Shinya Shokudo, Joker Game, Maestro!, A Stitch of Life, Gachiban New Generation Part 1, Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio: Ars Nova DC, Arisu no Uta, The Wonderful Adventures of Nils, Kono yo de ore/boku dake, and Other Japanese Film Trailers

Happy weekend, everyone!


I’m excited because this will be the first weekend I have not spent in work for what seems like a year and I am down in London to take part in the Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme to watch My Little Sweet Pea and Bolt from the Blue. Just before that I’ll be visiting the National Gallery (hope the MA strike goes well!) and Royal Academy.

At the time this post goes out I got those films and art exhibitions still to come. I have already watched quite a bit. I’ve added to the films viewed list I started after watching the Swedish crime thriller Headhunters (2011) and the Adam Curtis documentary Bitter Lake (2014). I posted a review of Greatful Dead (2013) earlier this week and I’m struggling to get back into posting news about anime but I’m still watching hours of content.

Enough about me.

What’s programmed for Japanese cinemas this weekend?

Shinya Shokudo    Shinya Shokudo Film Poster

Japanese Title: 映画 深夜食堂

Romaji: Eiga Shinya Shokudo

Release Date: January 31st, 2015 (Japan)

Running Time: 119 mins.

Director: Joji Matsuoka

Writer: Yaro Abe (Original Manga), Katsuhiko Manabe, Joji Matsuoka (Screenplay)

Starring: Kaoru Kobayashi, Saki Takaoka, Joe Odagiri, Ken Mitsuishi, Yutaka Matsushige, Tokio Emoto, Mikako Tabe, Kimiko Yo, Michitaka Tsutsui, Akiko Kikuchi, Risa Sudo, Asako Kobayashi, Mitsuki Tnaimura, Nahoko Yoshimoto, Shohei Uno, the cast list goes on and on…

“懐かしい”(natsukashi). That word will crop up again but it’s adept at describing the feelings of nostalgia and desire brought up as we meet the patrons of a small restaurant. Some are new, some are old but we get to hear their tales of love, heartbreak, failure and success and all the things that make human relations complicated and memorable. This is based on a manga which was adapted into three television series. I watched the first one and can recommend it. The film brings back a lot of the stars from the TV series like Kaoru Kobayashi (The Great Passage), Joe Odagiri (Mushishi) and more, so many more.

There is a small restaurant just off a main street that is run by a man named Master (Kobayashi). When someone leaves a funerary urn he and his customers talk about it…




Joker Game   

Joker Game Film Poster
Joker Game Film Poster

Japanese Title: ジョーカー・ゲーム

Romaji: Jo-ka- Ge-mu

Release Date: January 31st, 2015 (Japan)

Running Time: 108 mins.

Director: Yu Irie

Writer: Koji Yanagi (Original Novel), Yusuke Watanabe (Screenplay)

Starring: Kyoko Fukada, Kazuya Kamenashi, Yusuke Iseya, Ken Mitsuishi, Tetsuya Chiba, Kiyohiko Shibukawa, Hiroshi Yamamoto,

Don’t get this confused with the 2012 teen death game film of the same name! This is a big-budget alternate history flick set in the 1940s where a group of spies from various nations take part in spy games (do spies play anything else?) that take place across Asia. It was filmed in Japan, Singapore and Indonesia stars Kyoko Fukada (Wild 7) and Yusuke Iseya (Thirteen Assassins, Aoshi in Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno), Kazuya Kamenashi (member of pop group KAT-TUN) and Ken Mitsuishi (Noriko’s Dinner Table, Rentaneko/Rent-a-Cat).

It is the eve of World War II and spies from international powers like Japan, the British Empire, the Soviet Union, the radical army in Japan, and Germany are competing against each other in an international city in Asia to get their hands on “Black Note,” a confidential document possessed by the American amabassador to the city. Japan has fielded an unconventional candidate for this mission: Jiro Kato (Kamenashi). He is a soldier facing capitl punishment for refusing to follow a superior’s orders. Scouted by Colonel Yuki (Iseya) for a spy school, he underwent brutal training to get this far but things are about to get tougher when his first mission commences and spies from around the world show up not to mention sexier with the introduction of a mysterious woman named Rin (Fukada)…





Maestro! Film Poster
Maestro! Film Poster

Japanese Title: マエストロ!

