Genkina hito Says Goodbye to 2013 and Hello to 2014 – New Year’s Resolutions

Genki Transition from 2013 to 2014 Banner

Welcome to my last post of the year.

As 2013 draws to an end I see that I have made major steps in my personal and public life. I have had promotions at work, improved my Japanese language skills and met lots of Japanese people and attended lots of film festivals and watched lots of films and even achieved most of my resolutions.

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Japanese Film Posters for 2013 Releases

Moteki WallpaperEvery week I write a trailer post compiling all (or most) of the latest Japanese films released in Japan every weekend. There were lots and lots of Japanese films released in Japan this year. Lots. So many. So many I often wondered whether I might be better of collaborating with other writers to create these posts. If I wasn’t having fun I would have stopped. Fact is I’m a cinephile and a bit of a Japanophile so getting all of that information was fascinating and interesting. Plus I like drooling over Japanese actresses like the above. More importantly it has made great conversation points when talking to friends from the UK, Japan and elsewhere.

So, lots of films means lots of trailers and lots of posters and so I thought I’d compile all of the posters into a single article so people can see what was released and how cool the promotional material was. It’s organised by month and while I didn’t quite get all of the posters available these are most of them. Next year I’ll be more on top of it. A cool thing is that if you select a poster a gallery will come up so you can see it in greater detail and view the others.

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Hunter x Hunter – The Last Mission – (Movie), Majocco Shimai no Yoyo to Nene Japanese Film Trailers

Cloud Atlas Japanese PosterI hope everyone had an awesome Christmas! I had a quiet couple of days and a nice time with family and plenty of manga and other presents. I also caught up with the movie adaptation of Cloud Atlas, one of my all-time favourite books, and liked it.

This is the last trailer post of the year sees me in a more introspective mood.

This has been the second year that I have worked on trailer posts but the first in which I made an effort to capture every Japanese film released in Japan (Tokyo, if we’re being honest because some of the short films and documentaries won’t travel) and give a fuller picture of what Japanese cinema-goers can watch.  It has meant a lot of time and hard work but even then I am aware there may be errors, especially at the beginning of the year. For too many entries my efforts are somewhat amateurish because my translation skills aren’t all that great. Sometimes the kanji is so complex that friends from Japan have trouble providing information without research. To remedy that I have started to a website link, and as much information as I could drum up to help people interested in titles. Also, I bet that a lot Sayonara Mermaid Film Imageof people find it hard to trawl through my words, so I started to cut down on the blurb and just run with the synopsis and maybe brief filmographies.

My performance is linked to the number of other websites that cover Japanese films like Eigpedia and the Japanese Film Database and it is also linked to my Japanese language skills so as I improve those the easier this will get. I’m spending less time watching television/playing games and more time practising so hopefully in the future I won’t come out with the weird sounding titles that have plagued previous posts. I’ll still write these things to a soundtrack like this.

I want to thank my Japanese friends for aiding me and all of the readers who keep coming back – I’m always surprised that anybody still reads this blog…

What did I post about this week? I continued with my Genki 2013 Christmas season by posting a review for Insidious Chapter 2 and The Conjuring followed by news of Third Window Films’s latest Japanese film acquisitions and a post about the Japan Foundation’s other events in January.

Anyway, here are the final films of the year. Check back tomorrow to see a post containing most of the posters for Japanese films released in Japan.

Hunter x Hunter – The Last Mission – (Movie)     Hunter x Hunter Last Mission Film Poster

Japanese Title:  ハンター X ハンター: ザ・ラスト・ミッション

Romaji: Hanta- X Hanta-: Za Rasuto Misshin

Release Date: December 27th, 2013

Running Time: 98 mins.

Director: Keiichiro Kawaguchi

Writer: Nobuaki Kishima (Screenplay), Yoshihiro Togashi (Original Creator)

Starring: Mariya Ise (Killua Zoldyck), Megumi Han (Gon Freecs), Daisuke Namikawa (Hisoka), Chisa Yokoyama (Biscuit Krueger), Kenji Fujiwara (Leorio), Yuka Terasaki (Zushi), Mizuki Yamamoto (Rengoku), Miyuki Sawashiro (Kurapika)

When the strongest Hunters in the Hunters Association were split into “light” and “dark”, a conflict emerged as the two sides began to walk their own path. The dark side begins o massacre all Hunters and both Killua and Kurapiku are caught up in the violence, What is the secret behind Netero, the strongest Nen-user and the chairman of the Hunter Association?


