La La La At Rock Bottom / Misono Universe, Little Forest: Winter Spring, The Mourner, A Man’s Life, Murder on D Street, Magic Dolphin and Other Japanese Film Trailers

Hello dear readers! I hope I find you well!

Shindo Riko Narumi as Uta Naruse

I haven’t been up to much except work and watching films. I have a huge backlog of reviews to whittle down for my own site and I’m spending a lot of time going through them. This week I posted my review of Shindo (2007), a film I saw over a year ago at the Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme. I have watched it a more than few times since I first watched it and so to get the review posted, I watched it twice! I also watched Predator (1987), Predator 2 (1990), Gentle 12 (1991) and Fallen Angels (1995). I have plenty to do so I’ve cut out some anime and television shows. I need to get back into regular Japanese practice and writing more things.

Well, enough about me…

What is released this weekend in Japan?

Imawano Kiyoshiro Rock and Roll Show the Film#1 New Chapter   

Imawano Kiyoshiro Rock and Roll Show the Film#1 New Chapter Film Poster
Imawano Kiyoshiro Rock and Roll Show the Film#1 New Chapter Film Poster

Japanese Title: 忌野清志郎 ロックン・ロール・ショー The FILM 1 入門編

Romaji: Imawano Kiyoshiro Rokkun Roru Sho The film# 1 Nyumon-hen

Release Date: February 10th, 2015 (Japan)

Running Time: 125 mins.

Director: Shun Ota

Writer: N/A

Starring: Kiyoshiro Imawano

Kiyoshiro Imawano (1951 – 2009) was a musician, actor and composer who founded the popular band RC Successor, wrote socially conscious songs railing against nuclear power and was once dubbed Japan’s King of Rock. This video shows highlights of his career such as performances at Budokan, the Fuji Rock Festival in 2005 and more. Audiences get to enjoy tracks from his band and his solo projects Here’s a video with one of his anti-nuclear songs.

Website

 

Misono Universe Film Poster
Misono Universe Film Poster

La La La At Rock Bottom / Misono Universe    

Japanese: 味園ユニバース

Romaji: Misono Yunibasu

Release Date: February 14th, 2015 (Japan)

Running Time: 103 mins.

Director: Nobuhiro Yamashita

Writer: Tomoe Kanno (Screenplay),

Starring: Fumi Nikaido, Subaru Shibutani, Akainu, Sarina Suzuki, Shohei Uno, Shinji Imaoka, Takumi Matsuzawa, Suon Kan,

This film was at this year’s Rotterdam International Film Festival which I previewed. Here’s the blurb I wrote;

Nobuhiro Yamashitais back with his latest and it sounds like a romantic comedy with a bit of darkness in its heart.

The trailer looks promising and suggests this has the potential to be different, sharper and harder than a lot of films and then we come to the fact that Nobuhiro Yamashita has assembled a cast with a lot of range. We’re talking about Fumi Nikaido (Himizu) who can do beautiful, dark as well as comedic characters, Shohei Uno who can play deluded losers, cool murderers and fools and then there are a few wild cards. Subaru Shibutani is an idol and part of the boy band Kanjani Eight. He’s starred in super sentai parodies, can he do drama? Nobuhiro Yamashita has also drafted in the pink film directing legend and regular writing partner Shinji Imaoka (the two worked together on The Drudgery Train). I’m very curious about this one. Apparently, there will be a live performance by Subaru Shibutani after the screening on Thursday 22 January. Here’s the trailer:

During a band’s performance at a square in Osaka, a young man (Shibutani) suddenly rushes onto the stage, grabs the mic and begins to sing. The audience is initially stunned by the man’s actions but they are soon enraptured by the man’s voice. The band are also blown away and the band’s manager, Kasumi (Nikaido), who was in the audience, approaches the man to ask him who he is. He tells her that he doesn’t know because he has lost his memory. Kasumi nicknames him “Pochi Man” and takes him into her care, letting him live with her and her grandfather and work in the studio. The young man soon becomes the singer for the band, but when his memories start to return, he isn’t happy…

Website

 

Little Forest: Winter Spring       

Little Forest Winter Spring Film Poster
Little Forest Winter Spring Film Poster

Japanese: リトル フォレスト 冬編・春編

Romaji: Ritoru Foresuto Fuyu Hen Haru Hen

Release Date: February 14th, 2015 (Japan)

Running Time: 120 mins.

Director: Junichi Mori

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

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

And this film was at this year’s Berlin International Film Festival. Here’s the blurb I wrote:

Little Forest is based on a popular manga by Daisuke Igarashi that was serialised in Monthly Afternoon from 2002 – 05. It was shot over the course of a year and is a 4 part film of four seasons. This is the second of the two films that has been programmed for this year’s Berlinale and is the “Winter” and “Spring” portion. It is due for release in February in Japan.

