ST MPD Scientific Investigation Squad, Psycho-Pass Movie, Strike Witches: Operation Victory Arrow Vol. 2 Goddess of the Aegean Sea, ITECHO 凍蝶圖鑑, The Next Generation Patlabor Chapter 7 Japanese Film Trailers

Hello dear audience! I hope you are well!

ST MPD Scientific Investigation Squad Film ImageWinter has finally arrived in the UK with cold temperatures, rain and powerful winds wracking the nation. That’s a good excuse to stay indoors when not going to work so this week I have had the pleasure of watching a whole lot of anime – Tokyo Ghoul season 2, Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE!, Yurikuma Arashi, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders Battle in Egypt, and Parasyte. Looking back on the TV anime aired already, there is a lot on offer for a wide variety of people and my weekly viewing is going to be packed. On top of those shows, I’m also watching Ghost Hound, Samurai 7 and The Real Ghostbusters.

In terms of films I watched As Above So Below (2014), the Japanese horror film Greatful Dead (2013), and The 39 Steps (1935, Dir: Alfred Hitchcock) – I love this film and have it on DVD. I posted about the Japanese Film Posters from 2014 and started writing reviews for the anime I watched last year.

What’s released in cinemas in Japan this weekend?

ST MPD Scientific Investigation Squad   

ST MPD Scientific Investigation Squad Film Poster
ST MPD Scientific Investigation Squad Film Poster

Japanese: ST赤と白の捜査ファイル

Romaji: ST Aka to Shiro no

Release Date: January 10th, 2015 (Japan)

Running Time: 110 mins.

Director: Toya Sato

Writer: Bin Konno (Original Novel), Yusuke Watanabe (Screenplay),

Starring: Tatsuya Fujiwara, Masaki Okada, Mirai Shida, Masataka Kubota, Sei Ashina, Hiroki Miyake, Atsuro Watabe, Asaka Seto, Kento Hayashi, Yuki Shibamoto,

Oh yeah, more of the ST antics and on the big screen. There have been two TV seasons of this rather amusing and nice detective dorama where the guys chasing the criminals are super intelligent but have all sorts of social quirks. It looks like more of the same but fans of the dorama (like me) will probably be very happy with that especially with more of Tatsuya Fujiwara (Battle Royale) and Masaki Okada (The Lightning Tree) doing their double-act!

The Scientific Taskforce from the Metropolitan Police Department is back and the super genius (and also super awkward due to social phobias) Akagi (Fujiwara) and his good-natured police partner Yurine (Okada). When a hacker uses a computer virus to start a prison break and a corpse is discovered, Akagi is blamed and locked up and the ST group are disbanded! Yurine believes Akagi is innocent and tracks down a woman named Naomi who may know the hacker who created the virus.

Website

Psycho-Pass Movie   

Psycho-Pass The Movie Poster
Psycho-Pass The Movie Poster

Japanese: 劇場版 サイコパス

Romaji: Gekijouban Saiko Pasu

Release Date: January 09th, 2015 (Japan)

Running Time: 110 mins.

Chief Director: Katsuyuki Motohiro, Director: Naoyoshi Shiotani

Writer: Gen Urobuchi, Makoto Fukami (Screenplay),

Starring: Kana Hanazawa (Akane Tsunemori), Ayane Sakura (Mika Shimotsuki), Tomokazu Seki (Shinya Kougami), Shizuka Itou (Yayoi Kunizuka), Kenji Nojima (Nobuchika Ginoza), Kazuhiro Yamaji (Jouji Saiga),

The second season of Psycho-Pass was disappointing. It was essentially a retread of the first but with a set of dumber crimes. Gone were the amazing antagonist Shogo Makashima and the gripping strained father/son dynamics between the members of the detective squad. Even the animation and music seemed bad. It wasn’t an awful television show but the first season was so good that it felt like a major drop in quality. Part of the problem can be attributed to the fact that the writer Gen Urobuchi left his project in the hands of writers who are less talented and the animation studio Production I.G weren’t animating. Nope, I.G was making this film. Trailer and synopsis from Anime News Network:

Year 2116—The Japanese government begins to export the Sibyl System unmanned drone robots to troubled countries, and the system spreads throughout the world. A state in the midst of a civil war, SEAUn (the South East Asia Union), brings in the Sibyl System as an experiment. Under the new system, the coastal town of Shambala Float achieves temporary peace and safety. But then SEAUn sends terrorists to Japan. They slip through the Sibyl System and then attack from within. The shadow of a certain man falls on this incident. In charge of the police, Tsunemori travels to Shambala Float to investigate. The truth of justice on this new ground will become clear.

Judging by the plot, we can pretend the second season never happened and pretend we’re at the end of the first. I’m all for that! Also, check out the website which is fantastic.

