Ice Cream and the Sound of Raindrops, Ikiru Machi, Bungo Stray Dogs: Dead Apple, Eiga Doraemon Nobita no Takarajima, Kamen Rider EX-AID: Another Ending Part III – Kamen Rider Genm vs. Lazer, Omotenashi, Anata wa watashijanai, Principal – Koi Suru Watashi wa Heroine Desu Ka?, Anata wa watashijanai, Life Goes On, Ghost Squad, Basuketto to Boku!, Ramen Kuitee, Living the Game Japanese Film Trailers

Happy Weekend, People!


This is my first trailer post from Japan. The last time I was in the country, I didn’t have the time or energy to do them because of constant activity but good experiences and good people motivated me to get back into the game and it has been fun putting this one together. After this is posted, I will head out to explore some cities. And write. I made the mistake of catching a train at rush hour last night and got stuck in a corner, desperately writing review notes with my pen and pad while I travelled back to my room.

I have had a busy week since getting here but spent the weekend prepping reviews for the upcoming Osaka Asian Film Festival. I posted an article about the Japanese films that will be playing and I’m looking forward to seeing what is on offer. My second post was a review of “Love and Other Cults” (2017) which is released on DVD/Blu-ray in the UK on March 26th by Third Window Films.

What is released this weekend in Japan?

Ice Cream and the Sound of Raindrops

アイスと雨音 「Aisu to Amaoto」   Ice Cream and the Sound of Raindrops Film Poster

Running Time: 74 mins.

Release Date: 2018

Director:  Daigo Matsui

Writer: Daigo Matsui (Screenplay),

Starring: Taketo Tanaka, Guama, Yuzu Aoki, Kokoro Morita, Jotaro Tozuka, Kazumasa Kadoi, Mimori Wakasugi, Reiko Tanaka, Momoha,


Daigo Matsui or “How Selfish I Am!” (2013) and “Japanese Girls Never Die” (2016)  fame showed this at the Tokyo International Film Festival last year.

Synopsis: In 2017, a stage performance is scheduled in a small town. The young actors are to present British playwright Simon Stephens’ “Morning” for the first time in Japan. The savage play has been attracting attention in the theatre world for its story of a violent act by two best friends. The performance is suddenly cancelled, but one actress suggests they continue rehearsing. For a month, the young actors struggle between reality and fiction, as well as between film and the stage, and their story is captured in a single 74-minute shot. The music is played live in the film by rap group MOROHA.

Ikiru Machi    Ikiru Machi Film Poster

生きる街 Ikiru Machi

Running Time: 124 mins.

Release Date: March 03rd, 2018

Director: Hideo Sakaki

Writer: Inochi Akiyama, Masashi Shimizu (Screenplay)

Starring: Mari Natsuki, Aimi Satsukawa, Arata Horii, Lee Jong-Hyun, Maya Okano, Hisashi Yoshizawa, Hideko Hara, Rio Uchida, Takumi Saito,Chise Niitsu

Website IMDB

Hideo Sakaki has many acting credits to his name including “The Suicide Manual” (2003), “Versus” (2000) and “Ju-On” (2002) but he is also a talented director as eidenced by his films such as “Disregarded People” (2014) and “Kiyamachi Daruma” (2016) and his recent, critically lauded drama, “Alley Cat” (2017). The titles listed have all been hard-hitting dramas and horror movies. This one looks to be a more sentimental piece.

Synopsis: The Great East Japan Earthquake changed the lives of many people. One family in Ishinomaki suffered the disappearance of a father, a fisherman, leaving a mother named Chieko (Mari Natsuki) to raise a son and daughter alone.

Do-Hyun (Lee Jong-Hyjn), a South Korean man who once lived in Ishinomaki, returns to the town and gets in contact with Chieko, telling her that he knows something about her husband…

Bungo Stray Dogs: Dead Apple   Bungo Stray Dogs Dead Apple Film Poster

文豪ストレイドッグス DEAD APPLE Bungo Sutorei Doggusu DEAD APPLE

Running Time: 90 mins.

Release Date: March 03rd, 2018

Director:  Takuya Igarashi

Writer: Kafka Asagiri, Yoji Enokido (Screenplay), Kafka Asagiri, Sango Harukawa (Original Creator)

Starring: Kensho Ono (Ryunosuke Akutagawa), Mamoru Miyano (Osamu Dazai), Hiroshi Kamiya (Ranpo Edogawa), Yu Shimamura (Akiko Yosano), Chiaki Omigawa (Naomi Tanizaki), Toshiyuki Toyonaga (Junichiro Tanizaki),

Animation Production: BONES

Website ANN MAL

Synopsis: The Armed Detective Agency is called out to investigate the strange deaths of power users around the world. Their only clue is that a strange fog appears on the scene and a lead on a man named, Tatsuhik Shibusawa aka “The Collector”…

Eiga Doraemon Nobita no Takarajima    Eiga Doraemon Nobita no Takarajima Film Poster

映画ドラえもん のび太の宝島 Doraemon: Nobita no Takarajima

Running Time: 109 mins.

