Kaze ni Tatsu Lion, Strobe Edge, Eiga Precure All Stars: Haru no Carnival, Shimajiro to Okina ki, Maku ga Agaru, Sono Mae ni. Kanojotachi no Hitonatsu no Chosen, Kyoukai no Kanata – I’ll Be Here – Kako-hen, Front and Back and Other Japanese Film Trailers

Hello dear readers! I hope you are having a good weekend!

Patema Inverted Blossoming Romance

I had a decent week. The start was a bit wobbly after watching Chappie (US/SA, 2015), a film I didn’t particularly enjoy much – I should have known better because I didn’t think much of the director’s previous film, Elysium (2013). Once I was back in work on Wednesday, the week was better and I did manage to watch a couple of really good films – Mahler (UK, 1974) and Lucky Jim (UK, 1957). That’s three more for my movies watched this year list!

There are a lot of films of the list – thirty-seven so far, the majority of them western. I’m also enjoying finishing Ghost Hound, the latest episodes of Tokyo Ghoul Season 2, ParasyteThe Walking Dead and I Survived a Zombie Apocalypse.

What did I post this week? I posted a review of Patema Inverted (2013) and the trailer for Miss Hokusai (2015).

Patema Inverted Patema and Age Explore Beyond the Limits

What’s released in Japan this weekend?

Kaze ni Tatsu Lion (Lion Standing Against the Wind)   

Kaze ni Tatsu Lion Film Poster
Kaze ni Tatsu Lion Film Poster

Japanese: 風に立つライオン

Romaji: Kaze ni Tatsu Raion

Release Date: March 14th, 2015

Running Time: 139 mins.

Director: Takashi Miike

Writer: Hiroshi Saito (Screenplay), Masashi Sada (Original Novel),

Starring: Takao Osawa, Satomi Ishihara, Yoko Maki, Ryohei Suzuki, Masato Hagiwara, Renji Ishibashi, Ayako Fujitani, Hajime Yamazaki,

Takashi Miike fans in the west will know him for his horror and gangster films like Audition and Dead or Alive and even musicals like The Happiness of the Katakuri’s and For Love’s Sake. This is a bit of a departure, a serious drama about a doctor in Kenya and it’s based on the real story of Doctor Koichiro Shibata. His story was turned into a song and novel. Must be epic stuff to get that treatment!

Doctor Koichiro Shimada (Osawa) takes up the opportunity to work in a research facility in Kenya. His experiences in the country, seeing patients hurt by battles and child soldiers, persuades him that he should use his skills to work in the country and help the children he treats. 


Strobe Edge    

Strobe Edge Film Poster
Strobe Edge Film Poster

Japanese: ストロボエイッジ

Romaji: Sutorobo Eijji

Release Date: March 14th, 2015

Running Time: 116 mins.

Director: Ryuichi Hiroki

Writer: Sayaka Kawamura (Screenplay), Io Sakisaka (Original Manga),

Starring: Sota Fukushi, Kasumi Arimura, Yuki Yamada, Arisa Sato, Jingi Irie, Yuina Kuroshima,

Strobe Edge is the third film released by Ryuichi Hiroki this year following Sayonara Kabukicho and Otoko no Isshou. It is based on a manga by Io Sakisaka which, to my surprise, hasn’t been turned into an anime. And no, I haven’t read this.

Ninako Kinoshita (Arimura) is a high school student in a quandary. She knows that her classmate, a nice boy by the name of Takumi Ando (Yamada), has feelings or her but despite feeling something for him she feels more with Ren Ichinose (Fukushi), a bit of a hit with the ladies at their school. She’s too honest to commit to Takumi when she has feelings for Ren. What will happen?


