Don’t Lose Heart, Jinx!!!, There’s Nothing to be Afraid of, Yokohama Story, The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness, Naked Cousin and Other Japanese Film Trailer

Eva Girl

This week has consisted of me working or writing future trailer posts because next week I’ll be at the gallery every day plus I’m starting the winter 2014 anime season guide for AUKN… I am very much conscious that my anime first impressions are late for this season and the only title tackled so far has been Samurai Flamenco but that’s because out of all the titles I picked it was one of two that really, really impressed me. Anyway, this week I posted about Asian film releases in November, my Republic of Thieves Read-along answers and a review for the sci-fi film Ku_On. I also did a bit of charity work in response to the typhoon that battered the Philippines. If you want to donate money, head over to the British Red Cross or Unicef.

Jinx!!!                                    Jinx Film Poster

Japanese: ジンクス!!!

Romaji: Jinkusu!!!

Running Time: 122 mins.

Release Date: November 16th, 2013

Director: Naoto Kumazawa

Writer: Yukiko Manabe, Naoto Kumazawa (Screenplay)

Starring: Kurumi Shimizu, Kento Yamazaki, Hyomin, Kazuya Takahashi, Sanae Miyata

The big release for this weekend is from the director of Kimi ni Todoke and the awful Oyayubi Sagashi… What a horrifyingly dull film. Anyway he’s back with one about two Japanese finding love Korean style. The two Japanese lovers are Kurumi Shimizu (The Kirishima Thing) and Kento Yamazaki (Another, Control Tower) while the gorgeous Korean girl getting them together is Hyomin, member of K-pop group T-ara. I meet quite a few Koreans at work and their Japanese is usually rather excellent.

University students Kaede (Shimizu) and Yusuke (Yamazaki) are in love with each other but they are so quiet and reserved that they cannot express their feelings. Enter South Korean exchange student Ji-Ho (Hyomn) who knows of their plight and gets them together through a Korean style romance.


Again                                                   Again Yurusenai Aitai Film Poster

Japanese: ゆるせない、 逢いたい

Romaji: Yurusenai Aitai

Running Time: 107 mins.

Release Date: November 16th, 2013

Director: Junichi Kanai

Writer: Junichi Kanai (Screenplay)

Starring: Aoi Yoshikura, Yuya Yagira, Dankan, Yuko Araki, Mayumi Asaka, Kei Nakano

A romance starring Yuya Yagira (Nobody Knows), Dankan (Eyes of the Spider, Boiling Point), Aoi Yoshikura and Yuko Araki (both in Schoolgirl Complex).

Hatsumi (Yoshikura) is a high school student who lives with her mother, her father having died. She meets an 19-year-old name Ryutaro (Yagira) who works in waste collection and the two fall in love. The two lose contact and Ryutaro assumes that Hatsumi has dropped him and when they met again he loses control of his emotion and a horrific incident occurs. Hatsumi is in a quandry.



Don’t Lose Heart             Don't Lose Heart Film Poster

Japanese: くじけないで

Romaji: Kujike naide

Running Time: 128 mins.

Release Date: November 16th, 2013

Director: Yoshihiro Fukagawa

Writer: Yoshihiro Fukagawa (Screenplay), Toyo Shibata (Original Work)

Starring: Kaoru Yachigusa, Tetsuya Takeda, Ran Ito, Rei Dan, Mana Ashida, Mizuho Suzuki, Pierre Taki, Ariei Umefune, Yusuke Kamiji

Yoshihiro Fukagawa, director of Girls for Keeps and Into the White Night, is back with a film about Toyo Shibata, a woman who published a bestselling book of poetry when she was in her 90’s! Playing Toyo Shibata is Kaoru Yachiguse (The Great Passage), little girl singer and actress Mana Ishida (Pacific Rim, Confessions) and Rei Dan (Ninja Kids!!!). Unfortunately Shibata died earlier this year but her work lives on in this film.

Toyo Shibata (Yachigusa) is a widow who lives alone in the suburbs of Tokyo. At the suggestion of her son Kenichi (Takeda) she takes up poetry and finds that her first collection of poems “Don’t Lose Heart” (“Kujike naide”) sells over a million copies. We see her at different stages of her life, as a child (Ishida) and a young woman (Dan).


Shinokubo Story                      Shinokubo Story Film Poster

Japanese: 新大久保 物語

Romaji: Shin Ookubo Monogatari

Running Time: 117 mins.

