Nomitori Samurai, Mori, The Artist’s Habitat, SUKITA: The Shoot Must Go On, Kamen Rider Amazons the Movie: The Last Judgement, Godzilla: City on the Edge of Battle, Gifted Freeman and Milk Selling Woman, Kokoro no furusato aru wansei no ayunde kita michi, Samurai and Idiots: The Olympus Affair, Mabuigumi New Caledonia hikisakareta iminshi, No Place to Return Japanese Film Trailers

Happy Weekend, people!

Shoplifters Film Image 2

I spent this week writing when I said I wouldn’t because I need to focus on learning Japanese. I rounded up the better reviews of the Japanese films at the Cannes film festival with Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s Asako I&II and Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Shoplifters and I’m waiting for reviews of Mamoru Hosoda’s latest feature, Mirai to be published so I can collect them in one post. I also posted a preview of Nippon Connection 2018. I also posted my review of Kushina which was originally published on V-Cinema. My review for the film, Goodbye Silence was published on V-Cinema as well. Right, I’ll be doing work for some classes I have to deliver late next week!

What’s released this weekend?

Nomitori Samurai   Nomitori Samurai Film Poster

のみとり侍  Nomitori Samurai

Running Time: 110 mins.

Release Date: May 18th, 2018

Director:  Yasuo Tsuruhashi

Writer: Yasuo Tsuruhashi (Screenplay), Shigeo Komatsu (Original Collection of Short Stories)

Starring: Hiroshi Abe, Shinobu Terajima, Etsushi Toyokawa, Atsuko Maeda, Bunshi Katsura VI, Shinobu Otake, Takumi Saito,

Website IMDB

Synopsis: Hironoshin Kobayashi (Hiroshi Abe) is a samurai in loyal service to the daimyo of Nagaoka. Such is his loyalty that when he offends his lord, he carries out the punishment of “catching cats’ fleas from customers”. This turns out to be giving sexual service to female customers. Some punishment…

Mori, The Artist’s Habitat   Mori, The Artist_s Habitat Film Poster

モリのいる場所 Mori no Iru Basho

Running Time: 99 mins.

Release Date: May 19th, 2018

Director: Shuichi Okita

Writer: Shuichi Okita (Screenplay),

Starring: Tsutomu Yamazaki, Kirin Kiki, Ryo Kase, Ken Mitsuishi, Kitaro, Nobue Iketani, Mitsuru Fukikoshi, Munetaka Aoki,

Website IMDB

Shuichi Okita, director of A Story of Yonosuke and The Woodsman and the Rain brings a gentle dramedy about an elderly couple. It looks relaxing and you can’t go wrong with Kirin Kiki.

Synopsis from Nikkatsu International: He lays among the shrubs and trees in his garden and observes the scurrying ants. This 94-year-old bearded man is Morikazu Kumagai, aka Mori, and he is a painter. For the last 30 years he’s hardly left his property. Most of his day is spent tirelessly observing his garden and all living things in it, which he renders into paintings. He paints every evening in a studio he calls the “school.” While he goes about his business, his wife Hideko attends to a string of visitors. In the garden there are the critters and insects and on the porch, birds in cages overlook the garden. Mori and Hideko live peacefully, surrounded by the things they love. But then some developers decide to build a condominium next door which puts their small paradise at risk. It will block the sun and the garden will be uninhabitable. Mori and Hideko decide to take action to protect the garden they cherish… The film is a humorous depiction of a summer day in the life of an old couple who’ve been together 52 years, in the more affable social atmosphere of the 1970s.

SUKITA: The Shoot Must Go On  SUKITA The Shoot Must Go On Film Poster

SUKITA 刻まれたアーティストたちの一瞬 Suteki na Dainamaito Sukyandaru

Running Time: 115 mins.

