Goodbye, Grandpa!, Kokoro, Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda, Yurari, Hyouka, The Last Recipe, We Love Television?, The Miraculous Postcards, Cinema Rhapsody ~ Nagoya Movie Theater Revolution, Kimi ha nanimo warukunai yo, Kamera wo tomeru na!, Yasashiku naani naochan to kazoku no 35-nen, Dance with Devils Fortuna Japanese Film Trailers        

Happy weekend, people.

I am elbow-deep editing a story at the minute but there is light at the end of the tunnel. It’s a supernatural tale which is fitting for the season since it was recently Halloween. For that particular day, I did my yearly review of a horror film and chose Snow Woman (2016) as my tale to publish. That film has Kiki Sugino as director, a young woman making waves on the international festival circuit including with her retelling of the Snow Woman (which was at this year’s Edinburgh festival) tale which gives it a more contemplative spin so it was with a degree of pleasure that I posted about a season of free films dedicated to the leading women directors of Japanese cinema who are now being celebrated in screenings in London over the next month or so. If I lived in London, I’d definitely take advantage of it because there are class films like Rent-a-neko and Wild Berries getting screened!!!

Yuki Onna Film Image

Hyouka: Forbidden Secrets    Hyouka Film Poster

氷菓 「Hyouka

Running Time: 114 mins.

Release Date: November 03rd, 2017

Director:  Mari Asato

Writer: Mari Asato (Screenplay), Honobu Yoezawa (Original Novel)

Starring: Kento Yamazaki, Alice Hirose, Amane Okayama, Fujiko Kojima, Kanata Hongo, Nazuki Amano, Yuki Saito, Shihori Kanjiya, Hidekazu Mashima,

Website IMDB

Mari Asato is a female director who has made a career in the horror genre with solid films such as Bilocation (2014), Ju-On: Black Ghost (2009) and Fatal Frame (2014). It’s great to see her take a step up to a big project that adapts Hyouka, which will probably be familiar to westerners through the anime which is finally getting a release in the west thanks to Funimation (US) and Anime Limited (UK). Indeed, I have used images from the anime on this site for many years.

Hyouka Book Club

The film stars Kento Yamazaki, recently seen as the lead in Miike’s live-action JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure film, Amane Okayama (Poetry Angel, My Little Sweet Pea), Alice Hirose (L), Fujiko Kojima (Lesson of the Evil) and Shihori Kanjiya (Dead Waves, Parade, Shindo, Survive Style 5+).

Synopsis: Hotaro Oreki (Kento Yamazaki) has just entered high school and on his older sister’s recommendation, he has decided to join the Classic Literature Club which is here he meets the mysterious and curious Eru Chitanda (Alice Hirose). During their activities, they come across a Hyouka anthology which was published 33 years ago and uncover the truth related to the Hyouka anthology, their school and school festival and Oreki’s missing uncle.

Goodbye, Grandpa!    Ojiichan Shinjattatte Film Poster

おじいちゃん、死んじゃったって。 「Ojiichan, Shinjattate

Running Time: 93 mins.

Release Date: 2018

Director:  Yukihiro Morigaki

Writer: Sahoko Yamasaki (Original Novel/Screenplay)

Starring: Yukino Kishii, Ryo Iwamatsu, Ken Mitsuishi, Jun Miho, Miki Mizuno, Amane Okayama, Karin Ono,


CM director Yukihiro Morigaki takes a step into features with this drama that stars a lot of great actors who play members of a dysfunctional family brought together by the death of the patriarch. It was shown at the Tokyo International Film Festival. Reviews are already in at Screen Daily and The Japan Times.

Synopsis: The heat is on for Yoshiko during a sultry summer night in more ways than one as she is having sex with her boyfriend. Alas, she has the steam taken out of her when she receives a phone call about her grandfather’s death. She attends the funeral and meets with her slovenly uncle, nagging aunt, shut-in cousin, and grandma who has dementia. No one cries at the funeral but through a series of accidents, Yoshiko notices the feelings of her family-members and starts to think about “life” and “death”. The cold hand of death brings the warmth of family and stokes her passion for life, since she is inspired to visit the Ganges River in India.

The Last Recipe / Last Recipe: Memory of Giraffe’s Tongue (literal title)   The Last Recipe Film Poster

ラストレシピ ~麒麟の舌の記憶~Rasuto Reshipi ~Kirin no Shita no Kioku~

Running Time: 126 mins.

Release Date: November 03rd, 2017

Director:  Yojiro Takita

Writer: Tamio Hayashi (Screenplay), Keiichi Tanaka (Original Novel)

Starring: Kazunari Ninomiya, Gou Ayano, Yoshi Oida, Hidetoshi Nishijima, Aoi Miyazaki, Daigo Nishihata, Yutaka Takenouchi,

Website IMDB

Super idol Kazunari Ninomiya is paired up with great actors Hidetoshi Nishijima (License to Live), Gou Ayano (The Light Shines Only There), and Aoi Miyazaki (Petal Dance) in this culinary tale.

