The Fable, Ride Your Wave, Meiji Tokyo Renka, Final Fantasy XIV: Dad of Light, Philosopher King Lee Teng-Hui’s Dialogue, Tribe Called Discord: Documentary of GEZAN, Twilight, Aru machi no takai entotsu, Ai ga soi de koi, One Letter First Introduction The Strongest Kung Fu Boy vs Hell’s Murder Karate, Okinawan Blue, Kasuriko, Gekieiga Okinawa, Cinema Kabuki Bando Tamasaburo Sagi Musume, JUNG YONG HWA: FILM CONCERT 2015-2018 “Feel the Voice”, Women’s Baseball Three out! Play Ball Whistle, Cinema Kabuki hidakagawa iriai zakura Japanese Film Trailers

Happy weekend!A Double Life Film Image

I hope you are all well.

I posted about the New York Asian Film Festival 2019’s selection of Japanese films, the interview I conducted with Takashi Nishihara and Manami Usamaru from the film Sisterhood and an interview I conducted with Akiyoshi Koba, director of Nunchaku and Soul. This weekend’s trailer post has been bananas in terms of the number of films released.

What is released this weekend?

The Fable    The Fable Film Poster

ザ・ファブル  Za Faburu

Release Date: June 21st, 2019

Duration: 123 mins.

Director: Kan Eguchi

Writer: Yusuke Watanabe (Screenplay), Katsuhisa Minami (Original Essay)

Starring: Junichi Okada, Fumino Kimura, Koichi Sato, Mizuki Yamamoto, Kai Inowaki, Jiro Sato, Sota Fukushi, Ken Mitsuishi, Yuya Yagira, Ken Yasuda,

Website IMDB

I have been reading the manga of The Fable on and off for a year and I was sceptical that the film version would live up to the hard-boiled story but the trailer is dripping with action. It has been published in Kodansha’s Young Magazine since 2014 and is still going. The movie version has a good cast with Junichi Okada taking the lead and a great supporting cast with the likes of Ken Mitsuishi, Koichi Sato (Starfish Hotel), Ken Yasuda, Yuya Yagira (Destruction Babies) taking roles. There’s also Sota Fukushi. He starred with Okada in the Library Wars live-action adaptations.

This film is going to be screened at the New York Asian Film Festival later this month.

Synopsis: Fable is a legendary contract killer who was trained to be a killer when he was a young boy. He is ordered to lay low for one year and tries to live a normal life in Osaka as an ordinary person with the name of Akira Sato but there’s always someone ready to drag him back…

Ride Your Wave    Ride Your Wave Film Poster

きみと、波にのれたら  Kimi to, Nami ni Noretara

Duration: 94 mins.

Release Date: June 21st, 2019

Director: Masaaki Yuasa

Writer: Reiko Yoshida (Screenplay/Original Creator),

Starring: Rina Kawaei (Hinako Mukaimizu), Ryota Katayose (Minato Hinageshi), Honoka Matsumoto (Yoko Hinageshi), Kentaro Ito (Wasabi Kawamura)

Animation Production: Science SARU

Music: Michiru Oshima

Website   ANN   MAL      

This was screened at the Annecy International Animation Festival earlier this year.

Synopsis: Hinako moves to a coastal town to attend university. While there she can indulge her passion for surfing, something which washes away her uncertainty about her future. When a fire breaks out in town, Hinako encounters the young firefighter Minato. As they surf and spend more time together Hinako feels drawn to someone like Minato who devotes himself to helping other people. Hinako also holds a special place in Minato’s heart, and when he suddenly drowns while out surfing alone, he comes back to her as a ghost trapped in water. As everyone else gets over Minato’s death and tries to move on, Hinako comes to depend on his spirit.

Final Fantasy XIV: Dad of Light    Final Fantasy XIV Dad of Light Film Poster

ファイナルファンタジーXIV 光のお父さん  Fainaru Fantaji- XIV Hikari no Otosan

Release Date: June 21st, 2019

Duration: 114 mins.

Director: Teruo Noguchi (live-action), Kiyoshi Yamamoto (game)

Writer: Kouta Fukihara (Screenplay), Mighty (Original Blog)

Starring: Kentaro Sakaguchi, Kotaro Yoshida, Yui Sakuma, Maika Yamamoto, Ryuta Sato,


Kotaro Yoshida takes over from Ren Osugi in portraying a man who reconnects with his son through playing Final Fantasy XIV on the PlayStation 4.

