Little Witch Academia: The Enchanted Parade, The Next Generation Patlabor: Shuto Kessen Director’s Cut, Nuclear Japan, Teacher and Stray Cat, Library Wars – The Last Mission, Decline of an Assassin and other Japanese Film Trailers

Happy weekend, readers!

Happy Hour Film Image

Well, I am back from my short trip to London and the BFI London Film Festival where I met a friend and did some touristy things. I only watched one film this year and it was Happy Hour, a five hour drama about four women in Kobe and the shockwaves from a divorce that jolt the friends from their dull relationships. I must admit that there were times during the film when I wished I were watching Yakuza Apocalypse or Ryuzo and His Seven Henchmen but Happy Hour proved to be a worthwhile watch.

Only one review this week and it was for Helldriver (2010).

What’s released this weekend?

Little Witch Academia: The Enchanted Parade   

Little Witch Academia The Enchanted Parade Film Poster
Little Witch Academia The Enchanted Parade Film Poster

リトルウィッチアカデミア 魔法仕掛けのパレード「Ritoru Wicchi Akademia: Mahou Shikake no Pare-do

Release Date: October 09th, 2015

Running Time: 56 mins.

Director: Yoh Yoshinari

Writer: Masahiko Otsuka (Script), Yoh Yoshinari (Original Novel),

Starring: Megumi Han (Atsuko Kagari), Yoko Hikasa (Diana Cavendish), Fumiko Orikawa (Lotte Yansson), Michiyo Murase (Sucy Manbavaran), Noriko Hidaka (Ursula-sensei/Shiny Chariot),

Website     ANN

I can’t remember too much from the original Little Witch Acadameia other than it was a bit of goofy fun. This is the sequel and it was partially funded via Kickstarter.

Synopsis from Anime News Network: Student witches Akko, Sucy and Lotte are tasked with organizing a parade commemorating the role of witches for the annual town festival. Sleeping giants, ambitious mayors, insolent boys, the girls’ own squabbling and copious amounts of magic combine to create a spectacular event.

 

Gamba: Gamba to Nakama-tachi   

Gamba Gamba to Nakama-tachi Film Poster
Gamba Gamba to Nakama-tachi Film Poster

GAMBA ガンバと仲間たち「Gamba: Gamba to Nakama-tachi

Release Date: October 10th, 2015

Running Time: 92 mins.

Chief Director: Yoichi Ogawa, Director: Tomohiro Kawamura, Yoshihiro Komori

Writer: Ryota Kosawa (Screenplay), Atsuo Saito (Original Creator),

Starring: Yuki Kaji (Gamba), Sayaka Kanda (Tideway),

Website     ANN

Synopsis from Anime News Network: Atsuo Saitō’s original 1972 novel is set in Yumemigajima, an island ruled by a fierce white weasel named Noroi. The town mouse Gamba and his friends fight to save the island’s mice.

 

The Laws of the Universe Part 0 (UFO Gakuen no Himitsu)   

The Laws of the Universe Part 0 (UFO Gakuen no Himitsu) Film Poster
The Laws of the Universe Part 0 (UFO Gakuen no Himitsu) Film Poster

UFO学園の秘密「UFO Gakuen no Himitsu

Release Date: October 10th, 2015

Running Time: 125 mins.

Director: Isamu Imakake

Writer: UFO Gakuen no Himitsu Scenario Project (Screenplay), Ryuho Okawa (Original Creator),

Starring: Asami Seto (Anna), Hisako Kanemoto (Halle), Ryota Ohsaka (Ray), Daisuke Namikawa (Professor Yoake),

Website     ANN

Ryuho Okawa, the founder of the controversial religious organization Happy Science (Kōfuku no Kagaku), is credited with the original work and as the chief production supervisor for the film. Isamu Imakake (The Mystical Laws, The Laws of Eternity) is directing the film, and also serving as chief animation director and character designer at HS Pictures Studio (formerly SH Studio).

Synopsis from the film’s website: Ray, Anna, Tyler, Halle, and Eisuke are five high school students who are suddenly wrapped up in a mysterious incident.

