SPEC: Close – Incarnation, Dancing Karate Kid, The Workhorse & the Bigmouth, Ningen, Turning Tides, Early Morning Twilight and Other Japanese Film Trailers

Penance Aoi and Glass DollI hope everyone had a great Halloween! It was quiet and slightly drizzly up my way but okay nonetheless. A few trick or treaters were out and about. I ended up watching episode four of Shokuzai (one of my posts this week) to see the brilliantly manipulative Yuka (Chizuru Ikewaki) wreck everyone in sight! I also watched The Lost Boys. Sticking with movies, I watched Captain Phillips earlier in the week and I can’t recommend it enough. I was already a fan of Paul Greengrass thanks to his work on the Jason Bourne films and The Green Zone and this was another example of his brilliant technique of melding documentary realism – capturing procedures and the chaos of real world events. Tom Hanks gives an excellent performance. I also posted about two movies (Sad Tea and Moment) and started the read-along for Republic of Thieves.


SPEC: Close – Incarnation                  SPEC Close Progress Version Film Poster

Japanese: SPEC - 結 - 漸 ノ 篇

Romaji: SPEC – Ketsu – Zen no Hen

Running Time: 120 mins.

Release Date: November 01st, 2013

Director: Yukihiko Tsutsumi

Writer: Yumie Nishiogi

Starring: Erika Toda, Ryo Kase, Raita Ryu, Kazuki Kitamura, Chiaki Kuriyama, Ryunosuke Kamiki, Yuko Oshima, Takahiro Miura, Kasumi Arimura,

This is the first half of a two-part finale for the entire SPEC franchise. Love the tag line on the poster!

Detective Saya Toma (Erika Toda) has an IQ of 201 and works together with veteran detective Takeru Sebumi (Ryo Kase) in the Unsolved Crimes Unit taking on and cracking mysterious cases that others have given up on. The two detectives engage in a final battle for the survival of humanity involving people with paranormal powers called “SPEC holders” led by Junichi Ninomae  (Ryunosuke Kamiki). 


Eyes Closed                           Eyes Closed Film Image

Japanese: 瞳 を とじて

Romaji: Hitomi wo Tojite

Running Time: 107 mins.

Release Date: November 01st, 2013

Director: Yoichiro Hayama

Writer: Yoichiro Hayama (Screenplay), Andre Gide (Novel)

Starring: Nagare Hagiwara, Yoichi Okamura, Mami Aizawa, Tomoe Yamaguchi, Mitsuko Takahashi, Naoki Koyama, Nao Seta

This is an adaptation of Andre Gide’s novel Pastoral Symphony and the story concerns Tamika Jinn, a man who rehabilitates dropout students with Confucian teaching a. He decides to take care of a blind girl named Yuri who has been abused by her parent. No trailer, just lots of Ken Hirai songs…


Dancing Karate Kids      Dancing Karate Kids Film Poster

Japanese: 琉球バトルロワイアル

Romaji: Ryukyu Batoru Rowaiaru

Running Time: 78 mins.

Release Date: November 02nd, 2013

Director: Tsukasa Hishimoto

Writer: Norio Enomoto

Starring: Joey Beni, Yui Koike, Akihito Yagi, Kyohei Higa, Hiroyuki Shimabukuro, Yasushi Murayama, Shusaku Uchida, Shingo Chinen

A bit of fun in this martial arts film which combines dubstep, dancing and fighting and comedy in the sunshine of Okinawa.

Ken (Beni) loves extreme dance but when he journeys to Okinawa he meets Iwao Shinjo (Aragaki), a master of Ryukyu Classical Dance which holds the techniques for Ryukyu Karate. 


The Workhorse & the Bigmouth     The Workhorse and the Big Mouth Film Poster

Japanese: ばしゃ馬さんとビッグマウス

Romaji: Basaumasan to Biggumausu

Running Time: 119 mins.

Release Date: November 02nd, 2013

Director: Keisuke Yoshida

Writer: Keisuke Yoshida

Starring: Kumiko Aso, Shota Yasuda, Yoshinori Okada, Maho Yamada, Yutaka Shimizu, Yoko Akino, Jun Inoue, Yoneko Matsukane

I like the look of this one because it’s all about writers and I do a lot of writing in my spare time and while I’m a bit of a hack (evidence can be seen here and on other websites) it allows me to dream a little. This film comes from Keisuke Yoshida, a new name to me but he is directing the live action adaptation of Silver Spoon based on Full Metal Alchemist creator Hiromu Arakawa’s amusing manga. It stars a bespectacled Kumiko Aso (Pulse, License to Live), the handsome big mouth Shota Yasuda (Eight Ranger), Yoshinori Okada (Fine, Totally Fine), Maho Yamada (For Love’s Sake, Rent-a-Cat) and Yutaka Shimizu (Love Exposure).