Synopsis: Years ago, Akio’s (Kentaro Yoshida) father purchased a Nintendo Famicom and Final Fantasy III for him and the two enjoyed playing the game together. This created a fond memory for them both and it proves to be an inspiration for Akio when he wants to find out why his father quit his job and stays at home all the time. Akio purchases a PlayStation 4 and Final Fantasy XIV for him and with the help of his Free Company and friends in the game, Akio befriends his father online and the two grow close once again.

Meiji Tokyo Renka    Meiji Tokyo Renka Film Poster

明治東亰恋伽  Meiji Tokyo Renka

Release Date: June 21st, 2019

Duration: 89 mins.

Director: Hiroshi Soejima

Writer: Satoko Akazaki (Screenplay), MAGES./LOVE&ART (Original Work)

Starring: Rikka Ihara, Shuto Miyazaki, Makaha Takahashi, Shota Matsushima, Toman, Yuki Kubota, Tetsuya Iwanaga,


Based on a visual novel, this story was treated to an anime version in the spring and a drama series.

Synopsis: High school student Mei Ayazuki (Rikka Ihara) has travelled back in time to Meiji period Tokyo, a place where she follows a mysterious magician named Charlie (Yutaka Kobayashi), the person who brought her to this alternate version of Tokyo. It is here that she meets various historical figures, all handsome men, and also discovers she is a Tamayori, a person who can see ghosts. Being a Tamayori changes her relationship with the men and the flame of love flickers in Mei but should she return home or allow her love to roar into life even though she is a girl out of time…?

Cinema Kabuki Bando Tamasaburo Sagi Musume  Bando Tamasaburo Sagi Musume Film Poster

シネマ歌舞伎 坂東玉三郎 鷺娘  Bando Tamasaburo Sagi Musume

Release Date: April 15th, 2006

Duration: 31 mins.

Director: N/A

Writer: N/A

Starring: Tamasaburo Bando


Synopsis: Tamasaburo Bando was a legendary onnagata and performed many times at the Kabukiza. This performance was filmed in May 2005, and in it he plays a girl who is the embodiment of the spirit of white rabbit Hakuho…

Cinema Kabuki hidakagawa iriai zakura

シネマ歌舞伎 日高川入相花王  Shinema Kabuki hidakagawa iriai zakura

Release Date: April 15th, 2006

Duration: 31 mins.

Director: N/A

Writer: N/A

Starring: Tamasaburo Bando, Kikunosuke Onoe, Kudanji Ichikawa,


Synopsis: This is a famous story retold for the kabuki stage. The story is about Kiyohime, a woman madly in love with Emperor Suzaku who is travelling disguised as a monk named Anchin after a rebellion breaks out. Suzaku already has a lady, Odamaki, and so he leaves Kiyohime to travel to Dojoji Temple. Kiyohime pursues but when she reaches the Hidaka River, the ferryman refuse her passage on Suzaku’s orders and so she throws herself into the water, transforms into a serpent and pursues Suzaku.

Philosopher King Lee Teng-Hui’s Dialogue    Philosopher King Lee Teng-Hui’s Dialogue Film Poster

哲人王 李登輝対話篇  Tetsujinou Lee Teng Hiu Taiwahen

Release Date: November 16th, 2018

Duration: 97 mins.

Director: Hideto Sonoda

Writer: Hideto Sonoda,

Starring: Momoka, Masaki Terasoma,

Website IMDB

Synopsis: Director Hideto Sonoda’s grandfather worked in the administration of Lee Teng-hui, the 8th and 9th President of Taiwan, at a time when the country transitioned to democracy. Told via animation and a live-action docudrama, Hideto Sonoda celebrates the former president in a unique way by having Lee Teng-hui’s spirit comfort a student contemplating suicide.

Tribe Called Discord: Documentary of GEZAN    Tribe Called Discord Documentary of GEZAN Film Poster

トライブ コールド ディスコード  Toraibu Ko-rudo Disuko-do

Release Date: June 21st, 2019

Duration: 88 mins.