An alien species called Grey abducts Halle’s sister and embeds her with a special chip inside her brain. The five stand up to save Halle’s sister and try to reveal the existence of aliens, but continue to be met with mysterious events.

The high school students’ story progresses into a shocking development!

What truths hide on the dark side of the moon? What are the true intentions of the aliens that are infiltrating America, Russia and China? What is the true crisis that is closing in on Earth and what hope can we have towards the future!? Going beyond the last movie, The Mystical Laws, The Laws of the Universe – Part 0 reveals stunning truth from beyond the star in animation form!

People of Earth, you cannot afford to miss this movie!

 

Sakana-kun Kenkyuujo Suggyo Osakana Dai Shugo! Janpu! Kakureru! Sekai Saidai! Hen    

Sakana-kun Kenkyuujo Suggyo Osakana Dai Shugo! Janpu! Kakureru! Sekai Saidai! Hen Film Poster
Sakana-kun Kenkyuujo Suggyo Osakana Dai Shugo! Janpu! Kakureru! Sekai Saidai! Hen Film Poster

さかなクン研究所 すっギョイおさかな大集合! ジャンプ!隠れる!世界最大!編Sakana-kun Kenkyuujo Suggyo Osakana Dai Shugo! Janpu! Kakureru! Sekai Saidai! Hen

Release Date: October 10th, 2015

Running Time: 45 mins.

Director: Tetsuya Fukuhara

Writer: N/A

Starring:  Sakana-kun, Naoki Tatsuta, Sara Nakayama,

Website

The popular television show Sakana-kun is on the big screen for the second time this year and the theme for this one is jump, hide, the world’s largest. Easy to understand commentary ensures that kids find out more about the world’s largest whale shark herds, the ancient fish arowana of the Amazon river who eat insects by jumping out of the water, and the sea anemone that hide, such as clownfish to protect themselves from predators.

 

The Next Generation Patlabor: Shuto Kessen Director’s Cut    

The Next Generation Patlabor Shuto Kessen Director’s Cut Film Poster
The Next Generation Patlabor Shuto Kessen Director’s Cut Film Poster

THE NEXT GENERATIONパトレイバー 首都決戦ディレクターズカットThe Next Generation Patlabor: Shuto Kessen Deirekuta-zu Katto

Release Date: October 10th, 2015 (Japan)

Running Time: 119 mins.

Director: Mamoru Oshii

Writer: Mamoru Oshii (Screenplay), Headgear (Original Creators),

Starring: Erina Mano, Toshio Kakei, Seiji Fukushi, Rina Ohta, Shigeru Chiba, Yoshikatsu Fujiki, Reiko Takashima, Kanna Mori,

Website IMDB

This is the director’s cut of a film that was originally released in May. It adds over 20 minutes of content!

The project began with a seven-part series, which is composed of the “episode 0” and 12 full episodes helmed by chief director Mamoru Oshii and other directors. Each full episode is about 48 minutes long. The final feature length film ran at 94 minutes with the director’s cut clocking in at 119 minutes.

Synopsis: The story is set in Tokyo in 2013, and it represents the “third generation” of Patlabor. The Tokyo Metropolitan Police has disbanded its Section 2 Division 1 of police robots, and Section 2 Division 2 barely survived the budget cuts due to the long recession. The film will centre on the Section 2 team fighting against a terrorist group that has taken all of the 10 million residents of Tokyo hostage.

 

Nuclear Japan   

Nihon to genpatsu 4-nen-go film poster
Nihon to genpatsu 4-nen-go film poster

日本と原発 4年後「Nihon to genpatsu 4-nen-go

Release Date: May 01st, 2015 (Japan)

Running Time: 138 mins.

Director: Hiroyuki Kawai

Writer: N/A

Starring: Hiroyuki Kawai, Eiko Kanno, Yuichi Kaito, Tetsuya Iida, Noriko Kimoto,

Website

Synopsis from the film’s English language website: NUCLEAR JAPAN is a documentary film directed by a 70-year-old lawyer with remarkable record of winning very high-profile cases who elucidates the controversial issue of nuclear power industry in Japan.

