Mitsu no Aware, Lowlife Love, The Stare, Koi, Ayashii Kanojo, Tamayura: Sotsugyou Shashin Dai-4-bu –Ashita, Shukatsu, Batto Onri Rabu (But Only Love), Sora iro no Symphony, Under the Cherry Tree, Tabi Machi Late Show Japanese Film Trailers

Hello dear audience!

Singing Love Birds Film Poster

Oh joy of joys, I have seen that there will be three Japanese films in my local arthouse – Ran, Our Little Sister and Cesium and the Tokyo Girl. A God-tier jidai-geki epic from Akira Kurosawa, a God-tier drama from Kore-eda and an indie I have followed since last year! I AM SO EXCITED!!! I have watched a clutch of great near-God-tier films this week – Vibrator (2003) and Sway (2006). I posted two articles this week, both covering film festivals. The first was about a season of Japanese musicals from the ‘50s to the 2000s which is being held at the Japan Society New York. The post was a preview of Japanese Film Festival Ireland which has an awesome programme.

What’s released this weekend?

Mitsu no Aware   

Mitsu no Aware Film Poster
Mitsu no Aware Film Poster

蜜のあわれ Mitsu no Aware

Release Date: April 01st, 2016

Running Time: 105 mins.

Director: Gakuryu Ishii

Writer: Takehiko Minato (Screenplay), Saisei Muro (Original Manga)

Starring: Fumi Nikaido, Ren Osugi, Yoko Maki, Kengo Kora, Masatoshi Nagase, Kiyohiko Shibukawa, Seiko Iwaido,

Website    IMDB

Gakuryu Ishii, that crazy indie director with punk sensibilities is back with what looks like an intriguing film and a more approachable mainstream one than he might normally make. I’ve reviewed two of his works, the brilliant Angel Dust and Isn’t Anyone Alive? but avoided his latest films because they didn’t appeal to me. This one does. It looks like fun and it’s full of great actors I really like: Fumi Nikaido (Himizu, Why Don’t You Play in Hell?, Watashi no Otoko), Ren Osugi (Hana-bi, Charisma, Exte, Eyes of the Spider), Yoko Maki (Like Father, Like Son), and Kengo Kora (A Tale of Yonosuke, The Drudgery Train, Norwegian Wood). The story is weird and the atmosphere shown in the trailer is delightfully dandyish with the great costumes and heightened acting. I want to see this film.

Synopsis: It is the Meiji era and that means writers like Ryunosuke Akutagawa (Kengo Kora) are busy making works of literature that will stand the test of time. Spare a thought for an old male writer (Ren Osugi) who would put pen to paper but is instead enthrailled with Akago (Fumi Nikaido), a red goldfish who is able to transform into a beautiful young woman. She possesses a pure and sensuous side and she uses it on the old man who she calls “Ojisama.” She has him wrapped around her little finger (flipper as well, I’m guessing) until, one day, the ghost of Yuriko Tamura (Yoko Maki) appears. She is a woman the writer knew in the past…



Lowlife Love         

Lowlife Love Film Poster
Lowlife Love Film Poster

下衆の愛 Gesu no Ai

Running Time: 110 mins.

Release Date: April 02nd, 2016

Director: Eiji Uchida

Writer: Eiji Uchida (Screenplay),

Starring: Kiyohiko Shibukawa, Denden. Masahiko Arai, Masato Arai, Kanji Furutachi, Yumi Goto, Aki Hiraoka, Nanami Kawakami,

Website  IMDB

Lowlife Love was brought to life through a Kickstarter campaign (which I helped by backing). The cast are the type who regularly appear in the releases of Third Window Films so if you like The Woodsman and the Rain and so on, you will dig this. Lowlife Love was at last year’s Tokyo International Film Festival and it was at this year’s Rotterdam International Film Festival which was the place of its international premiere. The film is directed by Eiji Uchida (Greatful Dead) and stars Denden (Cold Fish).

Synopsis from IMDB: Tetsuo (Kiyohiko Shibukawa) is a lowlife. A film director with a small indie hit many years back, yet he has never gotten any further as he refuses to go against his ‘artistic integrity’. He’s a real loser. Despite being in his late 30s, he still lives with his mother and sister, borrowing money off them and scrounging from all he comes in contact with. This includes his best friend Mamoru (Yoshihiko Hosoda), who makes porn films with him for dodgy characters in order to make money, as well as the film actors’ school they’ve setup to exploit their students as well as for him to sleep with wannabe actresses. He’s a real jerk. Then one day two new students come to his school: Minami (Maya Okano), a naive and fresh girl from the countryside who wants to be an actress and Ken (Shugo Oshinari), a scriptwriter who has been living overseas. Tetsuo sees something in Minami and feels she has what it takes to be a real star and Ken has a brilliant script which could be the fantastic new project…



The Stare   

The Stare Film Poster
The Stare Film Poster

のぞきめ Nozokime  

Running Time: 99 mins.