Romaji: Maesutoro!

Release Date: January 31st, 2015 (Japan)

Running Time: 129 mins.

Director: Shotaro Kobayashi

Writer: Akira Saso (Original Manga), Satoko Okudera (Screenplay)

Starring: Tori Matsuzaka, Toshiyuki Nishida, Miwa, Yutaka Matsushige, Kyusaku Shimada, Tomoya Nakamura, Mari Hamada, Aoba Kawai, Denden,

Another manga adaptation but no silliness. This trailer looks like fun. Melodramatic in places. It’s based on a long-running manga series and adapted for the screen by Satoko Okudera (The Wolf Children). Yutaka Matsushige, the psychotic killer from The Guard from Underground is in this and his name is the one which made me smile. Imagine a film where an orchestra are stalked by an emotionless sumo wrestler from hell who plays the viola…

When the members of a disbanded get back together again they find they cannot play together! There is no harmony between the different musicians! Then a mysterious conductor named Tetsusaburo Tendou (Nishida) appears and, despite some resistance from the orchestra members, he gets them working together again through his unique style which helps them get over traumas and recover their confidence. All except concertmaster Shinichi Kousaka (Matsuzaka). Can he get back to his prime?




A Stitch of Life    

A Stitch of Life Film Poster
A Stitch of Life Film Poster

Japanese Title: 繕い裁つ人

Romaji: Tsukuroi Tatsu Hito

Release Date: January 31st, 2015 (Japan)

Running Time: 104 mins.

Director: Yukiko Mishima

Writer: Aoi Ikebe (Original Manga), Tamio Hayashi (Screenplay)

Starring: Miki Nakatani, Takahiro Miura, Kimiko Yo, Haru Kuroki, Masato Ibu, Hana Sugisaki, Mie Nakao,

Despite being based on a manga, this isn’t one about schoolboys with nosebleeds spying on pretty girls or supernatural battles, it’s a drama. The music, sets, costumes all scream nostalgia and yearning. I think of the Japanese word “懐かしい”(natsukashi). Whenever I think of that words being said, it is the voice of an old man with a gentle smile and deep voice, “natsukashiiiiiii”. I doubt this film will travel outside of Japan. It stars Miki Nakatani (Zero Focus, The World of Kanako), who isn’t cast as a villain but someone who brings people together…

Ichi (Nakatani) takes over her grandmother’s dressmaking shop but instead of making changes to her new business she follows the old ways by using old fashioned sewing machines and lots of care and attention. This makes the clothes she creates very popular and soon people from far and wide come to visit and she gets involved in their lives…




Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio: Ars Nova DC   

Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio Ars Nova DC Film Poster
Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio Ars Nova DC Film Poster

Japanese Title: 蒼き鋼のアルペジオアルス・ノヴァ– DC

Romaji: Aoki Hagane no Arupejio – Arusu Noba- DC

Release Date: January 31st, 2015 (Japan)

Running Time: 119 mins.

Director: Seiji Kishi

Writer: Ark Performance (Original Manga), Makoto Uezu (Screenplay)

Starring: Mai Fuchigami (Iona), Kazuyuki Okitsu (Gunzo Chihaya), Manami Numakura (Takao), Ayaka Fukuhara (Myoko), M.A.O (Hiei), Rina Hidaka (I-400),

There are two Arpeggio of Blue Steel movies coming out and this is a first. This acts as a recap of the TV series while the second is brand new content.

In Arpeggio of Blue Steel, humanity has lost a large quantity of its developed land as a result of global warming. They then lose the seas when a “Fleet of Fog” appears all over the world and overwhelms humanity. Seventeen years later, Gunzo Chihaya and his crewmates find themselves comandeering a “Fleet of Fog” submarine and together with the submarine’s “mental model”, they take the fight back to the Fleet of Fog.



hide ALIVE THE MOVIE hide Indian Summer Special 2015 Edition   

hide ALIVE THE MOVIE hide Indian Summer Special 2015 Edition Film Poster
hide ALIVE THE MOVIE hide Indian Summer Special 2015 Edition Film Poster

Japanese Title: hide ALIVE THE MOVIE hide Indian Summer Special 2015 Edition

Romaji: hide ALIVE THE MOVIE hide Indian Summer Special 2015 Edition

Release Date: January 31st, 2015 (Japan)

Running Time: 137 mins.

