Fullmetal Alchemist, Demekin, Akai tasuki tomioka seishijō monogatari, The Last Shot in the Bar, Touken Ranbu Hanamaru Intermission Flashback Record, Laughing Under the Clouds Gaiden – Parting The Oath of the Yamainu, Thunderbolt Fantasy Shōshi Ikken, Cocolors, Ashita ha docchi da, Terayama Shuji, Sugite ike, entai 10-dai, Yagate mizu ni kae (kae) ru, Nigeta sakana wa oyoi deru., Fuku Kaze wa Aki Japanese Film Trailers       

Happy Weekend People!

I hope everyone is doing well. After a couple of months of pretty decent output in terms of Japanese practice and film-watching and balancing my day-job, I hit a week where, due to emergencies and meeting friends, I didn’t get as much as I wanted done. Pushing on through that, I have got back on track and just in time to. I need to finish off a script quick-sharp and watch six more films before the year is out and re-watch two special ones. I can do it!

This week, I reviewed the films Tokyo Idols (2017) and Rage (2016). What films are released in Japan this weekend?


Tokyo Idols Rio

Fullmetal Alchemist

鋼の錬金術師Hagane no RenkinjutsushiFullmetal Alchemist Live Action Film Poster

Running Time: 133 mins.

Release Date: December 01st, 2017

Director:  Fumihiko Sori

Writer: Fumihiko Sori, Takeshi Miyamoto (Screenplay), Hiromu Arakawa (Original Manga)

Starring: Ryosuke Yamada, Tsubasa Honda, Dean Fujioka, Yasuko Matsuyuki, Misako Renbutsu, Ryuta Sato, Jun Kunimura, Natsuna Watanabe, Natsuki Harada, Yo Oizumi, Kanata Hongo, Fumiyo Kohinata,

IMDB Website

This fantasy/action film has the potential to be huge since Warner Bros. Japan are backing it and the original manga by the super-talented Hiromu Arakawa is quite possibly one of the most popular franchises around. Bringing it to the screen is Fumihiko Sori, director of the live-action Ping Pong (2002) movie, a visual effects man who has done lots of CG films. This was the opening film for the 2017 run of the Tokyo International Film Festival.

Synopsis: Edward Elric (Ryosuke Yamada) and younger brother Alphonse’s mother passed away from the plague when they were little children. The two attempted to bring her back from the dead by performing a human transmutation which is taboo in alchemy. Their attempt fails disastrously. Edward loses part of his body and Alphonse loses his whole body. Edward sacrifices another part of his body to bind Alphonse’s soul to a suit of armour and then goes on to become an Alchemist. He sets out on a journey to find the “Philosopher’s stone,” which has the power to get back what they lost.

Demekin   Demekin Film Poster

デメキン Demekin

Running Time: 116 mins.

Release Date: December 01st, 2017

Director:  Yoshitaka Yamaguchi

Writer: Shin Adachi (Screenplay), Masaki Sata (Autobiographical Novel)

Starring: Kentaro, Yuki Yamada, Shuntaro Yanagi, Mio Imada, Rion Takahashi, Taketo Tanaka,

Website IMDB

Synopsis: Masaki Sata (Kentaro) had a tough childhood because he was mercilessly bullied due to his appearance. Nicknamed “Demekin” (pop-eyed goldfish), he was a prime target but instead of giving up he fought back and did it so much he became unbeatable. With his red hair and love for motorcycles, he created a unique look and also a prime target for enemies when he tries to form a motorcycle gang and the fights get more intense…

Akai tasuki tomioka seishijō monogatari   Akai tasuki tomioka seishijo monogatar Film Poster

紅い襷 富岡製糸場物語 Akai tasuki tomioka seishijō monogatari

Running Time: 100 mins.

Release Date: December 01st, 2017

Director:  Satoshi Adachi

Writer: Kana Matsui (Screenplay),

Starring: Yu Mizushima, Mika Yoshimoto, Coco Kirishima, Natsuko Kimura, Miho Kanagawa, Noriko Saeki, Hitomi Takahashi,


Synopsis: The Tomioka silk thread mill in Gunma was registered as a World Heritage site in 2014. It was established during the Meiji era and lots of young women were recruited to work their. The technology involved was a mixture of European and Japanese inventions and it is a place one can see supported modernization in Japan. The film focusses on the women recruited into these mills who worked hard and also the French engineer Paul Brunat, the chief of the silk mill, who worked hard at modernizing Japan. Here’s an article on The Japan Times about the history.

There’s an older film which looks very dramatic, Oh! The Nomugi Pass (1979) IMDB:

The Last Shot in the Bar    The Last Shot in the Bar Film Poster

探偵はBARにいる3 Tantei wa Bar ni Iru 3

Running Time: 122 mins.

