Disciples of Hippocrates ヒポクラテスたち (1980)

Disciples of Hippocrates    Disciples of Hippocrates Film Poster

ヒポクラテスたち 「Hipokuratesutachi 

Running Time: 126 mins.

Release Date: November 22nd, 1980

Director: Kazuki Ohmori

Writer: Kazuki Ohmori (Screenplay),

Starring:  Masato Furuoya, Ran Ito, Masahiro Mitsuta, Akira Emoto, Moeko Ezawa, Kai Ato, Yoshio Harada,

IMDB

Kazuki Ohmori is probably most famous for his Godzilla movies but he started out making dramas and his filmography is packed full of them. Disciples of Hippocrates is one he made with Art Theatre Guild, a production company that ran from the 1960s to the 1980s and released many Japanese New Wave films from the likes of Nagisa Oshima, Koji Wakamatsu, Kaneto Shindo, Yoshimitsu Morita, and Shohei Imamura.

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Shindo (Wonder Child) 神童 (2007)

Shindo (Wonder Child)      

Shindo Film Poster
Shindo Film Poster

Japanese Title:  神童

Romaji: Shindou

Release Date: April 21st, 2007

Running Time: 120 mins.

Director: Koji Hagiuda

Writer: Kosuke Mukai (Screenplay),

Starring: Riko Narumi, Kenichi Matsuyama, Satomi Tezuka, Hidetoshi Nishijima, Tamae Ando, Masahiro Komoto, Shihori Kanjiya, Akira Emoto,

Japanese cinema has a unique category of film known as seishun eiga (youth films or coming-of-age films). These are a pretty common in Japan because many are made to serve as a star-vehicle for some young up and coming talent. Shindo stands out by taking the audience into the world of its main protagonist and lets us experience things as she does.

Shindo can translate into genius or prodigy and the prodigy here is Uta Naruse (Riko Narumi). Her name means song and she is a musical prodigy, a gifted pianist. She could read sheet music before she could speak and can play complex pieces from memory.

Shindo Riko Narumi as Uta Naruse

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Your Friends きみの友だち Kimi no Tomodachi (2008)

Your Friends                                        Your Friend Poster

Japanese Title:  きみの友だち

Romaji: Kimi no Tomodachi

Release Date: July 26th, 2008

Running Time: 125 mins.

Director: Ryuichi Hiroki

Writer: Hiroshi Saito (Screenplay), Kiyoshi Shigematsu (Original Work)

Starring: Anna Ishibashi, Yuriko Yoshitaka, Ayu Kitaura, Seiji Fukushi, Naoyuki Morita, Nao Omori, Akira Emoto, Tomorowo Taguchi

A train cuts through expansive fields under wide blue skies. As it meanders along the track the landscape changes, the line edging through hills crowded with the houses of a quiet rural town in Japan. Once it reaches its destination off the train steps a journalist named Nakahara (Fukushi) who is heading to a school for disabled children with the intention of making a documentary of the place.

He tries taking pictures of the kids and interviewing them but the pupils are all shy around him and avoid answering questions. However, with their teachers they bounce around in class, giggle and get involved with lessons and display a sense of liveliness and excitability, ingenuity and originality in the way they see the world. One teacher in particular is very popular with the children and she catches the eye of Nakahara.

Genki-Kimi-no-Tomodachi-Nakahara-(Fukushi)-and-Emi-(Ishibashi)

Her name is Emi (Ishibashi), a young woman who attends college and volunteers at the school. She uses a crutch to walk and seems introverted but the kids adore her. One of the things she does is to take photographs of clouds and allow children to pick their favourite ones and take them home when they graduate.

Kimi no Tomodachi Emi (Ishibashi) and Nakahara (Fukukshi) and the Cloud Pictures

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One Piece Film Z, Now, Going to Kill, Good Morning Everyone, Humanoid Monster Bem Trailers and the Japanese Movie Box Office Chart

IzakayaWell this week saw me start off my Genki Christmas Season with my look into the haunted girl’s school franchise with a review of the classic Whispering Corridors followed by (my personal favourite) Memento Mori. I had meant to post the third instalment yesterday but a combination of commuter nightmares (train delays meant I lost two vital hours) and a looming appointment at a Japanese restaurant with my class for a Christmas meal meant that I had to miss it out. I might have been disappointed but the Christmas meal had great food, great company and great conversation. It was wonderful. There is one Christmas party for work some time next week but I am actually ahead in reviews… which means I should be able to beef up my drafts and just hit post. I suspect that the reviews might pile up towards the end of the month if I want to keep reviewing Korean horror.