Release Date: May 19th, 2018

Director: Hiromi Aihara

Writer: N/A

Starring: David Bowie, Miyavi, Hirokazu Kore’eda, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Masatoshi Nagase, Lily Franky, Jim Jarmusch, Paul Smith,

Website IMDB

Synopsis: Masayoshi Sukita is a photographer who, over the course of 40 years, has earned the respect of actors, rock and roll stars, and fashion legends. This documentary by Hiromi Aihara looks at his work with David Bowie, T-REX, Iggy Pop and other big-name artists. Expect lots of fascinating interviews!

Kamen Rider Amazons the Movie: The Last Judgement    Kamen Rider Amazons The Movie The Last Judgement Film Poster

仮面ライダーアマゾンズ THE MOVIE 最後ノ審判 Gekijouban Kamen Raida- Amazonzu za mūbī Saigo no Shinpan

Running Time: 98 mins.

Release Date: May 19th, 2018

Director:  Hidenori Ishida, 

Writer: Yasuko Kobayashi, Yuya Takahashi, (Screenplay), Shotaro Ishinomori (Original Creator),

Starring: Tom Fujita, Masashi Taniguchi, Rena Takeda, Ayu Higashi, Yu Kamio.


Synopsis: This movies ends the Kamen Rider Amazons series which was released on Amazon prime in 2016. The story follows Jin Takayama and Haruka Mizusawa, two Kamen Riders who battle against people who have dormant, experimental cells which turn them into creatures called “Amazons”.

Gifted Freeman and Milk Selling Woman   Gifted Freeman and Milk Selling Woman Film Poster

ギフテッド フリムンと乳売り女  Gifuteddo Furiman to Chichi uri Onna

Running Time: 110 mins.

Release Date: May 19th, 2018

Director:  Yasunari Izuma

Writer: Yasunari Izuma (Screenplay),

Starring: Yuki Mamiya, Motohisa Harashima, Misato Miyaguni, Yuuya Asato, Akira Nagata,


Synopsis: Etsuko (Yuki Mamiya) and Hayato (Motohisa Harashima) live together in Naha, Okinawa. Their relationship has hit the rocks and things aren’t helped by the job situation: Etsuko works as a hostess while Hayato can only find low-paying jobs. He is now considering moving to Tokyo…

Kokoro no furusato aru wansei no ayunde kita michi   Kokoro no furusato aru wansei no ayunde kita michi Film Poster

心の故郷 ある湾生の歩んできた道  Kokoro no furusato aru wansei no ayunde kita michi

Running Time: 150 mins.

Release Date: May 19th, 2018

Director:  Masayuki Hayashi

Writer: N/A

Starring: N/A


Synopsis: Director Masayuki Hayashi has focused his documentaries on people who have some connection to Taiwan and in this film he tracks the lives of two people of Japanese descent who were born there and fled the country after the war.

Samurai and Idiots: The Olympus Affair   Samurai and Idiots The Olympus Affair Film Poster

サムライと愚か者 オリンパス事件の全貌  Samurai to orokamono Orinpasu jiken no zenbou

Running Time: 76 mins.

Release Date: May 19th, 2018

Director:  Hyoe Yamamoto

Writer: Hyoe Yamamoto

Starring: Michael Woodford, Yoshimasa Yamaguchi, Shigeo Abe, Jonathan Soble, Waku Miller, Koji Miyata,

Website IMDB

Synopsis: Michael Woodford was the first foreign CEO of Olympus Corporation, the multi-billion dollar Japanese optical company most famous for its cameras. His tenure was short-lived because he was thrown out of the job following his discovery of financial irregularities that would turn into a massive scandal. This documentary goes behind the scenes and talks to the key-players in the saga where the media and East-West corporate culture clash.

Mabuigumi New Caledonia hikisakareta iminshi   Mabuigumi New Caledonia hikisakareta iminshi Film Poster

まぶいぐみ ニューカレドニア引き裂かれた移民史  Mabuigumi Nyu- Karedonia hikisakareta Iminshi

Running Time: 110 mins.