Ichiko (Hashimoto) leaves big city life and confusion behind to head back to the mountains where her hometown of Komori is located (in Tohoku prefecture) and she takes to living off the land. She grows and farms her own food and cooks meals all of which are dictated by the seasons and the things she collects in the mountains around her. This return to nature allows her to gain a new strength.

Website

 

Gachiban New Generation Part 2    

Gachiban New Generation Part 2
Gachiban New Generation Part 2

Japanese Title: ガチバン NEW GENERATION 2

Romaji: Gachiban New Generation 2

Release Date: February 14th, 2015 (Japan)

Running Time: 77 mins.

Director: Motoki Takashi

Writer: Masao Iketani (Screenplay)

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

And 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.

Website

 

The Mourner   

The Mourner Film Poster
The Mourner Film Poster

Japanese Title: 悼む人

Romaji: Itamu Hito

Release Date: February 14th, 2015 (Japan)

Running Time: 138 mins.

Director: Yukihiko Tsutsumi

Writer: Arata Tendo (Original Novel), Sumio Omori (Screenplay)

Starring: Kengo Kora, Yuriko Ishida, Arata, Kippei Shiina, Shihori Kanjiya, Keiko Toda, Mitsuru Hirata, Natsuko Akiyama, Shinobu Otake,

This one is based on an award-winning novel was turned into the stage play directed by Yukihiko Tsutsumi and written by Sumio Omori so it might be fair to say that they have a deep understanding of the material. They certainly have a great cast with Kengo Kora (The Story of Yonosuke), Arata (The Ravine of Goodbye, After Life) and Shihori Kanjia (Shindo, Survive Style 5+, Parade), all taking a role. It looks all rather worthy and dramatic.

This movie is all about life, death and human connections and we explore them through Shizuto Sakatsuki (Kora), a mourner who travels to scenes of accidents and mourns for the victims. He meets Yukiyo Nagi (Ishida) who is freshly released from prison for murdering her husband and goes back to the scene of the crime where she meets Shizuto. She takes an interest in Shizuto and meets those connected to him, his sick mother who misses him, his pregnant younger sister and a reporter looking for him.

Website

 

Girl Hate   

Girl Hate Film Poster
Girl Hate Film Poster

Japanese Title: おんなのこきらい

Romaji: Onna no ko Kirai

Release Date: February 14th, 2015 (Japan)

Running Time: 80 mins.

Director: Ayaka Kato

Writer: Ayaka Kato (Screenplay)

Starring: Aoi Morikawa, Kenta Kiguchi, Saki Inoue, Keigo Tani, Kayano Masuyama,

Kiriko (Morikawa) is a pretty girl popular with guys and not so much with other women but she hides the fact that she has bulimia and binge eats to make herself vomit. Her thinking twisted by the belief that she must be cute. She is friends with Yuto (Tani) who works at a bar who provides some support and possibly more than friendship…

Website

 

A Man’s Life    

A Man’s Life Film Poster
A Man’s Life Film Poster

Japanese Title: おんなのこきらい

Romaji: Otoko no Isshou

Release Date: February 14th, 2015 (Japan)

Running Time: 119 mins.

Director: Ryuichi Hiroki

Writer: Hiroshi Saito (Screenplay), Keiko Nishi (Original Manga)

Starring: Nana Eikura, Etsushi Toyokawa, Osamu Mukai, Mari Hamada, Tomoya Maeno, Sakura Ando, Motoki Ochiai, Minami,

Provocative poster. Ryuichi Hiroki has taken to making big ensemble films packed with lots of stars. I reviewed Kimi no Tomodachi back in December and previewed his latest one, Sayonara Kabukicho just last month. He’s back with an adaptation of a manga with a huge cast of characters and he has an interesting ensemble of actors taking roles like Minami (Detroit Metal City), Etsushi Toyokawa (Judge!, Gentle 12, Angel Dust), and Sakura Ando (Love Exposure). Then there’s the solid Nana Eikura (Tokyo Park), Osamu Mukai and Tomoya Maeno (The Kirishima Thing). I have never read the manga and the storyline doesn’t grab me but that’s a good combination of actors and director.

Tsugumi Dozono (Eikura) works hard for an electronics company and loves to vacation at her grandmother’s house in the countryside, but her latest trip is not a happy one. Her grandmother passes away. Tsugumi chooses to live in that house but encounters a man named Jun Kaieda (Toyokawa) who claims to be an ex-student of her grandmother’s and he also claims he is allowed to stay in the annex house. Tsugumi begins to life side by side with Jun as she tries to figure him out.

