Ao Haru Ride, Aikatsu!, Yume Haruka, Two Homelands, One Love – Lee Joong-Seop’s Wife -, And the Mud Ship Sails Away, Kamen Rider × Kamen Rider Drive & Gaim: Movie War Full Throttle Japanese Film Trailers

Cold in July Hall, Johnson, ShephardThe year is winding down now so theatrical releases are getting thin on the ground. Give it a month and we’ll be back to 10+ a week and I’ll be crying over how little time I have and how I wish I was working with someone again.

As far as my movie/anime viewing goes, I went to see Wong Kar-Wai’s latest film, The Grandmaster, and was wowed by Parasyte yet again. Gugure!! Kokkuri-san is shaping up to be one of the best anime of the year ad I expected cheap laughs. I also reviewed Cold in July and previewed Hana to Arisu: Satsujin Jiken.

 What’s released in Tokyo cinemas this weekend?

Ao Haru Ride   Ao Haru Ride Film Poster

Japanese Title: アオ ハラ ライド

Romaji: Ao Hara Raido

Release Date: December 13th, 2014

Running Time: 122 mins.

Director: Takahiro Miki

Writer: Tomoko Yoshida (Screenplay), Io Sakisaka (Original Manga)

Starring: Tsubasa Honda, Masahiro Higashide, Yua Shinkawa, Ryo Yoshizawa, Izumi Fujimoto, Mitsuki Takahahta, Airi Tazume, Yudai Chiba, Yu Koyanagi,

That poster tagline:

The scent of air. After the rain…

I heard your pulse. I saw the light.

Sigh The lead actors Masahiro Higashide (The Kirishima Thing) and and Tsubasa Honda (Rakugo Eiga, Enoshima Prism) who are perfectly cast for this adaptation of a shoujo manga which has already had an anime adaptation which I didn’t watch because I am not shoujo. I am seinen. Expect lots of confessions of love and tears and misunderstandings before best couple get together in a drama directed by Takahiro Miki, a guy with nothing but shoujo/novel adaptations to his name like Hot Road and We Were There! and Girl in the Sunny Place.

Middle school students Futaba Yoshioka and Kou Tanaka had crushes on each other. She liked him because he was unlike the other boys and quite gentle. Then Kou Tanaka then moved away and changed schools and they lost contact.

Four years later…

Futaba Yoshioka is a sophmore at her high school and she meets Kou Tanaka again. Kou Tanaka’s name has changed to Kou Mabuchi and his personality seems different from his middle school days, colder and unfriendly… Just what happened? Futaba finds out…



Aikatsu!   Aikatsu! Film Poster

Japanese Title: 劇場版アイカツ! 

Romaji: Gekijouban Aikatsu!

Release Date: December 13th, 2014

Running Time: 89 mins.

Director: Yuichiro Yano

Writer: Yoichi Kato (Screenplay)

Starring: Sumire Morohoshi (Ichigo Hoshimiya), Shino Shimoji (Akari Ozora), Azusa Tadokoro (Aoi Kiriya), Ayaka Ohashi (Ran Shibuki), Aya Suzuki (Mikuru Natsuki), Minako Kotobuki (Mizuki Kanzaki),

This is based on a TV anime which is popular with elementary schoolgirls so I’ll quickly write a synopsis about this and go back to writing pretentious stuff about ‘mature’ anime like Ping Pong and crying over various scenes for an end of year post at Anime UK News…

Ichigo, the main protag, was just a normal middle school student until she got to enter the world of idols and fins herself taking part in the greatest “Super Live” convert to be held in Japan, the Dai Star Miya Ichigo Matsuri. She now has to take part in press coferences and extra lessons to be the greatest idol in town…

Apparently, there are 50 episodes in the first season!!!



Yume Haruka   Yume Haruka Film Poster

Japanese Title: ゆめはるか

Romaji: Yume Haruka

Release Date: December 13th, 2014

Running Time: 108 mins.

