Little Forest: Summer & Autumn, Lupin the Third, Tokyo Tribe, Magic Knight, Mizu no Koe wo Kiku and Other Japanese Film Trailers

Long rambly intro so feel free to skip. If you’re going to read it, here’s some music to listen to:

Well this week was a bit of a holding pattern for me since I’m waiting for the full programme of films to be revealed for this year’s Raindance Independent Film Festival. Unlike last year, when I watched nearly every title, this year I’m going to focus on a few.

Parasyte Shota Sometani Looking Impossibly CoolA holding pattern sounds boring but the week has been far from that because the military is in my town with tanks, helicopters, and fighter jets constantly buzzing around. There were also World War II era fighters as well – a Hawker Hurricane and a Supermarine Spitfire that actually flew in the Battle of Britain! Other than that, I have watched lots of anime and a film.

I watched Lucy and enjoyed it a lot. It’s a relentlessly entertaining andLucy Scarlett Johansson action-packed film which featured a great central female character whose amorality grew on me. Well played Scarlett Johansson, well played.

I watched the final few episodes of Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 and was Space Dandy Limbo Smilecrying like a sissy. What an ending! Seeing Mirai, Mari and Yuuki work there way through a shattered city was gruelling and heart-wrenching stuff and the interaction between the siblings was heartbreaking. It made me want to be nicer to those around me. What a brilliant series. What about the latest episode of Space Dandy? I thought that was brilliant! Visually and aurally intense and beautiful and the open ending was perfect.

Zero Fatal Frame Film Ayami Nakajo and Aoi Morikawa 3I also watched Doctor Who and it was a solid introduction for a good actor with Peter Capaldi making a great impression as a grumpier Doctor. Jenna Coleman was solid as Clara and allowed to grow as a character. I could have done without the narrative stuffed with constant call backs to Doctor Who lore and setting up a million different plot points. And the dinosaur. Was there any real point to it? We also need a new stable of characters for the Doctor to visit because that current bunch are played out. But then this is a silly show being silly so I’ll stop complaining.

In terms of the blog, I posted about the forthcoming films, Fatal Frame and Parasyte Part 1.

Also, we saw the passing away of Sir Richard Attenborough this Richard Attenboroughweek. He was a major presence in my childhood since I grew up watching all sorts of British films from the 40’s and later. I remember staying indoors on a rainy day watching The Angry Silence and Brighton Rock when I was on the cusp of adolescence.  He was a major force in the British film industry and even saved it during the 90’s! RIP to a legend.

Enough from me, here are the films released in Tokyo this weekend!

Little Forest: Summer & Autumn    Little Forest Summer & Autumn Film Poster

Japanese: リトル フォレスト 夏編 秋篇

Romaji: Ritoru Foresuto Natsu Hen Aki Hen

Release Date: August 30th, 2014 (Japan)

Running Time: 111 mins.

Director: Junichi Mori

Writer: Junichi Mori (Screenplay), Daisuke Igarashi (Original Manga)

Starring: Ai Hashimoto, Takahiro Miura, Mayu Matsuoka, Yoichi Nukumizu, Karen Kirishima,

A film involving great Japanese actors like Ai Hashimoto cooking and farming. I know a few cinebloggers who will LOVE this. It’s based on a popular manga by Daisuke Igarashi that was serialised in Monthly Afternoon from 2002 – 05. A sequel is planned for next year.

Ichiko (Hashimoto) leaves big city life behind to head back to the mountains where her hometown of Komori is located and she takes to living off the land.



Lupin the Third    Lupin the Third Live Action Film Poster

Japanese: ルパン三世

Romaji: Rupan Sansei

Release Date: August 30th, 2014 (Japan)

Running Time: 133 mins.

Director: Ryuhei Kitamura

Writer: Rikiya Mizushima (Screenplay), Monkey Punch (Original Manga)

Starring: Shun Oguri, Meisa Kuroki, Gou Ayano, Tetsuj Tamayama, Tadanobu Asano, Yuka Nakayama, Yoshiyuki Yamaguchi

Before seeing the trailer, my enthusiasm for this one was low. I love Ghibli’s anime version so much that news of a live-action version did nothing for me. The trailer does look entertaining and gives off a solid Japanese action movie vibe but early reviews have been harsh.

Lupin III (Oguri), Daisuke Jigen (Tamayama), Ishikawa Goemon (Ayano) and his femme fatale Fujiko Mine (Kuroki) unite to execute an almost impossible heist. The target is the “Crimson Heart of Cleopatra” which is locked up in a high security safe. They face a powerful foe and have Inspector Zenigata (Asano) on their tail!



