After the Storm, Garm Wars: The Last Druid, Distraction Babies, Zebra, She and Her Cat – Everything Flows, Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin III Dawn of Rebellion, Garo: Divine Flame, Midori The Camellia Girl and other Japanese Film Trailers

Hello dear readers!

The Lost Village Image

This has been a bit of a quiet week for me. I reviewed two films and I watched two films this week: Petal Dance (2013) and Florence Foster Jenkins (2016). I started watching the TV anime The Lost Village (Mayoiga 迷家). I am on episode three and I think it’s the funniest thing I have seen since Osomatsu-san. It is filled with characters and so over the top it has become absurd. I’m also watching Two Best Friends Play Silent Hill 2 because I find the Best Friends funny and because I’m a big Silent Hill 2 fan.

Two posts this week, the first for the Japanese Films at the Annecy International Film Festival. The second post is for the screening of Love Exposure at Japan Society New York.

What’s released this weekend?

After the Storm   

After the Storm Film Poster
After the Storm Film Poster

海よりもまだ深く 「Umi yori mo mada fukaku」

Release Date: May 21st, 2016

Running Time: 117 mins.

Director: Hirokazu Koreeda

Writer: Hirokazu Koreeda (Original Story, Screenplay)

Starring: Hiroshi Abe, Kirin Kiki, Lily Franky, Sosuke Ikematsu, Yoko Maki, Satomi Kobayashi, Isao Hashizume, Taiyo Yoshizawa

IMDB   Website

Film of the week! This is the latest film from Hirokazu Koreeda (Kiseki) which is playing at Cannes and reviews are good. In The Hollywood Reporter review from Deborah Young she states:

“As sweet as a ripe cherry at first glance, it has a rocky pit, as viewers who bite deeply will find out. More casual audiences may not even perceive it. This bittersweet peek into the human comedy has a more subtle charm than flashier films like the director’s child-swapping fable Like Father, Like Son, but the filmmaking is so exquisite and the acting so calibrated it sticks with you.”

Maggie Lee over at Variety says:

“Featuring an uncomplicated plot and easily relatable personalities, this is a divertissement compared with the thematic heft of “Like Father, Like Son.” Still its gentle contemplation of life’s disappointments and human inadequacy may draw new recruits beyond the director-writer’s euro-arthouse base.”

He reunites with familiar actors like Hiroshi Abe and Kirin Kiki (both of whom were in Still Walking), Yoko Maki and Lily Franky (who were in Like Father, Like Son) as well as new actors like Sosuke Ikematsu (How Selfish I Am!). Stay tuned for a review of Our Little Sister (2015) which was at last year’s Cannes Film Festival.

Synopsis from IMDB: Dwelling on his past glory as a prize-winning author, Ryota (Hiroshi Abe) wastes the money he makes as a private detective on gambling and can barely pay child support. After the death of his father, his aging mother (Kirin Kiki) and beautiful ex-wife (Yoko Make) seem to be moving on with their lives. Renewing contact with his initially distrusting family, Ryota struggles to take back control of his existence and to find a lasting place in the life of his young son (Taiyo Yoshizawa) – until a stormy summer night offers them a chance to truly bond again.


Garm Wars: The Last Druid    

Garm Wars the Last Druid Film Poster
Garm Wars the Last Druid Film Poster

ガルム・ウォーズ Garumu Wo-zu

Release Date: May 20th, 2016

Running Time: 92 mins.

Director: Mamoru Oshii

Writer: Mamoru Oshii, Geoffrey Gunn, Gen Urobuchi (Screenplay),

Starring: Lance Henriksen, Kevin Durand, Melanie St-Pierre, Dawn Ford, Summer H. Howell, Andrew Gillies, Garm wars the Last Druid

Website    IMDB

I wrote about this one when I reported on the BFI’s Anime Weekend in June. I picked this trailer for the post because it has music from regular Oshii collaborator Kenji Kawai. Mamoru Oshii has created a film in a similar vein to his 2002 film Avalon – a mix of CG and live-action. While some of the shots in the trailer look stunning it is the music that captures the imagination! Here’s an interview conducted with the director for the Toronto International Film Festival.

Synopsis: A clone war has overtaken the world with three tribes battling for air, land and technology. When one clone finds herself lost and on the run, she falls in with an unlikely group.


Destruction (Distraction) Babies   

Distraction Babies Film Poster
Distraction Babies Film Poster

ディストラクション・ベイビーズ  「Deisutorakushon Beibi-zu」

Release Date: May 21st, 2016

Running Time: 108 mins.

