Whiplash of the Dead, Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence (4K Remaster), Ride or Die, The New Prince of Tennis: Hyotei vs Rikkai Game of Future Part 2, Detective Conan: The Scarlet Bullet, Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris and Other Japanese Film Trailers

Happy weekend, everyone!

Happy Together Tony Leung Blurred

I hope you are all doing well.

Since it’s the 25th anniversary of Resident Evil, I’ve been replaying the original Resident Evil 2 and completed the “Leon A” and “Claire B”  storylines. Coming back to the game after so many years makes me appreciate the design and art that went into it and also the fantastic effort that was put into recapturing the spirit of the original and updating it with new graphics, sound, acting, and direction for the remake.

Resident Evil 2 Remake Image

Another thing I revisited was the world of Wong Kar-Wai by watching Days of Being WildAs Tears Go By, and Happy Together in order to discuss the latter film on episode 2 of the Heroic Purgatory podcast. Please have a listen. Wong Kar-Wai is one of my favourite filmmakers. Have you watched any of his works?

I’ve slowly been catching up on Osaka Asian Film Festival work with my interview with Satoko Yokohama, director of Ito, and a review of the Shinji Imaoka film A Rainbow-coloured Trip and also an interview with Masashi Komura, the director of POP!.

What is released this weekend?

Whiplash of the Dead    Whiplash of the Dead Film Poster

きみが死んだあとでKimi ga Shinda ato de

Release Date: April 17th, 2021

Duration: 200 mins.

Director: Haruhiko Daishima

Writer: N/A

Starring: N/A


Synopsis: Following on from Searching  for the Wolf, this documentary interviews people involved in the leftist movements of the 60s. It’s particular focus is the  “first Haneda struggle” of October 1967, which resulted in the death of an 18-year-old student protestor Hiroaki Yamazaki at a time when leftist groups were campaigning against America’s war in Vietnam. The impact of his death still reverberates half a century later and some of his classmates and others involved in this episode give their stories. As they age, Yamazaki remains 18…

Check out this website for a review.

Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence (4K Remaster)    Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence Poster

戦場のメリークリスマス 「Sensou no Meri- Kurisumasu

Release Date: May 10th, 1983 (Cannes)

Running Time: 123 mins.

Director: Nagisa Oshima

Writer: Nagisa Oshima, Paul Mayersberg (Screenplay), Laurens van der Post (Original Story)

Starring: David Bowie, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Takeshi Kitano, Tom Conti, Jack Thompson, Yuya Uchida,Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence Film Poster 2021

Website    IMDB

Originally released in 1983, this UK/Japanese co-production is a war movie cum relationship drama played out between four men, two Japanese and two British, each one of them portrayed by great actors or musicians. One is the film’s composer Ryuichi Sakamoto, an elite officer at a POW camp, another is Takeshi Kitano (Hana-biKikujiroBattle Royale) who plays a brutal and jovial camp guard. On the British side is Tom Conti and David Bowie who proves he can be a great actor as well as a great musician. It’s one of Oshima’s more famous films and more readily available. This is the 4k restoration and it goes out alongside another Oshima film, In the Realm of the Senses.

Synopsis: Major Jack Celliers (Bowie) was captured on a chindit raid and is now a POW in a camp in Java. Captain Yonoi (Sakamoto) is the camp commandant. The two feel drawn to each other as kindred spirits because they both carry guilt from past incidents they were/weren’t involved in. Lieutenant Colonel John Lawrence (Conti) and Sergeant Hara (Kitano) both witness and question the bond of the two men. All four find themselves caught up in the vagaries of a cruel war.


Ride or Die    Ride or Die Film Icon


Release Date: April 15th, 2021

Duration: 142 mins.

Director: Ryuichi Nakamura

Writer: Nami Yoshikawa (Script), Ching Nakamura (Original Manga)

Starring: Kiko Mizuhara, Honami Sato, Yoko Maki, Anne Suzuki, Sara Minami, Shunsuke Tanaka, Shinya Niiro, Tetsushi Tanaka,


This is on Netflix and got a global release by the looks of things.

Synopsis: When Rei (Kiko Mizuhara) is reunited with Nanae (Honami Sato), she rediscovers the love of her life. It is a bittersweet reunion as Rei discovers Nanae is married to a man and, on top of that, is being beaten by him. Rei kills the husband, leading the two women to go on the run…

The New Prince of Tennis: Hyotei vs Rikkai Game of Future Part 2The New Prince of Tennis Hyotei vs Rikkai Game of Future Part 2 Film Poster

新テニスの王子様 氷帝vs立海 Game of Future 後篇   「Atarashii Tenisu no Ōjisama Hyotei  vs Rikkai Game of Future Kouhen

Release Date: April 17th, 2021

Running Time: N/A

Director: Keiichiro Kawaguchi

WriterMitsutaka Hirota (Series Composition)

Starring: Junya Enoki (Yoshio Tamagawa), Junichi Suwabe (Keigo Atobe), Ryotaro Okiayu (Tezuka Kunimitsu).

Animation Production: M.S.C., Studio KAI,

Website   MAL ANN 

Synopsis from CrunchyrollThe New Prince of Tennis will be celebrating its 20th anniversary this coming spring with a brand new two-part original anime where Hyotei Academy and Rikkaidai Junior High go head-to-head. The first part was released in February. This is the second part.

