Birds Without Names, My Teacher / Teacher! Is It Okay for Me to Love You?, Ayamachi Scramble, To Become a Woman, Hibaku ushi to ikiru, Linking Love, Dawn Wind in My Poncho, Free! -Take Your Marks-, Yama no Susume: Omoide Present, Kirakira☆Precure A La Mode Movie: Paritto! Omoide no Mille-Feuille! Japanese Film Trailers

Hello dear reader. I am bringing back my trailer weeklies as the film resurgence begins. Inspired by my stay in Japan, recent films I have watched, and seeing the works listed at the Tokyo International Film Festival, I’m super-excited about what the Japanese film industry is producing. I’ve also been inspired by my stint working at an anime film festival and writing recent reviews such as:The Night is Short, Walk on Girl Film Image 3

Mind Game

The Night is Short, Walk on Girl

Double Life


Japanese Girls Never Die   Mind Game Film Image

Getting Any?


Yamato (California)

I also wrote about the Five Flavours Film Festival in Poland.

What is released this weekend in Japan?

Birds Without NamesBirds Without Names Film Poster

彼女がその名を知らない鳥たち Kanojo ga Sono Na wo Shiranai Toritachi

Running Time: 123 mins.

Release Date: October 28th , 2017

Director: Kazuya Shiraishi

Writer: Taeko Asano (Screenplay), Mahokaru Numata (Original Novel)

Starring: Yu Aoi, Yutaka Takenouchi, Tori Matsuzaka, Eri Murakawa, Sadao Abe, Masaaki Akahori, Mukku Akazawa,

Website  IMDB

Kazuya Shiraishi has moved from heavy crime dramas like The Devil’s Path and Twisted Justice on to the light-hearted Roman Porno Dawn of the Felines in terms of his career as a director. This one looks like a return to the drama and it stars Yu Aoi (magnificent in Over the Fence and Japanese Girls Never Die) and Sadao Abe (Dreams for Sale) among others.

Synopsis: Towako (Yu Aoi) is in a relationship with an older man named Jinji (Sadao Abe). She hates him because he has a deadend job and no social grace but she needs him because of the money. However, she pines for an ex-boyfriend despite the fact he physically hurt her badly. When she meets Mizushima, a married man with a kid, he reminds her of Kurosaki and they begin an affair. Then the police visit Towako and tell her that Kurosaki has vanished…

My Teacher / Teacher! Is It Okay for Me to Love You? (literal title)   Sensei Film Poster

先生! 、、、好きになってもいいですか? 「Sensei! 、、、Suki ni Natte mo Ii Desuka?

Running Time: 113 mins.

Release Date: October 28th, 2017

Director:  Takahiro Miki

Writer: Mari Okada (Screenplay), Kazune Kawahara (Original Manga)

Starring: Toma Ikuta, Suzu Hirose, Ryo Ryusei, Aoi Morikawa, Kentaro, Tomoya Nakamura, Manami Higa, Akiko Yagi,

Website IMDB

First love is always a powerful force but it’s problematic when it is between an adult and a teenager and one hopes that the subject is handled responsibly in this film because while we shouldn’t avoid the subject, there’s no need to normalise or idealise it even if there are fine actors like Toma Ikuta (Close-Knit) and Suzu Hirose (Our Little Sister) doing the romancing. It’s based on a long-running manga and has been adapted for the screen by Takahiro Miki, an expert in bringing josei manga to the screen, and the writer Mari Okada, someone who is super-prolific in the anime world with titles like Hanasaku Iroha and Anthem of the Heart.

Synopsis: Kosaku Ito (Toma Ikuta) is a history teacher and one of his students, Hibiki Shimada (Suzu Hirose), has a crush on him. For her, it is her first experience of being in love and due to being young and naive, she is honest to Kosaku about her feelings. Kosaku faces a crisis because he is unable to express his feelings freely due to his position as a teacher.

And as a teacher he should take his role as a guardian seriously and guide Hibiki away from making a mistake. Especially if he wants to avoid jail!!!

Ayamachi Scramble   Ayamachi Scramble Film Poster

過ちスクランブル 「Ayamachi Sukuranburu

Running Time: 113 mins.