Director: Tetsuya Mariko

Writer: Tetsuya Mariko, Kohei Kiyasu (Screenplay)

Starring: Yuya Yagira, Masaki Suda, Nana Komatsu, Sosuke Ikematsu, Denden, Nijiro Murakami,

IMDB   Website

Synopsis: Taira Ashihara (Yuya Yagira) and his younger brother Shota (Nijiro Murakami) live by themselves in the small seaport town Mitsuhama. Taira Ashihara is always getting into scuffles and so he moves to the city of Matsuyama where he picks fights whenever he spots someone who looks tough. This attracts the attention of a criminal named Yuya Kitahara (Masaki Suda) and the two steal a car and head out of town with an occupant named Nana (Nana Komatsu) still in it. Shota goes looking for his brother…



Shimauma Film Poster
Shimauma Film Poster

シマウマ 「Shimauma」

Release Date: May 21st, 2016

Running Time: 103 mins.

Director: Hajime Hashimoto

Writer: Izumi Takahashi (Screenplay), Fumio Obata (Orginal Manga)

Starring: Ryo Ryusei, Kenta Suga, Kyoko Hinami, Maryjun Takahashi, Ryota Ozawa, Masaya Kato, Maiko Amano, Seiji Fukushi,

IMDB   Website

Synopsis: The story surrounds a man named Tatsuo and his two friends. They run a badger game and extort money from their victims. One day, they pick the wrong target. A person they thought was an ordinary man turns out to be a yakuza. This mistake costs Tatsuo’s friend Hide a severe beating and two ribs that are pulled out of him. Tatsuo finds himself forced to enter even further into the criminal underworld where he finds he is now made to take revenge on others at any cost…


Midori The Camellia Girl    

Midori The Camellia Girl Film Poster
Midori The Camellia Girl Film Poster

少女椿「Shoujo Tsubaki」

Release Date: May 21st, 2016

Running Time: 90 mins.

Director: TORICO

Writer: TORICO (Screenplay), Suehiro Maruo (Orginal Manga)

Starring: Risa Nakamura, Shunsuke Kazama, Misaki Morino, Daichi Saeki, Motoki Fukami, Akihiro Nakatani, Miyuki Torii, Takeru,

IMDB   Website

I have vague memories of reading or watch a programme based on Shojo Tsubaki the original source for this film, Midori – The Camellia Girl. It is an example of ero-guro (the erotic grotesque) and has been influential. Film director and clothes designer, TORICO takes up the tale and uses his skills to create a unique film.

Synopsis: Midori (Risa Nakamura) is a 14-year-old girl who doesn’t have a family who is picked by the Aka Neko circus troupe alongside Wanda Masamitsu (Shunsuke Kazama), a man who has supernatural powers. Midori has an affinity for Wanda, but she is afraid of him. Wanda gets members of the circus troupe to follow him using his supernatural powers and even commits murder.


Garo: Divine Flame    

Garo Divine Flame Film Poster
Garo Divine Flame Film Poster

牙狼 GARO DIVINE FLAME 「Garo Divine Flame

Release Date: May 21st, 2016

Running Time: 78 mins.

Director: Yuichiro Hayashi

Writer: Yasuko Kobayashi (Screenplay), Keita Amemiya (Original Manga),

Starring: Daisuke Namikawa (Leon Lewis), Kenyuu Horiuchi (Herman Lewis), Romi Park (Emma Gusman), katsuhito Nomura (Alfonso San Valianta), Arisa Komiya (Sara),

Animation Production: MAPPA


I really like the TV anime and watched it through. There are so many elements to the live-action doramas and films that I find it overwhelming and something I am not prepared to get into but the anime was a great introduction. I am not sure how popular it was with fans but I am happy to see it get a continuation in movie form.

Synopsis from Anime News Network and MAL: León, who has succeeded the name of Golden Knight “GARO” devotes himself to train a young Makai Knight for the next generation, together with Prince Alfonso of the Valiante Kingdom. Then, they receive an order to exterminate the most beautiful Horror in the world which resides in a neighboring country “Vazelia”. At the same time, a young Makai Knight for the next generation is kidnapped by an unknown person. León desperately follows them, only to find that he is surrounded by his enemies at a dead end. Then, a Makai Knight Dario who was supposed to be missing for some time suddenly appears and rescues him. Under his guidance, León is led to the town where he meets up a totally unexpected person.


Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin III   Dawn of Rebellion       

Mobile Suit Gundam The Origin III Dawn of Rebellion Film Poster
Mobile Suit Gundam The Origin III Dawn of Rebellion Film Poster

機動戦士ガンダム THE ORIGIN III 哀しみのアルテイシア「Kido Senshi Gundam: The Origin III Akatsuki no Hōki

Release Date: May 21st, 2016

Running Time: 68 mins.

Chief Director: Yoshikazu Yasuhiko, Director: Takashi Imanishi

Writer: Katsuyuk Sumisawa

Starring: Shuuichi Ikeda (Char Aznable), Toru Furuya (Amuro Ray), Megumi Han (Sayla Mass), Ayumi Tsunmatsu (Astraia Tor Deikun) Eizou Tsuda (Zeon Zum Deikun), Miyuki Sawashiro (Crowley Hamon),

Animation Production: Sunrise

Website    ANN   MAL

Synopsis: This is the third in a four part series that will tell the story of Casval Rem Deikun and Artesia Som Deikun (Char and Sayla, before Char became known as the Red Comet) before the One-Year War in UC.0068. The episode follows the youth who would become known as Char Aznable and his future comrade Garma Zabi after they join the Zeons’ military academy. Find out more at Anime News Network


Durarara!!x2 Ketsu: Dufufufu!!    

Durarara!!x2 Ketsu Dufufufu!! Film Poster
Durarara!!x2 Ketsu Dufufufu!! Film Poster

デュラララ!!×2 結 第19.5話「デュフフフ!!」 「Durarara!!x2 Ketsu: Dufufufu!!

Release Date: May 21st, 2016

Running Time: 45 mins.

Director: Takahiro Omori

Writer: Noboru Takagi (Screenplay), Ryohgo Narita (Original Creator),

Starring: Miyuki Sawashiro (Celty Sturluson), Jun Fukuyama (Shinra Kishitani), Daisuke Ono (Shizuo Heiwajima), Hiroshi Kamiya (Izaya Orihara),

Animation Production: Shuka

Website  ANN    MAL

Synopsis from from Anime News NetworkThis is the third OVA episode from the Durarara!! series that hs been released in cinemas. It slots in between episode 19 and 20 and is titled “Dufufufu!!.” The episode revolves around an incident with a “fake Shizuo.” Who gets caught up with and another blonde-haired, sunglasses-wearing man wearing a bartender outfit named Shidzuo Nobusuma. Shidzuo is a young hoodlum. As the two men’s fates are entangled, a new legend is born on the streets of Ikebukuro.



Naze Ikiru: Rennyo Shounin to Yoshizaki Enjou   

Naze Ikiru Rennyo Shounin to Yoshizaki Enjou Film Poster
Naze Ikiru Rennyo Shounin to Yoshizaki Enjou Film Poster

なぜ生きる 蓮如上人と吉崎炎上 「Naze Ikiru: Rennyo Shounin to Yoshizaki Enjou

Release Date: May 21st, 2016

Running Time: 106 mins.

Director: Hideaki Ooba

Writer: Kiyoto Wada (Screenplay), Kentetsu Takamori (Original Creator/Script),

Starring: Katsuyuki Konishi (Ryouken), Koutarou Satomi (Rennyo), Takaaki Seki (Michimune), Ayumi Fujimura (Chiyo),

Animation Production: Studio Deen

Website ANN MAL

The film is based on the 2001 book Naze Ikiru written by Kentetsu Takamori and apparently that book was later published in English in 2006 under the title You Were Born for a Reason: The Real Purpose of Life.

The author, Takamori, is the chairman of Jodo Shinshu Shinrankai, an organization which conveys the teachings the Buddhist monk Shinran, who lived during Japan’s Kamakura period. Shinran is considered to be the founder of Shin Buddhism, the most widely practiced branch of Buddhism in Japan. The anime is distributed by Suurkiitos, the guys who produced My Pretend Girlfriend.

Synopsis from MAL: Ryouken, a young man who hates temples and monks, laments his misfortunes but finds hope in his soon-to-be-born child. An unfortunate accident took everything from Ryouken. In the days of self-abandonment and suffering in darkness, Ryouken finds the teachings of the high priest Rennyo. In it, he finds answers to the question “Why live” as explained by the sage Shinran. As he is drawn into the teachings and no longer hesitates, Ryouken becomes Rennyo’s apprentice. The number of worshippers increase, but the Honganji temple becomes a target of the other sects, forcing Ryouken and Rennyo to flee from Kyoto. In order to find a new place to teach, they arrive in Yoshizaki (now in Fukui Prefecture) in the Hokuriku region.


