Boruto Naruto the Movie, The Emperor in August, This Country’s Sky, Tomomichi Nakamura Films, The Legacy of Frida Kahlo, The Emperor and the Army, Drawing Days, Kamen Rider Drive: Surprise Future, Shuriken Sentai Ninninger Japanese Film Trailers

Happy weekend people!


There are lots of news stories and documentaries like Atomic, Living in Dread and Promise (dir. Mark Cousins) marking 70 years since the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and so this weekend we get quite a few films about Japan’s war time struggle. None of them really grab my attention the way Fires on the Plain did when it was released a couple of weeks ago. It’s indicative of a lack of bravery in the overall industry and rather it has been picked up on in wider circles. The Toronto International Film Festival’s initial line-up of films featured no Japanese entries. Following on from Venice and that festival’s lack of a Japanese presence it seems to indicate a lack of international interest in contemporary Japanese cinema. Having written these previews for a few years now I think it would be fair to say that 2015 has been a pretty dull year for Japanese cinema so far. In keeping with the unambitious slant of the current industry, there are few original concepts, and few films that look memorable. It’s franchise stuff, idol stuff, and things based on television and books with a degree of self-censorship and a lack of daring and risk-taking and, dare I say, unique artistic vision that characterised some of the best output from earlier ages of Japanese cinema. I’m probably being a grump but I grew up on the classics and ‘90s titles so I know how good Japanese cinema can be.

I reviewed two films this week: the so-so Meatball Machine  (2006) and Tamami the Baby’s Curse (2008) which was a lot of fun!

What’s released in Japan this weekend?

Boruto Naruto the Movie  

Boruto Naruto the Movie Film Poster
Boruto Naruto the Movie Film Poster

Japanese: ボルト‐ナルト・ザ・ムービー

Romaji: Boruto: Naruto za Mūbī

Release Date: August 07th, 2015

Running Time: 95 mins.

Director: Hiroyuki Yamashita

Writer: Masashi Kishimoto, Ukyou Kodachi (Screenplay),

Starring:  Yuko Sanpei (Boruto Uzumaki), Junko Takeuchi (Naruto Uzumaki), Nana Mizuki (Hinata Uzumaki), Kokoro Kikuchi (Sarada Uchiha), Akira Ishida (Gaara), Atsushi Abe (Inojin Yamanaka), Chie Nakamura (Sakura Uchiha), Daisuke Namikawa (Momoshiki), Hana Takeda (Kurotsuchi),

I know I stopped watching the anime a decade ago but I thought the Naruto franchise ended? Oh, he has a son. The films/TV anime continue.

Boruto is the son of the 7th Hokage Naruto and like a good son he resents his father and wants to beat him and become a hero. After meeting his father’s friend Sasuke he requests to become his apprentice…


The Emperor in August   

The Emperor in August Film Poster
The Emperor in August Film Poster

Japanese: 日本のいちばん長い日

Romaji: Nihon no Ichiban Nagai hi

Release Date: August 08th, 2015

Running Time: 136 mins.

Director: Masato Harada

Writer: Masato Harada (Screenplay), Kazutoshi Hando (Original Novel)

Starring:  Koji Yakusho, Tori Matsuzaka, Misako Renbutsu, Misuzu Kanno, Shinichi Tsutsumi, Tsutomu Yamazaki,

The story of how a few officers were prepared to sacrifice the lives of millions by refusing to surrender at the end of the war looks to be one with lots of men talking around tables. At a time when Prime Minister Abe is altering Japan’s constitution to allow for more militaristic slant and right-wingers are denying Japan’s war crimes and neutering political dissent in politics, education, and entertainment are this and Fires on the Plain the closest we will get to direct anti-war sentiment from cinema this year?

It is July, 1945 and World War II is about to end. The Allies want Japan to accept the Potsdam Declaration but the government cannot come to a decision. The U.S. drops atomic bombs on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. General Korechika Anami (Yakusho) and Prime Minister Kantaro Suzuki (Tsutsumi) are negotiating what will happen and whether the Emperor Hirohito of Japan should announce the nation’s defeat but a cadre of young commissioned officers, who are against Japan surrendering, intend to occupy the palace and a radio broadcasting station and stop the announcement.


This Country’s Sky   

This Country's Sky Film Poster
This Country’s Sky Film Poster

Japanese: この国の空

Romaji: Kono Kuni no Sora

Release Date: August 08th, 2015

Running Time: 130 mins.

Director: Haruhiko Arai

Writer: Haruhiko Arai (Screenplay), Yuichi Takai (Original Novel)

Starring: Fumi Nikaido, Hiroki Hasegawa, Youki Kudoh, Yasuko Tomita, Go Riju, Koichi Ueda, Renji Ishibashi,

This is more typical of the type of war films that Japan releases – critics may say it has a focus on the human suffering of Japanese civilians living under allied air raids and not the suffering caused by the Japanese military such as the massacres and human experiments in China.