Release Date: April 02nd, 2016

Director: Koichiro Miki

Writer: Kenichi Suzuki (Screenplay), Shinzo Mitsuda (Original Novel),

Starring:  Tomomi Itano, Shunya Shiraishi, Mari Iriki, Chizuru Azuma, Kotaro Yoshida, Tetsuhiro Ikeda,

Website   IMDB

This film is the first leading role for Tomomi Itano, a former member of AKB48. The trailer and promo events are on YouTube and they look like all sorts of bad. They don’t inspire fear, they inspire laughter. Watch the trailer and you decide if it’s funny or not.

Synopsis: Ayano Mishima (Tomomi Itano) is an assistant director for a TV station. She takes on the case of the mysterious death of a young man who claimed that somebody was watching him. Ayano herself becomes haunted by something or someone stalking her. All she sees is a mysterious eye…



Koi Film Poster
Koi Film Poster


Release Date: April 02nd, 2016

Running Time: 83 mins.

Director: Masahiko Nagasawa

Writer: Shin Adachi (Screenplay), Masami Aimoto (Original Story)

Starring: Yozaburo Ito, Nana Okada, Ikuya Motoki, Erika Asakura, Yuji Eguchi,

Website  IMDB

Synopsis: Akio (Yozaburo Ito) and his wife were participants in the Inaho Festival in Kudamatsu, Japan. That was when she was alive. Akio leads the lonely life of a widower without her and works as a railroad car welder but he becomes attracted to Sakiko (Nana Okada) who works at his company’s restaurant. Sakiko was also involved in the Inaho Festival. Can love blossom between Akio and Sakiko?


Ayashii Kanojo    

Ayashii Kanojo Film Poster
Ayashii Kanojo Film Poster

あやしい彼女「Ayashii Kanojo 

Running Time: 125 mins.

Release Date: April 01st, 2016

Director: Nobuo Mizuta

Writer: Tomoko Yoshizawa (Screenplay),

Starring: Mikako Tabe, Mitsuko Baisho, Satomi Kobayashi, Jun Kaname, Takumi Kitamura, Kotaro Shiga

Website IMDB

Based on the Korean movie Miss Granny!

Synopsis: Katsu (Mitsuko Baisho) is a bitter 73-years-old woman. She feels she missed out on life thanks to having to raise a daughter as a single mother. Katsu gets a second chance at youth when she goes to a photo studio and takes a picture. Through some magic she leaves the photo studio only she is now 20-years-old. She changes her name to Setsuko Otori (Mikako Tabe) and adopts a more youthful style and goes for her dream of being a singer!


Tamayura: Sotsugyou Shashin Dai-4-bu –Ashita    

Tamayura Sotsugyou Shashin Dai-4-bu -Ashita Film Poster
Tamayura Sotsugyou Shashin Dai-4-bu -Ashita Film Poster

たまゆら 卒業写真 第4部 朝 あした「Tamayura: Sotsugyou Shashin Dai-4-bu -Ashita

Release Date: April 02nd, 2016

Running Time: 58 mins.

Director: Junichi Sato

Writer: Reiko Yoshida, Yuka Yamada, Sayaka Harada (Screenplay), Junichi Sato (Original Creator),

Starring: Kana Asumi (Kaoru Hanawa), Mayu Iizuka (Suzune Maekawa), Yuko Gibu (Maon Sakurada), Yuka Iguchi (Norie Okazaki),

Website ANN MAL

Here’s an overview of the series from Anime News Network.

Synopsis: This is the fourth of four Tamayura films planned for release this year and they all revolve around the daily lives of high school girls Fuu, Kaoru, Norie, and Maon and recently graduated Kanae who are all in the photography club. Their lively daily lives are clam yet the four third-year students are slowly thinking about their own future dreams and paths as they face graduation in about a year.




Shukatsu Film Poster
Shukatsu Film Poster


Running Time: 73 mins.

Release Date: April 02nd, 2016

Director: Seiji Chiba

Writer: Seiji Chiba (Screenplay)

Starring: Shu Watanabe, Tomoki Hirose, Koji Isayama, Yuichiro Hirose, Mika Hijii, Dori Sakurada,

Website   IMDB

Seiji Chiba is back and thankfully he is making something other than a ninja movie. His filmography is packed full of titles like low-budget exploitation fare like Alien vs Ninja, the sort of thing shot in a forest or cave on digital cameras, so this is a nice departure. Alas, no trailer so we don’t know if he filmed this in locations other than a forest and cave and if ninjas appear.

No Trailer

Synopsis: Shuukatsu is a process that takes place during a university students’ final year in Japan where students look for a job before graduating. It is a physically and mentally tough challenge where students wear similar looking suits and attend job fairs, employment seminars, and job interviews with the objective of securing a job offer. It is a gauntlet thrown at students by tough interviewers. Hard enough. Imagine being amidst an army of people all competing against you. Scary, right? This film tells a five stories based on a variety of interview candidates who must draw upon their survival instincts to succeed.