Director: N/A

Writer: N/A

Starring: hide

hide ALIVE THE MOVIE hide Indian Summer Special 2015 Edition is an updated version of a 2013 film about hide, a guiatarist and solo artist famous for hs work with X Japan. The new version has unseen footage. The above trailer is for the 2013 film.




Gachiban New Generation Part 1    

Gachiban New Generation Part 1 Film Poster
Gachiban New Generation Part 1 Film Poster

Japanese Title: ガチバン NEW GENERATION

Romaji: Gachiban New Generation

Release Date: January 31st, 2015 (Japan)

Running Time: 83 mins.

Director: Motoki Takashi

Writer: Masao Iketani (Screenplay)

Starring: Sho Jinnai, Kousuke Yonehara, Hideya Tawada, Megumi Nitta, Daigo (Chidori), Keita Uehara, Jo Hyuuga,

I still haven’t caught up with the 20-something films in the Gachiban series which was created as a spoof of Crows Zero and involves handsome guys in OTT fights. Gachiban info can be found here at 13oysandm3n.




I want you to be here Soar    

Anata ni Witehoshii Soar Film Poster
Anata ni Witehoshii Soar Film Poster

Japanese Title: あなたにゐてほしい Soar

Romaji: Anata ni Witehoshii Soar

Release Date: January 31st, 2015 (Japan)

Running Time: 98 mins.

Director: Masato Hara

Writer:  Itara Imadegawa, Masato Hara (Screenplay)

Starring: Maori Kannonzaki, Dai Nagasawa, Takao Satomura, Mari Nakamura, Seijun Suzuki,

This film is set in the 1950’s and is about a woman who lost her fiance in the war who lives in a small mountain village which is seeing televisions entering it for the first time. She remains a force of positivity. Director Masato Hara also operated the camera and scored the music.


Alice no Uta / Alice’s Song   

Alice no Uta Film Poster
Alice no Uta Film Poster

Japanese Title: アリスノウタ

Romaji: Arisu no Uta

Release Date: January 31st, 2015 (Japan)

Running Time: 82 mins.

Director: Koji Motegi

Writer: Koji Motegi (Screenplay)

Starring: Haru Sakurai, Natsumi Ishido, Naoko Kishimoto, Kasumi Matsuura, Asanori Mishina, Koji Motegi, Yuka Motohashi,

Alice is about to make her debut as a singer but she has trouble with the people surrounding her…



The Wonderful Adventures of Nils   

The Wonderful Adventures of Nils Film Poster
The Wonderful Adventures of Nils Film Poster

Japanese Title: ニルスのふしぎな旅

Romaji: Nirusu no Fushigi Tabi

Release Date: January 31st, 2015 (Japan)

Running Time: 97 mins.

Chief Director: Hisayuki Toriumi

Director: Mamoru Oshii, Masami Anno, Yuji Nunokawa,

Writer: Selma Lagerlof (Original Creator), Akira Nakahara (Screenplay)

Starring: Mami Koyama (Nils), Yu Yamazaki (Carrot), Yoshito YAsuhara (Morton), Kei Tomiyama (Rex), Nobuko Terashima (ACCA),

According to Anime News Network, there was a movie adaptation of a TV show called The Wonderful Adventures of Nils which was based upon the works of Swedish author Selma Lagerlof but that film was never theatrically screened. This makes today’s screening the first ever and it is part of Tokyo Northern Lights Festival which is dedicated to showing works from or about Nordic countries which looks like everything from Dogma films from Von Trier to The Moomins.

Nils Holgersson is a young boy on a farm who is cruel to the animals. But when he catches the farm’s little goblin it becomes one prank too many. He is magically shrunk and suddenly the farm animals are out for revenge. He flees on the back of the goose Morten with a hamster named Carrot and they join up with a flock of wild geese. Together they travel all over Sweden, with Nils hoping to find a way to become big again. (Synopsis from Anime News Network)




Kono yo de ore/boku dake   

Kono yo de ore boku dake Film Poster
Kono yo de ore boku dake Film Poster

Japanese Title: この世で俺/僕だけ

Romaji: Kono yo de ore/boku dake

Release Date: January 31st, 2015 (Japan)

Running Time: 109 mins.