Anyway… what does the Japanese film chart look like today?

  1. Kamen Rider X Kamen Rider Wizard & Fourze: Movie War Ultimatum
  2. Skyfall
  3. Love for Beginners
  4. Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo
  5. Inazuma Eleven The Movie 2012
  6. Lesson of the Evil
  7. The Floating Castle
  8. Ninkyo Helper: Beautiful World.
  9. A Chorus of Angels
  10. Trouble with the Curve
  11. Crow’s Thumb

This happens too often… I ignore a Kamen Rider film one week and it tops the charts the next. It has happened again. Last week Kamen Rider X Kamen Rider Wizard & Fourze: Movie War Ultimatum was released and now it reigns supreme. I don’t watch these super sentai shows and have never liked them so I’m totally bemused by them and their popularity but kids love them. Anyway my prediction that Skyfall would still remain at the top was wrong as it falls to two and my prediction that Love for Beginners would hit the charts was right as it enters at three.

What are some of the Japanese movies released in Japanese cinemas today?

One Piece Film Z                                       One Piece Film Z

Japanese Title: Wan Pi-su Firumu Z

Romaji: ワンピースフィルム Z

Release Date: 15th December 2012 (Japan)

Running Time: N/A

Director: Tatsuya Nagamine

Writer: Osamu Suzuki (Script),Eiichiro Oda (original manga)

Starring: Mayumi Tanaka (Monkey D. Luffy), Cho (Brook), Kazuya Nakai (Roronoa Zoro), Akemi Okamura (Nami), Yuriko Yamaguchi (Nico Robin), Hiroaki Hirata (Sanji), Ikue Ohtani (Tony Tony Chopper),  Kazuki Yao (Franky), Kappei Yamaguchi (Usopp), Teruyuki Kagawa (Bins)

Everybody go home, the latest big screen adaptation of Eiichiro Oda’s One Piece is released today so expect it to dominate the charts for the next month or so. The film will cover the “Saigo no Umi Shinsekai Hen” or New World Saga arc of the manga which was launched in October 2010. The film has been written by Eiichiro Oda, the creator of the original manga who is also producing the film. He has been helped with the screenplay by Osamu Suzuki. It is directed by Tatsuya Nagamine who has worked on massive franchise movies like Dragonball and the Pretty Cure.

The familiar One Piece seiyuu are back with Mayumi Tanaka (Krilin in Dragonball) voicing Monkey D. Luffy, Akemi Okamura (Asuka Kaminogi in Noein) voicing the sexy Nami and Hiroaki Hirata (Tatsuji in Another, Benny in Black Lagoon, Wild Tiger in Tiger and Bunny) voicing the suave Sanji. They are joined by live-action actor Teruyuki Kagawa (Tokyo Sonata, Key of Life) and the singer Ryoko Shinohara (Kamikaze Girls, Summer of Ubume).

 

With the Straw Hat Pirates in the New World they face having to save it and pirates everywhere since a legendary ex-Navy admiral named Zetto is leading a group who want to destroy all pirates. Monkey D. Luffy will have to rally his crew to defeat their most powerful enemy yet!

 

 

Now, Going to Kill                                                    Ima Yari Poster

Japanese Title: いま、 殺り に ゆきます

Romaji: Ima, Yari ni Yukimasu

Release Date:  15th December 2012 (Japan)

Running Time: 86 mins.

Director: Seiji Chiba

Writer:  Seiji Chiba (Screenplay),Yumeaki Hirayama (Original Novel)

Starring: Suzuka Morita, Misaki Momose, Kimito Totani, Mika Hijii, Mayu Sugano, Sayuri Otomo, Kensuke Ikeda, Yuichiro Hirose, Akiho Ohtsubo

This movie is based on a 2010 novel Ima, Yari no Yukimasu: RE-DUX Kyofu Jitsuwashū by Yumeaki Hirayama. Said novel was a collection of five horror tales. I have heard of some of the actors – Akiho Ohtsubo appeared in Vanished, Yuichiro Hirose appeared in Love Exposure – and some of Seiji Chiba’s works are familiar but for the most part I cannot judge it apart from what I read in the synopsis and it reads like something you would find on Japanese television, Tales of Terror for instance. It looks pretty awful.

