Before the Leaves Fall, Buzz, Initiation Love, Yarukkya Knight, Tensai Bakavon – Resurrection of the Dog of Flanders -, New Initial D the Movie Legend 2: Tousou, Obakeashi Retsudan Senritsu Meikyuu MAX Japanese Film Trailers

Happy weekend, everyone! Here’s something to cheer you up:

The Cannes film festival is winding down now and I have begun collecting reviews of the Japanese films that screened for a post that acts as a follow up to the festival preview. The reviews for the Fukusaku, Koreeda, and Kurosawa films have been great. In between watching reading about Cannes I watched lots of television and films like Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa and Margin Call, the first four episodes of Cold War thriller The Game and the magical fantasy series Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell. I watched plenty of anime like Kekkai Sensen and Ore Monogatari!! As well as starting City Hunter and Record of Lodoss War.

Only one post this week and that’s the films at Nippon Connection 2015. The reason it’s the only post this week is so the festival gets as much coverage as possible and it is one that is worth keeping up so randoms drawn to the site can see what is an interesting programme of films and events.

There are a lot of films at the festival I would like to see but I don’t have the money. I checked hotel prices and made a sad face 😦

I’ll be watching plenty of films at home instead. For Japanese people and people in Japan who want to go to a cinema, the films released this weekend are:

Before the Leaves Fall   

Before the Leaves Fall Film Poster
Before the Leaves Fall Film Poster

Japanese: ゆずり葉の頃

Romaji: Yuzuriha no Koro

Release Date: May 23rd, 2015

Running Time: 102 mins.

Director: Mineko Okamoto

Writer: Mineko Okamoto (Screenplay),

Starring: Kaoru Yachigusa, Tatsuya Nakadai, Ittoku Kishibe, Toru Kazama, Keiko Takeshita, Naomasa Musaka, Kyusaka Shimada, Hirotaro Honda,

An elderly lady named Michiko (Yachigusa) visits the studio of an artist she is convinced she inspired to paint a famous portrait.




Buzz Film Poster
Buzz Film Poster

Japanese: 騒音

Romaji: Souon

Release Date: May 23rd, 2015

Running Time: 103 mins.

Director: Tsutomu Sekine

Writer: Norio Tatekawa (Screenplay),

Starring: Yoichi Nukumizu, Toshifumi Muramatsu, Kazuko Iio, Jonio Iwai, Toshiya Sakai, You, Mari Sekine, Udo Suzuki, Keiko Toda, Makita Sports,

A small town comes under attack by strange creatures called undergrounders. They exhale a poisonous gas that people find irresistible and their targets give up fighting. Then, 5 men appear who are immune to the poisonous gas exhaled by the undergrounders appear to save the town. These 5 men are under appreciated by their families and co-workers.




Initiation Love    

Initiation Love Film Poster
Initiation Love Film Poster

Japanese: イニシエーション ラブ

Romaji: Inishie-shon Rabu

Release Date: May 23rd, 2015

Running Time: 110 mins.

Director: Yukihiko Tsutsumi

Writer: Mineko Okamoto (Screenplay), Kurumi Inui (Original Novel),

Starring: Shota Matsuda, Atsuko Maeada, Fumino Kimura, Takahiro Miura, Tomoya Maeno, Tsurutaro Kataoka, Satomi Tezuka,

This is a youth romance story based on a book which is pretty famous for a twist which is on the final page and makes readers re-read the entire novel to see things in a different light. The book has two main parts: “side A” set in Shizuoka when the characters played in the movie by Shota Matsuda and Atsuo Meada meet and strike up a romance. Then there is “side B,” which is set in Tokyo with chapters named after song titles which are representative of what happens in each of them.

Sounds intriguing but how will it play out on the big screen?

It’s directed by Yukihiko Tsutsumi (2LDK) who can do tricksy narratives with shifts in perspective. It stars Shota Matsuda and Atsuko Maeda (Seventh Code).

It is some time in the late 1980’s in Shizuoka and the character we are following is a college student named Suzuki or Takkun to his friends (Matsuda) who is attempting to find a job. He goes on a blind date and meets Mayu (Maeda), a dental hygienist, and the two hit it off and begin dating. Takkun is forced to move after he gets a job in Tokyo and heads off to the capital leaving Mayu behind. Madness…. Their long distance relationship may collapse as another woman named Miyako (Kimura) enters the picture… Oh no, romance broken… but then something is said and the film becomes a mystery in the final five minutes as a twist is revealed!!!



Yarukkya Knight    

Yarukkya Knight Film Poster
Yarukkya Knight Film Poster

Japanese: やるっきゃ騎士(ナイト)

Romaji: Yarukkya Kishi (Naito)

Release Date: May 23rd, 2015

Running Time: 75 mins.