Release Date: October 28th, 2017

Director:  Kiyoto Kawamura

Writer: Kiyoto Kawamura, Awashima Zuimaru (Screenplay),

Starring: Shuri, Ryuya Wakaba, Manami Hashimoto, Shinpei Ichikawa,


This film is released just before the dorama airs on Fuji TV. Lead actor Shuri has been in some great indie films like Signal (2012), Tadaima, Jacqueline (2013), and The Voice of Water (2014).

Synopsis: Risa (Shuri) works as an interior designer and has always been interested in her colleague Shinsuke (Ryuya Wakaba) but she fantasises what would happen if he had an affair with a married woman she met the day before. As her imagination runs free, it gets her into serious trouble in reality…

To Become a Woman   To Become a Woman Film Poster

女になる 「Onna ni naru

Running Time: 74 mins.

Release Date: October 28th, 2017

Director:  Yukio Tanaka

Writer: N/A

Starring: N/A


Considering the film I reviewed this week, this documentary is timely since it’s about transgender people. Forgive me if I use the wrong terminology here.

Here’s a news programme segment on the film with the director talking about the subject:

Synopsis: Prolific documentarian Yukio Tanaka tracks the journey of a college student who underwent a gender reassignment operation because of a sexual identity disorder. Before the operation, she was a boy who dreamt of being a woman. She came out to her family around her high school graduation and began dressing as a woman in university and during her third year she underwent surgery and became a woman. We get to see this story thanks to Tanaka spending half a year with the subject and her family, friends, college teachers, doctors, lovers, and other people.

Hibaku ushi to ikiru    Hibaku ushi to ikiru Film Poster

被ばく牛と生きる 「Hibaku ushi to ikiru

Running Time: 104 mins.

Release Date: October 28th, 2017

Director:  Tomatsu Matsubara

Writer: N/A

Starring: Masami Yoshizawa, Yukio Yamamoto, Mitsuhide Ikeda,


Synopsis (information from here): Four years in the making, “Hibaku-ushi to Ikiru” (Living with irradiated cattle) shows what happened to cattle farmers affected by the disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant following the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami on March 11 that year. Director Tamotsu Matsubara, 57, became acquainted with a farmer caring for more than 300 cattle on his land in the 20-kilometer no-entry zone set by the government. Residents in the zone were ordered to evacuate, but the farmer stayed on to look after his animals and even though the government wanted to kill them off, some of the farmers did not want to put their livestock down. Keeping them alive costs 200,000 yen ($2,000) a year in feed per head. Why do they persist?

About 350 hours of footage was edited into the 104-minute documentary about the farmers who refuse to kill their cattle and their supporters who are struggling to keep the cattle alive and the scientists who are helping the farmers. This documentary aims to show what some of the victims of the disaster are still contending with.

Linking Love    Linking Love Film Poster

リンキング・ラブ 「Rinkingu Rabu

Running Time: 116 mins.

Release Date: October 28th, 2017

Director:  Shusuke Kaneko

Writer: Shusuke Kaneko, Takashi Hasegawa (Screenplay), Hiroshi Hagishima (Original Novel)

Starring: Yuka Tano, Anna Ishibashi, Jin Shirasu, Akiyoshi Nakao, Motoki Ochiai, Asuka Hinoi,

Website IMDB

It’s fun watching music videos made by idols from the 80s and 90s. It’s like a more innocent age. Ignorance is bliss. Shusuke Kaneko, probably still best-known for the two live-action Death Note movies, is a journeyman director who has takes his hand to this tale based on the internet novel Linking Love by Hiroshi Hagishima. It stars Yuka Tano of AKB48 fame.

Synopsis: University student Miyu Mashio (Yuka Tano) hopes to become an idol, but it’s a hard road to travel and it gets even harder when her mother leaves her father. That’s when a man dressed as a genie steps in and tells her he will grant her 3 wishes.

Sounds great. Then he sends her back in time to 1991 and to the university her parents attended. Miyu meets the two and finds out that her father doesn’t like her mother so Miyu Mashio forms an idol group with her mother.

Dawn Wind in My Poncho   Dawn Wind in My Poncho Film Poster

ポンチョに夜明けの風はらませて 「Poncho ni Yoake no Kaze Haramasete

Running Time: 90 mins.

