2013 (36th) Japan Academy Prize Award Winners

Genki 36th Japanese Academy Awards

The 36th Japan Academy Prizes were announced on Friday and an interesting line-up of winners has been announced.

The big news is that Hiroshi Abe (Survive Style 5+) and Kiki Kirin (Villain) take the outstanding acting awards. Abe won for his performance in the phenomenally successful Thermae Romae , beating out Koji Yakusho (who was nominated twice!) and Kirin won for the drama Chronicle of My Mother, beating out Erika Sawajiri (Ghost Train) who was in Helter Skelter. The other big news is that The Kirishima Thing, a film that interested me last year, took Picture of the Year and earned its director Daihachi Yoshida the award for Director of the Year beating far more experienced directors. Screenplay of the year went to Kenji Uchida for Key of Life which was a brilliantly written comedy. Outstanding Foreign Language Film went to The Intouchables.

The star filled film Dearest took the awards for Outstanding Performance by an Actress/Actor with Kimiko Yo (For Love’s Sake, The Story of Yonosuke, Departures, Suicide Club) and Hideji Otaki (Alley Cat, Izo) takng the awards. The Kirishima Thing and A Chorus of Angels split the technical awards between each other.

The Animation of the Year went to the brilliant The Wolf Children, my favourite film and anime of last year and it beat out A Letter to Momo and Evangelion 3.0.

AKB48’s Yuko Oshima won Most Popular Actor for her role in Ushijima the Loan Shark.

Being a Japanese film fan in the west is hard because we are usually a year or two behind the releases by the time we see them and it is only thanks to film festivals and enterprising film labels like Third Window Films that we get in touch with them in their year of release so it is hard to voice an opinion on how right or wrong the choices are. I have to admit that I am only familiar with most of these films thanks to my weekly trailer posts but I have had the pleasure of seeing some of the winners (Wolf Children, Key of Life) and I wholeheartedly back the awards given to them. Here is the full list of the nominees and winners complete with trailers for the winners and some of their posters:

Picture of the Year                                                          The Kirishima Thing Poster

  • The Kirishima Thing – Award Winner
  • Dearest
  • A Chorus of Angels
  • The Floating Castle
  • Chronicle Of My Mother


Animation of the Year

  • Wolf Children – Award Winner
  • Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo
  • A Letter to Momo
  • Friends Naki on Monster Island
  • One Piece Film Z

                                           The Wolf Children Poster

Most Popular Film

  • The Kirishima Thing


Director of the Year

  • Daihachi Yoshida (The Kirishima Thing) – Award Winner
  • Shinji Higuchi, Isshin Inudo (The Floating Castle)
  • Junji Sakamoto (A Chorus of Angels)                                       Key of Life Movie Poster
  • Masato Harada (Chronicle Of My Mother)
  • Yasuo Furuhata (Dearest)


Screenplay of the Year

  • Kenji Uchida (Key Of Life) – Award Winner
  • Takeshi Aoshima (Dearest)
  • Kohei Kiyasu, Daihachi Yoshida (The Kirishima Thing)
  • Machiko Nasu (A Chorus of Angels)
  • Masato Harada (Chronicle Of My Mother)


Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Roleテルマエ&スパワールド

  • Hiroshi Abe (Thermae Romae) – Award Winner
  • Masato Sakai (Key Of Life)
  • Mansai Nomura (The Floating Castle)
  • Mirai Moriyama (The Drudgery Train)
  • Koji Yakusho (Admiral Yamamoto)
  • Koji Yakusho (Chronicle Of My Mother)


Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

  • Kirin Kiki (Chronicle Of My Mother) – Award WinnerChronicle of my Mother Poster
  • Tamiyo Kusakari (A Terminal Trust)
  • Erika Sawajiri (Helter Skelter)
  • Takako Matsu (Dreams for Sale)
  • Sayuri Yoshinaga (A Chorus of Angels)


Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

  • Hideji Otaki (Dearest) – Award Winner
  • Teruyuki Kagawa (Key Of Life)
  • Kengo Kora (The Drudgery Train)
  • Koichi Sato (Dearest)
  • Koichi Sato (The Floating Castle)                                               Anata e Film Poster
  • Mirai Moriyama (A Chorus of Angels)


Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

  • Kimiko Yo (Dearest) – Award Winner
  • Shinobu Terajima (Helter Skelter)
  • Ryoko Hirosue (Key Of Life)
  • Hikari Mitsushima (A Chorus of Angels)
  • Aoi Miyazaki (Chronicle Of My Mother)

  Continue reading “2013 (36th) Japan Academy Prize Award Winners”

Rurouni Kenshin, Dear, Ai Ore! Love Me! Ushijima the Loan Shark, After School Midnighters, Anata E Trailers and the Japanese Movie Box Office Chart

Hyouka Chitanda RushI replied to Andina’s Liebster blog award, reviewed the awesome Korean thriller Desire to Kill, dug into the Japanese films and TV (Kiyoshi Kurosawa is there with his latest TV show!) at the Venice International Film Festival and posted a trailer for the 2013 film entry in the A Certain Magical Index franchise. Scotland Loves Anime announced their line-up and I will post about that tomorrow. Alua has a nice round-up. Just as I wrote that Strange Circus and Eureka were delivered by the postal service \o/.

