You Are a Good Kid, Kimi wa Ii Ko, Love and Peace, Chasuke’s Journey, Strayer’s Chronicle, Attack on Titan Part 2: Wings of Liberty, Michi Te Iku and Other Japanese Film Trailers

Happy weekend, people!

As the Gods Will Ryunosuke Kamiki

I am so behind writing up the new season of anime and that is because I would rather review live-action movies, manga and that is what I have been doing. I am in the middle of my season of horror, splatter, and gore with two films reviewed so far. Only one review for this week and that is As the Gods Will (2014). I’ll post two reviews next week and then one the week after. I’ve got plenty of horror films to get through and after I finish writing this weekend blurb I’ll get going with another one for another death game film.

I have also been busy helping out writing information for a film festival and I may get the chance to watch screeners for the latest titles. So, pretty busy! Shout out to Olly, the girl in the gallery with the climbing equipment!

 

What’s released in Japan this weekend?

 

Film of the week:

You Are a Good Kid   / Being Good

You're a Good Kid Film Poster
You’re a Good Kid Film Poster

Japanese: きみはいい子

Romaji: Kimi wa iiko

Release Date: June 27th, 2015

Running Time: 121 mins.

Director: Mipo O

Writer: Ryo Takada (Screenplay), Hatsue Nakawaki (Original Novel)

Starring:  Kengo Kora, Machiko Ono, Chizuru Ikewaki, Michie Kita, Mei Kurokawa, Kazuya Takahashi,

The Light Shines Only There is one of my favourite films of 2014 and its director and writer are responsible for this one!

Mipo O and Ryo Takada are working together again, adapting the book Kimi wa ii ko (You’re a Good Kid). The book is by Hatsue Nakawaki which won the 2012 Tsubota Jōji Literature Award. The book is a collection of five stories set in the same town, with stories transpiring on the same rainy afternoon. The film adapts two stories into one:   Santa no konai ie (The House where Santa Doesn’t Come) and Beppin-san (Pretty Girl). All of the stories in the collection are about child abuse and the trailer makes me think this one will be a tough watch.

The film stars Kengo Kora (The Story of Yonosuke, The Drudgery Train) and Machiko Ono (Like Father, Like Son) and there are two fine actors returning from The Light Shines Only There: Chizuru Ikewaki and Kazuya Takahashi.

Film critic Don Brown has already tweeted that this is a great film, better than The Light Shines Only There! I hope to see this at a festival at some point.

Tasuku Okano (Kengo Kora) is a novice elementary school teacher and a decent and diligent young man. He faces wild class and finds it tough but perseveres. As he gets to know his young pupils he notices that one of his students might be being abused and resolves to help. Meanwhile, there is a girl named Ayane who is being hurt by her own mother, Masami (Ono) who was raised by an abusive mother herself. Masami can’t help lashing out at Ayane and she tries to justify her abusive manners by thinking the other mothers treat their kids the same way. 

Website

 

Runner-up:

Love & Peace   

Love and Peace Film Poster
Love and Peace Film Poster

Japanese: ラブ&ピース

Romaji: Rabu&Pisu

Release Date: June 27th, 2015

Running Time: 117 mins.

Director: Sion Sono

Writer: Sion Sono (Screenplay),

Starring:  Hiroki Hasegawa, Kumiko Aso, Tohiyuki Nishida, Kiyohiko Shibukawa, Eita Okuno, Makita Sports, Erina Mano, Megumi Kagurazaka, Miyuki Matsuda

Sion Sono has three films out this year. The big ones are Shinjuku Swan and Tag which are adaptations of a manga and novel respectively and they look less interesting than this one which is based on an original idea from the man (hence the title card at the beginning of the film).

He has drafted in some great indie actors and lesser known talents like Kiyohiko Shibukawa (And the Mud Ship Sales Away, Obon Brothers), Erina Mano (Patlabor movies), and, as ever, his wife Megumi Kagurazaka (The Land of Hope). Taking the lead is Hiroki Hasegawa, the mad cinephile in the yakuza movie comedy Why Don’t You Play in Hell? and Kumiko Aso, the waif running around in Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s horror film Pulse.

Out of Sono’s three films, this one looks like genius and I expect this one will travel the festival circuit rather than the adaptations.