Website

Strike Witches: Operation Victory Arrow Vol. 2   Goddess of the Aegean Sea

Japanese: ストライクウィッチーズOperation Victory Arrow Vol 2 エーゲ海の女神

Romaji: Sutoraiku Uicchi-zu Operation Victory Arrow Vol 2 E-ge umi no megami

Release Date: January 10th, 2015 (Japan)

Running Time: 55 mins.

Director: Kazuhiro Takamura

Original Creator:  Huikane Shimada

Starring: Kaori Nazuka as Lynette Bishop, Saori Seto as Mio Sakamoto, Ami Koshimizu as Charlotte E Yaeger, Misato Fukuen as Yoshika Miyafuji, Chiwa Saito as Francesca Lucchini,

The episode will be the second of three 30-minute short OVAs that take place at the end of the second TV series which depicted the lives of the members who returned to their respective homes and before the 2012 Strike Witches movie. (according to Anime News Network).

Website

The Next Generation Patlabor Chapter 7       

The Next Generation Patlabor Chapter 7 Film Poster
The Next Generation Patlabor Chapter 7 Film Poster

Japanese: THE NEXT GENERATION パトレイバー第7

Romaji: THE NEXT GENERATION PatlaborDai 7Shou

Release Date: January 10th, 2015 (Japan)

Running Time: N/A

Director: Mamoru Oshii

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

Starring: Erina Mano, Toshio Kakei, Seiji Fukushi, Rina Ohta, Shigeru Chiba, Yoshinori Horimoto, Yoshikatsu Fujiki, Hinako Saeki, Daisuke Takashi,

The 07th Chapter of the new live-action Patlabor series contains the 12th and final episode of Patlabor and preps the movie which gets a release on May 01st (during Golden Week). The last episode has the title “Ooinaru Isan” (Great Expectations) and is told as a sequel to the 1993 anime film Patlabor 2 (one of my top ten films of all time). The focus seems to be Yukihito Tsuge, the main antagonist in Patlabor 2. This final episode is scheduled to be screened at selected Japanese theaters for limited time of two weeks from January 10, 2015.

Here’s a teaser for the film:

Website

ITECHO 凍蝶圖鑑   

ITECHO 凍蝶圖鑑 Film Poster
ITECHO 凍蝶圖鑑 Film Poster

Japanese: ITECHO 凍蝶圖鑑

Romaji: ITECHO 凍蝶圖鑑

Release Date: January 10th, 2015 (Japan)

Running Time: 75 mins.

Director: Yukio Tanaka

Writer: N/A

Starring: N/A

This documentary is all about “sexual minorities” some of whom we may normally see mocked in films and not taken too seriously in general because of the titillation factor and what not. In order to explore the term the director lets different people tell their stories. I could try and interpret the tales told but I’d rather let the website’s English language page elaborate and the trailer, too. There are more stories on the site which is worth checking out just to see the range of people involved.

:

The film starts in a homeless encampment on the banks of the Yodo river, in Osaka.

A makeshift barrack, with a great view of Osaka’s skyscrapers, serves as a shelter for a homeless man. Dogs and ducks are his roommates. An LGBT group held a BBQ party called “Kansai Refugee Day” here. Miro Daikokudo, a gay man who organized the party, says “Gays cannot deliver children. Instead, we deliver arts. I want to revive underground the culture of the Showa-era. (1926-1989)” The camera follows Miro, who is also a comic-book artist/event producer/bar owner, showing his roots in Shin-sekai, a neighborhood in the south of Osaka known for its erotic spots. Miro is the key character connecting people who appear in the film.

Atsushi Tani’s photograph exhibition takes place in Paris

Atsushi had a successful exhibition, ”Histoire de l’oeil,” at the Eroticism Museum in Paris. He showed thirty-six of his works and all of them sold. The camera follows his visit to Auvers-surOise, where Van Gogh died, along with Yoshifumi Hayashi, an artist living in Paris.

Diedrich’s visit to a hidden temple

Diedrich visits Ishidoji temple, which has tons of stone-buddhas and stone-pagodas. “I’ve always looked up to non-human beings. I don’t want to live either as a man or as a woman. I just want to live as Diedrich, that is me.” Every evening, Diedrich changes his dress to drag, wears make-up, and goes to work at a bar.

HORI-SHLA

HORISHLA became a tattoo artist after spending three years in jail. He asks young customers what it means for them to get tattoos, “Tatoos are not just about fashion. Are you ready to have this in your whole life?” I have a deep inferiority complex. I am a pessimist.