Release Date: December 01st, 2017

Director:  Teruyuki Yoshida

Writer:  Ryota Kosawa (Screenplay), Naomi Azuma (Original Novel)

Starring: Yo Oizumi, Ryuhei Matsuda, Keiko Kitagawa, Atsuko Maeda, Sawa Suzuki, Lily Franky, Tomorowo Taguchi, Tamae Ando,

Website IMDB

Synopsis: Detective in the Bar series of live-action films continues with our boys in Sapporo Takada (Matsuda) and the titular Detective (Oizumi) asked to track down a missing university student named Reiko (Maeda) and getting involved with a model agency run by Mari (Kitagawa) and a mysterious businessman with ties to the underworld named Kitashiro (Franky).

Touken Ranbu Hanamaru Intermission Flashback Record    Tōken ranbu Hanamaru makuai kaisō-roku Film Page

刀剣乱舞 花丸 幕間回想録 Tōken ranbu Hanamaru makuai kaisō-roku

Running Time: 70 mins.

Release Date: December 02nd, 2017

Director:  Takashi Naoya

Writer: Pierre Sugiura (Script/Series Composition),

Starring: Toshiki Masuda (Kiyomitsu Kashu), Atsushi Tamaru (Ichigo Hitofuri), Ayumu Murase (Sayo Samonji), Jun Fukushima (Urashima Kotetsu),

Animation Production: Doga Kobo

Website MAL ANN

This is a compilation movie based on the TV anime.

Synopsis from ANN: The year is 2205. The “historical revisionists” have begun attacks on the past in their plot to change history. The Saniwa, who have been charged with protecting history, can imbue life into objects. Strongest among these are the Tōken Danshi. The story centres around their cheerful lives.

Cocolors   Cocolors Film Poster

コカラス Kokarasu

Running Time: 46 mins.

Release Date: December 02nd, 2017

Director:  Toshihisa Yokoshima

Writer: Toshihisa Yokoshima (Script),

Starring: Yuki Takada (Aki), Sawako Hata (Fuyu), Yayoi Nakazawa (Chibo), Mutsuki Iwanaka (Shuu), Yoshiko Kamei (Yakin), Masaki Terasoma (Gidoku),

Animation Production: Kamikaze Douga / Nishiki Studio

Website MAL ANN

This is a longer version of an award-winning short that has screened at the Fantasia Film Festival in Canada where it won an award. Here’s an interesting excerpt from the concept on the website:

Part of a series called Gasoline Mask Project, the animated movie COCOLORS’s title is a play on the words “COCOLO” — a Japanese term for emotion or “HEART”, and the English word “COLOR”.

From ancient times IRO(), the Japanese word for color, has been used to express a variety of things, usually pertaining to tone.

顔色 – KAO(face)-IRO– Tone of face, or Facial expressions.

声色 – KOWA(voice)-IRO — Tone of voice.

音色 – NE(sound)-IRO — Tone or quality of sound.

These are a few of the many ways IRO can be used in the Japanese language.

However in the world of COCOLORS, the characters’ faces are hidden and their voices are distorted by the masks they must wear. Because of the masks, their IRO, or colors, are left to the imagination. She may be skipping to hide her sadness. His anger might be a pretense to further hide his crying face. In a world covered in dark ash, each of the characters’ IRO are carved in stroke by stroke, layer by layer, much like a traditional Japanese wood print. Those colors will be printed in full display in the animated movie “COCOLORS”

Synopsis from ANN: The story of “Cocolors” takes place hundreds of years after an eruption of Mt. Fuji caused a massive disaster. Everyone must live deep underground, and wear large masks and protective clothing covering the entire body. In this harsh environment, two young boys named Aki and Fuyu live. The two boys join a recovery team that ventures out to the outside world.

Thunderbolt Fantasy Shōshi Ikken      Thunderbolt Fantasy Shōshi Ikken Film Poster

Thunderbolt Fantasy 生死一劍 Thunderbolt Fantasy Shōshi Ikken

Running Time: 75 mins.

Release Date: December 02nd, 2017

Director:  Gen Urobuchi

Writer: Gen Urobuchi (Script/Original Work),

Starring: Junichi Suwabe (Shāng Bù Huàn – Shōfukan / Rèn Wú Fēng – Jin Muhō)

Kousuke Toriumi (Lin Xuě Yā – Rin Setsu A / Lüè Fēng Qiè Chén – Ryō Fū Setsujin)

Isshin Chiba (Tekkisen), Nobuyuki Hiyama (Shā Wú Shēng – Setsu Mu Shō / Míng Fèng Jué Shā – Mei Hō Kessatsu)

Animation Production: Pili International Multimedia

Website ANN

Thunderbolt Fantasy took western anime fandom by surprise. Gen “Psycho-Pass” Urobuchi took Wu Xia tales to a puppet animation studio (so it’s technically not an anime) in Taiwan to create an epic classic tale of a girl fleeing a warlord who wants a blade she has in her possession. It’s a good thing she runs into two fabulously-dressed protectors. This is a side-story connected to the series.

