A Beloved Wife, Reiwa Uprising, Humanoid Monster Bela, The Magnificent Kotobuki Complete Edition, Umibe no Étranger, Lost Baby Lost, Tokyo Butterfly and Other Japanese Film Trailers

Happy weekend, everyone!

A Beloved Wife 喜劇 愛妻物語  Film Image 5

I hope you are all genki.

September is going to be very busy in terms of this blog as I aim to cover a grip of festivals and also release reviews. I’ve got one post planned for tomorrow. So far this week, I’ve posted a review for Beneath the Shadow and Miyamoto and, over at Anime UK News, an article about the Inter-College Animation Festival 2020, a showcase of the talent in the Japanese university system, and how it is possible to watch it via the internet.

What is released this weekend?

A Beloved Wife    A Beloved Wife Film Poster

喜劇 愛妻物語 Kigeki Aisai Monogatari

Release Date: September 11th, 2020

Duration: 115 mins.

Director: Shin Adachi

Writer: Shin Adachi (Screenplay/Novel)

Starring: Gaku Hamada, Asami Mizukawa, Chise Niitsu, Eri Fuse, Kaho, Kayoko Ookubo, Ken Mitsuishi, 

Website    IMDB

Shin Adachi is best known for his script for 100 Yen Love (2014) and has worked on other projects, including directing a warmly received comedy 14 That Night (2016). He adapts his autobiographical novel for his sophomore film as a director and it is a delight as Asami Mizukawa wows playing a permanently p*ssed wife dealing with a pervy husband essayed by a skeevy Gaku Hamada. Behind the shockingly bitter but often funny tirades is the beating heart of a loving couple but there is a lot of tears and laughter (sometimes at the same time) to get to that realisation. This won Best Screenplay at last year’s Tokyo International Film Festival.

Here’s my review.

Synopsis: Gota Yanagida (Gaku Hamada) is a scriptwriter with a family and a desperate need for a hit film. His wife of 10 years, Chika (Asami Mizukawa), is the family breadwinner and very unhappy about their lack of money. His daughter Aki (Chise Niitsu) is beginning to view him as a bit of a loser. His desperation for a break is finally answered when a film producer tasks Gota with writing a screenplay for his story of “a high school girl who makes udon noodles at a tremendous speed”. Gota has a chance to travel to Kagawa Prefecture to write a screenplay and so he persuades Chika and Aki to go with him, but when he arrives he discovers a different film project has already been decided…

Reiwa Uprising    Reiwa Uprising Film Poster

れいわ一揆  Reiwa Ikki

Release Date: September 11th, 2020

Duration: 248 mins.

Director: Kazuo Hara

Writer: N/A

Starring: Ayumi Yasutomi

Website IMDB

Kazuo Hara (The Emperor’s Naked Army Marches On) gave the world premiere of this at last year’s Tokyo International Film Festival last year and a collection of international fests. It has earned praise for being both an entertaining and fascinating, as this review at the Japan Times states. The subject is broadly on the various candidates of the Reiwa Shinsengumi party that was set up by charismatic actor-turned-charismatic-politician Taro Yamamoto (Kawada in Battle Royale) but the focus gradually zeroes in on the issues they campaign on. I really want to see this one!!!

Synopsis: Kazuo Hara follows a selection of candidates from the anti-establishment party Reiwa Shinsengumi party as they embark on a national campaign for a seat in Japan’s Upper House in Parliamentary elections. Figures that are on screen include Ayumi Yasutomi, a transgender Tokyo University professor, Teruko Watanabe, a single mother, and Eiko Kimura and Yasuhiko Funago, who are both disabled. Through following them, the film paints a broader picture of people championing the rights of the disabled and the marginalised.

Humanoid Monster Bela    Humanoid Monster Bela Film Poster

妖怪人間ベラ「Youkai Ningen Bera

Running Time: 100 mins.

Release Date: September 11th, 2020

Director: Tsutomu Hanabusa

Writer: Daisuke Hozaka (Screenplay),

Starring: Emma, Win Morisaki, Akane Hotta, Sosuke Yoshida, Seiji Rokkaku,Rinne Yoshida, Hiyori Sakurada, Hiroya Shimizu, Akira Onodera,

Website 

Yokai Ningen Bem (Humanoid Monster Bem) is a 26-episode anime supernatural adventure anime that aired from 1968 to 1969 that has been further adapted into more anime and live-action properties. The original story followed Bem, Bela, and Belo who are ugly humanoid monsters who live among humans and protect them from evil monsters. Caught between the world of humans and monsters, the three continue to fight in hopes of one day becoming humans themselves. Bela is transformed into a beautiful school girl played by single-named emma, a model turned actress.