  Continue reading “Hunter x Hunter – The Last Mission – (Movie), Majocco Shimai no Yoyo to Nene Japanese Film Trailers”

Third Window Films Acquire Lesson of Evil and Greatful Dead

After a strong selection of Japanese film releases over 2013 you couldn’t really blame Third Window Films from wanting to try something different and in 2014 it looked as if Korean titles were going to be dominant with only the magnificent Shady and The Story of Yonosuke representing Japan. Then, yesterday, Third Window Films released news of their latest acquisitions and it was major!

I was on my way to a Japanese lesson and checking my emails when I read that Adam had licensed Takashi Miike’s film Lesson of Evil and the indie title The Greatful Dead. My jaw dropped. If I had to sum it up in a word it would be OHMYGODYAY! for the former and Intriguing… for the latter. Both films will be released in the latter half of 2014! Here’s more info:


Lesson of Evil                         Lesson of the Movie Poster

Japanese Title: 悪 の 教典

Romaji: Aku no Kyoten

Running Time: 129 mins.

Director: Takashi Miike

Writer:  Takashi Miike (Screenplay), Yusuke Kishi (Original Novel)

Starring: Hideaki Ito, Fumi Nikaidou, Shota Sometani, Kento Hayashi, Hirona Yamazaki, Kodai Asaka, Kodai Asaka, Mitsuru Fukikoshi, Takayuki Lesson of the Evil DVD CaseYamada

I am most hyped about this one. Takashi Miike is a favourite director of mine as reviews of Audition, For Love’s SakeThirteen Assassins, and One Missed Call make clear. He had a major hit at the end of 2012 with this film and it travelled to different film festivals like Rotterdam. The film is based on a novel written by Yusuke Kishi who has twice won the Japan Horror Associated Award and it stars great actors like Hideaki Ito, Takayuki Yamada (MILOCRORZE, 13 Assassins), Mitsuru Fukikoshi (Cold Fish) Shota Sometani and Fumi Nikaidou who both blew me away in HimizuThe DVD/Blu-ray case on the right sensibly goes for a look similar to the poster which was pretty cool.

Hasumi (Ito) is a popular teacher among students at Shinko Academy, a private high school, and well respected by the faculty and the PTA. However, one of the students Reika (Nikaido) feels something menacing lurking beneath his shining reputation. While Hasumi brilliantly solves one problem after another, from a teacher-student sexual harassment to group cheating to bulling, he starts to take control of the school. As the problems go away, Reika is uneasy about the way they are solved. Tsurii (Fukikoshi), an unpopular teacher at the school, despises the popular Hasumi and starts investigating Hasumi’s past and discovers that Hasumi is a real psycho.

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The Conjuring

Genki The Conjuring Film Review Banner

The Conjuring                                                The Conjuring Film Poster

UK Release Date: August 02nd, 2013 (UK)

Running Time: 112 mins.

Director: James Wan

Writer: Chad Hayes, Carey Hayes

Starring: Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, Lilie Taylor, Ron Livingston, Joey King, Stanley Casewell, Hayley McFarland, Mackenzie Foy, Kyla Deaver, Sterling Jerins,

Apparently, just like Amityville Horror, this is based on a true story about a real life Perron family who endured the haunting until the Warrens, a real life paranormal investigators intervened which I guess makes it even more scary because this stuff actually happened. Really? Whatever the case, The Conjuring is a pretty interesting choice of title. Conjuring is a word that may make one think of summoning demons or of magicians fooling audiences into believing in magic with sleights of hand. A curse and ghosts are conjured up but the performance aspect of the word is pretty apt here since Wan tells the story with grotesque glee proving that he is one of the best modern horror directors working.