Release Date: March 03rd, 2018

Director:  Kazuaki Imai

Writer: Genki Kawamura (Screenplay), Fujiko F. Fujio, Robert Louis Stevenson (Original Creator)

Starring: Megumi Oohara (Nobita), Wasabi Mizuta (Doraemon), Daiki Yamashita (Flock), Fumiko Orikasa (Sarah), Yo Oizumi (Captain Silver), Manami Nagasawa (Fiona),

Animation Production: Shin-Ei Animation

Website ANN MAL

Synopsis: The film is inspired by Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel, Treasure Island. The titular time-travelling cat Doraemon and his human friends Nobita, Shizuka, Gian, and Suneo set sail on the Caribbean Sea when Nobita becomes the captain of a ship and fights various enemies on board. However, Shizuka gets kidnapped and the crew find a storm stops their journey but with Doraemon by their side, they are able to continue forward and eventually land on the mysterious Treasure Island, they discover it is more than just an ordinary island.

Kamen Rider EX-AID: Another Ending Part III – Kamen Rider Genm vs. Lazer   Kamen Rider EX-AID Another Ending Part III - Kamen Rider Genm vs Lazer Film Poster

仮面ライダーエグゼイド トリロジー アナザー・エンディング PartIII 仮面ライダーゲンムVSレーザー Kamen Raida- Eguzeido Toriroji- Anaza- Endingu Part III Kamen Raidā Genmu tai Rēzā

Running Time: 56 mins.

Release Date: January 27th, 2018

Director: Nobuhiro Suzumura

Writer: Yuya Takashi (Screenplay), Shotaro Ishinomori (Original Creator)

Starring: Toshiki Seto, Ruka Matsuda, Yurina Yanagi, Reina Kurosaki, Hayato Onozuka, Tetsuya Iwanaga,

The third part of the Kamen Rider Ex-Aid V-Cinema trilogy focusing on the characters of Kuroto Dan/Kamen Rider Genm and Kiriya Kujo/Kamen Rider Lazer..

Synopsis from Kamen Rider wikia: Genm has awoken! Dan Kuroto has obtained the God Maximum Mighty X and the world falls into the chaos that is Zombie Chronicle. Kiriya has found the key to face the power that not even Muteki can overcome and after receiving a certain message from Masamune, he faces Genm. What will become of these two and of the world?

Omotenashi   Omotenashi Film Poster

おもてなし Omotenashi

Running Time: 96 mins.

Release Date: March 03rd, 2018

Director: Jay Chern

Writer: Jay Chern, Mami Sunada (Screenplay)

Starring: Rena Tanaka, Mina Fujii, Edison Wang, Kyoko Kagawa, Tae Kimura, Hidekazu Mashima, Kimiko Yo, Munetaka Aoki,

Website IMDB

Omotenashi” was recently revealed to be one of the two opening films of the 42nd Hong Kong International Film Festival which launches on March 19th. It was directed by the Taiwanese-American filmmaker Jay Chern “Dawn/Spring” (2014) and “Warmth” (2016) who wrote the screenplay alongside Mami Sunada, the documentarian famous for “End Note: Death of a Japanese Salaryman” (2011) and “The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness” (2013). Rena Tanaka of “Dreans for Sale” (2012) and “Dear Etranger” (2017) is one of the lead actors.

Synopsis: Bright Moon Ryokan is a traditional inn located on the outskirts of Kyoto. When it is acquired by the innkeeper’s Taiwanese former lover, she must welcome his son who has travelled to supervise the “renovation”, believing that he is turning the place into a wedding venue. That’s not what he has in mind… The innkeeper suggests that the son learns “omotenashi”, the virtue of traditional Japanese hospitality, together with her daughter. Through their interaction, these two people from two different cultures will navigate issues of relationships and life and find a unique appreciation for things old and new.

Principal – Koi Suru Watashi wa Heroine Desu Ka?   Principal Koi Suru Watashi wa Heroine Desu Ka Film Poster

プリンシパル 恋する私はヒロインですか? Purinshiparu Koisuru Watashi wa Hiroin desuka?

Running Time: 112 mins.

Release Date: March 03rd, 2018

Director: Tetsuo Shinohara

Writer: Yukiko Mochiji (Screenplay), Ryo Ikuemi (Original Manga)

Starring: Yuina Kuroshima, Nozumu Kotaki, Mahiro Takasugi, Rina Kawaei, Tomohiro Ichikawa, Sawa Suzuki, Miho Shiraishi, Kumi Nakamura,

Website IMDB

Synopsis: Shima Sumitomo (Yuina Kuroshima) lives with her mother following her parents’ divorce but when she finds her stepfather makes her uncomfortable, she heads to Hokkaido where her father lives. She enrols in a new school where she meets classmates Gen Tatebayashi (Nozomu Kotaki) and Wao Sakurai (Mahiro Takasugi), two super handsome and popular boys. Indeed, they are so handsome and popular that there is a rule: “Gen and Wao are for everyone”. Shima begins to get closer to the boys…

Anata wa watashijanai    Anata wa watashijanai Film Poster

あなたはわたしじゃない Anata wa watashijanai

Running Time: 90 mins.

