Rurouni Kenshin: The Final, Kankai no renzoku, Stay, BanG Dream! Episode of Roselia I:Yakusoku, Humongous, It’s Not Like We’re Friends or Anything Japanese Film Trailers (State of Emergency Edition)

Happy Weekend, everyone!

I hope you are all well.

I’m still working on Osaka Asian Film Festival reviews and interviews and hope to get a few out next week. This week saw me review the earnest student film Young Birds and the fun romantic musical Make-Believers.

Big news came twice, the first being the announcement that Uplink: Shibuya would be closing, the second being the State of Emergency declared by the Japanese government. The SoE means that cinemas and mini-theatres have been asked to shut their doors. Not all of them will but the ones that do will be offered a paltry financial compensation. Films and theatres will be hit by government incompetence, once again. Never vote for conservative parties. Just never.

What is released this weekend? A decent selection of films!

Rurouni Kenshin: The Final    Rurouni Kenshin The Final Film Poster

るろうに剣心 最終章 The Final Rurouni Kenshin Saishusho The Final

Release Date: April 23rd, 2021

Duration: 138 mins.

Director: Keishi Ohtomo

Writer: Keishi Ohtomo (Script), Nobuhiro Watsuki (Original Manga)

Starring: Takeru Satoh, Mackenyu Arata, Emi Takei, Yosuke Eguchi, Munetaka Aoki, Yu Aoi, Yusuke Iseya, Tao Tsuchiya, Riku Ohnishi,

Website IMDB

This is the first of a two-part live-action release of the latest adaptation of Watsuki Nobuhiro’s manga. I’ve reviewed two of the first trilogy, Rurouni Kenshin and Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno. This latest duopoly is based on “Jinchu-hen”, the last episode of the original story,

Synopsis: Kenshin (Takeru Sato) and his friends lead a peaceful life at Kamiya Dojo after saving Japan from a plot to destabalise it. Their peace is thrown into disarray when En (Mackenyu Arata), the head of the Shanghai mafia, attacks central Tokyo. He knows the mystery of Kenshin’s cross wound and he holds a  grudge against the swordsman. 

Kankai no renzoku   Kankai no renzoku Film Poster

寛解の連続  Kankai no renzoku

Release Date: May 23rd, 2020

Duration: 112 mins.

Directors: Atsushi Mitsunaga

Writers: Sayaka Okawa (Script), Mariko Kikuchi (Original Book)

Starring: Katsuyuki Kobayashi, Kazuhiro Ichi,

Website

This was originally scheduled to play at a cinema in Kobe last year but that was during the state of emergency where mini theatres and larger chains closed down. It is getting a re-release and it is during ANOTHER state of emergency…

Synopsis: A documentary about the life of Katsuyuki Kobayashi, a rapper from Kobe who became famous with his debut album “Kobe Bara-Jiri” in 2011. He disappeared after that as he had to deal with manic depression. The film follows him during the lead up to the release of his second album “Kattsun”, and the time when he was admitted to the isolation ward and how he cared for a disabled person.  

 

Stay    Stay Film Poster   

Release Date: September 05th, 2020

Duration: 38 mins.

Director: Naoya Fujita

Writer: Suzuyuki Kaneko (Script),

Starring: Keita Yamashina, Ruka Ishikawa, Takaki Uda, Yumi Endo, Kenta Yamagishi, Kohei Nagano, Suzuyuki Kaneko,

Website

Stay, by director Naoya Fujita, was screened at the Osaka Asian Film Festival in 2019, which is where I saw it as part of the package of films supported by the Housen Cultural Foundation. The inspiration for the story comes from the time when Fujita encountered a traditional Japanese-style home and was immediately taken with it, imagining what it would be like for a community to form around it and this idea evolving into one asking the question of what constitutes a family.

It stars Keita Yamashina (My Lovely Days, Body Remember) and Ruka Ishikawa (Colorless).

You can read my review here.