19-year-old Satoko (Nikaido) lives with her mother (Kudoh) and her aunt in Tokyo at the tail end of World War II. Satoko is near the age to get married but with the war closing and disaster seemingly imminent, she can’t even think of marriage. Satoko then begins to get to know her neighbour Ichikawa (Hasegawa), a man who has avoided military service due to failing his physical test, and she begins to care about him…


Tomomichi Nakamura Films

Release Date: August 08th, 2015

Tomomichi Nakamura is a self-taught artist/filmmaker who has worked on a number of animated shorts some of which have been secreened at museums and film festivals aroundthe world. His works are getting screened this weekend:


Ari () Duration: 11 mins.

Director: Tomomichi Nakamura

Music: Ryuichi Sakamoto

Tenshi Modoki (天使モドキ) Duration: 13 mins.

Director: Tomomichi Nakamura

Music: Masahiko Ishida, Yoko Ikeda,

Starring:  Chinatsu Onishi


Tenshi Modoki Film Image
Tenshi Modoki Film Image

Everyday a woman seeking a change that does not change, so embrace the dream of children born between the birds that are kept as pets. The children born between man and bird is called the “angel beetle”, it had the appearance, such as the angel, but ….


Boku no Machi (ぼくのまち) Duration: 17 mins.

Director: Tomomichi Nakamura

Music: Tomoko Ueyama

Boku no Machi Film Image
Boku no Machi Film Image


The Legacy of Frida Kahlo   

The Legacy of Frida Kahlo Film Poster
The Legacy of Frida Kahlo Film Poster

Japanese: フリーダ・カーロの遺品 石内都、織るように

Romaji: Furi-da Ka-ro no ihin Ishiuchi Miyako, Oru you ni

Release Date: August 08th, 2015

Running Time: 89 mins.

Director: Tadanori Otari

Writer: N/A

Starring:  Miyako Ishiuchi

The world-famous photographer Miyako Ishiuchi (winner of the Hasselblad International Photography Award) is invited to shoot the item of surrealist painter Frida Kahlo, the most famous artist from Mexico. She heads to Mexico and the Frida Kahlo Museum where she works with the costumes and accessories which make up the identity of Kahlo.


The Emperor and the Army   

Emperor and the Military Film Poster
Emperor and the Military Film Poster

Japanese: 天皇と軍隊

Romaji: Tennou to guntai

Release Date: August 08th, 2015

Running Time: 90mins.

Director: Kenichi Watanabe

Writer: Kenichi Watanabe

Starring:  Yoichi Komori, John W. Dower, Yoichi Higuchi, Yasukuni Ashizu, Hideo Den, Beate Sirota Gordon,

This film is a French documentary originally titled “Le Japon, l’empereur et l’armée” and released in 2009.

This documentary analyses all of the faults of Japanese militarism from the Emperor system and the Yasukuni issue and the messy issues surrounding the pos-war age and the Japan-US Security Treaty, especially the issues surrounding Article 9, which guards again the Self-Defense Forces engaging in military conflicts. We get interviews and archive footage that has been collected from all over the world.


Drawing Days   

Drawing Days Film Image
Drawing Days Film Image

Japanese: ドローイング デイズ

Romaji: Doro-ingu Deizu

Release Date: August 08th, 2015

Running Time: 86 mins.

Director: Keinosuke Hara

Writer: Keinosuke Hara (Screenplay),

Starring: Yuya Ozeki, Kanji Furutachi, Toshie Neishi, Risa Sudo,

The actor who played the ghoulish little ghost-boy Toshio Saeki from The Grudge (2002/3) movies is all grown up and he’s a handsome man! He takes the lead in a decent-looking drama after bit-parts and stage-plays like Prince of Tennis.

Natsuki Urase has graduated from a technical school and now works in in old electrical shop. His real dream is painting and he uses the majority of his salary to on art supplies. His mother thinks that he’s  working for  bigger company and gets a surprise when she visits him…


The next two films are about Super Sentai franchises and I got the help of outside websites because I don’t know all that much about the genre.

Kamen Rider Drive: Surprise Future  

Kamen Rider Drive Surprise Future Film Poster
Kamen Rider Drive Surprise Future Film Poster

Japanese: 劇場版 仮面ライダードライブ サプライズ・フューチャー

Romaji: Gekijō-ban Kamen Raidā Doraibu: Sapuraizu Fyūchā

Release Date: August 08th, 2015

Running Time: 86 mins.

Director: Takayuki Shibasaki

Writer: Riku Sanjo (Screenplay), Shotaro Ishinomori (Original Work),

Starring: Rio Uchida, Rei Yoshii, Ryoma Takeuchi, Kent Hamano, Miwako Kakei, Rikiya Koyama,

Thank you Kamen Rider wiki!

Little boy Toshio Saeki from The Grudge (2002/3) movies is all grown up and he’s a handsome man! He takes the lead

A mysterious enemy appears from the future with its partner vehicle; a car designated as Type Next, the NEXTridoron. Dubbed the strongest machine, the NEXTridoron and this mysterious enemy force Kamen Rider Drive and his aliies into a corner. The Tridoron, Kamen Rider Drive’s partner, must use its hidden power to surpass this threat. It is a symbol that represents the movie’s “future” theme.

