Ninja Girl, Drive My Car, Last of the Wolves, One Summer Story, Kaguya-sama: Love is War Final, Inori Maboroshi ni Nagasaki o Omou Koku (Toki) Japanese Film Trailers

Happy Weekend.

JIGOKU NO HANAZONO STILL 7
©2021 “Jigoku-No-Hanazono”Film Partners

I hope you are doing well.

This is the first of a two-part trailer post. I’m still a bit ill but hoping that I am on the path to recovery. I slowed down with my reviews this week and only did I Don’t Fire Myself and then wrote some articles providing festival coverage, one for Japan Cuts and the other for the Edinburgh International Film Festival. I also wrote a review for Jigoku no Hanazono: Office Royale. I also took part in a Heroic Purgatory podcast recording covering the classic 1995 cyberpunk anime Ghost in the Shell, which, to me, is a perfect film.

What is released this weekend?

Ninja Girl   Ninja Girl Film Poster

シュシュシュの娘(こ) Shushushu no Musume (ko)

Release Date: August 21st 2021

Duration: 88 mins.

Director: Yu Irie

Writer: Yu Irie (Script)

Starring: Saki Fukuda, Ryoka Neya, Matsuo Yoshioka, Mayumi Kanetani, Shohei Uno, Arata Yamanaka, Arata Iura,

Website IMDB

The shushushu onomatopoeia in the Japanese title of Ninja Girl is the swishing sound of shuriken thrown through the air. However, the titular character at the heart of this film is probably the least able shadow warrior one could find with shurikens not in her armoury and, even if they were there, she would probably not able to use them.

This is the comedy of Ninja Girl, the latest work by Yu Irie, a veteran director whose name has more recently been attached to many major mainstream films like Memoirs of a Murderer (2017). I reviewed it a couple of weeks ago when it played at the New York Asian Film Festival. It’s a very funny political satire done by way of an offbeat action film hampered by reality being nothing like the movies.

Synopsis: Miu Komaru (Saki Fukuda) is a timid young woman who lives on the edge of rural Fukuya City, Saitama. Her time is split between her work at Fukaya city hall, where she is snowed in by paperwork, and her home, where she looks after her bedridden paternal grandfather, her last living relative. Miu’s grandfather is standing firm against a proposed law to banish foreigners from the city but things get deadly when a family friend named Koji Mano (Arata Iura) commits suicide by throwing himself off the roof of city because the mayor forced him to doctor documents to pass said xenophobic laws. In order to get revenge, Miu’s grandfather reveals that she has ninja skills which she must use to retrieve evidence!

Drive My Car   Drive My Car Film Poster

ドライブ・マイ・カー Doraibu Mai Ka-

Release Date: August 20th 2021

Duration: 179 mins.

Director: Ryusuke Hamaguchi

Writer: Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Takamasa Ooe (Script), Haruki Murakami (Original Novel)

Starring: Hidetoshi Nishijima, Toko Miura, Masaki Okada, Reika Kirishima,

Website IMDB

Ryusuke Hamaguchi (Happy Hour) returns to Cannes following his 2018 film Asako I & II with an adaptation of the Haruki Murakami short story Drive My Car (from his collection of short stories Men Without Women). Earlier this year, Hamaguchi won the Silver Bear Award at Berlinale with Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy.

The lead actor is Hidetoshi Nishijima (License to Live) who is paired with Reika Kirishima (Permanent NobaraNorwegian Wood) as a husband and wife separated by death and a secret.

Synopsis: Yusuke (Hidetoshi Nishijima) is a stage actor and a stage director who is happily married to his playwright wife Fukaku (Reika Kirishima). Two years later, Yusuke lives with a sense of loss and the vague knowledge that she had a secret, When he takes a directing gig at a theatre festival in Hiroshima, he drives down in his beloved Saab where he meets Misaki (Toko Miura) who has been assigned as his exclusive chauffeur. She’s a taciturn person but while Yusuke spends time with her, he becomes aware of things which he had turned a blind eye to until then…

Last of the Wolves   Last of the Wolves Film Poster

孤狼の血 LEVEL2   Korou no Chi Level 2

Release Date: August 20th 2021

Duration: 139 mins.