Synopsis: Yajima (Keita Yamashina) is a village official who has shown up at an abandoned house to convince some squatters to move into social housing or simply leave. What he discovers is a community of strangers who, despite having no ties to the house, have all gathered there and pitch in when it comes to doing chores.  There is a perky young woman named Maki (Ruka Ishikawa) who acts as a cheerleader binding people together, a kind 30-something woman named Saeko (Yumi Endo) who has taken on the “mother of the house” role, and a confident hands-on man named Suzuyama (Takaki Uda) who is remodelling the place to his own tastes even though nobody has asked him to. Yajima soon becomes part of this community…

 

BanG Dream! Episode of Roselia I:Yakusoku  BanG Dream! Episode of Roselia I Yakusoku Film Poster

BanG Dream! Episode of Roselia I:約束  BanG Dream! Episode of Roselia I:Yakusoku

Release Date: April 23rd, 2021

Duration: 77 mins.

Chief Director: Koudai Kakimoto, Director: Atsushi Mimura

Writer: Yuniko Ayana (Series Composition) Ko Nakamura (Original Story)

Starring: Aina Aiba (Yukina Minato), Haruka Kudou (Sayo Hikawa), Kanon Shizaki (Rinko Shirokane), Megu Sakuragawa (Ako Udagawa), Yuki Nakashima (Lisa Imai)

Animation Production: Sanzigen Animation Studio

Website ANN MAL

BanG Dream! is a project in which the voice actors acting the characters actually form a band to play musical instruments and sing. This is the first in a two-part release focussed on the band Roselia.

Synopsis: Minato Yukina decides to form the band Roselia to participate in a music festival. She recruits four other girls, all of whom are aiming for success.

Humongous  Humongous Film Poster

とてつもなく大きな Totetsumonaku Ookina

Release Date: April 23rd, 2021

Duration: 11 mins.

Director: Aya Kawazoe

Writer: Ayako Suzuki (Screenplay)

Starring: Miki Tatewaki, Shion Sasaki, Ayako Sasaki, Yoi Suzuki, Ibuki Yokoyama, Keito Suzuki,

Website IMDB

This short film was selected for the Critics’ Week Short Film Competition at Cannes International Film Festival in 2020. If you read her bio on the site, you can see that she has studied under some major directors.

Synopsis: The story concerns a young woman named Eiko. She has flashbacks of childhood memories that come in different layers of images and sounds. Digital and film techniques are mixed together as Eiko drifts through memories that may be her own or those of someone else…

It’s Not Like We’re Friends or Anything    It’s Not Like We’re Friends or Anything Film Poster

別に、友達とかじゃない Betsuni, Tomodachi toka janai

Release Date: April 23rd, 2021

Duration: 40 mins.

Director: Furuya Yaegashi

Writer: Ayako Kitagawa (Screenplay)

Starring: Rio Teramoto, Mone Akitani, Miyabe Ueda, Rena Usui, Futaba, Miku Yoshida,

Website

A coming-of-age film born out of the variety show Mokuben, it stars Rio Teramoto, Mone Akitani, and Miyabe Ueda, all of whom appeared in “Dora 2 (Drama 2),” a project on Mokuben giving these girls the chance to study acting to become actresses.

Synopsis: Set in Kiryu City, Gunma Prefecture, the film depicts the delicate relationship between three high school girls, Ryoko, Mutsumi, and Ema, who are all on the cusp of graduating from high school.  It has been a while since Ryoko has seen her compadres and when she does reuninte with them, she is pondering why life in the countryside seems to offer them nothing but the girls have plenty of secrets to reveal…

6 thoughts on “Rurouni Kenshin: The Final, Kankai no renzoku, Stay, BanG Dream! Episode of Roselia I:Yakusoku, Humongous, It’s Not Like We’re Friends or Anything Japanese Film Trailers (State of Emergency Edition)

    1. Agreed. I don’t think Japan has topped the first trilogy when it comes to action films/adaptations. They were so well made and easy to watch. I hope these latest ones get a theatrical release in the West.

    1. It’s hard to judge what the situation is. I saw a news headline saying the government were considering extending the state of emergency.

      Do you think think the film will still be in cinemas when they re-open???

      1. I think so. But then, the second movie (it was scheduled for June 4th) should be postponed? There is the solution of a VOD release too… That’s what happened to FUKUSHIMA 50, in 2020.

      2. The state of emergency is confirmed to last for the remained of the month. I hope the two films can be seen in a cinema where the spectacle and action can best be appreciated!

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