Release Date: November 16th, 2013

Director: Kenichi Fujiwara

Writer: Kenichi Fujiwara, Yuta Takahashi (Screenplay), Toyo Shibata (Original Work)

Starring: Gunwoo, InSoo, SeYong, JunQ ChaeJin, Izumi Fujimoto, Haru, Yasukaze Motomiya, Erika Asakura, Mai Watanabe

Kenichi Fujiwara, director of the half good half bad High School Girl Rikka: Zombie Hunter, has a tale set in the Shin Okubo area of Tokyo (Korean Town).

ChaeJin and InSoo want to work in show-business and escape their jobs as tour guides in Shin Okubo where there are a lot of Korean restaurants and stores. Gunwoo, JunQ, and SeYong are part of a failing Korean band called “NOBODYS”. Enter Utako (Fujimoto) who works for a talent agency and has knows of the “NOBODYS” through a friend. She sees their potential and wants them to make their debut in Japan with the named… er… “MYNAME” but family troubles and SeYong’s back injury threaten their dreams.


Pecoros, Goes to Meet His Mother      Pecoros and his Mother Film Poster

Japanese: 新大久保 物語

Romaji: Shin Ookubo Monogatari

Running Time: 113 mins.

Release Date: November 16th, 2013

Director: Azuma Morisaki

Writer: Akune Tomoaki (Screenplay), Yuichi Okano (Original Manga)

Starring: Ryo Iwamatsu, Mitsuko Baisho, Naoto Takenaka, Kiwako Harada, Kensuke Owada, Toshie Negishi, Ryo Kase


This is based on a self-published manga created by Yuichi Okano (Iwamatsu) which contained notes and anecdotes he made while after he returns to Nagasaki to look after his divorced 85-year-old mother Mitsue (Baisho) who has Alzheimer’s disease.



There’s Nothing to be Afraid of    There's Nothing to be Afraid of Film Poster

Japanese: なにも こわいことわない

Romaji: Nanimo Kowaiktowanai

Running Time: 110 mins.

Release Date: November 16th, 2013

Director: Hisashi Saito

Writer: Hitomi Kase (Screenplay),

Starring: Saikiko Takao, Mutsuo Yoshioka, Nao Okabe, Akira Emoto, Kinuwo Yamada, Kazue Tsunogae, Ryu Morioka

Hisashi Saito has worked with a number of my favourite directors as screenwriter of Bicycle Sighs (Sion Sono), Tokyo Fist, Sunday Drive (Shinya Tsukamoto), and Chaos (Hideo Nakata). A diverse number of films that are a far cry from this art-house drama about a couple, Eri (Takao), is a cinema attendant who hates her boss, and her husband Fumiya (Yoshioka) who decided not to have children and the life they share together.


Yokohama Story              Yokohama Story Film Poster

Japanese: ヨコハマ 物語

Romaji: Yokohama Monogatari

Running Time: 110 mins.

Release Date: November 16th, 2013

Director: Ichiro Kita

Writer: Ichiro Kita (Screenplay),

Starring: Kie Kitano, Eiji Okuda, Nahana, Megumi Saeki, Yoshie Ichige

Nanami Matsuura (Kitano) is a 25-year-old who grew up in an orphanage and now works as the manager of an amateur music group. She is broke and behind on her rent.

Yoshinori Tanabe (Okuda) is a 65-year-old grounds-keeper at a football stadium who becomes a widower on the day of his retirement when his wife passes away.

The two meet and Nanami moves into Yoshinori’s house. Without warning she brings in a single mother named Aoi and her 5-year-old son, a woman who works at a real estate company and an unemployed woman. This is the tale of the warmth of people in Yokohama.


The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness  Kingdoms of Dreams and Madness Film Poster

Japanese: 夢 と 狂気 の 国

Romaji: Yume to Kyōki no Ōkoku

Running Time: 118 mins.

Release Date: November 16th, 2013

Director: Mami Sunada

Writer: Mami Sunada

Starring: Hayao Miyazaki, Isao Takahata, Toshio Suzuki, Hideaki Anno, Goro Miyazaki

This is a documentary about the acclaimed anime company Studio Ghibli and the three major figures behind the studio, directors Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata and producer Toshio Suzuki as they work on Ghibli’s latest film The Wind Rises and The Tale of Princess Kaguya. Director Mami Sunada was prepping to do a fiction film but when offered the chance to do this documentary immediately stepped up. Miyazaki and Takahata have been very complimentary about the title. Here’s another video.


Fukushima: Record of Living Things                      Fukushima A Record of Living Things Episode One Exposure

Japanese: 福島 生きものの記録 シリーズ1 被曝

Romaji: Fukushima Ikimononokiroku Shirīzu 1 Hibaku

Running Time: 76 mins.