Rubber and Wet & Messy fetishes

“Underline” has a rubber fetish. He really likes the skin-like feeling of rubber. Ai’s fetish is getting wet and messy. They both like being wrapped or covered. The camera got into one of their events, where many young people gather.

A French woman fascinated by Japanese rope arts

Vivienne has been living in Japan for 13 years. She is fascinated by Kinbaku-bi, or beauty of tight binding. She performs around the world with her husband who is a body modification artist. In this documentary, we see footage of her show in a traditional house in Kyoto.

Website

Aaaaaaaaaaand that’s it for badly translated trailers.ST MPD Scientific Investigation Squad Tetsuya Fujiwara

Not so random music videos, the opening titles for Tokyo Ghoul Season 2 and Yurikuma Arashi, two brilliant openers to start the year with:

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7 thoughts on “ST MPD Scientific Investigation Squad, Psycho-Pass Movie, Strike Witches: Operation Victory Arrow Vol. 2 Goddess of the Aegean Sea, ITECHO 凍蝶圖鑑, The Next Generation Patlabor Chapter 7 Japanese Film Trailers

  1. What a relief, at first I was afraid everything I like would be considered a sexual minority. I must be normal because I didn’t see anything in ITECHO that had anything to do with sexuality.

    Maybe the players there should not be classified as “sexual minorities” because what they are doing has nothing to do with sex. Perhaps they should be re-classified as “extreme sports” like bungee jumping or break-dancing, or “weird hobbies” such as model train building, or people that watch that American TV show where Donald Trump fires people. None of that is sex, even if they say it is.

    Yuri Kuma Arashi? That is another story. Lesbian bears toe-sucking is NORMAL in my book.

    1. I did wonder about the write-up for the trailer and used the ” ” because people are very sensitive over issues such as this.

      I visited Wikipedia to check out the term and it is clear that the documentary is exploring the complex issues brought up by it by showing the lives of various people who fall under the label.

      The director Yukio Tanaka wants to challenge public opinions this very issue and so he explores different aspects by interviewing people who would be considered minorities.The doc features straight, gay, asexual, fetishists, transgender and while some may see his conflating all these issues together as problematic, you need to watch the documentary first because it sounds like he’s trying to show them as part of society and not some sexual other that we normally see mocked or shunned.

      Aaahhh Yurikuma Arashi and its sapphic love… I hope it’s for more than just for titillation. I think the story is working up to some commentary of some sort. It’s great to see such gorgeous and challenging anime being made.

      I just watched Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure this morning (my usual Saturday morning routine when it’s airing) and it has an awesome ED:

  2. Yuri Kuma Arashi has an awesome opening, as well as Death Parade’s rather misleading opening. The song is awesome and can’t wait to check out more. For the Psycho-Pass film I am curious how the creators will handle the story after that mess that was made by Tatsunoko Productions and Tow Ubukata for season 2. Good to see I.G. back in the production of the film. Patlabor I’ve never seen the live action stuff, and I’m sure I should. The premise for them sound intriguing and the new film being helmed by the Urusei Yatsura and Sky Crawlers director…awesome!

    1. Death Parade’s upbeat opening is my favourite of the season. It’s a great piece of misdirection and a fun song at the same time! It makes Yurikuma Arashi look like it’s trying too hard (which it is!).

      I hope nobody in the Psycho-Pass film even mentions season 2. That way we can all forget about it. I await the reviews!

      Mamoru Oshii is one of my favourite writers/directors and probably the first anime director whose work I learned about back in the 90s/early 2000s. Patlabor, Sky Crawlers, Ghost in the Shell, and much more but those titles… what a great filmography! The live-action Patlabor looks good and I want to watch it at some point.

      1. I agree oshii is fantastic and i cant wait to see those films! While Yuri Kuma Arashi might have a trying too hard feel to it: this is certainly Ikuhara’s influence at throwing tons of symbolism at its viewer and with this series its focus on bears and this idea of temptation between girls. Haha the season 2 of Psycho-Pass i wholeheartedly agree! What a mess it was and i do hope that the film can erase it by improving over it and enhancing what made the first season so good!

      2. I love Mawaru Penguindrum a lot but Yurikuma Arashi was a whole other level of “WHAT IS HAPPENING?” and it was distracting at times. I really hope this isn’t a case of Ikuhara falling into the whole, “more style and less substance” trap that some auteurs get trapped in…

      3. Ikuhara is know for using more symbolism as a trend of getting a story across. However, i feel with Yuri Kuma Arashi is a mold of both Utena and Mawaru Penguindrum in that it takes Utena’s themes about women: blossoming love, beauty and honor and revitalizes Yuri Kuma Arashi by using Penguindrum’s subject matter of thrilling the audience with perplexing patterns of reading between the lines. So im curious as to how this show will play out concerning these ideas.

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