Detective Conan: The Scarlet Bullet   Detective Conan The Scarlet Bullet Film Poster 2

名探偵コナン 緋色の不在証明 「Meitantei Conan: Hiiro no Dangan

Release Date: April 17th, 2021

Running Time: 110 mins.

Director:  Tamoka Nagaoka

Writer: Takeharu Sakurai (Screenplay), Gosho Aoyama (Original Creator)

Starring: Minami Takayama (Conan Edogawa), Minami Hamabe (Erii Ishioka), Shuuichi Ikeda (Shuichi Akai), Wakana Yamazaki (Ran Mouri),

Animation Production: TMS Entertainment, V! Studio

Website ANN MAL

This is the main attraction that was presaged by a compilation film released in February.

Synopsis from Anime News Network: Japan is celebrating the upcoming World Sports Games, the world’s largest sporting event, in Tokyo. The “Japanese Bullet,” the world’s first vacuum-tube super-conducting linear train, is built with the latest Japanese technology and timed to coincide with the WSG opening ceremonies. The train is set to run from Shin Nagoya Station to Tokyo Station at up to 1,000 kilometers per hour. However, a bizarre incident occurs during a party held by famous major sponsors, leading to a string of kidnappings of top executives. Conan deduces a possible link to serial abductions in the WSG 15 years earlier in Boston.

Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris      Gamera 3 Revenge of Iris Film Poster

ガメラ3 邪神(イリス)覚醒 「Gamera 3: Irisu Kakuse

Release Date: March 06th, 1999

Duration: 108 mins.

Director: Shusuke Kaneko

Writer: Kazunori Ito, Shusuke Kaneko (Script), 

Starring: Shinobu Nakayama, Ai Maeda, Aki Maeda, Ayako Fujitani, Yukijiro Hotaru, Toru Tezuka,

Website IMDB

Synopsis (paraphrased from Wikipedia): Three years have passed since Gamera defeated Legion and the world is once again plagued by Gyaos, which have now evolved into Hyper Gyaos. Mayumi Nagamine, noted ornithologist from earlier Gamera films, returns to aid the Japanese government  but there are also shadowy government agents, occultist Miss Asakura and Kurata Shinya, who are all working with different agendas, with Asakura believing Gamera to be an evil spirit. Meanwhile, on an island, a young girl named Ayana discovers a stone egg sealed within her village temple and raises a monster which she intends to use to kill Gamera in an act of revenge for the death of her parents. This monster she names… IRIS!

The Red Room: Holy Butterfly    The Red Room Holy Butterfly Film Poster

聖なる蝶 赤い部屋 Seinaro Cho Akai Heya

Release Date: April 16th, 2021

Duration: 75 mins.

Director: Shoji Kubota

Writer: Shoji Kubota (Script), Edogawa Rampo (Original Story)

Starring: Aino Kuribayashi, Kazuki Namioka, Reiya Masaki, Yurei Yanagi, Kouta Kusano, Houka Kinoshita,


The third instalment in the erotic suspense Red Room series which is dodgy as anything. Each entry is based on a short story by Edogawa Rampo and set in the present day. This particular one is based on the novel Akuma Ningyo (The Devil’s Doll).

Synopsis: A pure love story unfolds between Sugiura, a former high school teacher who lost his job because he was secretly filming a female student he loves, and Rumi, a high school girl who offers him a reason to live. The two stay in his apartment and indulge in lust but Sugiura becomes obsessed with Rumi and the situation escalates…

Ningen no yogoshita tochidarou, doko e ike to iu no ka    Ningen no yogoshita tochidarou, doko e ike to iu no ka Film Poster

人間の汚した土地だろう、どこへ行けというのか Ningen no yogoshita tochidarou, doko e ike to iu no ka

Release Date: April 17th, 2021

Duration: 40 mins.

Director: Seiichi Motohashi

Writer: N/A

Starring: Sadako Kamiya, Seiichi Motohashi,


Synopsis: A medium-length documentary by photographer-turned-filmmaker Seiichi Motohashi, director of the documentaries Nadya’s Village (1997) and Alexei and the Spring (2002). Those works are about villages contaminated by radiation, the after-effects of Chernobyl haunting two young people, Nadya and Alexei who were youngsters when those films were made. In October 2019, director Motohashi and his long-time producer Sadako Kamiya reunited with Nadya and Alexei to find that Nadya, who works at a sewing factory in the city, Alexei, who works as a guard at a kindergarten, and recorded footage in the exclusion zones around their villages.

Find out more about Motohashi’s photography and films via this article.

The Vow from Hiroshima    The Vow from Hiroshima Film Poster

ヒロシマへの誓い サーロー節子とともに Hiroshima e no chikai sārō Setsuko to tomoni

Release Date: April 17th, 2021

Duration: 82 mins.

Director: Susan C. Strickler

Writer: N/A

Starring: Setsuko Thurlow

Website IMDB

Synopsis: This documentary follows the work of Setsuko Thurlow, a representative to the UN and various organisations for the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), the international NGO that won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017. At the age of 13, she survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima which killed hundreds of her schoolmates. She later studied in America and married a Canadian but felt the need to campaign against nuclear weapons and has been involved in peace activities for many years. This film depicts her background, career and also her evolving friendship with Mitchie Takeuchi, the film’s producer. Mitchie attended the rebuilt school Setsuko was in and learned about her own family’s experience of the bombing with the help of Setsuko. 

Read a review here.

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