Ryoichi (Hasegawa) once dreamed of becoming a punk rocker but he became a timid salaryman at a musical instrument parts company. Life is calm but he has feelings for an office lady (Aso) he can’t express and he feels he wants more which is when fate strikes!.

One day, he meets a turtle on the rooftop of a department store. He is so taken with it that he adopts it and names the turtle Pikadon, A series of events occur and Ryoichi’s dreams start to come true but weird thigs are in store for Pikadon!

Website

 

Runner-up:

Ten no chasuke / Chasuke’s Journey   

Chasuke's Journey Film Poster
Chasuke’s Journey Film Poster

Japanese: 天の茶

Romaji: Ten no Chasuke

Release Date: June 27th, 2015

Running Time: 105 mins.

Director: Sabu

Writer: Sabu (Screenplay/Original Novel),

Starring: Kenichi Matsuyama, Ito Ohno, Ren Osugi, Yusuke Iseya, Hiromasa Taguchi, Susumu Terajima, Hiroki Konno, Tina Tamashiro, Orakio,

This is the latest film from Sabu and is based on a novel he wrote. It screened at this year’s Berlin International Film Festival and others and I myself have the opportunity to watch it soon. The film mixes film genres and history in a madcap story that takes in romance, gangsters, slapstick comedy and a deity that celebrates the value of life. It stars Kenichi Matsuyama (Detroit Metal City, Norwegian Wood), Susumu Terajima (actor in a lot of Beat Takeshi film), and the man, the legend, Ren Osugi (Exte).

Things are hectic in heaven. Dozens of scribes sit before a long scroll writing the biographies of people down on Earth. What is invented by the scribes in heaven is lived out below and their employer, God, is increasingly vehement in demanding avant-garde ideas. Take, for example, the beautiful Yuri (Ono), a girl who dies in a car crash. Some of the heavenly scribes find this very dull and send former gangster Chasuke (Matsuyama), who has become a heavenly tea-boy, back down to earth with instructions to save Yuri no matter what.

Chasuke ends up in Okinawa and gets to know the earth-dwellers, interferes in their fates, becomes celebrated as ‘Mr Angel’ and is hounded by brutal enemies. His falling in love with Yuri is of course a foregone conclusionbBut no one could anticipate what happens next. Not even God himself.

Website

 

Strayer’s Chronicle  

Strayer’s Chronicle Film Poster
Strayer’s Chronicle Film Poster

Japanese: ストレイヤーズ・クロニクル

Romaji: Sutoreiyazu Kuronikuru

Release Date: June 27th, 2015

Running Time: 126 mins.

Director: Takahisa Zeze

Writer: Kohei Kiyasu (Screenplay), Takayoshi Honda (Original Novel)

Starring:  Masaki Okada, Shota Sometani, Riko Narumi, Mayu Matsuoka, Tsuyoshi Ihara, Renji Ishibashi, Sara Takatsuki, Yuina Kuroshima,

This looks like a live-action adaptation of the anime, Zankyou no Terror what with its government exploitation of children story but the book this is based upon came out first. I hope it’s better than the anime which drifted into a sea of mediocrity based on non-sensical plot points and anti-Americanism. It stars Masaki Okada, Shota Sometani (Himizu), and Riko Narumi (Shindo, Crime or Punishment?!?)

In the early 1990s, experiments were carried out secretly in Japan involving genetic manipulation on babies granting that person the power of an animal or insect. Another experiment involved forcing stress upon expecting parents and when the baby was born, provoke the baby into mutations and develop their special abilities. The results were successful in some cases and the test subjects were raised in a government facility and trained to be agents for the government. Two agents are Subaru (Okada), who possesses incredible strength and vision, and Saya (Narumi) who possesses super hearing abilities. They work for Koichiro Watase (Ihara) who is the ambitious senior Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs. He orders them to track down the runaway daughter of a powerful politician who has a secret file but there is a dangerous group also looking for her and they are named “Ageha” and they are led by deadly man named Manabu (Sometani).

