Hamon, Kishibe Rohan Louvre e Iku, Kowareru Koto Ikiru Koto, The Feast of Amrita, Aragne: Sign of Vermillion (Refined Version), Gekijouban CollarxMalice Deep Cover, Gunbuster, Japanese Film Trailers

Happy Weekend

Police Story 3 Supercop Michelle Yeoh and Jackie Chan in Action

This is the first of a two-part trailer post. Second part tomorrow.

Between getting a severe hankering to play Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin and Advance Wars (the original on GBA), I’ve maintained my film watching with some major titles and quickly-written reviews. I’ve also been watching Cannes (via the internet) with interest.

For coverage of the Cannes Film Festival from the Western trades, check out this Twitter thread.

Back to films released in Japan.

What are the first wave of films released this weekend?

Hamon    Hamon Film Poster R

波紋  Hamon

Release Date: May 26th, 2023

Duration: 120 mins.

Director: Naoko Ogigami

Writer: Naoko Ogigami (Screenplay),

Starring: Mariko Tsutsui, Ken Mitsuishi, Hayato Isomura, Tamae Ando, Noriko Eguchi, Akira Emoto, Midoriko Kimura,

Website IMDB

Naoko Ogigami is one of Japan’s more famous filmmakers and she has a great humanist streak to her works. The cast she has assembled for this one is incredible and they are anchored by Mariko Tsutsui in the lead role. She is easily one of Japan’s best actors!

Synopsis: Yoriko Sudo (Mariko Tsutsui) is interested in a cult religion called “Midorimono-kai” and she spends her days in prayer and study groups when not caring for her elderly father, moody son Takuya (Hayato Isomura), and Osamu, her loafer of a husband (Ken Mitsuishi). When Osamu disappears, Yoriko becomes heavily invested in the cult. When he returns more than ten years later and seeking help for his cancer, more trouble follows as Takuya brings his girlfriend home with intentions to marry her and she gets harassed by customers at her part-time job. Yoriko goes all in on the cult as she tries to deal with her mounting anger!

Kishibe Rohan Louvre e Iku    Kishibe Rohan Louvre e Iku Film Poster R

岸辺露伴 ルーヴルへ行く  Kishibe Rohan Ru-vuru e Iku

Release Date: May 26th, 2023

Duration: 118 mins.

Director: Kazutaka Watanabe

Writer: Yasuko Kobayashi (Screenplay), Hirohiko Araki (Original Manga)

Starring: Issey Takahashi, Minami, Fumino Kimura, Masanobu Ando, Marie Iitoyo, Kento Nagao,

Website IMDB

Rohan Kishibe is a character from Hirohiko Araki’s Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure Diamond is Unbreakable and he proved popular enough to get his own spin-off manga and, eventually, live-action TV show. It was adapted into a TV drama that was broadcast on NHK in 2020 and now it reaches the big screen.

Synopsis: Rohan Kishibe (Issey Takahashi) is a manga artist with a “Stand” called “Heaven’s Door.” This magical being grants him the ability to transform people into open books which he can read, thus allowing him to find out their backgrounds and secrets. Furthermore, he can write instructions in the pages to control them. As a young man, Rohan met a mysterious woman and had a crush on her. She told him about a rumour about the “blackest picture” in the world. When Rohan learns that the painting was in the collection of the Louvre Museum in France, he visits and discovers all sorts of secrets…


Kowareru Koto Ikiru Koto    Kowareru Koto Ikiru Koto Film Poster R

こわれること いきること  Kowareru Koto Ikiru Koto

Release Date: May 26th, 2023

Duration: 128 mins.

Director: Yukio Kitazawa

Writer: Yukio Kitazawa (Screenplay), 

Starring: Ryoka Yoshida, Tomoko Fujita, Ichirota Miyakawa, Satoru Saito, Minori Terada,


This is a drama drawing upon the Great East Japan Earthquake.

Synopsis: Haruka Kawai (Ryoka Yoshida) is a young woman who works at a nursing home after studying at a nursing care vocational school in Tokyo. She actually comes from the north of Japan but her hometown was hit hard on March 11, 2011, when the Great East Japan Earthquake occurred. Her family was wiped out and she was the only survivor. Traumatised by their loss, Haruka works hard as a nurse. shutting out negative feelings and close relationships by taking care of the elderly. However, one new elderly person breaks through the wall Haruka has erected and pretty soon her world opens up…

Double Bill

The Feast of Amrita    The Feast of Amrita Film Poster R

アムリタの饗宴 Amrita no Kyouen

Release Date: May 26th, 2023

Duration: 48 mins

Director: Saku Sakamoto

Writer: Saku Sakamoto (Screenplay) Bandai-Namco Online (Original Creator)

Starring: Maaya Uchida (Tamahi), Mamiko Noto (Aki), MoeMi (Yuu), Kana Hanazawa (Rin),

Animation Production: Sentai Studios

Website  ANN  MAL

The movie is a prequel spin-off of Saku Sakamoto’s previous movie Aragne: Sign of Vermilion (below as it plays as part of a double bill) which came out in 2018. Again, Sakamoto has worked on this film mostly by himself. He is credited with direction, story, animation, and music.