Tokyo Tribe   Tokyo Tribe Film Poster

Japanese: トーキョー トライブ

Romaji: To-kyo- Toraibu

Release Date: August 30th, 2014 (Japan)

Running Time: 116 mins.

Director: Sion Sono

Writer: Sion Sono (Screenplay), Santa Inoue (Original Manga)

Starring: Ryohei Suzuki, Young Dais, Nana Seino, Ryuta Sato, Riki Takuechi, Denden, Shota Sometani, Shoko Nakagawa, Yosuke Kubozuka, Takuya Ishida, Shunsuke Daito, Yui Ichikawa, Mika Kano,

I have posted about Tokyo Tribe on the blog multiple times and now it is finally released. It has shown up at Venice and the Toronto International Film Festival and I’m hoping it may make an appearance at the London Film Festival… Tokyo Tribe is a seinen manga created by Santa Inoue and serialise in the urban fashion magazine Boon from 1997 to 2005. It looks a lot like the American film, The Warriors, only glossier and more insane. It reminds me a lot of Sono’s last film, Why Don’t You Play in Hell? (2013).

The film takes place in the future and five years have passed since the Shibuya riots and different clans called “Tribes” exist in Tokyo. Kai Deguchi is a member of the Musashino Saru tribe led by Tera. When Tera dies at the hands of Bukuro Wu-RONZ tribe leader Mera,   Kai finds himself facing off against a former best friend.



Jinroh Game: Best Side   Jinroh Game Best Side Film Poster

Japanese: 人狼ゲーム ビーストサイド

Romaji: Jinroh Gemu: Bisutosido

Release Date: August 30th, 2014 (Japan)

Running Time: 112 mins.

Director: Izuru Kumasaka

Writer: Ai Yamazaki (Screenplay), Ryo Kawakami (Original Manga)

Starring: Tao Tsuchiya, Aoi Morikawa, Misato Aoyama, Ikunosuke, Yui Sakuma, Kisetsu Fujiwara, Karin Ono, Ryo Kato, Naoki Kunishima, Dori Sakurada,

Following on from last-years Jinroh Game, this one places a new group of students in a room and forces them to play.

Yuka Kabayama (Tsuchiya) and nine other high school students are led to a room where they must play the jinroh game. Yuka gets the jinroh card must hide her identity from the others who are all given villager cards. Yuka, bored with life, finds herself excited when she gets the chance to play the wolf.



The Next Generation Patlabor Chapter 4       The Next Generation Patlabor Chapter 4 Film Poster

Japanese: THE NEXT GENERATION パトレイバー第4

Romaji: THE NEXT GENERATIONPatlaborDai 4 Shou

Release Date: August 30th, 2014 (Japan)

Running Time: N/A

Director: Mamoru Oshii

Writer: Mamoru Oshii, Kei Yamamura (Screenplay), Masami Yuki (Original Novel)

Starring: Erina Mano, Toshio Kakei, Seiji Fukushi, Rina Ohta, Shigeru Chiba, Yoshinori Horimoto, Yoshikatsu Fujiki, Toshio Suzuki

This is the fourth in a seven-part series of films that act as a continuation of the Patlabor series which is set in Tokyo of now and comes with a brand new set of characters. Following on from July’s release, episode 6 sees Akira Izumino (Mano) plunged into the latest part of the “A Giant Monster Appears” story-arc and involves a giant mysterious giant sea creature battling the Section 2 Division 2 team who were vacationing at the same seaside. See a mecha and a monster battle! Then, episode 7 sees the gang come under terrorist attack!



Spochan Showdown – The Great Yokai Battle –      Spochan Anime Film Poster

Japanese: スポチャン対決! 妖怪大決戦

Romaji: Spochan Taiketsu! – Yokai Daikessen –

Release Date: August 30th, 2014 (Japan)

Running Time: 70 mins.

Director: Hiroshi Kubo

Writer: Yoh Suzuhiro (Screenplay), Shinobu Fuma (Original Creator)

Starring: Ayahi Takagaki (Jin Kenzaki), Mutsumi Tamura (Kyoji Saeba), Yui Horie (Maya), Asami Shimoda (Kudagitsume), Hiroshi Naka (Nurarihyon),

Humans and yokai once lived in peace together but when a faction inside the yokai camp tried to control humans, a violent conflict ensued inside the yokai camp. Thankfully, a swordsman showed up to teach everyone how to battle without killing each other and now the different sides battle to dictate whether humans will be controlled by yokai or not. There is one final climactic battle that will settle things and a human child will be chosen to command the faction that wants to sae humanity. In steps Jin (Takagaki) who plays sports chanbara (spochan), a sport where kids attack each other with padded weapons. So, he’s an expert!