Website

 

Odoru Tabibito Nougaku-shi Tsumura Reijirou no Shouzou   

Odoru Tabibito Nougaku-shi Tsumura Reijirou no Shouzou Film Poster
Odoru Tabibito Nougaku-shi Tsumura Reijirou no Shouzou Film Poster

Japanese: 躍る旅人 能楽師・津村禮次郎の肖像

Romaji: Odoru Tabibito Nougaku-shi Tsumura Reijirou no Shouzou

Release Date: June 27th, 2015

Running Time: 110 mins.

Director: Ryu Miyake

Writer: N/A

Starring:  Reijirou Tsumura, Kaiji Moriyama, Shuji Onodera, Hana Sakai,

Noh Theatre is one of Japan’s unique contributions to the theatre world and this documentary tracks five years of Reijirou Tsumura on stage as he brings to life danes, plays and collaborations.

Website

 

Gekijouban Sada Masashi Daitanjoue! The Birthday Party in Masashi Super Arena Selection   

Gekijouban Sada Masashi Daitanjoue! The Birthday Party in Masashi Super Arena Selection Film Poster
Gekijouban Sada Masashi Daitanjoue! The Birthday Party in Masashi Super Arena Selection Film Poster

Japanese: 劇場版 さだまさし大誕生会!! The Birthday Party in Masashi SUPER ARENA Selection

Romaji: Gekijouban Sada Masashi Daitanjoue! The Birthday Party in Masashi Super Arena Selection

Release Date: June 27th, 2015

Running Time: N/A

Director: N/A

Writer: N/A

Starring:  Sada Masashi, Shinji Tanimura, Ayaka Hirahara, Masayuki Suzuki, Momoiro Clover Z,

A concert was held in Saitama Super Arena on April 10th, 2012 and it saw people come together to commemorate the 60th birthday of Masashi Sada with idols such as Momoiro Clover Z mixing with musicians like Hiromi Iwasaki and Shinji Tanimura. Tickets sold out superfast and so for those who missed the event this is the next best thing.

Website

 

Attack on Titan Part 2: Wings of Liberty   

Attack on Titan Part 2 Wings of Liberty Film Poster
Attack on Titan Part 2 Wings of Liberty Film Poster

Japanese Title: 劇場版「進撃の巨人」後編 自由の翼

Romaji: Gekijouban Shingeki no Kyojin Zenpen Kouhen Jiyuu no Tsubasa

Release Date: June 27th, 2015

Running Time: 121 mins.

Director: Tetsuro Araki

Writer: Hajime Isayama (Original Creator)

Starring: Yuuki Kaji (Eren Jaeger), Yui Ishikawa (Mikasa Ackerman), Marina Inoue (Amin Arlelt), Kisho Taniyama (Jean Kirstein), Yu Shimamura (Annie Leonhardt), Yu Kobayashi (Sasha Browse),

Attack on Titan’s TV anime has been repackaged for the cinema with two films. This is the second film and it covers episodes 14 – 25 telling the story of Eren Jaeger and his friends as they battle Titans who want to devour humanity… I’ve written about the anime with a first impression and a final thoughts post and made lots of Gifs. It’s preparing the ground for the live-action film which, judging by reactions to the latest trailer, looks like it won’t be so hot.

Website

 

Nan no Tame ni / For What   

Nan no Tame ni Film Poster
Nan no Tame ni Film Poster

Japanese: 何のために

Romaji: Nan no Tame ni

Release Date: June 27th, 2015

Running Time: 83 mins.

Director: Naoki Suzuki, Annoura Toyoto

Writer: N/A

Starring:  Fumiaki Nakamura, Akihiko Higashino, Mariko Koekawa, Yu Himuro, Kazuhiko Nishizono,

This looks a little like those self-help documentaries/talks that float around the internet. The guy at the centre of this documentary is Fumiaki Nakamura who lectures and writes books asking the question, “for what” in order to inspire people into action and achieve their dreams and goals, find happiness and make connections with others.

Website

 

New Cinema Kabuki Sannin Kichiza   

New Cinema Kabuki Sannin Kichiza Film Poster
New Cinema Kabuki Sannin Kichiza Film Poster

Japanese: NEWシネマ歌舞伎 三人吉三

Romaji: New Shinema Kabuki Sannin Kichiza

Release Date: June 27th, 2015

Running Time: 135 mins.