Watashi no Shishuu

High school student Nao (Morita) buys a collection of poems from a homeless man which touches her. Despite warnings from her boyfriend Satoru (Totani), she tells the homeless man. Bad move because this homeless guy soon appears to be stalking Nao.

Omake

Orie (Momose) leads a normal life with her boyfriend Tomoki (Ikeda) until she buys a photobook with a DVD in the back. When she plays it on her television, she sees something horrific. 

Yaa, Kataoka!

When Chie (Hijii) receives a call about a lost pencil case from a stranger (Hirose) she is confused until she remembers that she once lost one all the way back in elementary school. Who might this caller be? Is it Ōtomo, a former classmate? This being a horror tale, she should probably duck collecting the pencil case.

Sayonara, O~Er

Natsumi (Sugano) is desperately in need of a public rest room and just as she finds one a girl (Ohtsubo) warns her that the place is dangerous. Natsumi ignores her…

Ima, Yari ni Yukimasu

Misuzu (Sugano) js threatened by a strange man but manages to escape. When she gets ome she reeives a call and hears a man telling her “now, I’m going to kill”.

 

 

Good Morning Everyone                                             Good Morning Everyone Movie Poster

Japanese Title: グッモーエビアン!

Romaji: Gumo Ebian!

Release Date:  15th December 2012 (Japan)

Running Time: 106 mins.

Director: Toru Yamamoto

Writer:  Toru Yamamoto, Kenichi Suzuki (Screenplay),Toriko Yoshikawa (Original Novel)

Starring: Kumiko Aso, Yo Oizumi, Ayaka Miyoshi, Akira Takemura

This is the most promising film released today and it stars Kumiko Aso (Pulse, The Wolf Children, Kaidan, License to Live, Ayaka Miyoshi (Confessions), Yo Oizumi, a man who has turned up in a number of Ghibli movies like Spirited Away, The Cat Returns and Howl’s Moving Castle as well as the lead role in Phone Call to the Bar)

Aki (Aso) was once a guitarist in a punk band until she became pregnant at the age of 17 and became a single-mother to a daughter named Hatsuki (Miyoshi). The two of them live happily together until a man named Yagu (Oizumi) enters their lives. It turns out that he was once in the same band as Aki and he still has feelings for her. 

Humanoid Monster Bem                             

Humanoid Monster Bem Movie Poster
Humanoid Monster Bem Movie Poster

Japanese Title: 映画 妖怪 人間 ベム

Romaji: Eiga Yōkai Ningen Bemu

Release Date: 15th December 2012 (Japan)

Running Time: N/A

Director: Shunsuke Kariyama

Writer: N/A

Starring: Kazuya Kamenashi, Anne Watanabe, Akira Emoto, Anna Ishibashi, Fuku Suzuki, Arisa Muzuki

This is the latest adaptation of the popular Humanoid Monster Bem anime (1968-69). It follows the 2011 television series and stars Kazuya Kamenashi (Member of Kat-Tun), Anne Watanabe (Ninja Kids!!!), and Akira Emoto (Villain, Starfish Hotel).

Bem (Kamenashi) is a monster with a good heart. He and Bela (Watanabe) and Belo (Suzuki) are all monsters disguised as humans but their disguise drops when they get extremely excited or sad. They live to protect against a fearsome villain known as the Man with No Name (Emoto). 

The Life of Guskou Budori, Soup, Soreike! Anpanman Yomigaere Bananajima Trailers and the Japanese Movie Box Office Chart

This week saw me initiate a new Sion Sono Season with a focus on Suicide Circle and Noriko’s Dinner Table with a podcast I recorded with Goregirl due tomorrow.

What’s does the Japanese movie box-office chart look like this week?

  1.  The Amazing Spider-Man
  2.  Snow White and the Huntsman
  3.  Rinjo
  4.  Hotaru: It’s Only a Little Light in my Life
  5.  Thermae Romae

The Amazing Spider-Man takes number one while Japanese crime drama Rinjo enters at three. Thermae Romae spends a tenth week in the top five. Two major anime titles have taken a tumble with the latest Berserk film down at fourteen while Library War is performing better as it rests at thirteen.

