Wake Up, Girls! Seishun no Kage, ARIA The AVVENIRE, Antonym, SLUM-POLIS, Gonin Saga, Gassoh, Dust and Fantasy, and other Japanese Film Trailers

Happy weekend readers!

Octopus Film Image
Octopus Film Image

As you’re reading this I am at my second film festival in the mighty month of September. The first was the Raindance Film Festival where I watched Slum-polis and Fires on the Plain. The second is the Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival where I am going to watch A Letter to Momo, Short Peace, and Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honneamise. I will also be meeting friends, going out for food and helping out with the festival in what ways that I can.

Only one post this week and that’s for this year’s Vancouver International Film Festival.

I am looking to wind up my Summer of Splatter Films season with some Noboru Iguchi and Tak Sakaguchi films as well. After that I have been thinking of posting more sporadically so I can concentrate on learning Japanese and becoming even more fluent in the language. I have my reasons…

What’s released in Japan this weekend?

Wake Up, Girls! Seishun no Kage   

Wake Up, Girls! Seishun no Kage Film Poster
Wake Up, Girls! Seishun no Kage Film Poster

Wake Up, Girls! 青春の影Wake Up, Girls! Seishun no Kage

Release Date: September 25th, 2015

Running Time: 54 mins.

Director: Yutaka Yamamoto

Writer: Touko Machida (Series Composition),

Starring: Airi Eino (Airi Hayashida), Kaya Okuno (Kaya Kikuma), Mayu Yoshioka (Mayu Shimada), Minami Tanaka (Minami Katayama), Miyu Takagi (Miyu Okamoto), Nanami Yamashita (Nanami Hisami), Yoshino Aoyama (Yoshino Nanase),

Website     ANN

This is the first of a two-part movie adaptation of the TV anime Wake Up, Girls! which debuted in 2013. A Compilation film was released in January last year and this looks to further the story.

Synopsis from Anime News Network: In the story of the original anime and previous film, Green Leaves Entertainment is a tiny production company on the verge of going out of business in Sendai, the biggest city in Japan’s northeastern Tohoku region. The agency once managed the careers of magicians, photo idols, fortune-tellers, and other entertainers, but its last remaining client finally quit. In danger of having zero talent (literally), the president Tange hatches an idea of producing an idol group. On the brash president’s orders, the dissatisfied manager Matsuda heads out to scout raw talent. Matsuda makes a fateful encounter with a certain girl…

The new films will follow the group as they make their debut in Tokyo.

 

ARIA The AVVENIRE   

ARIA The AVVENIRE Film Poster
ARIA The AVVENIRE Film Poster

Release Date: September 26th, 2015

Running Time: N/A

Director: Junichi Sato

Writer: Reiko Yoshida (Screenplay), Junichi Sato (Series Composition),

Starring: Erino Hazyki (Akari Mizunashi), Ai Kayano (Anya), Chinami Nishimura (President Aria), Chiwa Saito (Aika S. Granzchesta), Junko Minagawa (Akira E. Ferrari),

Website     ANN

This is that healing anime where cute girls and Cait Sith ride gondolas on an alien planet. It’s very relaxing!

Synopsis from Anime News Network: The anime will consist of three episodes: the first episode is titled “Sono Aitakatta Anata ni…” (To You, Who I Wanted to Meet…), the second episode is titled “Sono Atataka na Sayonara wa…” (That Warm Goodbye…), and the third episode is titled “Sono Harukanaru Mirai e…” (To That Far Away Future…). The first two episodes are two stories from the original manga that were not previously adapted into anime.

The first episode’s story starts with Ai practicing on the gondola with Akari. As they travel through a canal, they meet Aika and Alice. All three have not had much time to meet since becoming Prima undines. Considering even the little time they spend together a “miracle,” Akari remembers a certain incident and relates it to Ai.

The second episode’s story begins with Ai relating a story to Akari of her experiencing a “miracle” while she was practicing. She saw Cait Sith as she was traveling down an unfamiliar path. When she disembarks from her gondola to follow it, she meets two Single undines from Himeya company and Orange Planet in the middle of practice.

The new films will follow the group as they make their debut in Tokyo.

 

Antonym   

Antonym Film Poster
Antonym Film Poster

螺旋銀河Rasen Ginga

Release Date: September 26th, 2015

Running Time: 73 mins.

