Nipponretto Ikimono Chodensetsu Gekijouban Darwin ga Kita!, Nukero, Mebiusu!!, God Bless You, Tea Friends, Two on the Edge, Minna Ikite Iru: Futatsu me no Tanjoubi Japanese Film Trailers

Happy Weekend

Shall We Dance

This is the second of a two-part trailer post – the first part is here.

In big news, the organisers of the Osaka Asian Film Festival 2023 have announced the majority of its programme. Check out Variety to read more. I’ve watched a lot of films for the festival and I’m writing about them. Without going into detail, there’s a good selection but what stands out for me are a few of the Hong Kong films and some of the Japanese indies. I’m looking forward to sharing more about them as the festival approaches and gets underway.

In terms of what I have been watching outside of OAFF 2023 films, I have burned through some noir films, a BBC mockumentary from the 90s, and lots of Hong Kong 80s action flicks:

Kiss Me DeadlyIron Angels 2GhostwatchShe Shoots Straight, and They Came to Rob Hong Kong.

What other films were released this weekend?

Nipponretto Ikimono Chodensetsu Gekijouban Darwin ga Kita!    Nipponretto Ikimono Chodensetsu Gekijouban Darwin ga Kita! Film Poster R

日本列島生きもの超伝説 劇場版ダーウィンが来た! 「Nipponretto Ikimono Chodensetsu Gekijouban Darwin ga Kita!

Release Date: February 03rd, 2023

Duration: 89 mins.

Direction: Emi Kubojima

Writer: Minoru Kawasaki, Nobuyuki Hori (Screenplay), 

Starring: Kouchan, Shunki Sugai, Naoki Tatsuki, Inori Minase (Narrator),


Synopsis: NHK’s nature documentary program “Darwin is Here!” is back on the big screen for the first time in 15 years and it features animals over the four seasons: a chipmunk stockpiling food for winter, a snow hare running around, a brown bear and its cubs awakening from hibernation, and much more.


Nukero, Mebiusu!!    Nukero, Mebiusu!! Film Poster R

ぬけろ、メビウス!! 「Nukero, Mebiusu!!

Release Date: February 03rd, 2023

Duration: 93 mins.

Direction: Keigo Kato

Writer: Kanon Murakami (Screenplay),

Starring: Akane Sakanoue, Tomoko Fujita, Yoshihiko Hosoda, Taketo Tanaka, Nanoka Matsubara,


Synopsis: Yuko Sakuragawa is a contract worker who is fired from her job at a construction company just before she can become a full-time employee due to the so-called “five-year rule”. At the age of 24, Yuko returns to college in order to train to be a teacher but, on top of coursework, she has to deal with friends, family and a fiancé as she moves forward.


God Bless You    Kimi ni Sachi Areyo Film Poster R

君に幸あれよ 「Kimi ni Sachi Areyo

Release Date: February 04th, 2023

Duration: 78 mins.

Direction: Keisuke Sakurai

Writer: Keisuke Sakurai (Screenplay), 

Starring: Tatsuru Kobashikawa, Yusuke Takahashi, Keiji Tamayose, Yuuya Matsuura,


Synopsis: Shinji is a debt collector who has battled with dependency on drugs and the death of his younger brother. His gangster boss pairs him up with a mysterious young man in order to collect cash and Shinji grows attached to him. However, Shinji’s past violence threatens to plunge both of them into a death spiral as someone he assaulted is looking for revenge.


Tea Friends    Tea Friends Film Poster R

茶飲友達 「Chanomi Tomodachi

Release Date: February 04th, 2023

Duration: 135 mins.

Direction: Bunji Sotoyama

Writer: Bunji Sotoyama (Screenplay), 

Starring: Rei Okamoto, Mako Isonishi, Miu Kainuma, Tetsu Watanabe, Maki Taki,


Bunji Sotoyama directed Soiree, an underappreciated drama starring Haruka Imou. Apparently, this is based on a real-life case involving an elderly sex worker club.

Synopsis: Mana Sasaki and her friends set up “Tea Friend,” a club of sex workers who cater to the elderly by dispatching elderly women. These are women who have various social problems and they form a bond with Mana and the staff to become something like a pseudo-family.


Two on the Edge    Higan no Futari Film Poster R

彼岸のふたり 「Higan no Futari

Release Date: February 04th, 2023

Duration: 90 mins.

Direction: Yusuke Kitaguchi

Writer: Yusuke Kitaguchi, Yuki Maeda (Screenplay), 

Starring: Meiri Asahina, Taiji Doi, Akie Namiki, Maki Terauchi, Charu Inoue,

Website IMDB

This is a film about a girl who grew up without love. It is based on the motif of “Jigoku Tayu,” a legendary courtesan who is said to have existed in the Muromachi period (1336-1573).

Synopsis: Otose Nishizono grew up in an orphanage due to an unreliable mother and the abusive men who were around. Upon her 18th birthday, she leaves the orphanage and starts to live independently, taking a job as a cleaner at a hotel and paying her own bills. The abuse that she suffered still haunts her and the influence  of that abuse grows worse when her mother, Yoko, reappears and starts demanding money. Meanwhile, an underground idol named Yume has fallen pregnant by her manager and tries to keep her career afloat. The lives of these two young women cross.

Minna Ikite Iru: Futatsu me no Tanjoubi    Minna Ikite Iru Futatsu me no Tanjoubi Film Poster R

みんな生きている 二つ目の誕生日 「Minna Ikite Iru: Futatsu me no Tanjoubi

Release Date: February 04th, 2023

Duration: 113 mins.

Direction: Kazuyuki Morosawa

Writer: Kazuyuki Morosawa (Screenplay), Daigo Higuchi (Original Creator),

Starring: Daigo Higuchi, Wakana Matsumoto, Koki Okada, Reiko Muto, Takeshi Onishi,


Actor Daigo Higuchi conceived and stars in this humanistic drama based on his own experience of having his life saved by a bone marrow transplant.

Synopsis: Daisuke Hiyama is a karate instructor in the full flush of life but when he collapses during practice, he discovers he has leukemia and his physical strength begins to deteriorate. His only hope is that he gets a bone marrow transplant but a suitable donor needs to be found. A woman named Michiko Sakurai from Niigata Prefecture, turns out to be a good match, but her family is opposed to her becoming a donor.

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