The Conjuring The Warrens (Wilson and Farmiga)

Ed (Wilson) and Lorraine (Farmiga) Warren are paranormal investigators based in New England. In the basement of their house in Monroe Connecticut they keep cursed objects like samurai armour and a haunted doll named Annabelle locked up. Over the course of their career they have investigated many different cases and gained much arcade knowledge but after a traumatic exorcism that leaves Lorraine debilitated they shelve their careers in favour of academic tours and raising their daughter.

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Insidious Chapter 2

Genki Insidious 2 Review Banner

Insidious Chapter 2                                               Insidious 2 Film Poster

UK Release Date: September 13th, 2013 (UK)

Running Time: 105 mins.

Director: James Wan

Writer: Leigh Wannell, James Wan

Starring: Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Lin Shaye, Ty Simpkins, Barbara Hershey, Leigh Whannell, Andrew Astor, Angus Sampson, Jocelin Donahue, Danielle Bisutti, Lindsay Seim, Steve Coulter

1986, psychic mediums Carl (Coulter) and Elise Reiner (Seim) are helping Lorrain Lambert’s (Donahue) son Josh suppress his astral projection abilities to keep him safe from the evil spirit of a woman in white who stalks him…

 Insidious 2 A Young and Haunted Josh Lambert

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The Eternal Zero, Deep Red Love, Bakumatsu Kitan SHINSEN5 Ni Fuun Igagoe, Eiga Nakamura Kanzaburo, Cutie and the Boxer, Jo hōkō ga mita Ryūkyū sappō to Ryūkyū, Inochite nanbo nan? Sen’nan asubesuto wazawai o tatakau Japanese Film Trailers

Mawaru Images (2)This is the second trailer post of the week following on from yesterday’s. Christmas days is less than a week away and I’m getting excited over the event and, as mentioned yesterday, a week off to watch anime and films. One of the things I intend to watch is Moteki. It’s a recommendation from my friend Tired Paul since it’s the prequel to the movie Love Strikes!, which will be one of the films that I’ll see in the Japan Foundation’s Touring Film Programme 2014. It’s a prequel and having that knowledge will be good. I’ve been trying to keep up with my Christmas posts by ploughing through a lot of horror film reviews and part of that effort was the review for the mumblegore title You’re Next! At the end of the month, Third Window Films will release the Shinya Tsukamoto film Bullet Ballet.

Enough about me, here are the rest of the films released in Japan this weekend:

The Eternal Zero               The Eternal Zero Film Poster

Japanese Title:  永遠の0

Romaji: Eien no Zero

Release Date: December 21st, 2013

Running Time: 144 mins.

Director: Takashi Yamazaki

Writer: Tamio Hayashi (Screenplay), Naoki Hyakuta (Original Novel)

Starring: Junichi Okada, Mao Inoue, Haruma Miura, Yuichiro Hirose, Nanaka Yagi, Hirofumi Arai, Min Tanaka, Kazue Fukiishi, Jun Fubuki, Isao Natsuyagi

A young man named Kentaro Saeki (Miura) has failed his bar test yet again. Confused about life he begins to research his family with his older sister Keiko (Fukiishi). They focus on their grandfather Kyuzo Miyabe (Okada) who fought in the Pacific War. He was a man scared of death and obsessed with life who volunteered to join a ‘special forces’ squad but as they encounter old colleagues of his they find a dark secret kept hidden for 60 years…


Continue reading “The Eternal Zero, Deep Red Love, Bakumatsu Kitan SHINSEN5 Ni Fuun Igagoe, Eiga Nakamura Kanzaburo, Cutie and the Boxer, Jo hōkō ga mita Ryūkyū sappō to Ryūkyū, Inochite nanbo nan? Sen’nan asubesuto wazawai o tatakau Japanese Film Trailers”

Similar But Different, With Mugiko, Fly Me to Minami Koi Suru Minami, Juhou 2405: Watashi ga Shinu Wake Japanese Film Trailers

Attack on Titan Squad UpThis is the first of two trailer posts on the run-up to Christmas. After today there are only two days left in work before a very long break which I will enjoy to the fullest. I’ll be able to watch the upcoming opening episodes for the winter season and the TV series Moteki! I’ll also be able to watch Japanese films on DVD, something I haven’t done in two months. There are two films entering the UK cinema market which I’m going to see and they are 47 Ronin and the Robert Redford film All is Lost which I’ll be going to see. Gosh, I’ll be able to indulge my passion for films and not worry about work!