Synopsis of the series from ANN: Dān Fěi and her brother, Dān Héng, possess Tiān Xíng Jiàn sword. They are confronted by Cán Xiōng, who wants the sword for his master, Miè Tiān Hái. Cán Xiōng retrieves the sword, except for its crossguard. Thanks to Dān Fěi, a wandering swordsman- Shāng Bù Huàn- and the mysterious Lin Xuě Yā, the complete sword is out of the grasp of evil hands.

Laughing Under the Clouds Gaiden Parting, The Oath of the Yamainu   Laughing Under the Clouds Gaiden - Parting, The Oath of the Yamainu Film Poster

曇天に笑う 外伝 決別、犲の誓い Donten ni Warau Gaiden: Ketsubetsu, Yamainu no Chikai

Running Time: 52 mins.

Release Date: December 02nd, 2017

Director:  Tetsuya Wakano

Writer: Eiji Umehara (Script), Kemuri Karakara (Original Work),

Starring: Tsubasa Yonaga (Chutaro Kumo), Yuichi Nakamura (Tenka Kumo), Yuuki Kaji (Soramaru Kumo), Hiro Shimono (Rakucho Takeda), Sayaka Ohara (Kiiko Sasaki), Yuuki Fujiwara (Mutsuki Ashiya), Rina Satou (Botan), Mamiko Noto (Nishiki),

Animation Production: Wit Studio

Website ANN

Synopsis: The Meiji era is underway and the ban on samurai is in full effect. The common people are disturbed by rapid Westernisation and the sweeping away of the old order. The government is concerned with the increased crime rate that has resulted from this dissatisfaction and has built a new prison and commissioned the three brothers of the Kumo family with the duty of transporting criminals there. Of course, the three lads get into adventures.

Ashita ha docchi da, Terayama Shuji   Ashita ha docchi da Terayama Shuji Film Poster

あしたはどっちだ、寺山修司 Ashita ha docchi da, Terayama Shuji

Running Time: 100 mins.

Release Date: December 02nd, 2017

Director:  Hideo Aihara

Writer:  N/A

Starring: Shuji Terayama, Keiko Niitaka, Hideaki Sasaki, Kyoko Kujo, Sakumi Hagiwara, Henrikku Terayama, Nobuhiro Kawanaka,

Website IMDB

Synopsis: A documentary approaching the unknown truth of film and theatre director and academic Shuji Terayama who died at the age of 47 in 1983. He left a body of influential work from the 1960s to the 1980s advocating “revolution by the theatre” that people still pore over to this day. We may have access to his work but what about his real life? This documentary aims to look into it by bringing together key figures from his past.

Sugite ike, entai 10-dai   Sugite ike entai 10-dai Film Poster

過ぎて行け、延滞10Sugite ike, entai 10-dai

Running Time: 46 mins.

Release Date: December 02nd, 2017

Director:  Hana Matsumoto

Writer:  N/A

Starring: Haruna Hori, Kai Inowaki, Mariko Matsumoto, Mai Tezuka, Koki Osamura,


Synopsis: Hana Matsumoto is famous for acting and now she is one of a crop of female actors becoming directors. She is stepping behind the camera with two youth movies this year. This one is about a school girl named Natsuko who lives in a country town. She shares her everyday life and dreams in her mobile phone’s voice memo every night, and in the last year of high school she has more events to tell such as an important exam and accompanying her classmate Masaya to Tokyo and what she yearns for in life.

Seishun Yawa Amazing Place   Seishun Yawa Amazing Place Film Poster

青春夜話 Amazing Place Seishun Yawa Amazing Place

Running Time: 74 mins.

Release Date: December 02nd, 2017

Director: Risaku Kiridoshi

Writer: Risaku Kiridoshi (Screenplay)

Starring: Mikoto, Daisuke Iijima, Tomori Abe, Yota Kawase, Kazuhiro Sano, Yumi Yoshiyuki, Miho Wakabayashi, Ryubun Sumori, Riko Matsui, Naoyuki Tomomatsu,


Synopsis: Essentially a story about two adults who went to the same school meeting again. They fell for each other but due to their age differences, graduated separately and have only just reconnected. They plan to spend a night together in the school when the meet up again but both have something holding them back, whether it is horrible memories or the people around them.

