013

Director: Hirokazu Koreeda

Writer: Hirokazu Koreeda (Screenplay)

Starring: Masaharu Fukuyama, Machiko Ono, Yoko Maki, Jun Fubuki, Keita Ninomiya, Lily Franky, Jun Kunimura, Kiki Kirin, Isao Natsuyagi

This is another film I’m going to see at the BFI London Film Festival. It has appeared at Cannes and the Toronto International Film Festival. Koreeda is a great filmmaker as a run of films like After LifeStill Walking, and Nobody Knows prove. The film stars Masaharu Fukuyama (Suspect X), Machiko Ono (EurekaThe Floating Castle), Yoko Maki (InfectionThe Grudge), Lily Franky (Afro Tanaka), Jun Fubuki (SéanceRebirth) Kirin Kiki (Kiseki) and Jun Kunimura (OutrageVital) and Isao Natsuyagi (The Land of HopeWarm Water Under a Red Bridge).

Successful architect Ryota (Fukuyama) and his wife Midori (Ono) have a happy family life with their six-year-old son Keita (Nonomiya) but a phone call from the hospital informing them of the fact that their child was mixed up with another at birth shatters their happiness. Their birth-son Ryusei has been raised by a poorer but more easy-going family run by Yudai (Franky) and Yukari (Maki) Saiki. Ryota and Midori must decide whether to hand over the son they have carefully raised for the last six years and take back their biological son or not.




The King of Apology                               The Apology King Film Poster

Japanese Title:  謝罪 の 王様

Romaji: Shazai no Ousama

Release Date: September 28th, 2013

Running Time: 128 mins.

Director: Nobuo Mizuta

Writer: Kankuro Kudo (Screenplay),

Starring: Sadao Abe, Mao Inoue, Masak Okada, Katsumi Takahashi, Yasuko Matsuyuki, Yutala Takenouchi, YosiYosi Arakawa, Gaku Hamada, Takehiko Ono, Mari Hamada, Suzu Hirose

That poster is awful… Initial fears that this wold be rubbish were allayed by the trailer which is full of exaggerated physical comedy. The cast list is also full of great performers who have provided great comedic and dramatic performances– Sadao Abe (Dreams for Sale, Kamikaze Girls), Mao Inoue (Kaidan, Rebirth), Machiko Ono (Eureka), Yasuko Matsuyuki (Drive, Monday, Detroit Metal City), YosiYosi Arakawa (Survive Style 5+, Fine, Totally Fine). All great actors who have been in films I have enjoyed. Then I got to Gaku Hamada (See You Tomorrow, Everyone) who I have developed an aversion to… Still, I’m watching Sake-Bomb tonight, my opinion could change. The writer is Kankuro Kudo and he has penned films like Go, Ping Pong and Drugstore Girl.


Ryoro Kurojima (Abe) runs a Tokyo apology centre where he teaches others to apologise. He can teach students how to apologise for minor misdemeanours all the way through to national crises.


Flying Goldfish & the Secret of the World   Flying Goldfish & the Secret of the World Film Poster

Japanese Title:  空飛ぶ金魚と世界のひみつ

Romaji: Soratobu Kingyo to Sekai no Himitsu

Release Date: September 28th, 2013

Running Time: 86 mins.

Director: Hiroshi Hayashi

Writer: Munehiro Kuriyama (Screenplay),

Starring: Mio Yuki, Dankan, Hitomi Sato, Aimi Satsukawa, Harumi Yamano, Kana Harada

This revoltingly charming and nice little trailer has a potentially interesting culture-clash story:

After all of the tears and emotions of losing a her mother, Midori (Yuki) and her father Youji (Dankan), find it hard to move on. Youji has lost the ability to write picture books for a living but his spark comes back when he meets a Chinese woman named Rinrin (Sato) and gets together with her. Midori finds it hard to relate to Rinrin but Youji draws her a picture book to help bridge the cultural gap…

Dankan… No matter how many dramas, crime films (Eyes of the Spider) and horror films (Ju-On 2, Noroi, Pulse) I see him in, I’ll always remember him for his performance as the car-sex obsessed protag of the Kitano film, Getting Any? And the silly friend in Boiling Point (another Kitano film). That dull, uncomprehending face…. Gosh, I need to watch them again. Other actors involved include Hitomi Sato who has worked on Bounce KO Gals, Ringu, The Cat Returns and Doppelganger and Aimi Satsukawa who was in The Story of Yonosuke.


