Homeland, Kiki’s Delivery Service, The Who’s Who of the Machiya, Anime Mirai 2014: Harmonie, The Big First-Grader and the Small Second-Grader, Paroru’s Future Island, Kuro no Su Chronus Japanese Film Trailer

The Great Passage Dictionary TeamThis is the first of the two trailer posts for this week. This instalment features a lot of anime because Anime Mirai 2014 is featured. There is a film that was featured at this year’s Berlin Film Festival. This weekend also sees the release of the live-action Kiki’s Delivery Service. Check out the trailer to get a glimpse at what Japanese cinema-goers might see.

Here are the trailers:

Homeland   Homeland Film Poster

Japanese: 家路

Romaji: Ieji

Running Time: 118 mins.

Release Date: March 01st, 2014 (Japan)

Director: Nao Kubota

Writer: Kenji Aoki (Screenplay),

Starring: Kenichi Matsuyama, Yuko Tanaka, Sakura Ando, Takashi Yamanaka, Seiyo Uchino

This drama was at Berlin Film Festival and is all about the fallout from the Fukushima nuclear power plant meltdown. It stars some impressive names like Kenichi Matsuyama and Sakura Ando but it has earned a pretty mixed review from Variety – great acting but visually bland and ducks the dangers of radiation.

Jiro (Matsuyama) returns to his former farming village which has been evacuated due to the fact that it lies near Fukushima Daichi and is badly contaminated. Jiro begins cultivating the land and teams up with an old school friend to plant rice despite the spreading radioactivity and its effects on their health. Meanwhile, Jiro’s half-brother has left the town with his wife and child and their mother. When their mother hears that Jiro has returned to their land she wants to go home and see him again.


Kiki’s Delivery Service                         Kiki's Delivery Service Live Action Poster

Japanese Title: 魔女 の 宅急便

Romaji: Majo no Takkyubin

Release Date: March 01st, 2014

Running Time: 108 mins.

Director: Takashi Shimizu

Writer: Eiko Kadono (Original Novel), Satoko Okudera (Screenplay)

Starring: Fuka Koshiba, Ryohei Hirota, Machiko Ono, Miho Kanazawa, Hiroshi Yamamoto, Rie Miyazawa, Michitaka Tsutsui

The big day is finally here and I’m on the fence as to whether I like the trailer or not. I like the poster and Fuka Koshiba makes a pretty cute Kiki but the in-movie Jiji isn’t as cute or charming as the Ghibli one. Others I have shown the trailer to are not so impressed. The film is the second movie adaptation of Eiko Kadono’s famous six volume novel series following Studio Ghibli’s anime in 1989. The two have no connection. Reinforcing this fact is the presence of J-horror maestro Takashi Shimizu (Ju-On: The Curse 1 and 2Marebito) as director and he is working from on a screenplay written by Satoko Okudera (The Wolf Children). I’ll let you take a gander at what’s on offer.


Kiki (Koshiba) has turned 13 and must leave home to start her apprenticeship in witchcraft and become independent. She hops on her broom with her cat Jiji and bids farewell to her friends and mother (Miyazawa) and father (Tsutsui) and settles in a coastal city where she must decide what sort of area in the witching profession she should specialise in. The trouble is her only skill is flying her broom…


The Who’s Who of the Machiya  Machiyya Film Poster

Japanese Title: まちや紳士録

Romaji: Machiya Shinshiroku

Release Date: March 01st, 2014

Running Time: 88 mins.

Director: Yuki Ito

Writer: N/A

Starring: N/A

This is a documentary about a city named Yame in Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan which is famous for tea, paper lanterns, woodworking and traditional crafts and buildings. The documentary which seeks to record the history of the place and the craftsmen who hope to protect the buildings and pass on skills to a new generation.


Anime Mirai 2014 

This year’s round of Anime Mirai projects are released in Tokyo cinemas (TOHO Cinemas Roppongi Hills) today and the trailer gives a nice snapshot of what’s on offer. Four studios shared 38 million yen to help make a 30 minute anime and train a new generation of animatiors. Here’s the website and the following is a little more detail and plot synopses from Anime News Network:

Harmonie Harmonie Film Poster

Japanese Title: アルモニ

Romaji: Arumoni

Release Date: March 01st, 2014

Running Time: N/A

Director: Yasuhiro Yoshiura

Writer: N/A

Production Studio: Ultra Super Pictures

Starring: Yoshitsugu Matsuoka (Akio Honjo), Reina Ueda (Juri Makina), Manami Numakura (Mayumi), Kenta Matsumoto (Yoshida), Ryo Iwasaki (Watanabe)

From the director of Time of Eve and Patema Inverted comes a school tale:

Every person has his or her own little world. Among the 34 bustling students of classroom 2-1, there are many such worlds.