What are the latest Japanese films released in Japan today? Well for me the highlight has to be a certain cat and his magical adventure.

The Life of Guskou Budori                      The Life of Guskou Budori Poster

Release Date: 07th July 2012 (Japan)

Running Time: N/A

Director: Gisaburo Sugii

Writer: Kenji Miyazawa (original novel), Gisaburo Sugii

Starring: Shun Oguri, Shiori Kutsuna, Akira Emoto, Kuranosuke Sasaki Tamiyo Kusakari, Ryuzo Hayashi

This is the anime movie adaptation of Kenji Miyazawa ‘s 1932 fairy tale The Life of Guskou Budori. As mentioned previously it stars Shun Oguri (Ghost Tunnel) in the lead vocal role with Shiori Kutsuna (My Back Pages) and Akira Emoto (Villain, Starfish Hotel) providing support.

Guskou is a cat who lives in the Tohoku forests in north eastern Japan in the 1920’s. A series of droughts and natural disasters forces Guskou to leave hoe ad search for a new place to live. He soon falls in with a group of scientists at the Ihatov Volcano Department and discovers that they are dealing with the same natural disasters that have altered Guskou’s life.

Soup                                                                                       Soup Movie Poster

Romaji: Supu Umarekawari no Monogatari

Japanese Title: スープ 生まれ変わり の 物語

Release Date: 07th July 2012 (Japan)

Running Time: 117 mins.

Director: Yuki Otsuka

Writer: Yuki Otsuka

Starring: Katsuhisa Namase, Manami Konishi, Yuiko Kariya, Shuhei Nomura, Alice Hirose, Ai Hashimoto, Suzuka Ohgo, Ayumi Ito, Arata Furuta, Hiroki Matsukata

Soup Rebirth Story…  This looks like the debut of Yuki Otsuka and a very heart-felt story (not the first reincarnation story of this year though) It stars Katsuhia Namase (Kamikaze Girls), Yuiko Kariya (Confessions), Manami Konishi (Tokyo Park), Ai Hashimoto (Another, Control Tower) Ayumi Ito (Vanished, All About Lily Chou-Chou), Arata Furuta (Tokyo Zombie, 13 Assassins), Hiroki Matsukata (Tajomaru, 13 Assassins).

 

Kenichi Shibuya (Namase) is a fifty-year-old recently divorced salaryman with a rocky relationship with his daughter Mika (Kariya). One day, he and his boss Yumi (Konishi) are both struck by lightning, die and head off to the afterlife where they head of a legendary soup that will allow a person who consumes it to be reborn. There’s just one catch, that person will lose their memories of their prior life. Shibuya wants to be reborn but he doesn’t want to lose his memories of Mika. Can he figure out the soup’s recipe and beat the catch?

Soreike! Anpanman Yomigaere Bananajima                   Soreike! Anpanman Yomigaere Bananajima Movie Poster

Romaji: Soreike! Anpanman Yomigaere Bananajima

Japanese Title: それいけ! アンパンマン よみがえれ バナナ島

Release Date: 07th July 2012 (Japan)

Running Time: N/A

Director: Hiroyuki Yano

Writer: Tomoko Komparu (Screenplay), Takashi Yanase (Original Creator)

Starring: Keiko Toda, Ryusei Nakao, Yoshino Kimura, Yuuki Himura

A kid’s film based on Takashi Yanase’s massively popular and long running picture book series which was, according to Wikipedia, inspired by Yanase’s struggles to survive as a soldier during World War II, when he was faced with starvation and dreamed of eating anpan (a bean-jam filled pastry). This is the 24th movie adaptation and it stars the voices of Keiko Toda (Osono in Kiki’s Delivery Service, Kitarou in GeGeGe no Kitarou… she also dubbed Scully in the X-Files) and Ryusei Nakao (Genkei in Mononoke), Yoshino Kimura (Fine, Totally Fine, Sukiyaki Western Django).

 

Banana Island is located in the topics and shaped like a banana. On this island delicious bananas grow but cold weather threatens them and it looks like Baikinman (Bacteria Man), a villain from the “Germ World”, is behind this problem. Enter Anpanman, a character whose head is an anpan to save the island.