Director: Karou Kamiya

Writer: N/A

Starring: Mahito the People, Eagle Taka, Carlos Ozaki, Roskaru Ishihara, Karou Kamiya,


Synopsis: GEZAN is the name of an underground band that was formed in 2009 and this documentary records their American tour, helped by Steve Albini, who raised funds through the crowdfunding “BODY VUILDING project”. However, the band see a harsh reality of the locations they travelled to and responded…

Twilight    Twilight Film Poster

薄暮  Hakubo

Release Date: June 21st, 2019

Duration: 52 mins.

Director: Yutaka Yamamoto

Writer: Yutaka Yamamoto (Screenplay, Original Creator)

Starring: Hiyori Sakurada (Sachi Koyama), Seishiro Kato (Yusuke Kijinami), Ayane Sakura, Hiro Shimono, Kana Hanazawa, Kaori Fukuhara, Sora Amamiya, Sumi Shimamoto,

Animation Production: Twilight Studio

Website ANN MAL

Hiroshi Yamamoto, director of Wake Up, Girls!, generally doesn’t seem to be having fun making anime and promises to retire after this film which was crowdfunded.

Synopsis: The story is about a high school girl named Sachi who lives in Iwaki City, Fukushima Prefecture. She suffered a heartache due to the Great East Japan Earthquake and has lived indifferently to people and love by keeping her distance from friends and family since then. She has played the violin since she was young, and she belongs to the music club in high school where she is practices daily to perform as part of a quartet at a cultural festival. Keisuke, is another student who has been forced to return leave home due to the earthquake and was evacuated to Iwaki City. He has lost a lot himself but is determined to capture the beautiful landscapes he sees through painting which he hopes to show at an exhibition. One day, while painting a picture of a sunset, he meets with Sachi…

The Tall Smokestack in a Certain Town    Aru machi no takai entotsu Film Poster

ある町の高い煙突  Aru machi no takai entotsu

Release Date: June 22nd, 2019

Duration: 130 mins.

Director: Katsuya Matsumura

Writer: Katsuya Matsumura, Yoshinori Watanabe (Screenplay), Jiro Nitta (Original Novel)

Starring: Dai Watanabe, Asato Ide, Riria Kojima, Koji Kikkawa, Tatsuya Nakadai, Shinya Oowada, Ayako Kobayashi, Hiroyuki Watanabe,


Synopsis partially adapted from the Japan Times interview: A town in southern Ibaraki Prefecture finds itself deluged by pollution from the nearby factories owned by Hitachi Kozan, a lead manufacturer that started operating in the region in 1905. Smog and sulphur toxins clogged the air, was blamed for crop failure and made the environment dangerous to live in. Things began to change in 1910 when locals demanded that Hitachi do something. In comes a team of Hitachi’s engineers led by Junpei Kaya (Dai Watanabe) who works with the villagers, represented by Saburo (Asato Ide), the young grandson of the village elder (Tatsuya Nakadai), and he supervises the building what was then the tallest chimney in the world at 155.7 meters and a meteorological centre alongside the chimney to monitor the weather and wind, factors in controlling the amount of smoke released into the atmosphere. As a result, the once pollution-infested air cleared up dramatically and the chimney became a model for manufacturers across Japan.

Ai ga, soi de, koi  Ai ga, soi de, koi Film Poster

あいが、そいで、こい  Ai ga, soi de, koi

Release Date: June 22nd, 2019

Duration: 115 mins.

Director: Keisuke Shibata

Writer: Kanon Murakami (Screenplay),

Starring: An Ogawa, Yusuke Takahashi, Tsutomu Osabe, Hiroshi Furukawa, Yuki Hirose, Ayaka Nakagouchi, Masato Yamada,


Synopsis: In the summer of 2001, in a seaside town, Akira and his high school friends are spending the last of their summer vacation by the sea which is where he encounters Lynn, an international student from Taiwan who is there learning to become a dolphin trainer. First love blooms.

One Letter First Introduction The Strongest Kung Fu Boy vs Hell’s Murder Karate    One Letter First Introduction The Strongest Kung Fu Boy vs Hell's Murder Karate Film Poster

一文字拳 序章 最強カンフー少年対地獄の殺人空手使い  Ichimonji Ken joshō saikyō kanfū shōnen tai jigoku no satsujinkarate tsukai

Release Date: June 22nd, 2019

Duration: 66 mins.