House of the Rising Sun               The House of the Rising Sun Film Poster

Japanese Title:  朝日 の あたる 家

Romaji: Asahi no ataru Ie

Release Date: September 28th, 2013

Running Time: 118 mins.

Director: Takafumi Ota

Writer: Takafumi Ota (Screenplay),

Starring: Shiro Namiki, Tomoko Saito Izumi Hirasawa, Wakana Hashimoto, Issei Ishida, Taro Yamamoto, Masaki Kitahara, Yuichi Okamura,

The synopsis of this 3/11 drama reads like The Land of Hope and its release is a reminder that people in Japan are still concerned about the safety of nuclear power.

Toshio Hirata (Namiki) and his wife Yoshie (Saito) live in Shizuoka Prefecture with their two daughters and parents. Eldest daughter Akane (Hirasawa) is on the verge of college and moving out of the house but her dreams and that of her family are dashed when a major earthquake strikes and the nuclear power plant suffers an accident. The family are evacuated to a shelter and Toshio loses his job. The stress gets to the rest of the family….



I’m Home                   I'm Home Film Poster

Japanese Title:  ただいま

Romaji: Tadaima

Release Date: September 28th, 2013

Running Time: 26 mins.

Director: Daisuke Shimada

Writer: Daisuke Shimada (Screenplay),

Starring: Nana Komatsu, Shohei Uno

This short film comes from Daisuke Shimada who is a CM and music video director and has worked with groups like Radwimps and Sakanaction. It is another 3/11 film but this one depicts the homecoming of a girl who lost her parents two years after the disaster.

The trailer is on the Website

World Pro Wrestling Seventh Bullet G1 CLIMAX 3D 2013

Japanese Title:  ワールドプロレスリング 第7 G1 CLIMAX 3D 2013

Romaji: Wa-rudo Puro Resuringu Dai 7-Dan G1 CLIMAX 3D 2013

Release Date: September 28th, 2013

Running Time: 101 mins.

Director: N/A

Writer: N/A

Starring: Tetsuya Naito, Yuji Nagata, Kazuchika Okada

3D wrestling courtesy of New Japan Pro Wrestling matches filmed in August of this year. Here’s a video introducing Japanese Pro-Wrestling.



Pandora the Yellow Monkey (?) Punch Drunkard Tour The Movie         Punch Drunkard the Tour Film Poster

Japanese Title:  パンドラ ザ・イエロー・モンキー PUNCH DRUNKARD TOUR THE MOVIE謝罪 の 王様

Romaji: Pandora Za Iero Monki Punch Drunkard Tour Gekijouban

Release Date: September 28th, 2013

Running Time: 128 mins.

Director: Nobuo Mizuta

Writer: Kankuro Kudo (Screenplay),

Starring: Kazuya Yoshii, Hideaki Kikuchi, Yoichi Hirose, Eiji Kikuchi

A bunch of long-haired rockers called The Yellow Monkey who have recently broken up (2004) after being together since the 90’s release a tour movie with plenty of interviews, behind the scenes footage and videos of performances. I’ll stick to my electro-pop, thanks. Aira Mitsuki! Immi! Capsule! Sawa! Ami Suzuki! Motocompo!



Kara no Kyoukai – The Garden of Sinners: Mirai Fukuin Extra Chorus  Garden of Sinners Extra Chorus Film Poster

Japanese Title:  劇場版 空の境界 未来福音

Romaji: Gekjouban Kara no Kyoukai Mirai Fukuin

Release Date: September 28th, 2013

Running Time: 128 mins.

Director: Ei Aoki

Writer: Kinoku Nasu/Takashi Takeuchi (Original Creators),

Starring: Maaya Sakamoto (Shiki Ryogi), Akira Ishida (Mitsuru Kamekura), Hisako Kanemoto (Mana Ryogi), Kenichi Suzumura (Mikiya Kokuto), Yuka Iguchi (Shizune Seo), Takako Honda (Toko Aosaki)

Another Garden of Sinners movie because the franchise refuses to die! This is the Extra Chorus. Cast remains the same!


Cinema Kabuki Yamato Takeru                        Cinema Kabuki Yamato Takeru Film Poster

Japanese Title:  シネマ歌舞伎 ヤマトタケル

Romaji: Shinema Kabuki Yamato Takeru

Release Date: September 28th, 2013

Running Time: 220 mins.