What do the Japanese movie box office charts look like?

  1. The Avengers
  2. Umizaru 4: Brave Hearts
  3. The Wolf Children Ame and Yuki
  4. Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted
  5. Pokemon: Best Wishes 2012
  6. Total Recall (2012)
  7. Kamen Rider Fourze the Movie: Everyone, Space is Here!
  8. The Dark Knight Rises
  9. Fairy Tail: The Phoenix Priestess
  10. Eight Ranger
  11. Helter Skelter


Last week saw the release of Marvel’s The Avengers so there was only one Japanese film released last week. The dust has settled and The Avengers movie is at the top of the charts while Fairy Tail lies at nine. Umizaru and Wolf Children drop one place each to two and three respectively. Helter Skelter, Another and The Kirishima Thing – Erika Sawajiri and Ai Hashimoto!!! – remain in the top fifteen.

This week sees a flood of Japanese films released and all but one of them are based on manga.


Rurouni Kenshin                                              るろうに剣心 Poster

Romaji: Rurouni Kenshin

Japanese Title: るろうに剣心

Release Date: 25th August 2012 (Japan)

Running Time: N/A

Director: Keishi Ohtomo

Writer: Watsuki Nobuhrio

Starring: Takeru Sato, Emi Takei, Taketo Tanaka, Munetaka Aoki, Yu Aoi, Yosuke Eguchi, Koji Kikkawa, Teruyuki Kagawa

The live-action adaptation of Nobuhiro Watsuki’s classic chanbara manga Rurouni Kenshin is released today. The film stars Takeru Sato (BECK, Kamen Rider Den-O) as the titular samurai with Emi Takei (Ai to Makoto) playing Kaoru, Yu Aoi (Memories of Matsuko, Honey and Clover), and Teruyuki Kagawa (Tokyo Sonata, Sukiyaki Western Django). The film is directed by Keishi Ōtomo who directed a popular NHK historical television series named Ryomaden which featured Takeru Sato.

The early Meiji period in Japan is a time of rapid industrialisation and modernisation and a time when samurai like Kenshin Himura are being consigned to the history books. He was once an elite swordsman known as “Battosai” before taking an oath not to kill. He now finds himself as a wandering samurai offering aid to those in need as atonement for his past actions. During his travels he meets Kaoru Kamiya, an instructor at her father’s Kendo school. She offers Kenshin a place to stay at her dojo and their relationship begins to blossom but Kenshin’s past will soon catch up with him as he discovers that somebody has been using the name “Battosai” while committing murders in Tokyo.


Dear                                                                 Anata e Film Poster

Romaji: Anata e

Japanese Title: あなた へ

Release Date: 25th August 2012 (Japan)

Running Time: N/A

Director: Yasuo Furuhata

Writer: Seichi Ichiko, Takeshi Aoshima, Yasuo Furuhata

Starring: Ken Takakura, Yuko Tanaka, Koichi Sato, Tsuyoshi Kusanagi, Kimiko Yo, Haruka Ayase, Takahiro Miura, Tadanobu Asano, Takeshi Kitano, Mieko Harada

I can feel the emotion from this trailer. I’m getting a Okuribito feel from this film. It stars Yuko Tanaka (the voice of Lady Eboshi in Princess Mononoke), Koichi Sato (Starfish Hotel, Sukiyaki Western Django, Infection), Kimiko Yo (Villain, Ace Attorney), Haruka Ayase (Ichi, Cyborg She), Tadanobu Asano (Kids Return, Survive Style 5+, Bright Future, Vital, Last Life in the Universe), and Takeshi Kitano (Kikujiro, Boiling Point, Fireworks).

Eiji Shimakura (Takakura) is a 53-year-old prison guard in Hokuriku. When he loses his wife Yoko (Tanaka) he receives a letter from her and follows her last wishes, which is to have her ashes spread in the sea next to her home town of Nagasaki. He is curious as to the reason why she wants her ashes taken there and decides to go Nagasaki n his homemade camper van.

  Continue reading “Rurouni Kenshin, Dear, Ai Ore! Love Me! Ushijima the Loan Shark, After School Midnighters, Anata E Trailers and the Japanese Movie Box Office Chart”