Director: Toshihiro Goto

Writer: Toshihiro Goto (Screenplay), Io Sakisaka (Original Manga)

Starring: Miyu Yoshimoto, Michi Yamamura, Jun Toba, Nanase Iwai, Minami Takahashi, Koichi Yamadera, Fuyuna Asakura,

A year since his last film, Yume no Kayoji, Toshihiro Goto is back with another tale…

Haruka Honda (Yoshimoto) is on track to become a star sprinter when she collapses after a dizzy spell. Medical tests follow and she is diagnosed as having a brain tumor. Her family, friends, and doctor rally around her to offer support as she risks losing her dream of being a super athlete.



Two Homelands, One Love – Lee Joong-Seop’s Wife –   Two Homelands, One Love – Lee Joong-Seop’s Wife - Film Poster

Japanese Title: ふたつの祖国、ひとつの愛 イ・ジュンソプの妻

Romaji: Futatsu no Sokoku, Hitotsu no Ai i Junsopu no Tsuma

Release Date: December 13th, 2014

Running Time: 8o mins.

Director: Atsuko Sakai

Writer: N/A

Starring: Masako Yamamoto, Yasunari Yamamoto,

A year since his last film, Yume no Kayoji, Toshihiro Goto is back with another tale…

Lee Jung-Seob died at the age of 40 in 1956 but his life was packed with incident. He studied art in Japan at a time when Korea was occupied, he married a Japanese girl named Masako Yamamoto despite the problems of the two nations. When Korea achieved independence, he took his family to the country but he was separated from his family by the Korean war when his wife took their sons and fled the war for their safety. Tragedy awaited him just as he was on the cusp of fame. Fast forward to 2013 an Masako follows his trail from where she last saw him on Jeju Island to Seoul and meets people he came into contact with.



And the Mud Ship Sails Away      And the Mudship Sails Away Film Poster

Japanese Title: そして泥船はゆ

Romaji: soshite doro-sen wa yuku

Running Time: 88 mins.

Director: Hirobumi Watanabe

Writer: Hirobumi Watanabe (Screenplay)

Starring: Kiyohiko Shibukawa, Kaori Iida, Ayasuna Takahashi, Mina Takeda, Hitoshi Suzuki,

I saw this indie gem at the Raindance Film Festival and own it on DVD after backing the New Directors from Japan Kickstarter. I met the director and producer and they were cool cats. This film is also a cool experience that goes from Jim Jarmusch style dry humour into an entirely loopy space. You won’t see what’s coming!

Takashi is 36 years old, unemployed and completely aimless. He lives with his grandmother, repeating the same routine – game centre, bowling center, watching TV – day after day. This suddenly changes when Yuka shows up, claiming to be his half-sister. Confronted with a new situation, Takashi decides to change his life…




Kamen Rider × Kamen Rider Drive & Gaim: Movie War Full Throttle   Kamen Rider × Kamen Rider Drive & Gaim Movie War Full Throttle Film Poster

Japanese Title: 仮面ライダー×仮面ライダー ドライブ&鎧武(ガイム) MOVIE大戦フルスロットル

Romaji: Kamen Raida × Kamen Raida Doraibu& Yoroi Take (Gaimu) Mubi Taisen Furu Surottoru

Release Date: December 13th, 2014

Running Time: 93 mins.

Director: Takayuki Shibasaki

Writer: Jin Haganeya, Riku Sanjo (Screenplay), Shotaro Ishinomori (Original Concept)

Starring: Gaku Sano, Yutaka Kobayashi, Mahiro Takasugi, Yuumi Shida, Yuki Kubota, Ryoma Takeuchi, Rio Uchida, Taiko Katoono, Shota Matsushima,

Thank God there are other sites that cover the Kamen Rider franchise because I never know what’s going on and my terrible translation skills leave me even more lost. Must practice Japanese more. Here’s info dug up from!

Gaim, in his last screen appearance! Drive, in his greatest case!

Fighting with the strength of all the different Riders from each generation, this “Movie War” will inherit their spirit of justice. Now, a new page will be carved in history…

Kamen Rider Gaim will face a shocking climax head-on. At the end of the last stage is a magnificent debut to anticipate.

The new warrior, Kamen Rider Drive, investigates the appearance of a law-breaking “car.” As the Detective Rider, he will face this strange and difficult case!