Director: Eno Ichikawa

Writer: Eno Ichikawa (Screenplay),

Starring: Bando Tamasaburo, Kanzaburo Nakamura, Kataoka Nizaemon, Ennosuke Ichikawa, Emiya Ichikawa, Kotaro Ichikawa

The Ciema Kabuki series shows audiences live performances. This one was shot back in February 2010 at the Kabukiza.


Takumi-Kun Series: Our Hotel Kogen       Takumi Kun Our Hotel Kogen Film Poster

Japanese Title:  僕たちの高原ホテル

Romaji: Bokutachi no Kougen Hoteru

Release Date: September 28th, 2013

Running Time: 84 mins.

Director: Takeshi Yokoi

Writer: Hiroko Kanasugi (Screenplay),

Starring: Daisuke Watanabe, Kyosuke Hamao, Takuma Wada, Taro Suwa, Ichiro Ogura, Kenzo Kawarazaki

The Takumi-kun series was created by Shinobu Gotou and Kazumi Ooya and it concerns two guys who attend an all-boys high school named Shidou Academy. They are the cold and indifferent Takumi Hayama (Hamao) and the mysterious Giichi Saki (Watanabe) who manages to break through Takumi’s exterior and find out the reason why he acts so distant from others. From this set-up you can bet that it’s yaoi and as readers discovered! This is the latest in a line of movie adaptations and the two leads take charge of a hotel in a forest.


The Road Less Travelled                  The Road Less Travelled Film Poster

Japanese Title:  「また、必ず会おう」と誰もが言った。

Romaji: Mata Kanrazu Aou To Daremoga Itta

Release Date: September 28th, 2013

Running Time: 113 mins.

Director: Nobuo Mizuta

Writer: Junya Kato (Screenplay), Yasushi Kitagawa (Original Work)

Starring: Gaku Sano, Kaoru Sugita, Yu Tokui, Shinya Tsukamoto, Issey Ogata,

Well, hello there! Shinya Tsukamoto is in this relatively harmless looking film about a boy who cried wolf and ends up going to Tokyo… I think that’s about right…

Kazuya Kouzuki (Sano) is a 17-year-old who likes to tell lies. When discussing Tokyo with his friends, he makes up stories about his visit to the city despite never having visited there. He even goes as far as promising to show his friends photographs. Big mistake. He knows it and so fools his mother into giving him money to go to Tokyo by claiming to be visiting his future university but his plan goes wrong when he reaches the city and he ends up stuck in an airport where a middle-aged shop assistant named Masami (Sugita) looks out for him. Presumably Kazuya will learn life lessons from this incident!


Tokyo Darkness Part I: Insect                  Tokyo Darkness Part I Insect

Japanese Title:  東京 闇中 パートI

Romaji: Toukyou Yami-chuu Pa-to I

Release Date: September 28th, 2013

Running Time: 92 mins.

Director: Sakchi Sato

Writer: Sakichi Sato (Screenplay), Yuki Honda (Original Manga)

Starring: Ren Kiriyama, Kosuke Toyohara, Kyosuke Yabe, Yuki Tsujimoto, Rina Akiyama, Honoka, Yoshiyuki Morishita, Don Brown, Alexander Otsuka

Tokyo Darkness Part II: Insect

Japanese Title:  東京 闇中 パートII

Romaji: Toukyou Yami-chuu Pa-to II

Release Date: September 28th, 2013

Running Time: 89 mins.

Director: Sakichi Sato

Writer: Sakichi Sato (Screenplay), Yuki Honda (Original Manga)

Starring: Ren Kiriyama, Kosuke Toyohara, Kyosuke Yabe, Yuki Tsujimoto, Rina Akiyama, Honoka, Yoshiyuki Morishita, Don Brown, Alexander Otsuka

These two films are the live-action adaptation of Yuki Honda’s 2010 manga Tokyo Yami Mushi which currently stands at seven volumes, the story is about an underworld for young people carrying debt. Ryou (Kiriyama) is one such person. The amount he has to pay is impossible and when he’s kidnapped by thugs, he thinks it’s all over but he is offered the chance to live. He has to do one thing, work for a crime gang and a man named Asamura (Toyohara)…


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