Director: Sho Tsukikawa

Writer: Akihiro Murase (Screenplay)

Starring: Makita Sports, Sosuke Ikematsu, Shiro Sano, Akina Minami, Taku Suzuki, asako Chiba, Tsutomu Takahashi,Toru Nomaguchi,

SOUND THE ALARM! A FILM BASED ON AN ORIGINAL IDEA! Someone get this to Raindance, pronto. Anyway, actor and all-round entertainer Makita Sports (the schlubby singer in The Drudgery Train) and up-and-coming actor Sosuke Ikematsu (How Selfish I Am!, Paper Moon) play a mismatched-pair in a case of a kidnapping.

Hiroshi Ito (Makita) is a middle-aged salaryman. Koga Kuroda (Ikematsu) is a high school delinquent. The two inadvertently intervene in a case of a kidnapping of a politician’s child, rescuing it from a car owned by the yakuza that was in trouble who are trying to influence the decision on whether the city should be redeveloped or not. What do you think happens? Hiroshi and Koga get called the kidnappers and get chased by both criminals and police while trying to deliver the baby to the politician, Taizo Okuma (Nomaguchi). It’s a comedy so hilarity ensues as can be seen in the trailer.




Nakadai Tatsuya ‘Yakusha’ o Ikiru   

Nakadai Tatsuya ‘Yakusha’ o Ikiru Film Poster
Nakadai Tatsuya ‘Yakusha’ o Ikiru Film Poster

Japanese Title: 仲代達矢 「役者」を生きる

Romaji: Nakadai Tatsuya ‘Yakusha’ o Ikiru

Release Date: January 31st, 2015 (Japan)

Running Time: 90 mins.

Director: Hidetaka Inazuka

Writer: N/A

Starring: Tatsuya Nakadai, Chisa Nishiyama, Masako Yamamoto,

Tatsuya Nakadai is a legend. He’s worked with many of the great golden age directors such as Akira Kurosawa, Masaki Kobayashi, Kon Ichikawa and Hiroshi Teshigahara, and Keisuke Kinoshita (head over to this site for what seems to be the first few in a series of reviews of films by this director). We’re talking, Kwaidan, Yojimbo, When a Woman Ascends the Stairs, Sword of Doom and the list goes on. I haven’t even mentioned his theatre appearances (which I know little about) but with 150 films to his name, he is a legend. And now this legend gets a documentary film which looks at his acting on stage and on screen. Check out his Wikipedia page for a great overview. Interestingly enough, a few of the films at this years Berlin Film Festival have him in the lead. Come back Monday to find out which ones.



Halser Acre The Movie Acre-zu    

Halser Acre the Movie FIlm Poster
Halser Acre the Movie FIlm Poster

Japanese Title: ハルサーエイカー THE MOVIE エイカーズ

Romaji: Haruse-eika- The Movie Eika-zu

Release Date: January 31st, 2015 (Japan)

Running Time: 93 mins.

Director: Tsukasa Kishimoto

Writer: Tsukasa Koshimoto, Yuki Yamamoto (Screenplay)

Starring: AKINA, Moeko Fukuda, Satoshi Chinen, Tomoji Yamashiro, Kenta Nakaza

Halser Acre was a television show originally broadcast in Okinawa in 2012 and orchestrated by director Tsukasa Kishimoto (you may remember her from the quirky 2013 martial arts dance comedy, Dancing Karate Kid). Halser Acres looks to draw heavily on traditions Okinawa. It’s all about a team of super heroes who draw their power from nature. Looks like fun.


Random Music Video:

11 thoughts on “Shinya Shokudo, Joker Game, Maestro!, A Stitch of Life, Gachiban New Generation Part 1, Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio: Ars Nova DC, Arisu no Uta, The Wonderful Adventures of Nils, Kono yo de ore/boku dake, and Other Japanese Film Trailers

  1. Joker Game looks fantastic. Did you know that music composer will be doing the music for Trigun author’s newest series turned anime adaptation in April “Blockade Battlefront”? The score to joker game which I’ve heard samples of oozes with cool.

    1. Joker Game looks alright but I’m more interested in Shinya Shokudo and some of the smaller, more independent films.

      I’m so behind on anime news because I have been distracted/busy. I’ll have to check out Blockade Battlefront.

      1. Shinya Shokudo is the name of a book that was adapted into a TV series three times and now has a film. The first series was pretty good but I haven’t seen the others.

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