Attack on Titan, Corpse Party, Stray Dogz, Make-believe Family, Bad Moon Rising, Summer on the Frontline: A 15 year old boy’s story and other Japanese Film Trailers

Happy weekend people!

Deadball Yakyu Shinnsouke

My summer of splatter films/manga reviews is back on track after a few anime first impressions (Charlotte, Prison School, Ushio to Tora). This week I reviewed Deadball (2011)and Big Tits Zombie (2010). Expect more film and manga reviews over the coming months. Hopefully I can keep up with the reviews, There are only the Toronto and Vancouver film festivals to worry about since Venice doesn’t have any Japanese films programmed and so for the first time since I started covering film festivals, I won’t be covering the Venice film festival.

What’s released this weekend?

Attack on Titan   

Attack on Titan Live Action Film Poster
Attack on Titan Live Action Film Poster

Japanese: 進撃の巨人 ATTACK ON TITAN

Romaji: Shingeki no Kyojin: Attack on Ttitan

Release Date: August 01st, 2015

Running Time: 98 mins.

Director: Shinji Higuchi

Writer: Yusuke Watanabe, Tomohiro Machiyama (Screenplay), Hajime Isayama (Original Manga),

Starring: Haruma Miura, Hiroki Hasegawa, Kiko Mizuhara, Kanata Hongo, Rina Takeda, Ayame Misaki, Jun Kunimura, Satomi Ishihara, Pierre Taki, Nanami Sakuraba, Takahiro Miura,

The live-action Attack on Titan is here and I must say that I am excited. I’m a fan of the manga and I’m a fan of the anime (first impression, mid-season thoughts, final thoughts) and I hear that the movie is meant to be  good which defies the expectations of some haters. There’s a great starry cast. I’ll let the trailer do the rest of the talking.

100 years ago, an-eating titans appeared out of nowhere and drove human civilization to the brink of collapse. The last remnants of humanity built a city behind a series of giant walls, bigger than the largest titan known to man, to defend themselves and for 100 years they have lived in peace. But then, one day, a titan bigger than any seen before appears and destroys a wall letting a flood of titans descend upon humanity. Eren Jaeger and his sister Mikasa Ackerman join the fight against the titans…


Corpse Party   

Corpse Party Film Poster
Corpse Party Film Poster

Japanese: コープスパーティー

Romaji: Ko-pusu Pa-ti-

Release Date: August 01st, 2015

Running Time: 93 mins.

Director: Masafumi Yamada

Writer: Yoshimasa Akamatsu (Screenplay), Team GrisGris (Original Game),

Starring: Rina Ikoma, Ryousuke Ikeoka, Nozomi Maeda, Jun, Yoko Kita, Kazuhiko Kanayama,

The Corpse Party movie is based on the famous series of horror games which has spawned manga and anime adpatations. The live-action movie features AKB48 and Nogizaka46 member Rina Ikoma who takes the role of a third-year high school student named Naomi Nakashima.  Acting alongside her is Ryousuke Ikeoka, a member of the male acting group D-BOYS and Popteen magazine model Nozomi Maeda. The film is directed by Masafumi Yamada. He is a specialist in the horror genre having worked on similar titles like Creepy Hide and Seek (2009), a film about a girl who gets haunted by demons when she plays a game of hide and seek, and X Game 2 (2012) which is about a group of people trapped in a school and stuck in a survival game.

On the last day of a high school festival a group of high school students are locked up at Tenjin Elementary School, a place haunted by students who were victims of a horrific murder that took place years ago.


Stray Dogz   

Yamakin Dogs Film Poster
Yamakin Dogs Film Poster

Japanese: 闇金ドッグス

Romaji: Yamakin Doggusu

Release Date: August 01st, 2015

Running Time: 88 mins.

Director: Tetsuhiko Tsuchiya

Writer: Masao Ikegaya (Screenplay),

Starring: Yuki Yamada, Sousuke Takaoka, Ami Tomite, Kanji Tsuda, Saaya Irie, Miyoko Inagawa,

Tadaomy Ando (Yamada) was once a yakuza boss but because of the bad actions of his subordinate, he quit the yakuza and went into the illegal loan shark business but times are tough and his victims are giving him a hard time.


