Code Blue, Imagination Game, Katachi no Nai Hone, 1999 – Nen no natsu yasumi, There is no gender! Queer days of intersex cartoonists, Boy Soldiers: The Secret War in Okinawa Japanese Film Trailers

Happy weekend, dear reader!

I hope you are all well.

It has been a busy week for J-film fans in North America because the while the New York Asian Film Festival has finished, Japan Cuts is still in full swing on the East Coast of the States in New York and the Asian Film Festival Dallas has been making waves down south in Texas. There’s another festival due to start next week called the Batsu Film Festival in Denver, Colorado. Each festival has had a fantastic selection of films, many of which I have reviewed (yay!) and can recommend. V-Cinema has been publishing reviews of mine:

Hanagatami (2017)

Amiko (2017)

Towards a Common Tenderness (2017)

Born Bone Born (2018)

Of Love and Law (2017)

Older ones from the V-Cinema archive which I covered last year or at Osaka earlier this year:

The Night is Short, Walk on Girl (2017)

Passage of Life (V-Cinema Review) (2017) 

Kushina, what will you be (V-Cinema Review) (2018) Here’s an interview with the director: Hayami Moet (V-Cinema)

Dear Etranger (2017) (V-Cinema)

Nagisa (2017)

TOURISM (V-Cinema Review) (2018) Here’s an interview with the director: Miyazaki Daisuke (V-Cinema

My reviews from the New York Asian Film Festival were also published at V-Cinema:

The Scythian Lamb (2017)

The Blood of Wolves (2018)

The Hungry Lion (2017)

Dynamite Graffiti (2018)

Some of the older reviews and the Osaka ones I have published here over the last year, the newer ones will be published over the next couple of months. A couple of these will make my top ten films of the year!

As for the UK, we get a lot of films screened for free by the Japan Foundation as part of their Pre-Summer Explorers and Summer Explorers run.

Right, that’s enough of a catch-up with here, what’s released in Japanese cinemas this weekend?

Code Blue    Code Blue Film Poster

コード・ブルー~ドクターヘリ緊急救命~ Kodo Buru: Dokuta Heri Kinkyu Kyumei

Running Time: 127 mins.

Release Date: July 27th, 2018

Director: Masaki Nishiura

Writer:  Naoko Adachi (Screenplay),

Starring: Tomohisa Yamashita, Yui Aragaki, Erika Toda, Manami Higa, Yosuke Asari, Kippei Shiina, Daiki Arioka, Ryo Narita, Yuko Araki

Website    IMDB

Synopsis:The “Doctor Helicopter” team operating around Narita airport is made up of a good-looking bunch of guys and gals who, if you were about to die, you’d probably want to see just before kicking the bucket. The lovely emergency responders  include Kousaku Aizawa (Tomohisa Yamashita), Megumi Shiraishi (Yui Aragaki), Mihoko Hiyama (Erika Toda), Haruka Saejima (Manami Higa) and Kazuo Fuikawa (Yosuke Asari). See them tackle emergencies.

Imagination Game    Imagination Game Film Poster

イマジネーションゲーム Imajine-shon Ge-mu

Running Time: 91 mins.

Release Date: July 28th, 2018

Director: Taisuke Hata

Writer: Taisuke Hata (Screenplay),

Starring: Masami Hisamoto, Tomomi Itano, Koutaro Tanaka, Minami Sengoku, The Charisma Brothers: George, Jiro, Mino, Susumu Terajma,

Website    IMDB

Synopsis:Makiko Hayami (Masami Hisamoto) is a single lady who works a regular company job but in her private time she helps run a website where people are given clues as to where underwear is hidden on the street. One day, she meets Aoi (Tomomi Itano) who runs the blog “Husband Revenge Site.”

Katachi no Nai Hone   Katachi no Nai Hone Film Poster

形のない骨 Katachi no Nai Hone

Running Time: 104 mins.

