Sore Dake That’s It, Sweet Red Bean Paste, Smiles in the Mirror, Shinjuku Swan, The Cockpit, Good Stripes, Dalai Lama XIV, Wedded Pair Diary, A Sower of Seeds 2, Shinrei Shashin-bu Gekijouban and other Japanese Film Trailers

Happy weekend!

I started this week with the rather disappointing horror movie It Follows (2014). It was disappointing because it was overhyped and it didn’t live up to expectations despite some chilling moments (watch adaptations of M.R. James ghost stories for scary supernatural chase narratives). I watched a few Japanese films this week – the awful White Panic (2005) and Gusha no Bindu Me (Hellevator: The Bottled Fools) (2004), and I watched the awesome As the Gods Will (2014) directed by Takashi Miike and the super Spirited Away (2001). Like most of the internet I watched Kung Fury as well.

The Light Shines Only There Chinatsu (Ikewaki) and Sato (Ayano) on the Beach

I reviewed The Light Shines Only There (2014) and that’s it.

What was released this week?

Sore Dake That’s It   

Soredake That's It Film Poster
Soredake That’s It Film Poster

Japanese: それだけ that’s it

Romaji: Soredake that’s it

Release Date: May 27th, 2015

Running Time: 110 mins.

Director: Gakuryu Ishii

Writer: Kiyotaka Inagaki (Screenplay),

Starring: Shota Sometani, Erina Mizuno, Kiyohiko Shibukawa, Jun Murakami, Gou Ayano,

The title of the film “Soredake” was inspired by the 1999 song “Soredake” by Japanese rock band Bloodthirsty Butchers. The band’s music is also feature in the film. The film’s release date is also set for May 27, 2015, which falls on the same day Bloodthirsty Butchers’ lead singer Hideki Yoshimura died (May 27th, 2013).

Samao Daikoku’s (Sometani) is trapped in an underground life thanks to the fact that the gangster Daikichi Ebisu (Shibukawa) has stolen his family register. Samao breaks into Daikichi’s coin locker to steal gold but finds more. He finds a hard disk containing personal information on runaways, homeless people, bankrupt people, and prostitutes and steals it, joining forces with a prostitute named Ami Nanmu (Mizuno) to take on Daikichi and his gang boss, Kan Senju (Ayano).


Sweet Red Bean Paste   

An Sweet Red Bean Paste Film Poster
An Sweet Red Bean Paste Film Poster

Japanese: あん

Romaji: An

Release Date: May 30th, 2015

Running Time: 113 mins.

Director: Naomi Kawase,

Writer: Naomi Kawase (Screenplay), Tetsuya Akikawa (Original Novel),

Starring:  Masatoshi Nagase, Kirin Kiki, Kyara Uchida, Etsuko Ichihara, Miki Mizuno, Taiga, Wakato Kanematsu, Miyoko Asada.

Naomi Kawase was at this year’s Cannes film festival making this her sixth appearance at the prestigious event but this film has not earned many complementary reviews.

After getting released from prison Sentarou (Nagase) worked hard to become the manager of a dorayaki bakery store. An older woman, Tokue (Kiki), is hired to work at the store, making the sweet red bean paste that fills the dorayaki. Her sweet red beans become popular and the store flourishes, but a rumour spreads that Tokue once had leprosy.


Smiles in the Mirror    

Smiles in the Mirror Film Poster
Smiles in the Mirror Film Poster

Japanese: 鏡の中の笑顔たち

Romaji: Kagami no Naka no Egaotachi

Release Date: May 30th, 2015

Running Time: 102 mins.

Director: Ichiro Kita

Writer: Ichiro Kita, Chihiro Seko (Screenplay),

Starring:  Shunya Shiraishi, Natsuna Watanabe, Akiyoshi Nakao, Yuki Matsushita, Mickey Curtis, Chieko Matsubara,

Ryo (Shiraishi) is a popular hairdresser at a successful beauty salon in Tokyo but he loses his job when he turns down a date with a major client. As if things couldn’t get even even more disastrous a fire breaks out at his apartment. Ryo needs a break fom his bad fortune and so he decides to go back to his hometown and work there where he helps out at a hospital. He cuts a girl’s hair and the girl smiles and this smile changes Ryo’s life.


Shinjuku Swan    

Shinjuku Swan Film Poster
Shinjuku Swan Film Poster

Japanese: 新宿スワン

Romaji: Shinuku Suwan

Release Date: May 30th, 2015

Running Time: 139 mins.

Director: Sion Sono

Writer: Rikiya Mizushima, Osamu Suzuki (Screenplay), Ken Wakui (Original Manga),

Starring:  Gou Ayano, Erika Sawajiri, Takayuki Yamada, Yusuke Iseya, Jun Murakami, Ken Yasuda, Erina Mano, Motoki Fukami Yuki Sakurai, Nobuaki Kaneko,

With Shinjuku Swan Sion Sono (Himizu), launches the first of two feature film salvos with Tokyo Family getting released later this year. Before that we get Shinjuku Swan with Gou Ayano (The Light Shines Only There), Takayuki Yamada (13 Assassins), and Yusuke Iseya (Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno) heading up an impressive cast.