Michiyo Mabuchi (Aso) is thirty-four and a member of a screen-writing class which is also attended by twenty-six year-old Yoshimi Tendo (Yasuda). Michiyo is a hard worker who has earned the nickname Basyauma (work horse) but she doesn’t see a future for herself in the industry. Meanwhile Yoshimi is a bigmouth who doesn’t put any effort into his work. Apparently, proving the idea that opposites attract is correct, the two fall in love.


SHORT MOVIE CRASH 2013 1st Crash     Short Movie Crash Film Poster

Release Date: November 02nd, 2013

This is a collection of short films which features soundtracks created by popular musicians like De De Mouse, Hip-Hop artist COMA-CHI and the group Chicago Poodle. Here’s a trailer for the project followed by trailers for each short.

Return of the Bad Girl

Director: Fujii Michihito

Starring: Natsuko Kobayashi, Taro Suruga, COMA-CHI, Yuri Shinohara, Yuka Yamamoto



Director: Naoto Monma

Starring: Mio Tsunoshima, Akiko Hanawa, Suzuki, Hatsunori Hasegawa

Music: Chicago Poodle

Noa’s Boxcar

Director: Kenta Shimizu

Starring: Tomokazu Koshimura, Kumi Takinai, Gao Ogawa, Jun Ayukawa, Daisuke Ando, Daisuke Endo

Music: De De Mouse


Evacuation of 400 000 Books  

Japanese: 疎開した40万冊の図書

Romaji: Sokaishita 40 man-satsu no Tosho

Running Time: 102 mins.

Release Date: November 02nd, 2013

Director: Kenji Kanetaka


This documentary chronicles the evacuation of 400,000 books from a library in Tokyo to a secret location to save them from the destruction wrought by the firebombing of the city during the Second World War.

Ningen                              Ningen Film Poster

Japanese: 人間

Romaji: Ningen

Running Time: 104 mins.

Release Date: November 02nd, 2013

Director: Guillaume Giovanetti, Cagla Zemcirci

Writer: Guillaume Giovanetti, Cagla Zencirci (Screenplay)

Starring: Masahiro Yoshino, Masako Wajima, Xiao Mu Lee. Megumi Ayukawa

This is a Japanese/Turkish co-production which uses Japanese folklore – kitsune and tanuki (foxes and racoons) who have the ability to shape-shift in this comedy/fantasy story. It was shown at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival.

Yoshino is an old man who runs a company in decline. He is scared about his future and letting his wife and employees down so he turns to his friend, a Chinese restaurant owner for guidance. Little does he know that kitsune and tanuki are lurking around, waiting to enter his life.

Father                                        Father Poster

Running Time: 105 mins.

Release Date: November 02nd, 2013

Directors: Nao Ichihara,Takashi Tsukinoki, Yoshikazu Sugiyama,

Writer: Nao Ichihara,Takashi Tsukinoki, Yoshikazu Sugiyama

Starring: Rina Sakuragi, Jiro Matsuda, Shigeru Haribara Sachiko Imayoshi, Yuki Ueda, Fukumi Kuroda, Sawa Masaki, Masataka Matsubara

An omnibus film made up of three stories with the theme of fathers. One story involves a father and daughter-in-law, a story of a young man who hates the father who abandoned him as a child and encounters the chap as a ghost.


Turning Tides                                        Turning Tides Film Poster

Japanese: んで、全部、海さ流した。

Romaji: Nde, Zenbu, Umi-sa Nagashita.

Running Time: 30 mins.

Release Date: November 02nd, 2013

Director: Shoji Teruaki

Writer: Shoji Teruaki

Starring: Hanae Kan, Ryoya Shinoda, Tomomitsu Adachi

The film was produced as part of the “New Directions in Japanese Cinema” project for 2012 and it is a title from new director Shoji Teruaki. The film stars Hanae Kan (Nightmare Detective 2).

Former delinquent Hiroe (Kanae) leads a dreary existence but when she meets a boy named Tatsutoshi (Ryoya) who lost his younger sister in a road accident, Hiroe tries to cheer up Tatsutoshi by taking him on a journey to the seaside as part of a fake ritual to bring his sister back to life.


Early Morning Twilight                       Early Morning Twilight Film Poster

Japanese: 夜明け前 朝焼け中

Romaji: Yoake Zen Asayake-chuu

Running Time: 90 mins.

Release Date: November 02nd, 2013

Director: Shoji Kubota

Writer: Shoji Kubota

Starring: Ryoma Baba, Mika Hijii, Yuichiro Hirata, Ryunosuke Kawai, Naoki Kawano, Kota Kusano, Airi Nakajima, Mio Tachibana

Shoji Kubota, director of The Little Girl in Me and Crazy-ism, comes up with a film about a group of actors who go to a retreat and act, write a play and get emotional. Then a chap with a gun shows up.



3 thoughts on “SPEC: Close – Incarnation, Dancing Karate Kid, The Workhorse & the Bigmouth, Ningen, Turning Tides, Early Morning Twilight and Other Japanese Film Trailers

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