Director: Yuu Nakamoto

Writer: Yuu Nakamoto (Screenplay),

Starring: Yuuta Chatani, Shin Shirahata, Kyohei Kurata, Nanami Oya, Takashi Ooya, Kousuke Hirai,


Synopsis: No CG, no undercranking and no wire-work and lots of awards at Pia and Kanazawa film festivals last year.

This is a mash-up of 80s youth movies and a tribute to Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee, and incorporating the tastes of the youth films of the 1980s. The world’s strongest martial artist Yuta, who had travelled to the United States to train warriors, returns to Japan after hearing about the sudden death of his beloved brother. Revenge takes a demonic turn as he faces a demon practising hell’s murder karate…

Okinawan Blue    Okinawan Blue Film Poster

ココロ、オドル  Kokoro, Odoru

Release Date: June 22nd, 2019

Duration: 96 mins.

Director: Tsukasa Kishimoto

Writer: Tsukasa Kishimoto (Screenplay),

Starring: Shogen, Taeko Yoshida, Rino Nakasone, Takashi Nishina, Masaya Kato,

Website IMDB

Synopsis: This is a tale of three families on a remote island. A foreign couple who end up staying at an old inn; a man who comes back to the island for his own son despite of being a fugitive; and a stepfather and his stepdaughter who have been left behind by the wife who took off with her lover. It is the story of these three families, and their awkward attempts at seeking love. Hardened hearts are eventually soften by both the natural surroundings and the kind people of the beautiful Kerama Islands.

Kasuriko    Kasuriko Film Poster

カスリコ  Kasuriko

Release Date: June 22nd, 2019

Duration: 114 mins.

Director: Masatsugu Takase

Writer: Takuji Kuniyoshi (Screenplay),

Starring: Tamotsu Ishibashi, Shin Takuma, Ikuji Nakamura, Kaori Takahashi, Chouei Takahashi, Kazuma Yamane, Tarou Kamakura,

Website IMDB

Synopsis: Tosa in Kochi Prefecture is the location for a drama about a man named Keiichi Okada who loses his restaurant after gambling too much. A yakuza gives him an offer – take care of a place called “Kasuriko”, an establishment in the gambling area the yakuza run. Keiichi has no other option and works hard and discovers more about the people who frequent the area…

Gekieiga Okinawa    Gekieiga Okinawa Film Poster

劇映画 沖縄  Gekieiga Okinawa

Release Date: May 26th, 1970

Duration: 195 mins.

Director: Atsushi Takeda

Writer: Atsushi Takeda (Screenplay),

Starring: Ai Sasaki, Takeo Chi, Yoshi Kato, Kanemon Nakamura, Choko Iida,


Synopsis: It is 50 years since this movie was first released and it depicts a story of resistance against the US bases in Okinawa as characters suffer under their influence as well as prosper by using the black market that sprang up from their presence and selling American goods and weapons.

JUNG YONG HWA: FILM CONCERT 2015-2018 “Feel the Voice”  Jung Yong Hwa Film Concert 2015-2018 “Feel the Voice”

Release Date: June 22nd, 2019

Duration: 140 mins.

Director: N/A

Writer: N/A

Starring: Jung Yong Hwa


Synopsis: Jung Yong Hwa of the Korean rock band CNBULE can be seen performing solo in this concert documentary.

Women’s Baseball Three out! Play Ball Whistle    Women's Baseball Three out! Play Ball Whistle Film Poster

スリーアウト! プレイボール篇  Suri- Auto! Purei Bo-ru hen

Release Date: June 22nd, 2019

Duration: 82 mins.

Director: Ryo Moroe

Writer: Masahiro Muramatsu (Screenplay), Jun Furuta (Original Book)

Starring: Manami Arai, Misa Kubota, Minami Sengoku, Makiho Tatsuya, Kayoko Takata, Rii Sakurai, Natsuki Taktsuka, Naoko Okamoto,

Website IMDB

Synopsis: Women’s baseball is the arena for a bunch of idols to play in. Aki (Manami Arai), a girl who has been playing baseball since she was a child, especially with the encouragement of her brother who loves baseball, is no longer allowed to play in the mixed boys and girls teams when she enters high school. Indeed, there’s no girl’s team. So she sets out to start one!

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