Tatsuhiko Shiratori (Ayano) is dead broke but his luck changes when he meets a scout named Matora (Iseya) who recruits girls on the streets of Shinjuku to work in the adult entertainment business. This turns out to be the start of a lucrative friendship but is the world of adult entertainment good clean fun? No, obviously.


The Cockpit    

The Cockpit Film Poster
The Cockpit Film Poster

Japanese: ザ コクピット -リアルに生きてる

Romaji: Za Kokupitto – Riaru ni Ikiteru

Release Date: May 30th, 2015

Running Time: 64 mins.

Director: Sho Miyake

Writer: N/A

Starring/Hustling: OMSB from SIMILAB, BIM from The Otogibanashi, Hl’Spec from SIMILAB, VaVa from CDS, Heiyuu from CDS,

Cockpit is the name given to a small apartment located in the outskirts of Tokyo where audiences who purchase tickets for this documentary will see creative the process behind the recording of a Hip Hop song, from the creation of the beat to the writing of the lyrics. Director Sho Miyake gives us an insight into the lives of the artists who make the music. Interestingly enough, Sho Miyake comes from a feature film background and is famous for fiction. His second feature was the award-winning Playback (2012).


Good Stripes    

Good Stripes Film Poster
Good Stripes Film Poster

Japanese: グッド ストライプス

Romaji: Guddo Sutoraipusu

Release Date: May 30th, 2015

Running Time: 119 mins.

Director: Yukiko Sode

Writer: Yukiko Sode (Screenplay)

Starring: Akiko Kikuchi, Ayumu Nakajima, Asamu Usuda, Itsuki Sagara, Yu Nakamura, Yuko Yamamoto

Midori Mantani (Kikuchi) and Masao Minamisawa (Nakajima) have been dating for years, but their relationship seems stale to the point that they think about breaking up. They change their minds when Midori becomes pregnant! They decide to marry.

They now choose this as the time to truly get to know each other and explore their backgrounds. Masao comes from a wealthy family of artists and doctors who lived in Tokyo and Midori grew up with parents who ran an iron factory in a provincial city that didn’t offer much in terms of culture.

The more they get to know each other the better their relationship gets.


Dalai Lama XIV    

Dalai Lama XIV Film Poster
Dalai Lama XIV Film Poster

Japanese: ダライ ラマ14世

Romaji: Darai Rama 14 Se

Release Date: May 30th, 2015

Running Time: 116 mins.

Director: Fujiro Mitsuishi

Writer: N/A

Starring/Hustling: 14th Dalai Lama

The Dalai Lama is the subject of a documentary and it looks like it’s about his, and the Tibetan Government in Exile’s, place in the World, their traditions and customs and how they teach Tibetan Buddhism with a particular focus on a trip to Japan. Director Fujiro Mitsuishi made the interesting sounding Osaka Hamlet (2009). 


Wedded Pair Diary / Till Death Do Us What?   

Fufu Fufu Nikki Film Poster
Fufu Fufu Nikki Film Poster

Japanese: 夫婦フーフー日記

Romaji: Fufu Fufu Nikki

Release Date: May 30th, 2015

Running Time: 95 mins.

Director: Koji Maeda

Writer: Tamio Hayahsi, Koji Maeda (Screenplay)

Starring: Kuranosuke Sasaki, Hiromi Nagasaku, Hitomi Sato, Shuhei Takahashi,

Kota (Sasaki) is an aspiring writer but so wishy-washy he has yet to publish his first book despite a more than a decade of trying. His wife Yoko (Nagasaku) is a more free-spirited and outspoken person and pushes Kota (and criticises him when he needs it) to achieve his dreams regardless of the rejections he gets.

Their marriage produces a boy but soon after that happy event they find out that she has terminal colon cancer. They spend the little time they have together making happy memories and then she dies. Kota begins a blog which tells people about their life together and a publisher gets interested but success is not guaranteed and Kota may lose his will to continue but then Yoko’s ghost appears to Kota and she’s determined to push him even if it means doing so from beyond the grave.


A Sower of Seeds 2   

A Sower of Seeds 2 Film Poster
A Sower of Seeds 2 Film Poster

Japanese: 種まく旅人 くにうみの郷

Romaji: Tanemaku Tabibito: Kuni Umi no Sato

Release Date: May 30th, 2015

Running Time: 111 mins.

Director: Tetsuo Shinohara

Writer: Yukiko Yamamuro, Itaru Era (Screenplay)

Starring: Chiaki Kuriyama, Kenta Kiritani, Takahiro Miura, Toshiyuki Nagashima, Toshie Negishi, Mitsuki Tanimura,

The main character of the film is Keiko Kanno (Kuriyama) and she works for the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. She is visiting Hyogo Prefecture’s Awaji Island as part of her job, surveying the land and meeting the people. She comes into contact with a farmer named Takeshi Toyoshima, who’s struggling to keep the farm going in the wake of his father’s death, and his fisherman brother Wataru who are in conflict. As the inhabitants of the island gear up for a “Kaibori” (pond-draining) event, all three change.