And when two people manifest on the joint front, a phantasmagorical nonstop Fruit-Car Battle explodes!

Is this the destiny of one who becomes a Kamen Rider?

For freedom, for peace, the door to the next era will be opened!

What the heck did I copy and paste from scifijapan? Is that the synopsis?


That’s enough trauma for you this weekend. Here’s a random music video:

19 thoughts on “Ao Haru Ride, Aikatsu!, Yume Haruka, Two Homelands, One Love – Lee Joong-Seop’s Wife -, And the Mud Ship Sails Away, Kamen Rider × Kamen Rider Drive & Gaim: Movie War Full Throttle Japanese Film Trailers

  1. Sagisaka Io is actually one of the few outstanding shoujo writers. As in, her heroines aren’t brainless damsels in distress, and her characters generally aren’t one dimensional but varied individuals with flaws. She also has tackled taboos (she had a lesbian character in one her one-shots – and I don’t a yuri-style approach here).

    That said, Ao Haru Ride isn’t her best manga – I have found it quite average. Strobe Edge is her best work, to me it’s what shoujo mangas should be like. It’s very realistic, and the sort of story that can actually help a teenage girl (rather than create unrealistic illusions like most shoujo do). Strobe Edge is getting a live-action adaptation as well, but sadly with the completely wrong cast (wish Higashide were the lead in that one). On the whole, I am not optimistic about either live-action adaptation, they seem to be always very light-weight, superficially adapted kind of films that are made for fans (more so of the actors than of the manga I would argue)… which is something that rarely works well. We saw the same with Koukou Debut, which is a great shoujo manga but lost all its charm in film-form. That’s what is very likely to happen here too. Oh well. I’m sure they’ll rake in money from all the fangirls/fanboys and then continue making films of this sort…

      1. I’m not going to watch it either. I watched the trailer for Strobe Edge and it made me want to cry. Nothing of Strobe Edge’s charm was left, just another teenage with an unrequited crush on the ever so perfect guy (the lead guy in that shoujo is in fact a loner that struggles with social interactions & a math geek).

        Too bad, because good shoujo mangas are few and far in between, and then they make those few good ones into awful live-action films. *sigh*

      2. Is there a dorama?

        The anime was lovely, a dorama could be wonderful (if made by the right director, with the right cast) – dorama adaptations are generally better for mangas anyhow, because at least there is more time to tell the story.

      3. No, there isn’t a dorama, I was just wondering if you thought one would work. I watched Natsuyuki Rendezvous and, as you have already stated, it would work really well as a dorama.

      4. By the way, if you’ve got nothing to do during the Christmas holidays, you should come to London to watch the Usagi Yojimbo theatre adaptation at the Southwark Playhouse. Dai is in it! (I’m working on a review.) It’s on until Jan 4th.

      5. Yep! It’s a small cast (5 plus a musician), so you see lots of everyone. I’ll have my review out by the coming weekend.

        Are you familiar with the manga?

      6. Hmm, I have a vague idea about the manga but I never dipped into it. The closest I have ever got? I grew up reading chanbara like Lone Wolf and Cub. Nowhere near.

  2. “a shoujo manga which has already had an anime adaptation which I didn’t watch because I am not shoujo.”

    I am not shoujo either but I watched it! 😛

    It was quite fun actually although the humour aspect of the it will be lost in the live-action version purely because anime allows you to get away with such abstract asides.

    I also worry that the drama aspect will be heavy handed and overly sentimental since it involves love triangles and broken friendships which the anime had time to play out with the right amount of emotional build; the film I am sure will turn it into a vapid tear fest thus losing the heart of the anime.

    1. This is me being flippant, I’ve watched shoujo and josei, I’ve been intrigued by supernatural romances and traumatised by yaoi. I just can’t shakes the idea that Ao Haru Ride has little going on to justify sinking any time into it.

      Judging from the trailer, it looks sentimental and melodramatic.

      1. The film might be all slush but the anime covers a lot of ground (natch, as it has more time) and is full of great exaggerated comedy moments. Not a must-see show by any stretch but a perfectly serviceable throwaway one to watch at least once if nothing else grabs your fancy – it’s that kind of series. 🙂

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