Chinmoku tachiagaru ianfu   Chinmoku tachiagaru ianfu Film Poster

沈黙 立ち上がる慰安婦 Chinmoku tachiagaru ianfu

Running Time: 117 mins.

Release Date: December 02nd, 2017

Director: Park S00nam

Writer: N/A

Starring: N/A


Synopsis: This documentary follows a 90-year-old woman who, at the age of 17, was confined to a comfort station in northern Manchuria and forced to endure sexual violence. In 1994, she and a group of others travelled to Japan to ask for a government apology and compensation and since then they have campaigned on behalf of victims. Park Soo-nam has one other film to her name, Nuchigafu gyokusaiba kara no shogen (JFDB link) which looks at the Battle of Okinawa and the people ordered to sacrifice themselves including conscripted Koreans.

Nigeta sakana wa oyoi deru.    Nigeta sakana wa oyoi deru. Film Poster

逃げた魚はおよいでる。 Nigeta sakana wa oyoi deru.

Running Time: 92 mins.

Release Date: December 02nd, 2017

Director: Yasutaka Mori

Writer: Yasutaka Mori (Screenplay)

Starring: Toshiyuki Someya, Tomoro Akazawa, Ryu Kiyama, Tomoki Hirose,


Synopsis: A group of friends in Taiwan hear a gunshot, see a wounded man holding an attache case and get involved in a chase.

Fuku Kaze wa Aki   Fuku Kaze wa Aki Film Poster

吹く風は秋 Fuku kaze wa aki

Running Time: 58 mins.

Release Date: December 02nd, 2017

Director: Masayuki Suzuki

Writer: Seijin Kaneko (Screenplay), Shuuhei Fujisawa (Original Novel)

Starring: Isao Hashizume, Asami Usuda, Kazuki Namioka, Ryosei Tayama, Ryo Iwamatsu, Tetta Sugimoto,


Synopsis: The hashi monogatari dorama series is briefly brought to the big screen again and this time it is a tale of Yahei, an elderly gambler from Edo who skipped town after he betrayed his boss. Despite the danger, he misses home and returns to Edo and on that very day he meets a woman named Osayo who works in a brothel after willingly selling herself as collateral for her husband who set up a store. Well, he was supposed to but he gambled it all away much to Yahei’s disgust. His emotions are stirred because she reminds him of his late wife…

Yagate mizu ni kae (kae) ru   Yagate mizu ni kae (kae) ru Film Poster

やがて水に歸(かえ)る Yagate mizu ni kae (kae) ru

Running Time: 82 mins.

Release Date: December 02nd, 2017

Director: Koji Enokido

Writer: Shinsuke Kubota (Screenplay),

Starring: Aki Maeda, Kentaro Nagasato, Tamiyasu Cho, Minroi Terada,


Oh, Schubert!

Synopsis: Director Enokido teaches the film course at Okura University and with the help of his students he shot a film over the course of three seasons, the summer, winter and spring, over the course of three years. The film was shot in Tokyo and stars Aki Maeda. It tells the tale of men and women repeatedly crossing paths while, “superimposing modern memories and modern landscapes in Tokyo.”


6 thoughts on “Fullmetal Alchemist, Demekin, Akai tasuki tomioka seishijō monogatari, The Last Shot in the Bar, Touken Ranbu Hanamaru Intermission Flashback Record, Laughing Under the Clouds Gaiden – Parting The Oath of the Yamainu, Thunderbolt Fantasy Shōshi Ikken, Cocolors, Ashita ha docchi da, Terayama Shuji, Sugite ike, entai 10-dai, Yagate mizu ni kae (kae) ru, Nigeta sakana wa oyoi deru., Fuku Kaze wa Aki Japanese Film Trailers       

  1. Obviously the FMA live action film is the one that holds the most appeal and curiosity for me. I just hope they do the story justice. At least Al looks cool! 🙂

    1. Yeah, I’m interested in FMA as well. Not a huge fan of the franchise but I respect it and it will be interesting to see how the story is brought to the screen. Blade of the Immortal is at my local multiplex but at a silly time. Some of the indie dramas look really good. I’d sit down and watch them!

      Thanks for the comment 🙂

      1. No “Blade…” for me as my local Odeon isn’t showing it! 😡

        FMA is one of my fave anime (both versions) so this film has a lot to live up to for me! 🙂

      2. I wonder if it will get a cinema release in the UK. Warner Bros. haven’t screened anything in a while. A review for FMA made it sound like one for the fans, cartoonish, action-packed and faithful to the story.

      3. I doubt it will hit cinemas here, considering the likes of Death Note, AOT and other huge anime properties getting the live action didn’t either. The big deal will be to see who gets the UK home video release, if Manga (who have the anime licence) will get it or someone else?

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