Director: Katsutoshi Hirabayashi

Writer: Lion Hitoshizuku, Katsutoshi Hirabayashi (Screenplay), Nonki Miyasu (Original Manga),

Starring: Tomoya Nakamura, Nina Endo, Reiya Masaki, Elisa Yanagi, Alexander Otsuka,

Well, we nearly got half way through the year before we got one of these perv films set in a school with a dumb male lead.

Gousuke (Nakamura) is a school boy with “erotic powers” who loves reading hentai but he gets the shock of his life when he transfers into a new school and meets Shizuka (Endo), the president of the government club who imposes strict rules on the male students against perverted behaviour and this includes a ban on erections. Gousuke decides he must take action, joins forces with a pervert teacher and uses his powers to see some flesh!




Tensai Bakavon – Resurrection of the Dog of Flanders –   

Tensai Bakavon – Resurrection of the Dog of Flanders - Film Poster
Tensai Bakavon – Resurrection of the Dog of Flanders – Film Poster

Japanese: 天才バカヴォン ~蘇るフランダースの犬~

Romaji: Tensai Bakavon – Yomigaeru Flanders no Inu –

Release Date: May 23rd, 2015

Running Time: 102 mins.

Director: Frogman

Writer: Frogman (Screenplay), Fujio Akatsuka (Original Manga), Ouida (a pseudonym for Marie-Louise de la Ramée) (Original Novel),

Starring: Frogman, Mitsuo Iwata, Inuko Inuyama,

Forget Cannes, the real movies start here! Tensai Bakavon – Resurrection of the Dog of Flanders – is the first feature length anime movie adapted from Fujio Akatsuka’s Tensai Bakabon gag manga series which started in 1967. He may have died in 2008 but his works have already been adapted four times as TV anime and Akatsuka got a biographical film in 2011. This film celebrate the 80th anniversary of his birth.

Have you read The Dog of Flanders, the classic book by British-French author Ouida (aka Marie-Louise de la Ramée). Well if you haven’t SPOILERS… but the book is about a poor orphan boy named Nello who lives in rural Belgium. He dreams of becoming a painter like his idol Reubens. He saves what little money he can scrape together and practices hard and… well, it ends badly… It is a big title in Japan and was adapted into an anime in 1975 thanks to the famous Nippon Animation’s World Masterpiece Theater which is where Studio Ghibli founders Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata got their start. Well this film is based on that book… Sort of. We start at the very last moment of the story as orphanboy Nello and his dog Patrash lay dying. Their bodies are lifted up by angels and if the original story is followed they should be going to Heaven but in this film they decide to take revenge on humanity! Nello and Patrasche now orchestrate a shadowy organization bent on destroying things, and only a dim-witted boy named Bakabon and his family and friends can stop them and save the world. Cue antics from Bakabon’s lunatic father as he gets into stupid situations to stop Nello and Patrash.




New Initial D the Movie Legend 2: Tousou   

New Initial D the Movie Legend 2 Tousou Film Poster
New Initial D the Movie Legend 2 Tousou Film Poster

Japanese: 新劇場版 頭文字D Legend2 –闘走

Romaji: Shin Gekijouban Initial D Legend 1 – Tousou   –

Release Date: May 23rd, 2014

Running Time: 60 mins.

Chief Director: Masamitsu Hidaka, Director: Tomohito Naka

Writer: Mayori Sekijima (Screenplay), Shuuichi Shigeno (Original Manga)

Starring: Mamoru Miyano (Takuma Fujiwara), Yuichi Nakamura (Keisuke Takahashi), Daisuke Ono (Ryosuke Takahashi), Maaya Uchida (Natsuki Mogi), Hiroaki Shiraishi (Bunta Fujiwara), Minoru Shiraishi (Itsuki Takeuchi),

This is the second in a trilogy of films that retell the original Initial D story.

High school student Takumi Fujiwara works at a gas station during the day and as a delivery boy for his father’s tofu shop during the night. Thanks to his experience driving his father’s Toyota Sprinter AE86 Trueno, he develops precise driving skills and soon becomes the greatest amateur road racer on Mt. Akina’s highway and this makes him a rival to racing groups in the prefecture who want to take him on in races.



Obakeashi Retsudan Senritsu Meikyuu MAX   

Obakeashi Retsudan Senritsu Meikyuu MAX Film Poster
Obakeashi Retsudan Senritsu Meikyuu MAX Film Poster

Japanese: お化け屋敷列伝 戦慄迷宮MAX

Romaji: Obakeashi Retsudan Senritsu Meikyuu MAX

Release Date: May 23rd, 2014

Running Time: 71 mins.

Director: Yusuke Wakabayshi

Writer: Yusuke Wakabayshi (Screenplay),

Starring: Yusa Sugimoto, Ito Maki, Kana Fukuyama, KIKKUN-MK-II, Martin Brandt,

Fuji-Q’s Haunted House attraction – Super Scary Labyrinth of Fear is the setting for this film where some random couples must escape from the shock labyrinth and its scary denizens.



