Our Little Sister 海街 Diary (2015) Hirokazu Koreeda

Our Little Sister   

Umimachi Diary Film Poster
Umimachi Diary Film Poster

海街 Diary 「Umimachi Diary

Japanese Release Date: June 13th, 2015

UK Cinema Release Date: April 15th, 2016

UK Home Video Release Date: June 13th, 2016

Running Time: 126 mins.

Director: Hirokazu Koreeda

Writer: Shin Adachi (Screenplay), Akimi Yoshida (Original Manga)

Starring: Haruka Ayase, Masami Nagasawa, Kaho, Suzu Hirose, Shinobu Otake, Shinichi Tsutsumi, Ryo Kase, Jun Fubuki, Ryohei Suzuki, Oshiro Maeda, Lily Franky, Kirin Kiki

Website   IMDB

Hirokazu Koreeda has become the director of choice for film fans worldwide who Umimachi Diary Manga Filmare eager to get an intimate slice of normal Japanese life and Our Little Sister is his latest in a career mostly (but not always) spent making films focussing on families. The story is adapted from a manga called Umimachi Diary (Seaside Town Diary) created by Akimi Yoshida and Koreeda uses cinema to showcase her tales of a female-led family facing different emotional hurdles and ultimately knitting together. Prepare to become part of a family, a community, and a way of life.

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Real リアル-完全なる首長竜の日- (2013)

Kiyoshi Kurosawa Real (11)

Real                                                                                 Real Film Poster

Japanese Title: リアル 完全なる首長竜の日

Romaji: Riaru Kanzen’naru Shuchou Ryuu no Hi

Release Date: June 01st, 2013 (Japan)

Running Time: 127 mins.

Director: Kiyoshi Kurosawa

Writer: Kiyoshi Kurosawa (Screenplay), Rokuro Inui (Original Novel)

Starring: Takeru Sato, Haruka Ayase, Jo Odagiri, Miki Nakatani, Shota Sometani, Keisuke Horibe, Kyoko Koizumi, Yuki Kan

Real was one of two films directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa that were released last year, the other being Seventh Code which stars former AKB48 member, Atsuko Maeda. Real is Kurosawa’s biggest budgeted film in a long time. Based on an award-winning mystery novel and featuring two beautiful leads anchored by a supporting cast of familiar and excellent actors the biggest mystery is why the film turned out so dull.

Koichi (Sato), a physical fitness trainer, and Atsumi (Ayase), a manga artist, are beautiful people who seem to lead a blessed life.

Kiyoshi Kurosawa Real Image 2

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Trailer for Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Latest Film Real

Kiyoshi Kurosawa Real Trailer Banner

Real                                                                                 Real Film Poster

Japanese Title: リアル 完全なる首長 竜の日

Romaji: Riaru Kanzen’naru Shuchou Ryuu no Hi

Release Date: June 01st, 2013 (Japan)

Running Time: 127 mins.

Director: Kiyoshi Kurosawa

Writer: Kiyoshi Kurosawa (Screenplay), Rokuro Inui (Original Novel)

Starring: Takeru Sato, Haruka Ayase, Jo Odagiri, Miki Nakatani, Shota Sometani, Keisuke Horibe, Kyoko Koizumi, Keisuke Horibe, Yuki Kan

Ramble alert (I ramble because I love the subject!)

Kiyoshi Kurosawa LoftI am a big Kiyoshi Kurosawa fan. Massive. I have pretty much bought and reviewed most of his major titles available in the west and not one of them disappointed me. His critically acclaimed drama Tokyo Sonata I consider one of the most important films I have ever seen while I think highly of his divisive experimental film Bright Future. I really love his J-horror like Cure and Retribution which run along more fiendishly intelligent and psychologically disturbing lines than your average horror movie. Even films he rejects I find a lot to like about! Each title contains his unique aesthetics and deliberate approach to his subject matter. I am really excited about 2013 because he has a new film getting a release in Japan and the UK gets two of his 90’s crime thrillers thanks to Third Window Films.

Colour me happy when I caught a new trailer and teaser for his latest film Real. It is a title Kiyoshi Kurosawa Real Haruka Ayase and the Floating Pencilwith a sci-fi edge that reminds me a little of Inception what with its concept of entering a person’s subconscious, tilting camera angles, fantasy creatures, gravity defying stationary and ruined coastal town (Atsumi’s mind is the scene of the crime!). This also looks like a really big-budget title which is something Kurosawa tends not to handle but his critical cachet has never been higher. Check out the trailer!

Here is a shorter teaser released a bit earlier. It’s more action packed:

Koichi (Sato) and Atsumi (Ayase) are childhood friends who have become lovers. Despite this closeness when Atsumi attempts suicide Koichi is at a loss as to what the reason that drove her to do such a thing could be. Now she is in a coma and Koichi needs to find out the reason. Since Koichi is a neurosurgeon he has access to the latest studies and so he takes part in a medical procedure that will allow him to enter Atsumi’s subconscious through her central nervous system.