Similar But Different                                              Similar But Different Film Poster

Japanese Title:  シミラー バット デイファレント

Romaji: Shimira- Batto Deifarento

Release Date: December 20th, 2013

Running Time: 25 mins.

Director: Shota Sometani

Writer: Shota Sometani, Natsuki Seta

Starring: Shota Sometani, Rei Hirano

Shota Sometani is a great actor as can be seen in Himizu. Many critics have singled him out as one of the best of his generation. He always picks interesting roles and now he’s forging some for himself with this short film he has directed and co-written. The trailer is a low-key affair with a smooth jazz soundtrack and slice-of-life stuff happening and the synopsis reads thusly:  a man and woman who share the same time and space. One day in the morning, they go their separate ways. The woman meets an old friend, but she looks annoyed. The man meets an old friend but his thoughts are elsewhere.

Continue reading “Similar But Different, With Mugiko, Fly Me to Minami Koi Suru Minami, Juhou 2405: Watashi ga Shinu Wake Japanese Film Trailers”

The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2014 Line-Up

Japan Foundation Japanese Cinema Depicting Youth

The Japan Foundation have announced their Touring Film Programme for 2014 and it goes under the name of East Side Stories Japanese Cinema Depicting the Lives of Youth. It aims to offer ‘an enlightening and expansive introduction to Japanese cinema through showing features that focus on ‘youth’ and a variety of films which show a “vast variety of styles ad tones” and take “a broad look at how the adults of tomorrow have been portrayed in Japanese cinema over the years.”

The festival runs from January 31st to March 27th 2014. The festival starts in London at the ICA and then heads out to various regions including Belfast (Queens Film Theatre), Bristol (Watershed), Dundee (Dundee Contemporary Arts), Edinburgh (Filmhouse), Newcastle Upon Tyne (Tyneside Cinema), Nottingham (Broadway), and Sheffield (Showroom Workstation).

The line-up of films for the opening week at the ICA looks awesome and I intend to head to London and the ICA for weekend of February 01st,02nd when most of them are screened. I’m particularly psyched for Love Strikes! Because it has gorgeous Japanese actresses… Uh, I mean great comedy… Shindo and Parade for the great acting.

Here are the films (the English titles are the links to the pages):


The Drudgery Train                       Drudgery Train Movie Poster               

Japanese Title:  苦役 列車

Romaji: Kueki Ressha

Release Date: July 14th, 2012

Running Time: 114 mins.

Director: Nobuhiro Yamashita

Writer: Shinji Imaoka (Screenplay), Kenta Nishimura (Original Work)

Starring: Mirai Moriyama, Kengo Kora, Atsuko Maeda, Makita Sports, Tomorowo Taguchi, Mamiko Ito, Miwako Wagatsuma, Shohei Uno, Hiroshi Sato, Asuka Ishii, Kouji Tsujimoto

I reviewed this film back in September and it was released last year. I enjoyed it a lot, finding it a rewarding watch what with its tough to like character. Drudgery Train comes from Nobuhiro Yamashita (Linda, Linda, Linda), and is based on Kenta Nishimura’s Akutagawa Prize-winning novel Kueki Ressha which is based on his own experiences. This character-study stars Mirai Moriyama (Fish on Land, Fish Story), Kengo Kora (The Woodsman and the Rain, Norwegian Wood), and former AKB 48 leader Atsuko Maeda (Tamako in Moratorium, The Suicide Song).

Kanta Kitamichi (Moriyama) is a 19-year-old junior high drop out with a love for alcohol and peep shows. He works as a labourer in a warehouse and he has no friends and wastes his days doing very little apart from reading mystery novels and getting drunk. Then he meets Shoji Kusakabe (Kora), a new hire at the warehouse. The two become friends and Kanta reveals he has a crush on a girl named Yasuko (Maeda) who works in a book store. She takes a shine for the two guys but as the three live their lives differences appear… Can Kanta’s new-found friendships last?

Continue reading “The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2014 Line-Up”