Eiga Precure All Stars: Haru no Carnival   

Eiga Precure All Stars Haru no Carnival Film Poster
Eiga Precure All Stars Haru no Carnival Film Poster

Japanese: 映画プリキュアオールスターズ 春のカーニバル♪

Romaji: Eiga Purikyua Ao-ru Suta-zu Natsu no Ka-nibaru

Release Date: March 14th, 2015

Running Time: N/A

Director: Junji Shimizu

Writer: Mio Inoue (Screenplay)

Starring: Yu Shimamura (Haruka Haruno/Cure Flora), Rina Kitagawa (Yuko Omori/Cure Honey), Haruka Tomatsu (Iona Hikawa/Cure Fortune), Hibiku Yamamura (Kirara Amanogawa/Cure Twinkle), Megumi Han (Hime Shirayuki/Cure Princess), Ai Maeda (Karen Minatsuki/Cure Aqua), Ai Nagano (Komachi Akimoto/Cure Mint),

Here’s another franchise I know little about mostly because I’m not a Japanese girl and partly because, despite all of my reporting on PreCure films, I haven’t paid attention to this franchise which looks like it is massive.

Synopsis and more info on Anime News Network:

A spring carnival held in the country of dance and song, Harmonia, is beginning. Haruka Haruno and her friends also join the festival to learn dance and song from their senior Precure warriors. However, the fairies go missing, and the carnival is thrown into confusion. Even worse, the announcers Odoren and Utaen seem extremely suspicious, and the guardian dragon of Harmonia has started a rampage, angry at the chaos at the carnival. In order to protect the peace of Harmonia, the 40 Precure warriors work together to create a miracle through dance and song filled with hope.


Shimajiro to Okina ki   

Shimajirou to Ookinaki Film Poster
Shimajirou to Ookinaki Film Poster

Japanese: しまじろうとおおきなき

Romaji: Shimajirou to Ookinaki

Release Date: March 14th, 2015

Running Time: 60 mins.

Director: Isamu Hirabayashi

Writer: Takashi Yamada (Screenplay)

Starring: Omi Minami (Shimajirou Shimano), Miki Takahashi, Takumi Yamazaki, Saori Sugimoto,

This is the third Shimajiro film released. These are aimed at young children. Shimajiro, his sister and their friends visit a giant tree and the people who live in it.


Maku ga Agaru, Sono Mae ni. Kanojotachi no Hitonatsu no Chosen 

Japanese: 幕が上がる、その前に。彼女たちのひと夏の挑戦

Romaji: Maku ga agaru, Sono mae ni. Kanojotachi no Hito Natsu no Chousen

Release Date: March 11th, 2015

Running Time: 95 mins.

Director: Atsunori Sasaki

Writer: N/A

Starring: Momoiro Clover Z: Kanako Momota, Shiori Tamai, Ayaka Sasaki, Momoka Ariyasu, Reni Takagi,

I’m no fan of idol music although I do listen to the odd AKB8/Dempa Gumi song, but Momoiro Clover Z look like fun because they take part in the types of films I like (White Eyes) and they look like they have a dark sense of humour on top of the bubblegum pop. In this documentary they take part in a work overseen by the playwright and director Oriza Hirata to get them ready for their film acting debut. We see them prep for a performance through workshops and get over their anxieties to take part in a film released two weeks ago, The Curtain Rises.


Front and Back   

Front and Back Film Poster
Front and Back Film Poster

Japanese: 表と裏

Romaji: Omote to Ura

Release Date: March 14th, 2015

Running Time: 119 mins.