She and Her Cat – Everything Flows   

She and Her Cat – Everything Flows Film Poster
She and Her Cat – Everything Flows Film Poster

彼女と彼女の猫 Everything Flows 「Kanojo to Kanojo no Neko Everything Flows

Release Date: May 21st, 2016

Running Time: N/A

Director: Kazuya Sakamoto

Writer: Naruki Nakagawa (Screenplay), Makoto Shinkai (Original Work),

Starring: Kana Hanazawa (Kanojo/Miyu), Shintaro Asanuma (Black Cat/Daru), Sayuri Yahagi (Friend/Tomoka), Akiko Hiramatsu (Mother), Makoto Shinkai,

Animation Production: LIDEN FILMS

Website ANN MAL

Synopsis from MAL: For the longest time, it’s just been the two of them. “Kanojo” and her cat Daru are inseparable, having grown up together. Now a junior in college, Tomoka—her roommate of a year and a half—moves out of their shared apartment, and in order to keep her living space, Kanojo must find a job. Day by day, Daru watches her continued efforts from a cat’s-eye view, eagerly awaiting his owner’s return. When she gets back, once again, it’s just she and her cat.



Yamikin Dogs 3      

Yamikin Dogs 3 Film Poster
Yamikin Dogs 3 Film Poster

闇金ドッグス 3 Yamakin Doggusu 3

Release Date: May 21st, 2016

Running Time: 77 mins.

Director: Tetsuhiko Tsuchiya

Writer: Masao Iketani (Screenplay),

Starring: Yuki Yamada, Kanji Tsuda, Ami Tomite, Megumi, Naoki Yamazaki,

Website   IMDB

Synopsis: Tadaomi Ando (Yuki 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. Characters from the first film show up like Erina Himeno, a former idol, who has not given up her dreams despite being in a tough situation. Things are bad because the president of an unscrupulous production company is taking advantage of the people he works with.


Mosh Pit   

Mosh Pit Film Poster
Mosh Pit Film Poster

モッシュピット 「Mosshu Pitto

Release Date: May 21st, 2016

Running Time: 77 mins.

Director: Hiroki Iwabuchi

Writer: N/A

Starring: Asami Hokuto


Synopsis: Mosh Pit is what the title suggests a music documentary shot on 17 cameras. It records a concert on November 18, 2015 at Tokyo’s Ebisu Liquid Room. We’re taken through numerous performances with a helping hand from the singer Asami Hokuto of the rock band “Have a Nice Day!”


Eiga nihontou touken no sekai   

Eiga nihontou touken no sekai Film Poster
Eiga nihontou touken no sekai Film Poster

映画 日本刀 刀剣の世界  Eiga nihontou touken no sekai

Release Date: May 21st, 2016

Running Time: 60 mins.

Director: Tatsuo Ouchi

Writer: N/A

Starring: Kosuke Toriumi (Narration), Sadatoshi Gassan, Sadanobu Gassan, Masao Honami,

Website  IMDB

Synopsis: Japan is famous for many many things and that extends to swords which is what this documentary is about. We see what types of swords there are, the techniques involved in making them which have been handed down from ancient times and the manufacturing process. There are interviews with chaps like Sadatoshi Gassan. You can find out more about him in this interview first published in 2001.


Fushigina kuni no kenpou   

Fushigina kuni no kenpou Film Poster
Fushigina kuni no kenpou Film Poster

不思議なクニの憲法  Fushigina kuni no kenpou

Release Date: May 21st, 2016

Running Time: 122 mins.

Director: Hisako Matsui

Writer: N/A

Starring: Jakucho Setouchi, Yasuo Hasebe, Yoichi Miura, Ryoko Akamatsu, Keiko Takeshita (Narration),


Synopsis: Hisako Matsui is a famous documentary and fiction film maker who has had her works screened at festivals around the world. Her last film was a look at feminism in Japan and this one is about the Japanese Costitution and different people like academics, diplomats, housewives and freeters reflecting on it and what it means.



Japanese Movie Box Office Results for this Week:

Zootopia (2016/04/23)

The Magnificent Nine (2016/05/14)

If Cats Disappeared From the World (2016/05/14)

Detective Conan: The Darkest Nightmare (2016/04/16)

64: Part 1 Prequel (2016/05/07)

Captain America Civil War (2016/04/29)

Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Dark Side of Dimensions  (2016/04/23)

Crayon Shin-chan Movie 24: Bakusui! Yumemi World Dai Totsugeki (2016/04/16)

Chihayafuru Part II Shimo no ku (2016/04/29)

I Am a Hero (2016/04/23)

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