On March 11th, 2011, a massive earthquake hit East Japan, which caused a catastrophic accident in Tokyo Electric Fukushima No.1 nuclear power plant. Radioactive materials were released from its four nuclear reactors, and they have contaminated the people’s land as well as ocean. Today, the effort to clean up the radioactive materials is still ongoing, only too little effect.

There was one lawyer who had been actively voicing the absurdity and danger of Japanese nuclear power – Hiroyuki Kawai. Kawai has been fighting in many legal battles to halt nuclear power plants in Japan for over 20 years. Ever since the crisis at Fukushima No.1 power plant, his fight has been fuelled by even more drive and dedication.

Then, Kawai had a thought. What if he makes a movie about this issue? If he wants the public to understand the complicated issues of nuclear power, literature has its limits. Also, all the coverage by Japanese media has been biased. Only by providing the visual and giving the objective view, he can communicate the true absurdity and inhumanity of the nuclear power in Japan.

With the help of another lawyer Yuichi Kaido, Kawai’s old ally who also has been fighting in nuclear power plant lawsuits, Kawai completed this documentary film, NUCLEAR JAPAN.

The film not only features the interviews of many experts, a number of facts and evidences, but it also brings to light the immense pain of the people have been suffering from the nuclear crisis. NUCLEAR JAPAN is now being presented as evidence in many lawsuits to halt nuclear power plants all over Japan.

 

Teacher and Stray Cat   

Teacher And Stray Cat Film Poster
Teacher And Stray Cat Film Poster

先生と迷い猫Sensei to Mayoi Neko

Release Date: October 10th, 2015

Running Time: 107 mins.

Director: Yoshihiro Fukagawa

Writer: Hitoshi Kobayashi (Screenplay), Chiaki Kizuki (Original Novel)

Starring: Issey Ogata, Shota Sometani, Kie Kitano, Pierre Taki, Kayoko Kishimoto, Takanori Takeyama, Masako Motai,

Website   IMDB

Synopsis: Kyoichi (Ogata) is a widower. He used to be happily married and a school principal but after the death of his wife and his retirement he keeps to himself. When his wife was alive she liked to feed a stray cat named Mii and since she has died Mii still visits, paying particular attention to his wife’s funeral picture on the Buddhist altar. This irritates Kyoichi who shoos the cat away each and every day. When Mii stops showing up at Kyoichi’s house he begins to worry and searches for the cat. He isn’t the only one. Kyoichi discovers that other people in the area are also looking for Mii.

 

Library Wars – The Last Mission   

Library Wars - The Last Mission Film Poster
Library Wars – The Last Mission Film Poster

図書館戦争 -THE LAST MISSION-Toshokan Senso-The Last Mission-

Release Date: October 10th, 2015

Running Time: 120 mins.

Director: Shinsuke Sato

Writer: Hitoshi One (Screenplay), Hiro Arikawa (Original Light Novel)

Starring: Junichi Okada, Nana Eikura, Chiaki Kuriyama, Tao Tsuchiya, Sota Fukushi, Kei Tanaka, Aoi Nakamura, Tori Matsuzaka

Website   IMDB

So, Library Wars got a sequel. Here’s what I wrote for the first film:

“To be honest I have never taken the concept seriously but viewing the trailer has left me interested if only to see Chiaki Kuriyama on the big screen again.”

I’ll be honest and say that I found the first Library Wars movie deathly dull. For all the sound and fury of the gun battles, the drama was absent thanks to some rote characterisation, bland acting (especially from Fukushi and even Kuriyama), and a setting which doesn’t make a whole lot of sense and irritated the heck out of me while I was watching it. I don’t know why it got a sequel except it’s based on a popular franchise and gives screen time to idol actors. Maybe I’m missing something…

Synopsis: In the near future an authoritarian government runs Japan. It has passed a law banning free expression and so the government has created an armed force to find and destroy anything it deems as objectionable content like books. Enter the Library Force which aims to protect books. Can Atsushi Dojo (Okada) and Kasahara (Eikura) defend their beloved books?

 

Decline of an Assassin   

Decline of an Assassin Film Poster
Decline of an Assassin Film Poster

野良犬はダンスを踊るNorainu ha Dansu wo Odoru

Release Date: October 10th, 2015

Running Time: 100 mins.