Synopsis: This film seems like a re-run of the previous one in that it depicts a high school girl named Tamahi (Maaya Uchida), encountering strange and unknown creatures in a huge apartment complex with a mysterious history after she witnesses someone jump off the roof of the place. 



Aragne: Sign of Vermillion (Refined Version)      Aragne Sign of Vermillion Film Poster

アラーニェの虫籠 リファイン版「Aragne no Mushikago Rifain Ban

Refined Version Release Date: May 26th, 2023

Original Film Release Date: August 18th, 2018

Running Time: 74 mins.

Director: Saku Sakamoto

Writer: Saku Sakamoto (Screenplay),

Starring: Kana Hanazawa (Rin), Ayana Shiramoto (Nasuha), Yosuke Ito (Tokiyo), Fukujuurou Katayama (Saion), Shuogo Batari (Mikaya)

Animation Production: zelicofilm

Website   ANN MAL

Saku Sakamoto took on direction, writing, composing the music, CG and more roles to get this film made. It was a one-man production that was originally released in 2018 and played at festivals around the world. This is the refined version of that film and it will screen alongside Amrita. Apparently, there are at least 60 revised shots.

Synopsis: Rin (Kana Hanazawa) is an 18-year-old university student who is shy and anxious and a new arrival at her apartment complex. It’s a rundown and unfriendly place where crimes are occurring. There’s something darker stirring in the place, something supernatural and sinister and Rin begins to investigate instead of moving the heck out.

Aragne Sign of Vermillion Refined Version R

Gekijouban CollarxMalice Deep Cover    Gekijouban CollarxMalice Deep Cover Film Poster R

劇場版 Collar×Malice deep cover 前編 Gekijouban CollarxMalice deep cover Zenpen

Release Date: May 26th, 2023

Duration: 48 mins

Director: Hiroshi Watanabe

Writer: Sayaka Harada (Screenplay) Otomate (Original Creator)

Starring: Daisuke Namikawa (Takeru Sasazuka), Kaede Hondo (Ichika Hoshino), Masakazu Morita (Aiji Yanagi), Yuuki Kaji (Kei Okazaki), Soma Saito (Mineo Enomoto)

Animation Production: Studio DEEN

Website  ANN  MAL

This is based on an Otomate otome visual novel that was first released in Japan in August 2016 on PlayStation Vita (a fine console!). Aksys Games later released an English version in 2017. Since then Collar×Malice and its spin-off stories were released on the Nintendo Switch. This film is the first of a two-part anime adaptation that is due to hit cinemas.

Synopsis: In the year 20XX, Shinjuku has become a dangerous area of Tokyo. Things become even more dangerous after a terrorist attack that becomes known as the “X-Day Incident.” It turns out that the people behind the attack, the Adonis organization, fitted a police officer named Ichika Hoshino, with a poison collar. However, five mysterious strangers who are already investigating this case, help her out while Inspector Mitsuru of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department, takes charge of the investigation.


Gunbuster   Top wo Nerae! Gunbuster Film Poster

トップをねらえ!Toppu o nerae!

Release Date: October 07th, 1988

Duration: 160 mins.

Director: Hideaki Anno

Writer: Hideaki Anno, Toshio Okada (Screenplay), 

Starring: Noriko Hidaka (Noriko Takaya), Rei Sakuma (Kazumi “Onee-sama” Amano), Kazuki Yao (Smith Toren), Maria Kawamura (Jung Freud), Masako Katsuki (Kimiko Akai/Reiko Kashiwara)

Animation Production: Gainax

Website ANN MAL

This is a re-working of a classic animation OVA from the studio GAINAX, the group that were founded to make Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honneamise and later worked on Neon Genesis Evangelion. It is the directorial debut of Hideaki Anno and was released in all six episodes from 1988 to 1989. The OVA was re-edited and re-released in cinemas in November 2020. 2023 is the 35th anniversary of the series and so the OVA will also be released in cinemas in two parts.

Synopsis: In 2015, a space fleet led by Captain Rukushion is wiped out by a race of aliens who seem determined to find Earth and eradicate humanity. Fifteen years later, humanity has developed giant robots to fight these aliens and has begun training a generation of pilots. Among the students of “Okinawa Girl’s Space Pilot High School” is Captain Rukushion’s daughter Noriko Takaya. Although Noriko seems like an unlikely pilot, she is determined to follow in her father’s footsteps and works under the strict training of instructor Kouichiro Ohta who has marked her out as someone with great potential. Eventually, Noriko is selected as the pilot of the “Gunbuster” developed by humankind as the ultimate weapon against the aliens, but beyond that, a difficult road lies ahead in her mission to protect humanity and the Earth. 

Gunbuster Film Poster R

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