The Life of Guskou Budori Extended Trailer

The Life of Guskou Budori                      The Life of Guskou Budori Poster

Release Date: 07th July 2012 (Japan)

Running Time: N/A

Director: Gisaburo Sugii

Writer: Kenji Miyazawa (original novel), Gisaburo Sugii

Starring: Shun Oguri, Shiori Kutsuna, Akira Emoto, Kuranosuke Sasaki Tamiyo Kusakari, Ryuzo Hayashi

I’ve got a new extended trailer for the forthcoming anime movie adaptation of Kenji Miyazawa ‘s 1932 fairy tale The Life of Guskou Budori. As mentioned previously it stars Shun Oguri (Ghost Tunnel) in the lead vocal role with Shiori Kutsuna (My Back Pages) and Akira Emoto (Villain, Starfish Hotel) providing support. I decided to post this again because it looks pretty stunning and cats are awesome.

Guskou is a cat who lives in the Tohoku forests in north eastern Japan in the 1920’s. A series of droughts and natural disasters forces Guskou to leave hoe ad search for a new place to live. He soon falls in with a group of scientists at the Ihatov Volcano Department and discovers that they are dealing with the same natural disasters that have altered Guskou’s life.

The Life of Guskou Budori Trailer

The Life of Guskou Budori                      The Life of Guskou Budori Poster

Release Date: 07th July 2012 (Japan)

Running Time: N/A

Director: Gisaburo Sugii

Writer: Kenji Miyazawa (original novel), Gisaburo Sugii

Starring: Shun Oguri, Shiori Kutsuna, Akira Emoto, Kuranosuke Sasaki Tamiyo Kusakari, Ryuzo Hayashi

This is the forthcoming adaptation of Kenji Miyazawa ‘s 1932 fairy tale which has Shung Oguri (Ghost Tunnel) taking the lead vocal role and Shiori Kutsuna (My Back Pages) and Akira Emoto (Villain, Starfish Hotel) providing support. It is directed by Sugii Gisaburou who directed the brilliant anime adaptation movie of Street Fighter II and the recent film Arashi no Yoru ni. Interestingly he reunites with character designer Hiroshi Masumura, the two having worked on another Kenji Miyazawa adaptation “Night on the Galactic Railroad” which explains similar character designs. This one’s for Goregirl.

Guskou is a cat who lives in the Tohoku forests in north eastern Japan in the 1920’s. A series of droughts and natural disasters forces Guskou to leave hoe ad search for a new place to live. He soon falls in with a group of scientists at the Ihatov Volcano Department and discovers that they are dealing with the same natural disasters that have altered Guskou’s life.

Starfish Hotel スターフィッシュホテル (2007)

Starfish Hotel Storefront Review Banner

John Williams is a Briton making films in Japan. This is his third feature but it borrows so extensively from David Lynch and Haruki Murakami that it lacks a heart of its own.

Yuichi Arisu (Koichi Sato) is a salary man leading a bland existence with Chisato (Tae Kimura) his beautiful wife who finds him distant. His only joy is in the supernatural mystery novels of Jo Kuroda (Kazuyoshi Kushida) which are set in Darkland, a mysterious alternate universe. A series of coincidences turn Arisu’s life upside down; he meets a psychologically disturbed chap in rabbit costume named Mr. Trickster (Akira Emoto), Chisato disappears and, when he falls asleep on the underground, he finds himself in conversation with Kuroda who wants him to tell his story, a story of an affair with a beautiful and mysterious woman named Kayako (KIKI) which begins at the eponymous Starfish Hotel. As the story is revealed and he searches for Chisato, Arisu‘s reality, memories and nightmares begin to mix.

Starfish Hotel Follow the Rabbit on the Platform

If you are a fan of Haruki Murakami you can play spot the reference. A disappearing wife comes from The Windup Bird Chronicle. The mysterious hotel, alternate reality and weird animal-men can be found Dance, Dance, Dance. Throw in Alice in Wonderland and Lynchian alternate realities and you have a film beholden to its source material.

The film’s familiar story ransacks the personal life of Arisu. Prior to his wife’s disappearance he is living an existential nightmare as a simple office drone who takes refuge in different masks to avoid authenticity and responsibility for his actions. His life and his surroundings are sterile while he plays loyal salary-man.

Starfish Hotel Office Drone Arisu (Koichi Sato)

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