Director: Shoji Kubota

Writer: Shoji Kubota (Screenplay),

Starring: Yoshimasa Kondo, Yuri Yanagi, Shogo Suzuki, Keisuke Kato, Hidetoshi Kubota, Kouta Kusano,

Website

Director Shoji Kubota and actor Yoshimasa Kondo have worked together more than once. This year saw Murder on D Street released at the start and now it is ending with this film which screened at the Montreal Film Festival (that festival had a great line-up of films).

Synopsis from the Montreal Film Festival: After serving 40 years as the hitman for a shadowy criminal gang, Muneyuki Kurosawa has recruited and trained two young men in his deadly art. They are both straining at the leash, eager to fill his shoes. Indeed, though Kurosawa’s mastery was once unmatched, he’s now beginning to make mistakes. As well, he’s beginning to fall in love with Miori. his favourite bargirl, even to feel protective of her. When a simple hit gets botched, Kurosawa realizes it’s time to call it quits. But after decades in violent crime, how can he ever get back to normal life?

 

Japanese Movie Box Office Results for this Week:

 

Bakuman (Release: 2015/10/03)

Heroine Shikkaku (Release: 2015/09/19)

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

Antman (Release: 2015/09/19)

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

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

Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio: Ars Nova Cadenza (Release: 2015/10/03)

Kingsman (Release: 2015/09/11)  

Kingsman (Release: 2015/09/11)  

Jurassic World (Release: 2015/08/07)

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4 thoughts on “Little Witch Academia: The Enchanted Parade, The Next Generation Patlabor: Shuto Kessen Director’s Cut, Nuclear Japan, Teacher and Stray Cat, Library Wars – The Last Mission, Decline of an Assassin and other Japanese Film Trailers

  1. Re: Nuclear Japan

    The disaster/accident was especially tragic, because as far as I knew, Japan appeared to be doing everything right when it came to the country’s management of nuclear power. (As opposed to Chernobyl, where managers were careless.)

    I used to use Japan and France as examples in such discussions of how to do it right. Now I’m down to France, — who as far as I know are not afraid (or realistic?) about the nuke storage issues.

    There does not seem to be much enthusiasm to build more nuclear power plants in Japan. The older ones are going to have to live out their useful lives until they can be phased out however. Perhaps it is covered in the doc, but what could possibly replace them that is not just a pipe dream?

    As the population of the country will significantly decline over the next few decades, perhaps so will the demand for electricity, but that is a very sad way to conserve energy.

    1. While I’m not anti-nuclear I do wish we had a better alternative considering the nuclear waste and potential disasters.

      That written, like you said, Japan did everything right in managing those plants. Nobody imagined the scale of destruction that a natural disaster would cause – remember that this was one of the most powerful earthquakes ever recorded and the tsunami which damaged the plant was immense. The re-starting of plants is being conducted under tighter safety measures but one cannot help but think about all the other disasters that may occur considering that Japan lies on an active fault. There’s even a volcano near one nuclear power plant!

      Economically it is necessary to restart the power plants but the Fukushima disaster led to a mini-boom in solar energy and people were conserving more energy. In those months and years after the disaster Japan could have pushed for the further use of solar plus wind/hydro-electric energy to generate power. I’m not as sceptical about renewable energy but there is the absence of political will everywhere to implement it on as large a scale as necessary to prove its value.

      1. I WISH you were right about the renewables.
        I’ve been holding my breath for “power plant” type solar for decades.
        Solar is good in rural areas to run small devices, but it is not going to run the country. It is very expensive electricity since it cannot pay for itself, and must be largely government subsidized.

        In America it is just cheaper to keep burning coal, gas and oil … (Denny imitates a drunk Texan and shoots his six-guns off into the air, yelling “Yee-haa”)

      2. Like you say, without governments stepping in and making people/companies switch to renewables then things are unlikely to change but I always wonder why new buildings that are in the process of being constructed don’t include solar/wind generating capabilities. Unfortunately, governments everywhere are cutting subsidies for renewables so a clean energy revolution is very much far away.

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