Shinrei Shashin-bu Gekijouban   

Shinrei Shashin-bu Gekijouban Film Poster
Shinrei Shashin-bu Gekijouban Film Poster

Japanese: 心霊写真部 劇場版

Romaji: Shinrei Shashin-bu Gekijouban

Release Date: May 30th, 2015

Running Time: 101 mins.

Director: Jiro Nagae

Writer: Osamu Fukutani (Screenplay)

Starring: Makoto Okunaka, Rei Toda, Yosuke Itou, Yuuka Ueno, Mio Kudou,

Former PASSPO member Makoto Okunaka takes the lead role in the Psychic Photo Cub movie which is about a group of students who research psychic photos and the truth behind them. Predictably, bad stuff happens when dealing with the occult and supernatural and the shadow of a killer hovers over the gang…This doesn’t look too bad.



Durarara!!x2 Shou Episode 4.5 My Heart Shows Signs of Nabe   

Durarara!!x2 Shou Episode 4.5 My Heart Shows Signs of Nabe Film Poster
Durarara!!x2 Shou Episode 4.5 My Heart Shows Signs of Nabe Film Poster

Japanese: デュラララ!!×2 承 第4.5話「私の心は鍋模様」

Romaji: Durarara!!x2 Shou 4.5 Watashi no Kokoro wa Nabe Moyou

Release Date: May 30th, 2015

Running Time: 45 mins.

Director: Takahiro Omori

Writer: Noboru Takagi (Screenplay), Ryohgo Narita (Original Creator),

Starring: Daisuke Ono (Shizuo Heiwajima), Jun Fukuyama (Shinra Kishitani), Toshiyuki Toyonaga (Mikado Ryuugamine), Kana Hanazawa (Anri Sonohara), Hiroshi Kamiya (Izaya Orihara), Miyuki Sawashiro (Celty Sturluson),

The latest series of Durarara!! gets a special OVA that is based on a short story Watashi no Kokoro wa Nabe Moyou which translates as My Heart Shows Signs of Nabe. This story was published as part of the spin-off light novel Durarara!! Gaiden?! which was released to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Ryohgo Narita’s novel series.



Haiyore! Nyaruko-san F   

Haiyore! Nyaruko-san F Film Poster
Haiyore! Nyaruko-san F Film Poster

Japanese: 這いよれ!ニャル子さんF

Romaji: Haiyore! Nyaruko-san F

Release Date: May 30th, 2015

Running Time: 61 mins.

Director: Tsuyoshi Nagasawa

Writer: Noboru Kimura (Screenplay), Manta Aisora (Original Creator),

Starring: Kana Asumi (Nyaruko), Eri Kitamura (Mahiro Yasaka), Aya Hisakawa (Yoriko Yasaka), Rie Kugimiya (Hasuta), Miyu Matsuki (Ku-On),

After two seasons of the TV anime we get this OVA ad it seems that Mahiro has become accustomed to his guardian and potential love of all time Nyaruko. Together with Kuko, and Hasuta they continue to face weird and monstrous creatures and situations from across the black gulfs of space. Will Nyaruko finally make Mahiro hers?



Random music video:

12 thoughts on “Sore Dake That’s It, Sweet Red Bean Paste, Smiles in the Mirror, Shinjuku Swan, The Cockpit, Good Stripes, Dalai Lama XIV, Wedded Pair Diary, A Sower of Seeds 2, Shinrei Shashin-bu Gekijouban and other Japanese Film Trailers

    1. I used to watch Durarara!! and I loved the soundtrack!

      I even have a few old posts on this blog. I’m not too fussed on it these days. Sore Dake, Shinjuku Swan and Shinrei Shashin-bu are more my things.

  1. The lack of an Atsuko Maeda film this week must mean she is getting lazy… 😉 😛

    I see Erika Sawajiri is in Sono’s new film; I hope she was on her best behaviour as I can’t imagine he would take any of her Diva behaviour lightly…

    1. I have to be honest and say I haven’t read any set reports for this one but I suspect Sawajiri has been good since she’s appearing in doramas and movies a lot more frequently than in recent years.

      1. She was quite a promising talent before she went off the rails. Let’s hope she has got her act together again.

  2. Finally got to see Sweet Bean Paste. I liked it a lot, but I got the feeling that scenes were missing. The relationships between some of the characters assumed too much happened off-screen.

    Also, another example of how I fall in love WAY too easily: Kyara Uchida

    1. I haven’t seem it yet. If I am honest, the further away from the trailer I get the more it looks like a solid drama and not worth hunting for. Your review has convinced me to put it on the backburner with a dozen other films.

  3. I still think that it is worth seeing. It was sweet and emotional. I still have unanswered questions about leprosy though.

    Well you have a lot more choices of what movies to see of course. When it comes to Japanese film, I just have to “take what Netflix gives me.” They have been getting better at obtaining some current movies, and their anime selection is much deeper than it was a few years ago.

    1. Netflix are gradually improving their coverage and making original content, so much so, I’m considering signing up for it.

      I’ll be sure to watch it at some point since you have recommended it. At the moment, I’m making my way through around 62 films for a festival. It’s exciting stuff!

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