Director: Kazuyoshi Kushida

Writer: Kawatake Shinshichi II (Original Play), Umemori Kokuga (Original Novel),

Starring:  Matsuya Onoe, Nakamura Kankuro, Nakamura Shichinosuke II, Bando Shingo,

I struggle to cover Kabuki whenever it’s screened in cinemas and so I always point people in the direction of useful links and these are the most useful ones yet: Kabuki Live and Kabuki 21. These websites are where I got all the information from.

This is the Theatre Cocoon kabuki performance of “The Three Kichiza’s” from June 2014. It is based on a novel called Keiseikai Futasujimichi and it was turned into a kabuki play by Kawatake Shinshichi II in 1860. The play has been updated by contemporary artist Kazuyoshi Kushida.

The three Kichisa are thieves who are blood brothers and loyal to each other. They are Oshô Kichisa, a priest; Ojô Kichisa, a young pickpocket who disguises himself as a woman because of his feminine appearance; and Obô Kichisa, a rônin. The story has a moral: the evil which the same sum of money can cause if wrongfully acquired.

Website

 

Michi Te Iku   

Michi te Iku Film Poster
Michi te Iku Film Poster

Japanese: みちていく

Romaji: Michi Te Iku

Release Date: June 27th, 2015

Running Time: 89 mins.

Director: Risa Takeuchi

Writer: Risa Takeuchi (Screenplay),

Starring:  Momoko Tobita, Yuri Yamada, Serena Nishihara, Takahiro Ono, Miwako Izumi,

This is a graduation project from a student at the Tokyo University of the Artsand it’s all about a high school girl who drifts around summer dallying with athletcs.

Website

 

And that’s your lot of badly translated Japanese film trailers.

Random music video:

 

My sister and I are playing Shenmue on the Dreamcast so that explains that.

11 thoughts on “You Are a Good Kid, Kimi wa Ii Ko, Love and Peace, Chasuke’s Journey, Strayer’s Chronicle, Attack on Titan Part 2: Wings of Liberty, Michi Te Iku and Other Japanese Film Trailers

    1. Thanks for the reply. I’ll keep going back to your site and linking to it because it’s a treasure trove of information on kabuki and Cinema Kabuki is here to stay so I’ll need as much help as I can get!

    1. Chasuke’s Journey looks different and fun from the usual line-up of films. Sabu is a good director so seeing him back in action makes me want to dig out all of his older works like Kanikosen and Monday so I can watch them again.

  1. “You’re A Good Kid” seems like a barrel of laughs. At least Chiziru doesn’t have pleasure her own father in this one (I hope)…

    And Sono directing Kumiko Aso? *head explodes

    Even when made up to look like a scruffy loser Aso is still mercurial. I really hope Sono’s latest films make it over here and don’t get lost in the ether like “Play In Hell” did…😦

    And “Chasuke’s Journey” has an Office Kitano logo attached to it. Nuff said really…😛

    1. I watched the trailer for You’re a Good Kid once and knew I would cry at certain points. I hate seeing children in peril.

      As for Aso… I have gone off her in recent years. I’m not sure she can play losers because she still looks like Aso and thus she’s a bit glam and very beautiful. I remember seeing her in Moteki and wondering why men weren’t falling over themselves to date her and she was demeaning herself to chase after Yukiyo.

      1. I know what you mean about Moteki but as an actress Aso is great as the kooky underdog woman. I hope she gets some decent drama roles one day, I’m sure she can pull it off.

  2. This one is better. There are three I want to see from this post🙂

    Love and Peace…okay I admit, it’s the turtle thing that makes me want to see it😉
    Ten No Chasuke, it looks fun and it’s Matsuken.
    Strayer’s Chronicle , The trailer looks intriguing.

    1. Love and Peace is confirmed for a UK release so expect a review later this year!

      Ten no Chasuke comes from Sabu, one of Japan’s underrated directors.

      You Are a Good Kid is the stand-out title. I hope to see that. I’ll probably cry a lot during the film as well!

      1. You’re a good kid is also good…but I might watch it unplanned. Sad movies is not something I plan to watch…but I eventually watch it

      2. I’ve heard good things about this one and the director’s previous film, The Light Shines Only There, was amazing so I’m keeping an eye out for this one.

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