Director: Natsuka Kusano

Writer: Natsuka Kusano, Tomoyuki Takahashi (Screenplay),

Starring: Yuri Ishizaka, Asami Shibuya, Kuniaki Nakamura, Tetsu Onji, Seitaro Ishibashi, Mihoko Watanabe,

Website   IMDB

This is a female driven film with a lady directing and co-writing the film and ladies taking the lead in this drama about two women working on a radio play. They become “frenemies” which is a genre that Japanese women have taken over.

Synopsis: Aya (Ishizaki) is beautiful but self-centered woman who has few friends. While she works in an office her dream is to be a scriptwriter and she attends night school to learn the craft. Her hard work pays off when a radio programme selects her script but there’s one condition: Aya needs to have a co-writer. So close to her dream, Aya thinks hard and selects Sachiko to be the second person. Aya believes Sachiko has a quiet and modest personality but things go awry when Sachiko starts acting and dressing like Aya…

 

SLUM-POLIS   

Slum-polis Film Poster
Slum-polis Film Poster

Release Date: September 26th, 2015

Running Time: 113 mins.

Director: Ken Ninomiya

Writer: Ken Ninomiya, Yoshie Konishi (Screenplay),

Starring: Horyu Nishimura, Hidenobu Abera, Ryoko Ono

Website   IMDB

This film is at the Raindance Film Festival and I saw it yesterday! It is  really well-made and beautiful film with a great soundtrack.

Synopsis: Slum-Polis is an island cut off from the rest of Japan because of the high levels of violence. The death of a powerful gangster creates a dangerous atmosphere as people vie for power. However a group of friends, all artists, wish for a better life and use their talents and dreams to escape their brutal reality… until it catches up with them.

 

Gonin Saga      

Gonin Saga Film Poster
Gonin Saga Film Poster

GONIN サーガ「Gonin Sa-ga

Duration: 130 mins

Director: Takashi Ishii

Writer: Takashi Ishii (Screenplay)

Starring: Masahiro Higashide, Kenta Kiritani, Masanobu Ando, Koichi Sato, Anna Tsuchiya, Naoto Takenaka, Rila Fukushima,

Website IMDB

I wrote about this earlier in the week for my Vancouver International Film Festival post so here’s the information:

I don’t know about America but in Britain during the mid to late ‘90s there was a wave of neo-noir films full of gangsters and deadly dames with dark secrets that flooded in from Japan and one of the biggest names in term of directors was Takashi Ishii, a manga artist and filmmaker. I have seen many of his films and Gonin is one of his best so to see him revisit the story with a cast including Masanobu Ando, Masahiro Higashida, Anna Tsuchiya and more is pretty exciting. Tony Rayns makes this sound like the business: “You may not follow the plot’s twists and turns, but don’t worry: all the acts of treachery and betrayal cohere into an ultra-hard-boiled vision of “yakuza DNA.”

Synopsis from the festival’s website: Ishii Takashi’s Gonin (VIFF 1995) set the standard for neo-noir yakuza movies with its tale of five down-on-their-luck men taking on a powerful yakuza gang, the Goseikai—and facing deadly reprisals. Twenty-years-later, the sequel Gonin Saga brings this story up to date. Several of the original five mavericks had families: Hisamatsu, for example, left a wife and son. Hisamatsu’s son Hayato (new star Higashide Masahiro) has an honest, crime-free life but is best friends with Ogoshi’s son Daisuke, who’s still working as a bodyguard for the gang. It all kicks off when a reporter asks Hayato’s mother to reveal the truth about the original attack on the Goseikei—and soon history is threatening to repeat itself.

 

Dust and Fantasy   

Dust and Fantasy Film Poster
Dust and Fantasy Film Poster

ホコリと幻想「Hokori to Gensou

Release Date: September 26th, 2015

Running Time: 92 mins.

Director: Satoshi Suzuki

Writer: Satoshi Suzuki (Screenplay),

Starring:  Shigeyuki Totsugi, Minami, Kaname Endo, Asahi Uchida, Yoshie Okuyama, Hirotaro Honda,

Website IMDB

Synopsis: Matsuno (Totsugi) hasn’t visited his hometown of Asahikawa since he graduated from high school. When he does return he tells people that he is an artist in Tokyo. When he sees a flyer announcing that the city would like make a wood monument Matsuno boasts that he is the perfect person for the job but when he fails to make any progress in making the monument his former classmates wonder if he is really an artist. To prove himself, Matsuno focuses on building the monument.