Director: Kenichi Fujiwara

Writer: Mayuko Yoshiyuki (Screenplay)

Starring: Kaname Endo, Shunsuke Daito, Chihiro Otsuk, Saori Takizawa, Mikio Osawa, manabu Hamada

This looks intriguing. It’s about a young and idealistic lawmaker named Kyoichi and a yakuza named Shoji who were childhood friends at the same orphanage. Both want to change a corrupt world but while Kyoichi does so through politics and charisma, Shoji uses violence and the two reunite…


Kyoukai no Kanata – I’ll Be Here – Kako-hen    

Kyoukai no Kanata I'll Be There Film Poster
Kyoukai no Kanata I’ll Be There Film Poster

Japanese Title: 劇場版 境界の彼方 I’LL BE HERE過去篇

Romaji: Kyoukai no Kanata – I’ll Be Here – Kako-hen

Release Date: March 14th, 2015 (Japan)

Running Time: N/A

Director: Taichi Ishidate

Writer: Jukki Hanada (Screenplay), Nagomu Torii (Original Light Novel),

Starring: Risa Taneda (Mirai Kuriyama), Kenn (Akihito Kanbara), Minori Chihara (Mitsuki Nase), Tatsuhisa Suzki (Hiroomi Nase), Yuri Yamaoka (Ai Shindo),

Right, there are two Kyoukai no Kanata movies getting a release. The first is Kyoukai no Kanata – I’ll Be Here Kako-hen and it will recount the events of the television series. The second film, which is released on April 25th, has the title Gekijouban Kyoukai no Kanata -I’ll Be Here- Mirai-hen and that one will be the film which takes the story forward. A whole year forward. It is set one year after the television series.

Audiences will need this catch-up film because the television anime aired back in 2013. I watched it and enjoyed it for the most part (especially the ED theme). It is a beautiful anime (standard for Kyoto Animation) but the story was a bit of a mess in the TV anime (although I did shed more than a few tears at the end) so what about the film released today? The director of the movie is Taichi Ishidate, director of the TV anime so he’ll get the feel right. He was also director on episodes of Hyouka which is brilliant, just thought I’d mention it. The screenplay comes from writer Jukki Hanada (Steins;Gate, Nichijou). He is solid. His work on Steins;Gate was stellar but there are a few titles I’m not fond of… Anyway, enough rambling.

The story of the movie is a retelling of the TV anime which is about two students with supernatural powers. The first we encounter is Akihito Kanbara (KENN) who is half demon (yomu) and invulnerable to wounds. When he sees Mirai Kuriyama (Risa Taneda) on the school roof and about to attempt what looks like suicide he intervenes. The two get to know each other and Akihito discovers that Mirai is from a cursed line of warriors who are able to manipulate blood. Despite her distaste for him (fuyukai desu), the two grow closer and as this happens, dark forces move in to try and take advantage of Akihito.


Gekijouban Urutora Man Ginga S Kessen! Urutora 10 Yuushi!!   

Gekijouban Urutora Man Ginga S Kessen! Urutora 10 Yuushi!! Film Poster
Gekijouban Urutora Man Ginga S Kessen! Urutora 10 Yuushi!! Film Poster

Japanese: 劇場版 ウルトラマンギンガS 決戦!ウルトラ10勇士!!

Romaji: Gekijouban Urutora Man Ginga S Kessen! Urutora 10 Yuushi!!

Release Date: March 14th, 2015

Running Time: 63 mins.

Director: Kouichi Sakamoto

Writer: Yuuji Kobayashi, Takao Nakano (Screenplay)

Starring: Takuya Negishi, Kiyotaka Uji, Arisa Komiya, Taiyou Sugiura, Yukari Taki, Takahiro Katou,

This is another franchise I have no clue about. Another Ultraman film where different heroes must unite to defeat some space bad guy.


New Directions in Japanese Cinema (NDJC) 2014

New Directions in Japanese Cinema Film Poster 2015
New Directions in Japanese Cinema Film Poster 2015

When I first wrote about New Directions in Japanese Cinema, a workshop that nurtures the newest talent in Japanese cinema, I had no idea that these little independent films might actually make their way to the UK but they did last year so it’s worth paying attention to them. Here is the current crop of stories. Here’s the website and some info on the films.

End Rollers   End Rollers Film Image

Japanese: エンドローラズ

Romaji: Endo Ro-razu

Release Date: March 14th, 2015

Running Time: 28 mins.