Release Date: October 28th, 2017

Director:  Satoru Hirohara

Writer: Satoru Hirohara, Kota Oura (Screenplay), Kazumasa Hayami (Original Novel)

Starring: Taiga, Aoi Nakamura, Yuma Yamoto, Shota Sometani, Aimi Satsukawa, Junko Abe, Jiro Sato,

Website IMDB

Director Satoru Hirohara has been mentioned on this site before when I wrote up the trailer for Home Sick (2013). He was also involved with Hold Your Breath Like a Lover (2015) which I was super-excited about. This is his latest film and it stars Taiga (Japanese Girls Never Die) and Shota Sometani (Himizu) amongst a decent cast in this coming-of-age tale.

Synopsis: Matahachi (Taiga), Jin (Aoi Nakamura) and Jambo (Yuma Yamoto) are high schoolers who will soon graduate. They have yet to find a path in their life and decide to take one last trip as high school students.

Free! -Take Your Marks-    Free! -Take Your Marks- Film Poster

特別版 Free!-Take Your Marks- Tokubetsuhan Free! – Take Your Marks –

Release Date: October 28th, 2017    

Running Time: N/A

Director: Eisaku Kawanami

Writer: Masahiro Yokotani (Screenplay) Kouji Ouji (Original Concept),

Animation Production: Kyoto Animation, Animation DO

Starring: Daisuke Hirakawa (Rei Ryugazaki), Mamoru Miyano (Rin Matsuoka), Nobunaga Shimazaki (Haruka Nanase), Tatuhisa Suzuki (Makoto Tachibana), Tsubasa Yonaga (Nagisa Hazuki),

ANN    Website

Synopsis from ANN: Haruka visits Tokyo to look for a place to live for when he starts his college life there next month. Coach Sasabe recommended a real estate agent to Haruka, but when he arrives at the agent’s office, he meets an unexpected character. Aiichirō and Momotarō are considering what to give Rin and Sōsuke as a graduation present. As they try to think of something that might surprise Rin and Sōsuke, Momotarō wins a premium lottery. The Iwatobi High School Swim Club members plan a surprise party to say goodbye to Rin before he goes to Australia. But Rin happens to see Gou and Momotarō as they run errands together all around town for the party.

Yama no Susume: Omoide Present   Yama no Susume Omoide Present Film Poster

ヤマノススメ おもいでプレゼント Yama no Susume: Omoide Present

Release Date: October 28th, 2017    

Running Time: N/A

Director: Yusuke Yamamoto

Writer: Kazuyuki Fudeya (Screenplay) Shiro (Original Concept),

Animation Production: 8 Bit

Starring: Yuka Iguchi (Aoi Yukimura), Kana Asumi (Hinata Karaue), Yoko Hikasa (Kaede Saito), Yui Ogura (Kokona Aoba),

ANN    Website

Synopsis from ANN: Aoi and Hinata look at photographs of their memories together and recall their previous mountain climbs. Hinata opens a treasure box in Aoi’s room to find a handmade and clumsily shaped accessory. After seeing the accessory, Hinata thinks back on a certain day the pair spent together when they were young.

Kirakira☆Precure A La Mode Movie: Paritto! Omoide no Mille-Feuille!   Kirakira☆Precure A La Mode Movie Paritto! Omoide no Mille-Feuille! Film Poster

映画キラキラ☆プリキュアアラモード パリッと!想い出のミルフィーユ! Kirakira☆Precure A La Mode Movie: Paritto! Omoide no Mille-Feuille!

Release Date: October 28th, 2017    

Running Time: N/A

Director: Yutaka Tsuta

Writer: Isao Murayama (Screenplay) Todo Izumi (Original Work),

Animation Production: Toei Animation

Starring: Saki Fujita (Yukari Kotozume), Tomo Muranaka (Aoi Tategami), Nanako Mori (Akira Kenjou), Karen Miyama (Ichika Usami), Inori Minase (Ciel Kirahoshi – what a great name!),

Pretty Cure Wiki MAL    Website

Synopsis: The Kirakira girls head to France for a sweet contest and meet Jean-Pierre the Patissier, a famous guy. The whole of Paris is turned into cakes and a sweet monster is attacking. I think…

And that’s it for this week!!!




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