 

Gassoh   

Gasso Film Poster
Gasso Film Poster

合葬「Gassou

Release Date: September 26th, 2015

Running Time: 87 mins.

Director: Tatsuo Kobayashi

Writer: Aya Watanabe (Screenplay), Hinako Sugiura (Original Manga)

Starring:  Yuya Yagira, Koji Seto, Amane  Okayama, Joe Odagiri, Mugi Kadowaki, Minami Sakurai, Reiko Fujiwara, Lily, Yuko Takayama,

Website IMDB

I wrote about Hinako Sugiura in relation to the anime adaptation of her work Miss Hokusai. She was an manga artist who was fascinated by historical aspects of Japan and her works won many awards. This film is based on the manga series Gassowhich won the Excellence Award at the 13th Japan Cartoonists Association Award in 1984.

Synopsis: It is 1868 and the Shogunate is facing calamity as many in the country seek to overturn feudal society and usher in an age of modernisation. Three young men join the elite Shogitai division that stands opposed to the dismantling of the Shogunate. One is Kiwamu Akitsu (Yagira), a follower of Yoshinobu Tokugawa, and the fiancé of the sister of another young man who joined up named Teijiro Fukuhara (Okayama). The third is a childhood friend of the two, Masanosuke Yoshimori (Seto) is a childhood friend of Kiwamu Akitsu and Teijiro Fukuhara. After he is kicked out by his adopted family he joins the Shogitai.

 

Haikai mama rin 87-sai no natsu perapera  

Haikai mama rin 87-sai no natsu perapera Film Poster
Haikai mama rin 87-sai no natsu perapera Film Poster

徘徊 ママリン87歳の夏「Haikai mamarin 87-sai no natsu perapera

Release Date: September 26th, 2015

Running Time: 77 mins.

Director: Yukio Tanaka

Writer: N/A

Starring:  Asayo Sakai, Akiko Sakai

Website

Synopsis: This documentary examines how dementia affects the lives of a mother and daughter in Osaka. Asayo Sakai tends to wander around her local neighbourhood and the residents are familiar with the lady and her daughter, the artist Akiko Sakai, who is always on hand to look after her.

 

Kumakawa Tetsuya K Ballet Company `Cinderella’ in Cinema   

Cinderella in Cinema Film Poster
Cinderella in Cinema Film Poster

熊川哲也 Kバレエ カンパニー 「シンデレラ」 in CinemaKumakawa Tetsuya K barē kanpanī `Shinderera’ in Cinema

Release Date: September 26th, 2015

Running Time: 115 mins.

Director: Tetsuya Kumagawa

Writer: N/A

Starring:  Rina Kobe, Ryo Izawa,

Website

Synopsis: The recent ballet adaptation of the Cinderella tale by the choreographer Tetsuya Kumagawa and the K Ballet Company was performed in Kumagawa to commemorate Kumagawa’s appointment as artistic director of the Bunkamura Orchard Hall. Audiences can see his interpretation of the story and the skilled ballet dancers of K-Ballet on the cinema screen.

 

Genealogy of One Cup      

Ikkon no Keifu Film Poster
Ikkon no Keifu Film Poster

一献の系譜「Ikkon no Keifu

Release Date: September 26th, 2015

Running Time: 103 mins.

Director: Kaori Ishii

Writer: N/A

Starring:  Rina Kobe, Ryo Izawa,

Website

Synopsis: Master brewers in Ishikawa Prefecture talk about the art of making sake and how it affects their lives and the lives of their families.  

 

Japanese Movie Box Office Results for this Week:

 

Attack on Titan: End of the World (Release: 2015/09/19)

Heroine Shikkaku (Release: 2015/09/19)

Antman (Release: 2015/09/19)

Unfair: The End (Release: 2015/09/05)

The Anthem of the Heart (Release: 2015/09/19)  

The Big Bee (Release: 2015/09/19)

Pixels (Release: 2015/09/12)      

Ted 2 (Release: 2015/08/28)

Jurassic World (Release: 2015/08/07)

Kingsman (Release: 2015/09/11)  

 

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