Idol 7 x 7 Kantoku Vol. 2 Kizu Joshi   Idol 7 x 7 Kantoku Vol. 2 Kizu Joshi Film Poster

Japanese: アイドル7×7監督 vol.2 「傷女子」

Romaji: Aidoru 7×7 Kantoku vol. 2 Kizu Joshi

Release Date: August 30th, 2014 (Japan)

Running Time: 120 mins.

Director: Takayuki Kagawa, Tsuyoshi Koizumi, Takefuji Keiichiro, Machezie Ara, Misaki Nishijri, Kimihiko Nakamura and more

Writer: Takayuki Kagawa, Tsuyoshi Koizumi, Takefuji Keiichiro, Machezie Ara, Misaki Nishijri, Kimihiko Nakamura (Screenplay),

Starring: Ai Okura, Takayo Oyama, Mai Sasaki, Arisa Satou, Minami Sekine, Kaho Taguchi, Kurume Natsume,

Over a year since the last horror-themed omnibus film, we get another and this one is all about “flawed women” – flawed both inside and out. Seven directors tackle multiple segments. Here’s a taste of one:




Magic Knight   Magic Knight Film Poster

Japanese: マジックナイト

Romaji: Jinroh Gemu: Bisutosido

Release Date: August 30th, 2014 (Japan)

Running Time: 67 mins.

Director: Kensaku Miyashita,

Writer: Naoyuki Sakai (Screenplay),

Starring: Ryo Ryusei, Takuya, Motohira Ota, Daiki Ise, Takahisa Maeyama, Ren Ozawa, Yuki Kubota, Daisuke Watanabe, Masanori Ishii, Tomoru Akazawa,

A fat guy gets a magic ring, turns into a pretty boy and hangs out with other pretty boys at a host club in Shinjuku. Who is the magician? How does the ring transform people? What’s with all the tension in the club? Forget all that and all the moral quandries. There are beautiful women to charm!



Mizu no Koe wo Kiku   Mizu no Koe wo Kiku Film Poster

Japanese: 水の声を聞く

Romaji: Mizu no Koe wo Kiku

Release Date: August 30th, 2014 (Japan)

Running Time: 129 mins.

Director: Masashi Yamamoto

Writer: Masashi Yamamoto (Screenplay),

Starring: Natsuko Nakamura, Jun Murakami, Takashi Oda, Gen Sato,

Ooh, a Cinema Impact film. Those guys did Be My Baby (2013) and I recognise some of the actors, too. Jun Murakami is helping out! Awesome!

This one takes place in Korea Town in Tokyo where yakuza roam and is all about a Korean-Japanese woman named Minjon (Hyunri) who comes from a long line of shamans who speacialises in hearing messages from God which are delivered through the water. She listens to people who are mostly outcasts and gives them a response in Korean which they are unable to understand.  Believers keep seeking her out but she has misgivings about how she is exploited by businessmen who use her to found the God’s Water sect and wring money out of people. This group has built up around her and she is ready to leave it behind and do so through her Korean ancestry.


2 thoughts on “Little Forest: Summer & Autumn, Lupin the Third, Tokyo Tribe, Magic Knight, Mizu no Koe wo Kiku and Other Japanese Film Trailers

  1. Lupin III was always going to be a hard one to translate into a live action film but my biggest concern is Meisa Kuroki as Fujiko Mine. She just doesn’t have it in her to be a sneaky, sexy vamp.

    That may sound harsh but even by that trailer I’m not getting the full Fujiko vibe from her. However it will be the male stars who be under the most scrutiny and to again, to be frank, I don’t think there is any actor in Japan who can be as charismatic as Lupin! :-\

    And Tokyo Tribe looks fun – especially as some of my favourite models are in the cast! 😛

    1. That’s the problem with live-action adaptations – real life people can never match the animated characters. I think there has only been two or three films where I have felt that the actors have nailed the roles, otherwise it’s a case of the director being smart enough to utilise their skills in a way to create a new take on a favourite character.

      Tokyo Tribe at the London Film Festival??? If it is, I’ll stand up at the end and pronounce it better than Citizen Kane… which was something I did at the end of Why Don’t You Play in Hell?… Only I was sat down. And mumbled it to a friend. Despite these efforts, I did get a strange look from someone sat on the other side of me.

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