One day, in the present era, a visitor from the future appears. Claiming that the Drive System will bring about despair in the future, this visitor has arrived to stop Kamen Rider Drive and protect the future’s peace. However, Shinnosuke refuses to listen as the mysterious machine NEXTridoron and its driver, Drive’s strongest enemy, arrive.


Shuriken Sentai Ninninger   

Shuriken Sentai Ninninger Film Poster
Shuriken Sentai Ninninger Film Poster

Japanese: 手裏剣戦隊ニンニンジャー

Romaji: Shuriken Sentai Ninninja

Release Date: August 08th, 2015

Running Time: 86 mins.

Director: Keinosuke Hara

Writer: Keinosuke Hara (Screenplay),

Starring: Shunsuke Nishikawa, Gaku Matsumoto, Kaito Nakamura, Yuuka Yano, Kasumi Yamaya, Hideya Tawada,

Thank you Power Rangers Wiki!

Little boy Toshio Saeki from The Grudge (2002/3) movies is all grown up and he’s a handsome man! He takes the lead

The evil warlord Gengetsu Kibaoni was defeated 444 years ago by the Igasaki Clan to which he swore to destroy humanity, and again later the Kibaoni Army once again rose in the times of Last Ninja (ラストニンジャ Rasuto Ninja?) in which he was sealed by Yoshitaka Igasaki (Last Ninja). Yet again exactly 444 years later in 2015 Kyuemon Izayoi and Raizo Gabi, the Generals of Kibaoni, rise and start building up the empire again and try to revive Gengetsu Kibaoni. In this time, Tsumuji Igasaki, son of Last Ninja gathers the five predicted cousin Ninjas and hands them the Ichibantou swords for fighting the Kibaoni Army.


Top Ten Japanese Films:

  1. Attack on Titan )2015/08/01)
  2. Minions Movie (2015/07/31)
  3. Hero (Release: 2015/07/25)
  4. The Boy and the Beast (Release: 2015/07/11)
  5. Inside Out (Release: 2015/07/18)
  6. Pokémon the Movie: Hoopa and the Clash of Ages (Release: 2015/07/18)
  7. Terminator Genesis (Release: 2015/07/10)
  8. Love Live! The School Idol Project (Release 2015/06/13)
  9. Avengers Age of Ultron (Release: 2015/07/04)
  10. Let’s Go! Anpanman: Mija and the Magic Lamp (2015/07/04)

Random music video:

9 thoughts on “Boruto Naruto the Movie, The Emperor in August, This Country’s Sky, Tomomichi Nakamura Films, The Legacy of Frida Kahlo, The Emperor and the Army, Drawing Days, Kamen Rider Drive: Surprise Future, Shuriken Sentai Ninninger Japanese Film Trailers

  1. They all look interesting. If I ever get to see “The Emperor in August” it will make the 4th re-telling of those events I have seen. Have you seen the one – I forgot the name – with Toshiro Mifune as one of the generals who wanted to fight on?

    Talking about the end of the war is always good for late night discussions over coffee or beer. Although the beer might lead to fistfights.

    1. Toshiro Mifune was in Japan’s Longest Day, which is the one you saw, I think. I’ve seen him in Hell i the Pacific with Lee Marvin which isn’t bad. Lots of fights in that and no beer was needed. It’s scary to think that a few misguided generals could have seen Japan flattened and even more lives lost through bombing/fighting.

      The best Japanese war films come from the 1950s and 60s. Titles like Burmese Harp or The Emperor’s Naked Army Marches On (which I taped from BBC Four, I think) and so on. They don’t flinch from showing how bad things were. Here’s a clip:

  2. Hoopa movie at #6, OK. It turns out the “big news” is just that one could obtain the rare Hoopa Pokemon in the game via Internet in Japan. When the film opens in North America, then we will be able to obtain it here too. These events are very short, if a fan blinks they may miss it.

  3. Looking at the trailer for “This Country’s Sky” and following on from “My Man” I wonder if Fumi Nakaido is going to be the go-to girl for steamy dramas from now on? I know the trailer looks rather innocent until she sucks the guy’s finger – or will that be the extent of the sauciness do you think?

    Btw – sorry to go into pedant mode you’ve listed the main actor as “Hirok” – should there be an “i” or “o” at the end? 😉

      1. I have to see that after seeing her in that trailer, its interesting to see Nikaido in “historical” attire as opposed to schoolgirl or modern dress. She seems to have that Aoi Miyazaki ability of being able to transport quite well through eras. 🙂

      2. Nikaido in a kimono… just let that image sit… In all seriousness, she’s so great as an actor she can make anything work. Perhaps her next role should be wearing some animal onesie or a giant mouse costume.

      3. With regard to the costumes, I’m thinking of films like Yakuza Apocalypse and As the Gods Will! These aren’t just random thoughts!

        This guy gets everywhere!

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