Release Date: May 19th, 2018

Director: Yoshiaki Hongo

Writer: Yoshiaki Hongo, Shinya Sueyoshi, (Screenplay), Miki Takeshi (Original Story)

Narration: Yukio Yamakawa

Website JFDB

Synopsis: The journalist Miki Takeshi’s book “Kuhaku no iminshi – New Caledonia to Okinawa” explores the themes of family, war and ethnic groups from multiple perspectives, according to JFDB. In it, we see his journey to New Caledonia where he meets Kana Obry, a village elder who has been searching for word about his father ever since World War II. Miki tries to help search for the father… 

No Place to Return   Modoru basho ha mounai Film Poster

戻る場所はもうない  Modoru basho ha mounai

Running Time: 39 mins.

Release Date: May 19th, 2018

Director:  Toshiharu Sasai

Writer: Toshiharu Sasai (Screenplay),

Starring: Ru- Ooshiba, Miyuki Takao, Misaki Mahiro, Hideyuki Arai,

Synopsis: This short film follows the troubles a woman named Yuko has when her older brother and a nurse disappear from her life.

Godzilla: City on the Edge of Battle     Godzilla City on the Edge of Battle Film Poster

GODZILLA 決戦機動増殖都市 Godzilla: Kessen Kidou Zoushoku Toshi

Running Time: 101 mins.

Release Date: May 18th, 2018

Director:  Hiroyuki Seshita, Kobun Shizuno

Writer: Gen Urobuchi (Screenplay), Koi (Script/Original Creator)

Starring: Mamoru Miyano (Haruo Sakaki), Kana Hanazawa (Yuko Tani), Daisuke Ono (Eliott Leland), Junichi Suwabe (Mulu-Elu Dolu-do), Yuuki Kaji (Adam Bindewald), Tomokazu Sugita (Martin Lazzari), Kenyuu Horiuchi (Omberto Mori), Reina Ueda (Maina), Ari Ozawa (Miana),

Animation Production: TOHO, Polygon Pictures

Website MAL ANN

The new Godzilla anime film trilogy, Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters (Godzilla: Kaiju Wakusei) launched on Netflix last year but only the first two instalments will be screened at Annecy. They showed up as a work in progress at last year’s Annecy. The directors are Kobun Shizuno (director of some Detective Conan movies) and Hiroyuki Seshita (Knights of Sidonia).

Synopsis from the Official Website: By the advent of the 21st century, much of humanity was dead, having been trampled over by a new master, Godzilla. A select few among mankind took to the stars in a spacefaring vessel called the Aratrum in search of “the promised land,” the planet Tau-e that could sustain human life. But the migration plan fails, and the remnants of the human race decide to return to Earth. But the distortions in space-time and the distance traveled means that mankind is returning to a completely changed Earth some 20,000 years later. The returnees, led by hero Haruo, prepare to take the fight to Godzilla based on a strategy that has been 20 years in the making. Carried out with the help of two alien species, the Exif and the Bilusaludo, the humans succeed in defeating Godzilla in a costly battle to the death.
But the victory is short-lived. Rising from the depths of the planet is a new breed of monster, dubbed “Godzilla Earth.” Evolving for 20,000 years, the creature stands 300 meters high, weighs over 100,000 tons and wields such overwhelmingly destructive power that Haruo and company have no choice but to run for their lives.

Coming to Haruo’s rescue, however, is Miana, a member of an aboriginal tribe called the Houtua. They are the first humanoid people the returnees have encountered. Could they descend from humans? “Our tribal god was destroyed by Godzilla. All that we have left are these eggs. Anyone who has tried to fight or resist him has been drowned in fire,” the tribespeople say to Haruo, who responds with: “This is our last hope of recovering our home.”

Meanwhile, Bilusaludo commander, Galu-gu is elated to discover that the Houtua tribe’s arrowheads are made of a nanometal or a self-sustaining metal. It had been developed in the 21st century as an “anti-Godzilla” killer weapon deployed at their decisive battle fought at the foot of Mt. Fuji, but had been destroyed before it could be activated in the form of a “Mecha-Godzilla.” The nanometal was its base substance, and proof that the manufacturing plant can still be used.

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