Synopsis: Mitsuru Sasaki (Kazunari Ninomiya) is a chef at the top of his game, but he when he receives a request to make a specific dish that the person will eat before they die he finds his skills are tested. In order to make that food, he searches for a legendary recipe of Chef Naotaro Yamagata (Hidetoshi Nishijima) who went to Manchuria in the 1930’s.

We Love Television?    We Love Television Film Poster

Running Time: 110 mins.

Release Date: November 03rd, 2017

Director:  Toshio Tsuchiya

Writer: N/A

Starring: Kin’ichi Hagimoto, Toshio Tsuchiya, Misako Tanaka, Taka Guadalcanal, Ryuhei Ueshima, Koji Higashino, Miyuki Ohshima, Atsushi Tamura,

Website IMDB

Synopsis: This documentary is about Kinichi Hagimoto, a long-standing institution on Japanese television as a comedian, emcee. We see him prepping for programmes and executing them and a variety of people he works with.

Kokoro    Kokoro Film Poster

Running Time: 95 mins.

Release Date: November 04th, 2017

Director:  Vanja d’Alcantara

Writer: Vanja d’Alcantara, Emmanuelle Beaugrand-Champagne, Gilles Taurand (Screenplay), Olivier Adam (Original Novel)

Starring: Isabelle Carre, Jun Kunimura, Masanobu Ando, Mugi Kadowaki, Biels Schneider, Fabrizio Rongione, Nana Nagao,

Website IMDB

Isabelle Carre, star of Anna M. (2007), takes the lead in a European film shot in Japan and starring big Japanese actors such as Jun Kunimura (The WailingOutrage), Mugi Kadowaki (Double Life) and Masanobu Ando (Battle RoyaleKids Return).

Synopsis: Alice’s beloved brother Nathan recently passed away while living in Japan. Alice leaves France and takes refuge in the small seaside village just above the cliffs from where her brother threw himself to his death. She wants to discover why he did so after he told her he had finally founded peace there thanks to a certain man named Daïsuké. Following his footsteps, Alice meets people who changed her brother including Daisuke, a former policeman who patrols the cliffs to prevent people from throwing themselves off.

The Miraculous Postcards   The Miraculous Postcards Film Poster

キセキの葉書 「Kiseki no Hagaki

Running Time: N/A

Release Date: November 04th, 2017

Director:  Jacky Woo

Writer: Yumi Hitose (Screenplay), Midori Wakitani (Original Book)

Starring: Sarina Suzuki, Kenji Kamei, Miyoko Akaza, Izumi Yakimura, Takako Tsuchiya, Yoshio Shin, Keishiro Fukutomi,

Website IMDB

This one stars Sarina Suzuki who won an award for her performance at the Madrid International Film Festival in April this year (news article). It’s based on a true story which was shown on television. A familiar face shows up in this, Yoshio Shin who was in Visualized Hearts.

Synopsis: Miyuki Harada (Suzuki) is a 38-year-old woman who cares for her 5-year-old daughter who has cerebral palsy and her 65-year-old mother who has developed dementia and depression in Nishinomiya, Hyogo. To get through her days, she writes about her experiences on postcards.

Ryuichi Sakamoto: CODA   Ryuichi Sakamoto Coda Film Poster

Running Time: 100 mins.

Release Date: November 01st, 2017

Director:  Stephen Nomura Schible

Starring: Ryuichi Sakamoto

IMDB   Website

This film has appeared at major festivals such as Venice, Toronto, and Tokyo over the last three months. It gets a theatrical release in Japan this weekend.

Synopsis: We all know Ryuichi Sakamoto as a musician connected to Yellow Magic Orchestra, a composer of some of the most incredible film scores ever heard and an actor. His career is long and goes from classical music to eletro-pop but he recently had a scare with cancer and this has prompted him to become more aware of life. He has campaigned over issues such as nuclear power but there’s a new urgency to his work and this documentary captures it as well as the changes leading up to it. 

Yurari   Yurarai Film Poster

ゆらり 「Yurari

Running Time: 112 mins.

Release Date: November 04th, 2017

Director:  Hatsuki Yokoo

Writer: Mitsutoshi Saijo (Screenplay),

Starring: Maya Okano, Rina Uchiyama, Shigeyuki Totsugi, Minori Hagiwara, Hiroyuki Hirayama, Ikkei Watanabe, Mayu Tsuruta, Kumiko Endo,

Website IMDB

Synopsis: Three families suffering small dysfunctions find small miracles help them connect better. A young woman who has failed at her dream to be an actress goes back to a mother she cannot stand help run a traditional inn. A father and daughter plan a fake kidnapping to get attention from a busy mother. A single mother has a son who believes in God.

Cinema Rhapsody ~ Nagoya Movie Theater Revolution    Cinema Rhapsody Nagoya Movie Theater Revolution Film Poster

劇場版シネマ狂想曲 名古屋映画館革命Gekijouban shinema kyousoukyoku Nagoya eigakan kakumei

Running Time: 65 mins.