Batto Onri Rabu (But Only Love)   

Batto Onri Rabu Film Poster
Batto Onri Rabu Film Poster

バット・オンリー・ラヴ「Batto Onri- Rabu 

Running Time: 89 mins.

Release Date: April 02nd, 2016

Director: Kazuhiro Sano

Writer: Kazuhiro Sano (Screenplay)

Starring: Kazuhiro Sano, Tasuko Emoto, Miho Ninagawa, Azusa Sakai, Akira Ogata, Kota Kawase, Hitomi Enjo, Rina Serizawa,

Website    IMDB

Synopsis from the Vimeo trailer: Pink film director Kazuhiro Sano stars as Hiroshi Sasaki, a man who had throat cancer and is forced to undergo surgery. He loses his voice but lives a peaceful life with his wife, Harumi. Then his peace is shaken when his daughter Kumiko asks him “Who’s my real dad?” It turns out that he is not related to her by blood. He is assailed by doubts, jealousy, hatred, and soon delusions overwhelm him. One day, he heads to a temple and meets a man called Yamaoka. The two talk and Yamaoka persuades Hiroshi to go on a trip together with Harumi and Chie, Yamaoka’s partner. On their way to a hot-spring, Chie seduces Hiroshi, which makes Harumi irritated. After they arrive at the hot-spring, Chie threatens Harumi, saying “Today is the day you receive punishment.”


Sora iro no Symphony   

Sora iro no Symphony Film Poster
Sora iro no Symphony Film Poster

蒼(そらいろ)のシンフォニー「Aoi (Sora iro) no Shinfoni- 

Running Time: 95 mins.

Release Date: April 02nd, 2016

Director: Park Yeong-I

Writer: N/A

Starring:  N/A


Synopsis: Students of Korean descent in Japan are interviewed as they talk about their cultural heritage, language and then go and visit North Korea, their “homeland”. The film looks at relations between Koreans and Japanese and also the continuing fallout from the divide between the North and South of the Korean peninsula.


Under the Cherry Tree      

Under the Cherry Tree Film Poster
Under the Cherry Tree Film Poster

桜の樹の下 「Sakura no ki no shita 

Running Time: 91 mins.

Release Date: April 02nd, 2016

Director: Kei Tanaka

Writer: N/A

Starring: N/A

Website   IMDB

Synopsis: A group of elderly people who live in a housing complex in Kawasaki city reveal their lives complete with laughter and tears.


Tabi Machi Late Show    

Tabi Machi Late Show Film Poster
Tabi Machi Late Show Film Poster

旅街レイトショー「Tabi Machi Reito Sho- 

Running Time: 32 mins.

Release Date: March 26th, 2016

Director: Yuu Numata

Writer: Yuu Numata (Screenplay/Original Work)

Starring: Yuki Tomizawa (Nagi), Yukiko Morishita (Azuma), Yukari Goto (Koizumi) Miho Tabata (Kubeno), Yoshikazu Nakadai (Matsuzaki),

Website   ANN   MAL

Synopsis from Anime News Network: This anime is a collection of short slice of life stories, such as a young man beginning his journey to become a chef, two girls who wanted to become friends in high school but couldn’t, and a ghost back among the living during the Obon summer festival.


Japanese Movie Box Office Results for this Week:

Assassination Classroom: The Graduation (25/03/16)

Doraemon the Movie: Nobita and the Birth of Japan 2016 (2016/03/05)

Batman vs Superman Dawn of Justice (25/03/16)

The Masked Rider #1 (25/03/16)

The Town Where Only I Am Missing (2016/03/19)

The Good Dinosaur (2016/03/12)

Chihayafuru (2016/03/19)

Eiga Precure All Stars: Minna de Utau Kiseki no Mahou! (2016/03/19)

What a Wonderful Family! (2016/03/12)

Everest: The Summit of the Gods (2016/03/12)

2 thoughts on “Mitsu no Aware, Lowlife Love, The Stare, Koi, Ayashii Kanojo, Tamayura: Sotsugyou Shashin Dai-4-bu –Ashita, Shukatsu, Batto Onri Rabu (But Only Love), Sora iro no Symphony, Under the Cherry Tree, Tabi Machi Late Show Japanese Film Trailers

  1. Pfft! You just want to see Fumi Nikaido slink about in a flimsy red dress! 😛 😉

    Interesting that “Miss Granny” (fun film btw) has now spawned both a Chinese and a Japanese remake! Not seen the Chinese remake but I have an odd feeling it wont have the same charm as the original.

    1. Mitsu no Oware ticks a lot of boxes for me already so seeing Fumi Nikaido in a flimsy red dress is the cherry on top. In all seriousness, that trailer and all of those actors and story elements have got me seriously interested plus it has Ishii working with some top draw talent.

      I haven’t seen the Chinese version of Miss Granny but I’m not surprised that it would exist. The concept is too good to pass up. Where’s the Hollywood remake?

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