Website

 

Terrace House: Closing Door   

Terrace House Closing Door Film Poster
Terrace House Closing Door Film Poster

Japanese Title: テラスハウス クロージング・ドア

Romaji: Terasu Hausu Kurosshingu Doa

Release Date: February 14th, 2015 (Japan)

Running Time: N/A

Director: Masato Maeda

Writer: N/A

Starring: Tetsuya Sugaya, Seina Shimabukuro, Hitoshi Kotabe, Yoshino Keisuke,

Is this the Japanese Big Brother? Fuji TV ran a television series from 2012-14 where a bunch of guys and gals shared a house with ocean views. I think the film begins after the last TV series and Tetsuya Sugaya and a new bunch of housemates are sent to the Terrace House. Here’s a video on dailymotion of one episode. Love to give you a trailer but I can’t find one that works.

Website

 

Minorities and Sex, Strictly Personal Way of Love   

Minorities and Sex, Strictly Personal Way of Love Film Poster
Minorities and Sex, Strictly Personal Way of Love Film Poster

Japanese Title: マイノリティとセックスに関する、極私的恋愛映画

Romaji: Mainoriti to Sekkusu ni Kansuru, Gokushiteki Renai Eiga

Release Date: February 14th, 2015 (Japan)

Running Time: 85 mins.

Director: Makoto Sasaki

Writer: N/A

Starring: Kyoichi Nakajima, Tomohito Nakajima, MAMI, Christina Roberts, LILY, Shuji Yamamoto,

Makoto Sasaki has appeared on this blog before with a documentary about a blind musician who creates his own video game. He’s back with another documentary about “sexual minorities,” the second this year. This is another documentary about breaking the stereotypes held by society and why we label things.The trailer can explain everything far better than my lame translations.

Website

 

Assatsu no Umi Okinawa Henoko   

Assatsu no Umi Okinawa Henoko Film Poster
Assatsu no Umi Okinawa Henoko Film Poster

Japanese Title: 圧殺の海 沖縄・辺野古

Romaji: Assatsu no Umi Okinawa Henoko

Release Date: February 14th, 2015 (Japan)

Running Time: 109 mins.

Director: Asako Kageyama, Yukihisa Fujimoto,

Writer: N/A

Starring: N/A

This documentary is all about the protestors who try to disrupt the building of the new American base on Okinawa and the police response against it.

Website

 

Murder on D Street   

Murder on D Street Film Poster
Murder on D Street Film Poster

Japanese Title: D坂の殺人事件

Romaji: D Zaka no Satsujin Jiken

Release Date: February 14th, 2015 (Japan)

Running Time: 114 mins.

Director: Shoji Kubota

Writer: Shoji Kubota (Screenplay), Edogawa Rampo (Original Manga)

Starring: Sachiko, Ryunosuke Kawai, Kota Kusano, Eiko Otani, Takashi Nishina, Yoshimasa Kondo

Edogawa Ranpo is a popular writer and a lot of his works are adapted for the screen. His story, The Case of the Murder on D. Hill, has already been made into a movie in 1998 and it’s getting a second go again. The story involves detective Akechi Kogoro looking into the death of a man who is thought to have committed suicide. Was it murder or an S&M game gone wrong? There looks to be a mash-up of Edogawa Ranpo tales with guys in attics and people being tied up! Not that I’m into that sort of thing… Ahem…

Website

 

Magic Dolphin    

Magic Dolphin Film Poster
Magic Dolphin Film Poster

Japanese Title: マジックドルフィン

Romaji: Majikku Dorufin

Release Date: February 14th, 2015 (Japan)

Running Time: 45 mins.

Director: N/A

Writer: N/A

Starring: N/A

From time to time there are films based on sea creatures that are released for the delight of kids and this is another one. It shows a special dolphin show at Hakkeijima Sea Paradise.

Website

 

And that’s your lot. Here’s a random music video:

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2 thoughts on “La La La At Rock Bottom / Misono Universe, Little Forest: Winter Spring, The Mourner, A Man’s Life, Murder on D Street, Magic Dolphin and Other Japanese Film Trailers

  1. Tired Paul

    Good to see Etsushi Toyokawa is working with Ryuichi Hiroki again! He’s great in It’s Only Talk!

    And I Still want to watch Misono Universe…

    1. I quite like Etsushi Toyokawa. He has a laid back but powerful energy to his onscreen presence.

      It’s a good weekend for dramas although I quite fancy Murder on D Street just to see how many Ranpo references there are!

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