Synopsis: Kosuke Arata (Win Morisaki) works at an advertising firm and his latest assignment is researching Yokai Ningen Bem. This entails entering an abandoned building and it is there that he finds the anime’s “illusive final episode.” It is also there that he encounters Bela Yurigasaki Bela, a high school student whose supernatural presence drives people crazy. Kosuke begins to tall into a whirlpool of crazy as he chases after Bela and his wife Ayumi (Akane Hotta) and son Hinata (Sosuke Yoshida) begin to affected… 

The Magnificent Kotobuki Complete Edition  The Magnificent Kotobuki Complete Edition Film Poster

荒野のコトブキ飛行隊 完全版「Kouya no Kotobuki Hikoutai Kanzenban

Running Time: 119 mins.

Release Date: September 11th, 2020

Director: Tsutomu Mizushima

Writer: Michiko Yokote (Screenplay),

Starring: Sayumi Suzushiro (Kirie), Akiko Yajima (Madame Lulu), Aoi Koga (Betti), Nao Toyama (Ririko), Misaki Yoshioka (Anna),

Animation Production: WAO World, GEMBA,

Website ANN MAL

Tsutomu Mizushima and scriptwriter Michiko Yokote’s original television anime The Magnificent KOTOBUKI now has a compilation film that will include new footage and be shown in MX4D screenings.

Synopsis from My Anime List: In a desolate world where the safest form of transporting cargo is by zeppelin; air pirates roam the sky, preying on aerial commerce and holding remote towns for ransom. Against these airborne marauders, the only defense is to hire high-flying protection of your own, and that’s where mercenary pilots like the girls of the Kotobuki Squadron come in. Behind the joysticks of their lightweight Nakajima Ki-43 Hayabusa fighters, these lady falcons play a deadly game of escort, where a single mistake can end up in a fiery crash or mid-air collision. But for birds of prey like Kylie, Reona, Chika, Emma, Kate, and Zara, the danger is worth it for the chance to spread their wings and soar into the heavens. The wild blue yonder gets even wilder as every dogfight becomes a catfight in THE MAGNIFICENT KOTOBUKI!

Crayon Shin-chan the Movie: Crash! Rakuga Kingdom and Roughly Four Heroes    Crayon Shin-chan the Movie Crash Rakuga Kingdom and Roughly Four Heroes Film Poster

映画クレヨンしんちゃん 激突!ラクガキングダムとほぼ四人の勇者「Eiga Crayon Shin-chan Gekitotsu! Rakuga Kingdom to Hobo Yonin no Yūsha

Running Time: 103 mins.

Release Date: September 11th, 2020

Director: Takahiro Kyougoku

Writer: Ryou Takada (Screenplay), Yoshito Usui (Original Creator)

Starring: Yumiko Kobayashi (Shinnosuke Nohara), Miki Narahashi (Misae Nohara), Satomi Koorogi (Himawari Nohara), Toshiyuki Morikawa (Hiroshi)

Animation Production: Shinei Animation

Website ANN MAL

Synopsis: Rakuga Kingdom (the name is a pun on the word “rakugaki” meaning “scribbling”) floats in the sky and gets its energy from scribbles, but lately the scribbles are decreasing and the kingdom is in danger of collapsing. To save the country, the military start forcing humans to scribble which is where Shin-chan enters the story and gets his hands on a magical crayon.

Umibe no Étranger    Umibe no Étranger Film Poster

海辺のエトランゼ「Umibe no Etoranje

Running Time: 59 mins.

Release Date: September 11th, 2020

Director: Akiyo Ohashi

Writer: Akiyo Ohashi (Screenplay), Kanna Kii (Original Creator)

Starring: Taishi Murata (Shin Hashimoto), Yoshitsugu Matsuoka (Mio Chibana), Yu Shimamura (Sakurako), Hana Sato (Oba-chan), Sayaka Nakaya (Suzu), Kanae Itou (Eri)

Animation Production: Studio Hibari

Website ANN MAL

Synopsis: Shun Hashimoto fled his home to stay on a distant island in Okinawa following the breaking of ties with his family for being gay. This aspiring novelist now enjoys the atmosphere and the view but one day, a lone figure on the beach catches his attention. He is Mio Chibana, an orphan who spends his free time gazing at the sea. The two talk and they gradually get closer but Mio must soon depart the island to go and study in the city. He does so with the promise to return to Shun but when he does, three years later and with a declaration of love, Shun is hesitant…

The Cornered Mouse Dreams of Cheese    The Cornered Mouse Dreams of Cheese Film Poster

窮鼠はチーズの夢を見るKyuso wa Chizu no Yume wo Miru

Release Date: September 11th, 2020

Duration: 130 mins.