Director: Yoshino Kohei

Writer: Yoshino Kohei (Screenplay),

Starring: Takahiro Miura, Denden, Keiko Katsukara, Masahiro Hisano, Ariei Umefune,

Denden and Miura both work for a morticians making videos that celebrate the life of the deceased.


Good-bye   Good-bye Film Image

Japanese: Good-bye

Romaji: Good-bye

Release Date: March 14th, 2015

Running Time: 29 mins.

Director: Toshihiro Hanyu

Writer: Toshihiro Hanyu (Screenplay),

Starring: Tamae Ando, Suzuno Takenaka, Yasushi Masaoka, Mutsuo Yoshioka,

This one is about a young mother (Ando) and her daughters who are struggling with employment and debt and finding a place to live…


Chikinzu Dainamaito    Chikinzu Dainamaito Film Image

Japanese: チキンズダイナマイト

Romaji: Chikinzu Dainamaito

Release Date: March 14th, 2015

Running Time: 30 mins.

Director: Toshimitsu Iizuka

Writer: Toshimitsu Iizuka (Screenplay),

Starring: Amane Okayama, Yuri Tsunematsu, Masahiro Usui, Rena Takeda,

Is the title Chicken Dynamite? A quick search for the director showed that he had a film at the Pia Film Festival with an interesting looking movie about bullying in high school and the feelings which develop between victims and the changes in themselves that allow them to become stronger people. This short is all about a junior high school boy who is bullied and finds relief with a fellow student who offers support and begins to change.


Hon no Ugami   Hon no Ugami Film Image

Japanese: 本のうがみ

Romaji: Hon no Ugami

Release Date: March 14th, 2015

Running Time: 29 mins.

Director: Isao Kusakari

Writer: Isao Kusakari (Screenplay),

Starring: Kazuhiko Kanayama, Norikatsu Kodama, Shiori Ono, Hiroshi Izawa, reiko Matsuo,

This one is set in a library where the staff see a woman give birth to a baby but despite the joy, these co-workers have some darkness in their lives.


Rice Cake Rhapsody   Mochitsuki Rapundi Film Image 2

Japanese: もちつきラプソディ

Romaji: Mochitsuki Rapundi

Release Date: March 14th, 2015

Running Time: 29 mins.

Director: Satoshi Kase

Writer: Satoshi Kase (Screenplay),

Starring: Mari Hoshino, Seika Kuze, Hiroo Otaka, Hana Toyoshima, Yui Masayuki,

This one is all about a divorcee who travels with her daughter to her hometown.

I want to have this one as my video of the week!

8 thoughts on “Kaze ni Tatsu Lion, Strobe Edge, Eiga Precure All Stars: Haru no Carnival, Shimajiro to Okina ki, Maku ga Agaru, Sono Mae ni. Kanojotachi no Hitonatsu no Chosen, Kyoukai no Kanata – I’ll Be Here – Kako-hen, Front and Back and Other Japanese Film Trailers

  1. I loved the Momoiro Clover – KISS team up. I have not listed to much KISS since I was 15.

    There was a “making of” documentary on YouTube about this team up, and it made me want to listen to the old KISS records (if I hadn’t already given them away or used them as targets when I entered my New Wave phase in 1979.)

    Nothing against them at all. I think that they are very good here.
    I always love the Gene Simmons interview press conferences when a fan will always ask him to stick out his wavy tongue. He replies “I can’t — the floor is dirty”. Indeed he is one of America’s National Treasures.

    1. I took the video into work to show a KISS fan and she liked it. I don’t really listen to KISS but just for doing this team-up, they get my respect (mostly because the music and video are fun an good!)

      1. Actually, be careful. Chappie looks like it might be kid-friendly but there are some very. very violent scenes and at least one instant of bloodshed. It’s par for the course for the director but the change in tone still caught me offguard and left a bad taste.

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