Akio Honjō’s world — my world — is filled with passionate talk about last night’s anime with Yoshida, Watanabe, and other friends. It’s a fun, comfortable place…. But, I always wonder. Wonder about the world of Juri Makina, smiling and surrounded by gorgeous friends on the other side of the classroom.

One day, I enter her world. But it’s not as simple as it sounds.

The Big First-Grader and the Small Second-Grader  Okii Ichinensei to Chiisana Ninensei Film Poster

Japanese Title: 大きい1年生と小さな2年生

Romaji: Okii Ichinensei to Chiisana Ninensei

Release Date: March 01st, 2014

Running Time: N/A

Director: Ayumu Watanabe

Writer: N/A

Production Studio: A-1 Pictures

Starring: Mutsumi Tamura (Masaya), Misako Kuno (Mariko), Akiko Yajima (Akiyo)

This anime comes from Ayumu Watanabe who was director on Space Brothers and the rather icky Mysterious Girlfriend X.

First-grader Masaya is a crybaby despite his large stature, so he can’t walk by himself on the dark path to school. The one who holds his hand is Akiyo, a tiny but capable second-grader.

Masaya wants to be strong like Akiyo and admires her, but one day, something happens that leaves Akiyo in tears.

To lift Akiyo’s spirits, Masaya goes trekking to the distant Ipponsugi forest to find the spotted bellflowers that Akiyo loves.

Paroru’s Future Island  Paroru no Mirajima Film Poster

Japanese Title: パロルのみらい島

Romaji: Paroru no Miraijima

Release Date: March 01st, 2014

Running Time: N/A

Director: Kazuaki Imai

Writer: N/A

Production Studio: Shinei Animation

Starring: Ayumi Fujimura (Paroru), Anri Katsu (Zuzu), Ayako Kawasumi (Rikotto)

Kazuaki Imai is a newer director compared to others but he has worked on key animation for titles like Dennou Coil, Monster, Paranoia Agent and the anime movie The Girl Who Leapt Through Time.

There is a tiny island floating on the other side of a distant sea. Strange animals, still unknown to humans, live there. The children of the island — Paroru, Zūzu, and Rikotto — come across a photo of the human world one day, and fascinated by this beautiful wonder, break the rules and rush out of the island. Paroru and the others are surprised and excited to see the human world for the first time. However, unforeseen pitfalls await them there…. Can they safely reach their journey’s destination?

Kuro no Su Chronus  Kuro no Su Chronus Film Poster

Japanese Title: 黒の栖 クロノス

Romaji: Kuro no Su Chronus

Release Date: March 01st, 2014

Running Time: N/A

Director: Naoyuki Onda

Writer: N/A

Production Studio: Studio 4°C

Starring: Natsuki Hanae (Nakazono), Daisuke Ono (Seno)

Naoyuki Onda has worked mostly as a character designer and animation director on titles like Berserk: The Golden Age Arc I, Witch Hunter Robin, Moldiver and Armitage III.

Makoto Nakazono is a high school student with a small dark secret. Since he was little, he has had the mysterious power to see “black entities” that steal souls.

One day, he is suddenly interrogated by one of the “black entities,” Akira Seno: “Will you get in our way?”

But Makoto replies with an air of resignation, “There’s nothing I can do anyway, so I won’t.”

At that moment, Makoto didn’t notice the threatening shadow approaching his childhood friend Hazuki …

6 thoughts on “Homeland, Kiki’s Delivery Service, The Who’s Who of the Machiya, Anime Mirai 2014: Harmonie, The Big First-Grader and the Small Second-Grader, Paroru’s Future Island, Kuro no Su Chronus Japanese Film Trailer

    1. Judging by the wide availability of the 2013 crop, I’m willing to bet we’ll see these ones online. Harmonie would be my pick because I love the director’s work. Kuro no Su reminds me of the manga Ajin – spectral beings that only a few can see.

  1. Tired Paul

    First documentary trailer in ages that I’ve been interested in, “Machiya Shinshiroku” looks right up my alley at the moment.

    The last documentary trailer that I was really interested in was one called “Reviving Recipes” never got a chance to see it, probably never will.

    1. Japan produces a lot of documentary films and there are always a few that I quite like the look of.but the majority that get released/tour in the west are usually related to 3/11. Shame really because we’re missing out on real insights into the culture.

      I’ll have a look for Reviving Recipes.

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