Make-believe Family   

Kazoku Gokko Film Poster
Kazoku Gokko Film Poster

Japanese: 家族ごっこ

Romaji: Kazoku Gokko

Release Date: August 01st, 2015

Running Time: 100 mins.

Director: Eiji Uchida, Hanta Kinoshita

Writer: Eiji Uchida, Hanta Kinoshita, Momoko Fukuda (Screenplay),

Starring: Takumi Saito, Denden, Mayu Tsuruta, Reika Kirishima, Taro Yabe, Azuma Miwako, Eihi Shiina,

Eiji Uchida, director of Greatful Dead (2013) works with actor/director Hanta Kinoshita to bring to the screen starring a mixture of actors who have appeared in all sorts of indies and splatter films, some of which will be reviewed over the next few weeks – Takumi Saito (Vampire Girl vs Frankenstein Girl (2009), For Love’s Sake (2012), Eihi Shiina (Tokyo Gore Police (2008), Audition (1999).

This is an omnibus film about five sets of strangers who gather together to pretend to be the Suzuki and the Tanaka family and so on. Expect comedy.


Bad Moon Rising   

Bad Moon Rising Film Poster
Bad Moon Rising Film Poster

Japanese: バッドムーンライジング

Romaji: Baddo Mu-n Raijingu

Release Date: August 01st, 2015

Running Time: 107 mins.

Director: Ichiro Kita

Writer: Kenji Kurata (Screenplay),

Starring: Shun Sugata, Natsuna, Jun Miho, Sola Ohtsuka, Reita Serizawa, Hisako Ohkata, Rina Wakatsuki, Figt, Haruna Takeuchi, Chihiro Seko,

Keiji (Sugata) is a middle-aged man who has lost his mother in an industrial accident. Keiji returns to his hometown and on the way he meets a young woman, Towako (Natsuna) who is lost in a mountain road. She is suffering amnesia and looking for her family. The two, having lost relatives, travel onwards in the car…


Summer on the Frontline: A 15 year old boy’s story /Soman kokkyo 15 sai no natsu   

Soman kokkyo 15 sai no natsu Film Poster
Soman kokkyo 15 sai no natsu Film Poster

Japanese: ソ満国境 15歳の夏

Romaji: Soman kokkyo 15 sai no natsu

Release Date: August 01st, 2015

Running Time: 94 mins.

Director: Tetsuya Matsushima

Writer: Tetsuya Matsushima, Naoyuki Tomomatsu (Screenplay), Kazuo Tahara (Original Novel),

Starring: Ryuichiro Shibata, Min Tanaka, Satoshi Nikaido, Isao Natsuyagi, Miho Kanazawa, Ritsuko Tanaka,

Full synopsis from the film’s IMDB page:

Keisuke, 15-year-old junior-high school boy, has been forced to live as a refugee with his family in temporary housing apart from a hometown as a result of the Great East Japan Earthquake. He belongs to a broadcasting club of his junior-high and expected to spend his time over the summer with some fellows from the club but all of the equipment to make their work has been washed away by the tsunami. He decides to give up his filmmaking in this summer but one day a man who lives in a small village in Heilongjiang, China donates the equipment for filmmaking to Keisuke’s school and invites Keisuke, his clubmates and his teacher to shoot a film in China. It is there that the will learn about the Japanese boys’ story in China at the end of the Second Sino-Japanese war. It is a true story that 120 Japanese junior-high students were …


Tsukuba Naval Air Corps   

Tsukuba Naval Air Corps Film Poster
Tsukuba Naval Air Corps Film Poster

Japanese: 筑波海軍航空隊

Romaji: Tsukuba kaigun kokutai

Release Date: August 01st, 2015

Running Time: 99 mins.