Director: Isao Yukisada

Writer: Anne Horiizumi (Script), Setona Mizushiro (Original BL Manga)

Starring: Tadayoshi Okura, Ryo Narita, Shiori Yoshida, Honami Sato, Miyu Sakihi, Noriko Kijima.

Website IMDB

As of late, the Isao Yukisada films I have seen indicate that he really enjoys getting under the skin of people with broken personalities through lengthy relationship dramas with a touch of mystery to them. The stories withhold everything until a final twist at the end. It’s seen in Aroused by Gymnopedies (2016), Pink and Gray (2015), and Parade (2009). My own favourites are from earlier in his career with Go (2001) and the lost romance Crying Out Love in the Center of the World (2004). His latest film seems as straightforward as it can get.

Synopsis: Kyoichi (Tadayoshi Okura) works at an advertising company and has a beautiful wife but due to his indecisive personality he has affairs with other women. Suspecting this, his wife hire a private detective. This detective is Wataru (Ryo Narita) and it turns out that the two went to the same university together and he even fell in love with Kyoichi. Wataru senses this is his chance to make something happen and tells Kyoichi that he will cover up his infidelities if the two can have a sexual relationship. Kyoichi resists at first, but…

Lost Baby Lost    Lost Baby Lost Film Poster

ロストベイベーロスト Rosuto Beibe- Rosuto

Release Date: September 12th, 2020

Duration: 92 mins.

Director: Hayato Tsuge

Writer: Daisuke Sagara (Script), 

Starring: Shuhei Matsuo, Yukino Murakami, Takuji Suzu, Tohta Nakamura, Yu Yoshii,

Website

The movie debut of Hayato Tsuge who was studying at Kyoto University of Art and Design (now Kyoto University of Arts) Film Department. He tragically died after the filming of this work but it was edited and brought to cinemas for people to see. It stars Yukino Murakami who was in Orphan’s Blues.

Synopsis: When Yohei returns how, he meets his lover Rinko who tells him something earth-shattering: “I brought you a baby.” Eventually, Yohei begins to face the reality of having a baby… 

Tokyo Butterfly    Tokyo Butterfly Film Poster

東京バタフライ  「Toukyou Batafurai

Running Time: 81 mins.

Release Date: September 11th, 2020

Director: Keitaro Sakon

Writer: Tomomi Kawaguchi, Keitaro Sakon, (Screenplay),

Starring: Kamin Shirahata, Atomu Mizuishi, Ryuju Kobayashi, Hisao Kurozumi, Shogen,

Website 

Tokyo Butterfly is the first feature by up-and-coming film director Keitaro Sakon who graduated from Nihon University College of Art, and  garnered attention with his final school film short “Kazoku no Fūkei” (Family Scenery) which starred Sosuke Ikematsu. 

This is actually the fourth live-action film produced by WIT STUDIO, the guys behind Attack on Titan, Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress, and Vinland Saga.

Synopsis: This film sensitively unpicks the various emotions felt by a group of friends who were in a band but broke up when they were on the verge of stardom. It jumps six years into their futures after the lead singer walks out and they are living in their late twenties and with their own personal troubles in various situations like the guy who won’t give up his dream, the guy who starts a family and the girl who regrets her decision. Lead actress Kamin Shirahata is a real-life singer/songwriter.

Hagure Idol: Jigoku-hen    Hagure Idol Jigoku-hen Film Poster

はぐれアイドル 地獄変Hagure Idol: Jigoku-hen

Release Date: September 12th, 2020

Duration: 107 mins.

Director: Tsuyoshi Shoji

Writer: Tsuyoshi Akama, Takato Nishi (Script), Rui Takato (Original Manga)

Starring: Rina Hashimoto, Sakiko Nishiyama, Reina Asaki, Shoji Yuki, Saryu Usui,

IMDB

Synopsis: Misora Haebara is an 18-year-old karate expert from Okinawa who has a dream! She wants to be an idol! So, she packs her bags and goes to Tokyo. She signs up with a talent agency and reluctantly assents to taking part in a gravure shoot but when she arrives on set her agency suddenly tells her she has to perform in an adult video. Misora has to fight to survive.

3 thoughts on “A Beloved Wife, Reiwa Uprising, Humanoid Monster Bela, The Magnificent Kotobuki Complete Edition, Umibe no Étranger, Lost Baby Lost, Tokyo Butterfly and Other Japanese Film Trailers

    1. I think it’s pitched as an erotic comedy. From reading about the original manga, it seems that the writer drops the sexy stuff for the fighting. The trailer and the set-up of the story look absolutely dodgy.

      1. Yeah, I was hoping it would be a goofball comedy like Crime Or Punishment or Kamikaze Girls. Instead it seems to be a tacky, low budget exploitation flick straight to DVD tosh… 😦

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