Release Date: November 04th, 2017

Director:  Tomohiko Higuchi

Writer: N/A

Starring: Naoto Takenaka (Narration), Atsushi Tsuboi, Akira Shiraishi, Koji Maeda, Shohei Uno,


Synopsis: There’s a mini theatre in Nagoya called “Cinema Score” where all the film otaku gather because Atsushi Tsuboi and the guys who run it have a huge collection of films and an encyclopedic knowledge of films. Perfect for the variety of screenings and events they run and we get to see some of them. Film is life!

Do Not Stop the Camera! / Kamera wo tomeru na!   Kamera wo tomeru na! Film Poster

カメラを止めるな!Kamera wo tomeru na!

Running Time: 96 mins.

Release Date: November 04th, 2017

Director:  Shinichiro Ueda

Writer: Shinichiro Ueda (Screenplay),

Starring: Kazuki Nagaya, Manabu Hosoi, Tomokazu Yamaguchi,


Great to see the ENBU Seminar guys are still going. Seven years on and there are two this weekend. The first looks like the Romero film Diary of the Dead.

Synopsis: A film crew shooting a zombie movie in the mountains finds that their work turns real when honest to goodness zombies start showing up and chowing down on the crew. Does the director stop? Hell no! He keeps on shooting.

You Are Not Bad At All / Kimi ha nanimo warukunai yo   Kamera wo tomeru na! Film Poster

きみはなにも悪くないよKimi ha nanimo warukunai yo

Running Time: 81 mins.

Release Date: November 05th, 2017

Director:  Yusaku Okamoto

Writer: Yusaku Okamoto (Screenplay),

Starring: Ayano Kudo, Tomokazu Yamaguchi, Hisao Kurozumi, Koji Makino, Mina Nakamura,


This is the second ENBU project and it looks like a hard-hitting drama.

Synopsis: Kumi was a happy housewife living peacefully with her husband and daughter until she gets a phone-call from the police. There is a video showing that she was raped by a doctor while she was unconscious on an operating table. Kumi had tried to forget this incident but it becomes public and affects her daughter, now 20 years old and suffering psychological problems around being scared of intimacy…

Yasashiku naani naochan to kazoku no 35-nen   Yasashiku naani naochan to kazoku no 35-nen Film Poster

やさしくなあに 奈緒ちゃんと家族の35Yasashiku naani naochan to kazoku no 35-nen

Running Time: 110 mins.

Release Date: November 04th, 2017

Director:  Shinichi Ise

Writer: N/A

Starring: Nao Nishimura, Nobuko Nishimura, Norikazu Nishimura, Saburo Uchida,


Synopsis: This is the latest in a series of documentaries tracking the life of Nao Nishimura. She was born mentally handicapped and suffering from epilepsy. Doctors gave her little chance of growing up and despite their prognosis, she became a happy and healthy adult thanks to her spirit and the love of her family. We see her at the age of 35. Shinichi Ise has directed a whole bunch of documentaries, some of which have been in past trailer weeklies here.

Dance with Devils Fortuna   Dance with Devils Fortuna Film Poster 2

ダンスウィズデビルス フォルトゥーナ Kimi ha nanimo warukunai yo

Running Time: 81 mins.

Release Date: November 04th, 2017

Director:  Ai Yoshimura (MAL Filmography)

Writer: Tomoko Konparu (ANN Filmography(Screenplay), 

Starring: Himika Akaneya (Ritsuka Tachibana), Daisuke Hirakawa (Shiki Natsumezaka), Rikiya Koyama (Lord Nesta), Risae Matsuda (Azuna Kuzuha), Soma Saito (Rem Kaginuki), Subaru Kimura (Mage Nanashiro), Takashi Kondo (Urie Sogami), Wataru Hatano (Lindo Tachibana),

Animation Production: Brains Base

Website MAL ANN

Director Ai Yoshimura has worked on a range of anime including Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru, Gatchaman Crowds, and Ao Haru Ride. It has been adapted for the screen by the extremely experienced Tomoko Konparu. She has extensive links to a variety of franchises including Master Keaton!

Synopsis from ANN: Ritsuka Tachibana. She lives a calm and unchanging life. Dance with Devils Fortuna Film Poster 2Ritsuka’s older brother Lindo returns from studying abroad in the United Kingdom. Shikō Academy student council president Rem Kaginuki calls on the girl, and she begins having mysterious encounters with the student council members. Her life changed a little from that day, but Ritsuka expected nothing more.

However, she comes home to find her mother collapsed with suspicious hooded men nearby. They were not human but devils, vampires, and exorcists seeking the Forbidden Grimoire. Ritsuka’s former daily life crumbles around her, and she finds herself slowly becoming attracted to Rem, who helps her in her predicament. On the other hand, confusion deepens with regard to her brother who carries a secret. Ritsuka is unsure what path to choose as she finds herself at the center of a love story.

And that’s it for another weekend! I hope everyone has fun!

Top Knot Detective Film Image

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