The Japan Foundation and British Library are working together to put on a series of film screenings for Japan Foundation’s annual Summer Explorers season in London. I posted about the fantastic line-up for Pre-Summer Explorers! last month and now audiences can enjoy another series of over the top, offbeat narratives featuring psychic shenanigans and epic high school politics in a collection called:
Summer Explorers 2019 : Manga Comes To Life – Live Action Japanese Film Based on Manga
These films are taken from manga and brought to life in highly cinematic ways – apart from Setoutsumi which looks like one extended conversation but I have been informed that it is absolutely hilarious.
Presented and Curated by the Japan Foundation, in collaboration with the British Library (website for the event), here are the location and date details:
Date: 27 July 2019 – 28 July 2019
Venue: British Library, Knowledge Centre Theatre, 96 Euston Road, St Pancras, London NW1
The cost to view the films is around £8.
Here are the films:
斉木楠雄のΨ難 「Saiki Kusuo no Sainan」
Release Date: October 21st, 2017
Duration: 97 mins.
Director: Yuichi Fukuda
Writer: Yuichi Fukuda (Screenplay), Shuichi Aso (Original Manga)
Starring: Kento Yamazaki, Kanna Hashimoto, Ryo Yoshizawa, Hirofumi Arai, Kento Kaku, Jiro Sato, Yuki Uchida,
Synopsis: Kusuo Saiki (Kento Yamazaki) is a high school student who was born with psychic powers. As great as that sounds he hesitates using his super powers in front of other people due to a childhood experience and tries to lead a quiet life by hiding his abilities. Unfortunately, his classmates are strange and determined to drag him from his ordinary life into misadventures.
Release Date: April 29th, 2017
Duration: 118 mins
Running Time: 118 mins
Director: Akira Nagai
Writer: Yoshihiro Izumi (Screenplay), Usamaru Furuya (Original Manga),
Starring: Masaki Suda, Yudai Chiba, Shotaro Mamiya, Mei Nagano, Shuhei Nomura, Jun Shison, Kotaro Yoshida, Ryoma Takeuchi,
Akira Nagai directed Judge!, the fantastically fun satire of ad agencies, and also the more emotional If Cats Disappeared From the World, which is a quiet drama far from the sparkly craziness of this film.
Synopsis: Teiichi Akaba (Masaki Suda) has a simple dream: to rule his own country. However, first he has to get through high school and he finds that this is the proving ground for those from good families to establish their dominance in an over the top satire of Japan’s elites where bribery, chicanery, and treachery are driven by their lust for power.
Release Date: April 20th, 2018
Duration: 127 mins
Director: Shinsuke Sato
Writer: Hiroshi Hashimoto (Screenplay), Hiroya Oku (Original Manga)
Starring: Noritake Kinashi, Takeru Satoh, Kanata Hongo, Fumi Nikaido, Yuki Saito, Yusuke Iseya, Mari Hamada, Ayaka Miyoshi, Nayuta Fukuzaki,
This is based on a manga series by Hiroya Oku, the guy who created the super-disturbing horror sci-fi Gantz. Inuyashiki was turned into an anime that turned out to be pretty good. The live-action version is a fun spectacle and a change of pace from the other highlights. Takeru Satoh (Rurouni Kenshin and Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno) stars as the bad guy. Here’s my review.
Synopsis: Ichiro Inuyashiki (Noritake Kinashi) is a salary-man on his way out. Unappreciated at work and at home and freshly diagnosed with cancer, his life looks miserable but things take a drastic turn when he is involved in an explosion. When he regains consciousness, he discovers that he has been transformed into a cyborg. Far from freaking out, he has a new lease of life and decides to use his powers to help those in need. Meanwhile, Hiro Shishigami (Takeru Satoh), a high school student, was also involved in the very same explosion and has gained the very same the powers. He just wants to see the world burn. Two super-powered people do battle in Japan!
Release Date: July 02nd, 2016
Director: Tatsushi Ohmori
Writer: Dai Miyazaki, Tatsushi Ohmori (Screenplay), Kazuya Konomoto (Original Manga)
Starring: Sosuke Ikematsu, Masaki Suda, Shohei Uno, Amane Okayama, Ayami Nakajo, Motomi Makiguchi, Eiki Narita, Isao Okumura, Kumi Ryu,
Look at the name of the director. Tatsushi Ohmori. He made, The Whispering of the Gods, The Ravine of Goodbye, and Bozo. Three emotionally brutal films. Harsh. Unflinching in their depiction of people causing others misery and feeling misery. Traumatising… Then he makes this light-hearted comedy with Seto & Utsumi, a slice-of-life tale of two friends that is sure to please a wide audience thanks to the chemistry between Masaki Suda (The Light Shines Only There) and Sosuke Ikematsu (How Selfish I Am!)! I have been told that it is hilarious.
Here’s a taste of the film:
Synopsis from the festival site: High school buddies Seto and Utsumi spend their days hanging out by a dry riverbed in Osaka, chatting about girls, cram school and their annoying parents.