Release Date: March 03rd, 2018

Director: Kei Shichiri

Writer: Ryoji Suzuki (Screenplay)

Starring: Izumi Oyanagi, Yoko Chosokabe, Ikuyo Kuroda, Tomoko Ando, Misaki Kudo, Masumi Hara,


Kei Shichiri, director of “Once Upon a Dream” (2017) which was screened at Japan Cuts last year, is back with a new experimental work.

Synopsis: A woman in a room offers a monologue which provides the basis for the appearance of various people who could be memories or mere fragments of her imagination.

Life Goes On    Life Goes On Film Poster

一陽来復 Life Goes On Ichiyouraifuku Life Goes On

Running Time: 81 mins.

Release Date: March 03rd, 2018

Director: Mia Yoon

Writer: N/A

Starring: Norika Fujiwara, Koichi Yamadera (Narration)

Website IMDB

Synopsis: This is a documentary looking at the people of Iwate si years on from the Great East Japan Earthquake. A farmer who works near a nuclear power plant, a couple who lost their children, and a child growing up in the area.

Ghost Squad    Ghost Squad Film Poster

ゴーストスクワッド Go-suto Sukuwaddo

Running Time: 106 mins.

Release Date: March 03rd, 2018

Director: Noboru Iguchi

Writer: Noboru Iguchi (Screenplay)

Starring: Anna Yanagi, Minori Mikada, Yuni Hong, Sumire Ueno – The NOMAKES girls), Asaka Nakamura,

Website IMDB

Idol girls, NO MAKES, step into the film world with Noboru Iguchi of “Mutant Girls Squad” (2010) and “The Machine Girl” (2008) fame. It looks less cool than those films but who knows, maybe it is a cult classic in the making. Two trailers. The top one plays up the sex and “serious” story while the second one direct from the idol girl’s company plays up the silliness especially with the music and narrator’s fantastic performance. Cue references to 80s horror movie while groovy music plays.

Here’s a video from an event they held on Friday.

Synopsis: There’s not much. Some girls are killed by evil boys and come back as the Ghost Squad to get their revenge.

Basuketto to Boku!   Basuketto to Boku! Film Poster

バケツと僕! Basuketto to Boku!

Running Time: 106 mins.

Release Date: March 03rd, 2018

Director: Kazuhiko Ishida

Writer: Yukinori Kitajima (Original Work), Kazuhiko Ishida, Yukinori Kitajima, Kota Yamada, Masatoshi Takayama (Screenplay)

Starring: Hiroki, Yuki Tokunaga, Rei Okamoto, Yuka Takeshima, Terumi Niki,


The singer, Yuki Tokunaga “Fuku-chan of Fukufuku Flats” (2014), takes a daring lead role in this drama about a guy with mental disabilities.

Synopsis: A boy with the nickname of basket has learning disabilities. Abused by his mother and bullies since he was a child, things haven’t been easy for him and they look even more bleak as he is at risk of being kicked out of the facility looking after him until a kind teacher starts to look out for him.

Ramen Kuitee   Ramen Kuitee Film Poster

ラーメン食いてぇ! Basuketto to Boku!

Running Time: 106 mins.

Release Date: March 03rd, 2018

Director: Yuki Kumagai

Writer: Yuki Kumagai (Screenplay), Akiteru Hayashi (Original Manga),

Starring: Renji Ishibashi, Reiko Kataoka, Yurika Nakamura, Kenji Mizuhashi, Wakana Aoi, Takayuki Takuma, Matsumi Fuku, Jin Katagiri, Yumi Morio,

Website IMDB

Ramen is life for the people in this film. It looks slight based on the premise but the trailer shows a well-shot film with some heartfelt acting from new talents like Reiko Kataoka and Yurika Nakamura, who have been paired up with the highly experienced Renji Ishibashi. I had a go at making soba noodles and the training sequences are no lie: it’s a skill that you have to spend time cultivating.

Synopsis: Marie (Yurika Nakamura) has attempted suicide. Akahoshi (Jin Katagiri) has had an accident in the middle of the Xinjiang Uygur province of China and ramen master Akashi (Renji Ishibashi) has just lost his wife. The desire for perfect ramen keeps them going through tough times.

Living the Game   Living the Game Film Poster

リビング ザ ゲーム Ribingu Za Ge-mu

Running Time: 88 mins.

Release Date: March 03rd, 2018

Director: Takao Gotsu

Writer: N/A

Starring: Daigo Umehara, Momochi, Luffy, Justin Wong, Gamerbee, Chocolate Blanka,

Website IMDB

Synopsis: The fighting game community has exploded over the last decade with lucrative tournaments playing host to video gamers showcasing their skills on the likes of Street Fighter, Guilty Gear, Smash Brothers, and a myriad of other titles where the likes of Daigo Umehara make history by pulling off unbelievable blocks and parries, kicks and counter-blows and so on in colourful fighting games. For the non-gamers out there, this documentary takes you into the world of video games and the celebrities that make money living the games they play.

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