Release Date: November 16th, 2013

Director: Masanori Iwasaki

Writer: Masanori Iwasaki

Starring: N/A

This 3/11 documentary records the effects on the environment and ecology of wildlife in Fukushima after the accident at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. We hear the Geiger counter ticking in the trailer, the empty roads populated by herds of cattle and apes. Some strong images in here.


Naked Cousin                        Naked Cousin Film Poster

Japanese: 裸 の いとこ

Romaji: Hadako no Itoko

Running Time: 130 mins.

Release Date: November 16th, 2013

Director: Gitan Otsuru

Writer: Gitan Otsuru (Screenplay)

Starring: Kokone Sasaki, Takeyuki Yue, Yuki Kubota, Yuki Kazamatsuri, Mayuko, Kazuhiko Kanayama, Yuya Miyashita


The director of this mystery drama is Gitan Otsuru and according to IMDB he was in The Land of Hope as a cop! Not only that but he appears to be a novelist as well as a screenwriter. In his latest work he follows a debt-ridden man who goes on the run with a woman and everything he owns and ends up in the earthquake affected areas of Fukushima where his aunt resides. He works as a reconstruction volunteer, hiding from his painful reality, but when he meets his cousin he finds his desire to live again and swears to come back! The film stars Kokone Sasaki (Hello My Dolly Girlfriend).



Tenei Village Fukushima        Tenei Village Fukushima Film Poster

Japanese: 天 に 栄える 村

Romaji: Ten ni Sakaeru Mura

Running Time: 106 mins.

Release Date: November 16th, 2013

Director: Masaki Hara

Starring: Kimiko Yo (Narration)

Another documentary about the March 2011 nuclear disaster only this time the focus is on the trials and tribulations of Tenei village which is located around 70 kilometres away from Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The dominant occupation for the 6000 people is farming and now the radiation has hit their farmland. Despite having no assistance from their government, the farmers continue to grow food.


Tenshin                      Tenshin Film Poster

Japanese: 天心

Romaji: Tenshin

Running Time: 122 mins.

Release Date: November 16th, 2013

Director: Katsuya Matsumura

Writer: Katsuya Matsumura, Masayoshi Azuma (Screenplay)

Starring:  Shido Nakamura, Naoto Takenaka, Hirotaro Honda, Megumi Kagurazaka, Hiroyuki Watanabe, Ichiro Hashimoto

A historical drama about Okakura Tenshin, a man who is considered “father of modern Japanese art”. In his lifetime he was credited with saving traditional Japanese painting from western influence, he was involved in the reconstruction of Buddhist temples published books of philosophy (The Ideals of the East), ex-pounder of Pan-Asianism and was founder/appointed principal of the Tokyo School of Fine Arts (now known as Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music).



Great Adventure on Pirate Island           Great Adventure on Pirate Island Film Poster

Japanese: 十五少年漂流記 海賊島DE!大冒険

Romaji: Jūgo Shōnen Hyōryūki Kaizoku Shima DE! Dai Bōken

Running Time: 122 mins.

Release Date: November 16th, 2013

Director: Ryutaro Nakamura

Writer: Shigeru Yanagawa (Screenplay), Jules Verne (Original Work)

Starring: Rika Matsumoto, Karin Ono, Aki Toyosaki, Hiroki Matsukata

An anime adaptation of Jules Verne’s Two Years’ Vacation where a group of school children get shipwrecked on an island full of pirates. This is updated but the story is the same as the group split up and feud as they try to escape the island. They are also cats. The director appears to be recently departed Ryutaro Nakamura, the chap behind the brilliant anime Kino’s Journey/Serial Experiments Lain… but I thought his last work was Ghost Hound


A Sparkle of Life                   San San Film Poster

Japanese: 燦燦 さんさん

Romaji: Sansan –san-san

Running Time: 81 mins.

Release Date: November 16th, 2013

Director: Bunji Toyama?

Writer: Bunji Toyama? (Screenplay),

Starring: Kazuko Yoshiyuki, Akira Takarada, Manabu Yamamoto

This played at the Skip City Film Festival and is about a woman (Yoshiyuki) who is a widow and has been in a care home who wants to get married again. She faces opposition from her friends and family but goes out on blind dates.


Yokoyama ken shippūkeisō-hen                        Ken Yokoyama Film Poster

Japanese: 横山健 疾風勁草編

Romaji: Yokoyama ken shippūkeisō-hen

Running Time: 117 mins.

Release Date: November 16th, 2013

Director: MINORxU

Starring: Ken Yokoyama

Ken Yokoyama, member of the hardcore punk band Hi-STANDARD and a solo artist. Here’s a documentary about his work.


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