Hide 50th Anniversary FILM JUNK STORY」   

Hide 50th Anniversary FILM 「JUNK STORY」Film Poster
Hide 50th Anniversary FILM 「JUNK STORY」Film Poster

Japanese: Hide 50th Anniversary FILM JUNK STORY

Romaji: Hide 50th Anniversary FILM JUNK STORY

Release Date: May 23rd, 2014

Running Time: 125 mins.

Director: Dai Sato

Writer: N/A

Starring: Hide, Yoshiki & Pata from X Japan, J fom Luna Sea, I.N.A & joe from hide with Spead Beaver

Hide was the popular guitarist for the super group X Japan and yet he committee suicide (read this article for more). This documentary sees his bandmates, collaborators, and friends talk about him. 




Dare mo shiranai Kenchiku no Hanashi   

Dare mo shiranai Kenchiku no Hanashi Film Poster
Dare mo shiranai Kenchiku no Hanashi Film Poster

Japanese: だれも知らない建築のはなし

Romaji: Dare mo shiranai Kenchiku no Hanashi

Release Date: May 23rd, 2014

Running Time: 73 mins.

Director: Tomomi Ishiyama

Writer: N/A

Starring: Arata Isozaki, Tadao Ando, Toyo Ito, Rem Koolhaas, Charles Jencks, Peter Eisenman,

Tomomi Ishiyama’s latest documentary is about the future of architecture. She hopes to spark a conversation that changes the way Japanese society thinks about it hence the title Inside Architecture – A Challege to Japanese Society. It features buildings seen throughout Japan and questions why they were built etc. She interviews architects from around the world including many legends.  2014 Venice Biennale International Architecture Exhibition



Senjōnu Yami (Ikusabanu to ~udo~umi)   

Senjōnu Yami (Ikusabanu to ~udo~umi) Film Poster
Senjōnu Yami (Ikusabanu to ~udo~umi) Film Poster

Japanese: 戦場ぬ止み(いくさばぬとぅどぅみ)

Romaji: Senjōnu Yami (Ikusabanu to ~udo~umi)

Release Date: May 23rd, 2014

Running Time: 129 mins.

Director: Chie Mikami

Writer: N/A

Starring: N/A

Okinawa has a rich culture and beautiful landscape but there are many who are unhappy on the island. It’s all going down in Okinawa with the building of the new base for American forces. Japanese police nd coast guard have their hands full dealing with protestors from all over Okinawa who resent the presence of the US military. And yet there are many who live and work on base and get along with the Americans stationed there. Director Chie Mikami tries to show what’s going on in Okinawa by getting different opionions from a range of people from different generations.


Here’s a music video from a girl group I used to listen to when I was still in school. Take it away, Morning Musume:

4 thoughts on “Before the Leaves Fall, Buzz, Initiation Love, Yarukkya Knight, Tensai Bakavon – Resurrection of the Dog of Flanders -, New Initial D the Movie Legend 2: Tousou, Obakeashi Retsudan Senritsu Meikyuu MAX Japanese Film Trailers

  1. Re: “Yarukkya Knight” This live-action manga movie looks like a SELF-PARODY.

    I’d like the Zucker brothers (Airplane, Naked Gun,etc.) or someone do a send-up or parody film of the “panty shot” type genre. Think along the lines of the “Scary Movie” movies only with better jokes. A series of running gags about erections which occur at the wrong time, etc. Could we ever see a mockumentary about the whole manga/anime/otaku world (like “Spinal Tap” did for rock docs). When will Hollywood realize that there is a goldmine in Japan pop culture?

    1. Self-parody or not this pervy school comedy is a genre that refuses to die!

      I think there were four or five films like this released last year and none of them looked remotely interesting to me, just low-budget “gag” movies full of gravure idols. I don’t particularly find it amusing but they have their place an their audience so they will continue to be made.

      I do like the idea of a Spinal Tap documentary skewering Otaku culture. The closest I came to one was Koi no Mon which is based on a manga. The film is full of Otaku culture specifics and luminaries from the worlds of anime and manga.

  2. Dude, if you can’t appreciate the wonders of Japanese schoolgirls and their panties then there’s no hope for you! 😉 😛

    Joking aside, Atsuko Maeda seems to a busy lass lately. I think she’s been in almost every one of your previews over the past couple of months! I hope she doesn’t burn herself out.

    Buzz looks like a lot of fun! 🙂

    1. Atsuko Maeda is in a lot of films and she also seems to be improving as an actress. She strikes me as the perfect professional and whoever is managing her career/however she is managing herself, she’s making the right choices – she’s worked with a dream team of directors like Nobuhiro Yamashita, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, and Ryuichi Hiroki and now Shinichi Tsutsumi, for crying out loud!

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