Director: Osamu Wakatsuki

Writer: N/A

Starring: Kazuomi Yanai, Yoshio Hashimoto, Masayuki Nagare, Nobuya Kinase,

Kamikaze is a term in the news quite frequently recently because the Japanese government is pushing for letters and personal effects of Kamikaze pilots enshrined as world heritage and movies/doramas like The Eternal Zero are made. This documentary has testimonies from real kamikaze pilots who were traine at the Tsukuba Naval Air Base. 84 young men were drafted into this deadly force at the Battle of Okinawa and 60 of them died for their country. Get the real story of ther training, how their families reacted and what battle was like.


Hadenya ni ikiru hitobito   

Hadenya ni ikiru hitobito Film Poster
Hadenya ni ikiru hitobito Film Poster

Japanese: 波伝谷に生きる人びと

Romaji: Hadenya ni ikiru hitobito 

Release Date: August 01st, 2015

Running Time: 134 mins.

Director: Kazuki Azuma

Writer: N/A

Starring: N/A

Hadenya was a vibrant closely-knit village with strong traditions dating back centuries. It was built on fishing and other industries that harnessed nature. Then 3/11 happened and the village was wiped out. This documentary captured the vibrant lives of the people before the disaster and the aftermath of the disaster. The New York Times has a stirring article about the villagers and the way they survived the ordeal and how their traditional communal ways gave them strength.


Top Ten films in Japan and some notable entries:

Hero (Release: 2015/07/25)

The Boy and the Beast (Release: 2015/07/11)

Inside Out (Release: 2015/07/18)

Pokémon the Movie: Hoopa and the Clash of Ages (Release: 2015/07/18)

Terminator Genesis (Release: 2015/07/10)

Avengers Age of Ultron (Release: 2015/07/04)

Love Live! The School Idol Project (Release 2015/06/13)

Let’s Go! Anpanman: Mija and the Magic Lamp (2015/07/04)

Shaun the Sheep the Movie (2015/07/04)

Mad Max: Fury Road (Release: 2015/06/20)

Random music video of the week: Nostalgia… aaaahhhh natsukashi

12 thoughts on “Attack on Titan, Corpse Party, Stray Dogz, Make-believe Family, Bad Moon Rising, Summer on the Frontline: A 15 year old boy’s story and other Japanese Film Trailers

      1. I read the review on Anime News Network and was surprised to see it get such a high score so I’m going into this with some optimism and an open mind to the changes like the absence of Levi.

    1. Thanks for the comment! 🙂

      I have the game (Japanese version) but I haven’t played it yet. I’m currently making my way through Final Fantasy Tactics The War of the Lions and then I’m going to tackle some other RPGs.

  1. Quizoxy

    Hey there! It’s been awhile since we last chat, hope you’re doing good! I have recently watched the Shingeki no Kyoujin film in the theatres and I got to comment that I can’t really get myself to relate to the film as what I did with the original manga and anime adaptations. The film had much of a surreal impression despite having a different plot route since the beginning. I am currently waiting for the second portion to be released in September and I am still having high hopes in the overall impression since the spice are all at the back of the story.

    1. Hey, great to see you commenting! I’m doing well, thanks!

      I’ve seen more reviews for the film and they are a real mixture of praise and scorn. I’ll wait to see it myself before committing to anything. I’ve read about the changes and I am not especially bothered. I hope the director has a vision for making it all work and I’m willing to watch two movies to see if it does. If I don’t like it, I still have the manga/anime (I like the anime more).

      1. Quizoxy

        Yes, I too think that the only way to judge this film is to really sit down and watch it, since everyone had different expectations of this project. Even Hajime Isayama himself was caught in this pros and cons discussion of the film lately, I’m pretty curious what he really feel of it despite what he had commented during the interview.

      2. Thanks for the link! I’m not surprised about the amount of discussion. This is the biggest anime property I have seen since Pokemon! I work in an art gallery and I frequently see kids/teens cosplaying or wearing/carrying SnK goods!

        As far as what Hajime Isayama feels, I’m also curious. The story has been turned into a mega franchise with so many spin-offs so perhaps he doesn’t mind. I know the director and special effects coordinator were hitting back at critics so it shows they care.

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