Release Date: July 28th, 2018

Director: Junji Kojima (IMDB)

Writer: Junji Kojima (Screenplay),

Starring: Seiko Ando, Junya Tanaka,, Noriko Takada, Yume Sugio, Futoshi Kumagai, Jo Ishikawa, Chie Watanabe

Website   

Synopsis:Ryoko (Seiko Ando) is a 34-year-old woman living unhappily with her abusive husband Tadashi (Junya Tanaka), her waspish mother-in-law Kazuko (Noriko Takada) and her young age son Hiroshi (Yume Sugio) whom she treasures. Her husband is a painter who deals in forgeries but when he dies in an accident, things change…

1999 – Nen no natsu yasumi   1999 - Nen no natsu yasumi Film Poster

1999年の夏休み 1999 – Nen no natsu yasumi

Running Time: 90 mins.

Release Date: March 26th, 1988

Director: Shusuke Kaneko

Writer:  Rio Kishida (Screenplay), Moto Hagio (manga Touma no Shinzou aka Toma’s Heart) (uncredited)

Starring: Eri Miyajima, Tomoko Otakara, Miyuki Nakano, Eri Fukatsu, Masaaki Maeda, Hiromi Murata, Nozomu Sasaki, Minami Takayama,

IMDB

It;s the 30th anniversary of this film and it is getting new screenings. It looks like it’s based on a shounen-ai manga and the cast was made up of girls including a young Eri Fukatsu!

The trailer seems to be region-locked.

Synopsis:At the onset of the summer holiday the students of a Japanese boys’ school all go home. Well, nearly all. Three boys who have no families to return to remain in the empty halls, Norio (Eri Fukatsu), Kazuhiko (Tomoko Otakara) & Naoto (Miyuki Nakano). The three exist uneasily with each other because they are haunted by the suicide, three months earlier, of classmate Yu. Things come to a head when Kaoru, a new student, arrives and he looks exactly like Yu (Eri Miyajima).

There is no gender! Queer days of intersex cartoonists    Seibetsu ga, nai! Intāsekkusu mangakka no ku~iana hibi Film Poster

性別が、ない!インターセックス漫画家のクィアな日々 Seibetsu ga, nai! Intāsekkusu mangakka no ku~iana hibi

Running Time: 106 mins.

Release Date: July 28th, 2018

Director: Shingo Watanabe

Writer: N/A

Starring: Eiko Koike (Narration), Sho Arai, Usaki ko, IKKAN,

Website   

Synopsis:Sho Arai is a manga-ka who is intersex, “something neither male nor female” and has written about it in an essay manga. Sho Arai lived as a woman until 30 years old and turned out to be an intersex by chromosome examination. Arai experienced divorce and moved from Tokyo to Nagoya, becoming a part-time instructor at a vocational school and then a manga artist making the aforementioned work and starting a relationship with a woman. The film looks at their relationship and also how transexual and those who are intersex are treated in other countries.

Boy Soldiers: The Secret War in Okinawa    Boy Soldiers The Secret War in Okinawa Film Poster

沖縄スパイ戦史 Okinawa Supai Senshi

Running Time: 114 mins.

Release Date: July 28th, 2018

Director: Chie Mikami, Hanayo Oya

Writer: N/A

Starring: N/A

Website   

Synopsis: The battle of Okinawa claimed 240,000 lives, both American and Japanese. It was hard-fought on both sides not least because many Okinawans committed suicide rather than be captured. This documentary which looks absolutely fascinating talks about an unknown or little-known aspect of the battle, the Gokyotai, Okinawan teenage boys who were drafted into guerilla units led by officers from the mainland and tasked with attacking US forces. These units were cruel, making the boys execute the wounded and sick or anyone considered to be a spy. There are also other stories of how people were forcibly moved by Japanese forces to islands known for disease. It’s all told in archive footage, still-photographs and interviews with the veterans which makes this powerful stuff, especially since it gets information from both sides, civilians and military, too. Mark Schilling gave it a glowing review.

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5 thoughts on “Code Blue, Imagination Game, Katachi no Nai Hone, 1999 – Nen no natsu yasumi, There is no gender! Queer days of intersex cartoonists, Boy Soldiers: The Secret War in Okinawa Japanese Film Trailers

      1. I have been on a set with Cumberbatch in the past but did not talk to him because he was too far away. I have to confess that I haven’t watched The Imitation Game but if it were a Japanese drama I probably would.

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