Director: Kazuya Shiraishi

Writer: Junya Ikegami (Script), Yuko Yuzuki (Original Novel)

Starring: Tori Matsuzaka, Ryohei Suzuki, Nijiro Murakami, Nanase Nishino, Taichi Saotome, Takumi Saito, Kotaro Yoshida, Kiyohiko Shibukawa, Miwako Kakei, Susumu Terajima, Hiroki Miyake,

Website IMDB

The Last of the Wolves is director Kazuya Shiraishi’s sequel to Blood of the Wolves, his well-received 2018 yakuza film. With his latest work, he returns to the crime world of Yuko Yuzuki’s novel trilogy for a sequel that goes bigger and bloodier. I reviewed it last week.

Synopsis: Set three years after the bloody climax of The Blood of Wolves, detective Shuichi Hioka (Tori Matsuzaka) has stepped up into his former partner’s position to implement a plan to control the local yakuza and prevent further gang wars in Kurehara and Hiroshima. This delicate balance of power is upset by a vicious gangster named Uebayashi (Ryohei Suzuki) who is back on the streets following time in the infamous Abashiri Prison. He is looking to avenge a gang boss slain in the previous film and that sets him on a collision course with Hioka. Along the way, many people will get hurt.

One Summer Story    One Summer Story Film Poster

子供はわかってあげない Kodomo wa Wakatte Agenai

Release Date: August 20th, 2021

Duration: 138 mins.

Director: Shuichi Okita

Writer: Mitsuhiko Fujiki, Shuichi Okita (Script), Retto Tajima (Original Manga)

Starring: Moka Kamishiraishi, Kanata Hosoda, Yudai Chiba, Kanji Furutachi, Yuki Saito, Etsushi Toyokawa, Kumi Hyodo,

Website IMDB

Synopsis: Minami Sakuta (Moka Kamishiraishi) is a high schooler who is in the school swimming club but in her spare time she enjoys anime. A chance meeting with Shohei Moji (Kanata Hosoda) on the rooftop of their school reveals he is a fan of the same anime. They hit if off and this is the start of a summer experience like no other as a Minami goes on a search for her biological father, who disappeared when she was a child, with the help of Shohei and his older brother, who looks like a woman and works as a detective…

Kaguya-sama: Love is War Final    Kaguya-sama Love is War Final Film Poster

かぐや様は告らせたい~天才たちの恋愛頭脳戦~ファイナル Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai: Tensaitachi no Renai Zunosen Fainaru

Release Date: August 20th, 2021

Duration: 116 mins.

Director: Hayato Kawai

Writer: Yuichi Tokunaga (Script), Aka Akasaka (Original Manga)

Starring: Kanna Hashimoto, Sho Hirano, Hayato Sano, Nana Asakawa, Yuuka Kageyama,

Website IMDB

Synopsis: Following the hotly contested “68th Student Council Election” at Shuchiin Academy, a private school for elite students, Miyuki Shiragin (Sho Hirano) is reinstalled as the student council president with Kaguya Shinomiya  (Kanna Hashimoto) acting as the vice president. Shiragin and Kaguya are still attracted to each other but refuse to confess and so they engage in a romantic battles to make one another confess…

Inori Maboroshi ni Nagasaki o Omou Koku (Toki)  Inori Maboroshi ni Nagasaki o Omou Koku (Toki) Film Poster

祈り 幻に長崎を想う刻(とき) Inori Maboroshi ni Nagasaki o Omou Koku (Toki)

Release Date: August 20th, 2021

Duration: 110 mins.

Director: Katsuya Matsumura

Writer: Yoshinori Watanabe, Kazuo Kame, Katsuya Matsumura (Script), Chikao Tanaka (Original Novel)

Starring: Reiko Takashima, Tomoka Kurotani, Akira Emoto, Seiichi Tanabe, Akihiro Miwa, Erika Mabuchi,

Website

Synopsis: A human drama about a two women who try to remove the statue of Mary from the burnt-out remains of Urakami Cathedral in Nagasaki 12 years after the atomic bombing. 

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