When he arrives she asks him to find a picture of a plesiosaur she drew as a child. It is the key to a suppressed memory connected to a childhood trauma. Finding this picture will allow Koichi to truly get close to knowing his love.

Continue reading “Trailer for Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Latest Film Real”

Jinsei, Irodori, I’m Flash!, Akko-chan: The Movie, Hitori Kakurenbo Gekijouban Shin – Toshi Densetsu Trailers and Japanese Movie Chart

Hyouka Nichijou PicIt has been a bit of a quiet week for me. I managed to watch no Japanese films but I am making a renewed effort to finish the anime Le Chevalier D’eon (I started it last year but stopped watching due to Christmas). Anyway I posted a trailer for Kim Jee-Woon’s Hollywood debut, The Last Stand, the line-up for Scotland Loves Anime and a trailer for Berserk Movie III: Descent. What is happening in the charts?

  1. Rurouni Kenshin
  2. The Avengers
  3. Prometheus
  4. Umizaru 4: Brave Hearts
  5. The Wolf Children Ame and Yuki
  6. Total Recall (2012)
  7. Ushijia the Loan Shark
  8. Pokemon: Best Wishes 2012
  9. Kamen Rider Fourze the Movie: Everyone, Space is Here!
  10. The Dark Knight Rises

 Two of the Japanese films released last week enter the charts with Ushijima taking seventh place while Rurouni Kenshin takes the top spot. This has been the biggest opening of any Warner Bros. Japan’s releases… I think… and it has grossed $7 million. Pretty impressive. Prometheus entered at three and Umizaru and The Wolf Children remain in the top ten at four and five respectively.

What is released today? Lots of Japanese films! What a mix!


Jinsei, Irodori                                            

Jinsei Irodori Film Poster

Japanese Title: 人生、いろどり

Romaji: Jinsei, Iridori

Release Date: 01st September 2012 (Japan)

Running Time: 112 mins.

Director: Osamu Minorikawa

Writer: Noriko Nishiguchi

Starring: Sumiko Fuji, Kazuko Yoshiyuki, Yuta Hiraoka, Eri Murakawa, Mie Nakao, Tatsuya Fuji, Shigeyuki Totsugi

The third film from Osamu Minorikawa, Jinsei, Irodori is one of a couple of forthcoming films tackling the issue of the ageing population of Japan. It also reminds me of the anime Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita due to the plot involving food and a woman coming in from a large “agency” and helping a community… Tenuous, I must admit. Anyway the film stars a mixture of new talents like Eri Murakawa who starred in Train Brain Express (I keep referring to it as Take the A Train), Shigeyuki Totsugi (Mitsuko Delivers), and venerable talents like Kazuko Yoshiyuki who has starred in a wide variety of films like Maiko haaaan!!!, Glory to the Filmmaker, Departures, Gohatto and Lady Snowblood 2, Sumiko Fuji who has appeared in Summer Wars, Hula Girls and the original Thirteen Assassins and Tatsuya Fuji who I last saw in Bright Future.

Based on a true story, Kamikatsu in Tokushima prefecture is a small town where nearly half of the population are elderly people and its once thriving tangerine industry has collapsed. When a woman from the National Agricultural Cooperative Federation named Eda arrives and endeavours to revive the town by selling vegetables from the local area. She meets opposition but three women named Kaoru, Hanae, and Michiko join forces with Eda.


I’m Flash!                                                                          I'm Flash! Film Poster

Japanese Title: アイム フラッシュ!

Romaji: Aimu Furaashu!

Release Date: 01st September 2012 (Japan)

Running Time: 91 mins.

Director: Toshiaki Toyoda

Writer: Toshiaki Toyoda

Starring: Tatsuya Fujiwara, Ryuhei Matsuda, Kento Nagayama, Itsuji ITao, Kiko Mizuhara, Shigeru Nakano, Mayu Harada, Yukiya Kitamura, Michiyo Okusu

Toshiaki Toyoda (9 Souls) follows up Monsters Club with this thriller about a religious cult which stars a whole load of stars including the handsome Kento Nagayama (Villain), Tatsuya Fujiwara (Death Note, Battle Royale), Ryuheu Matsuda (Nightmare Detective, The Suicide Song), the beautiful Kiko Mizuhara (Norwegian Wood, Helter Skelter) and Mayu Harada (The Millennial Rapture) Happy birthday, Mayu! It also stars Itsuji Itao (Love Exposure, Tokyo Gore Police, Ghost Train, One Missed Call Final) who uses his ability to by slimy well in this.

Rui (Fujiwara) is the charismatic leader of a new religious group who attracts the attention of the media after a car accident leaves a man dead. He retreats to his group’s compound in Okinawa where his chief aide (Itao) hires three bodyguards (Matsuda, Nagayama, Nakano) to look after him, his sister (Harada), brother (Kitamura). Why the need for bodyguards? What is the threat and is Rui happy with the life and his religious group?  

  Continue reading “Jinsei, Irodori, I’m Flash!, Akko-chan: The Movie, Hitori Kakurenbo Gekijouban Shin – Toshi Densetsu Trailers and Japanese Movie Chart”

Signal – Monday’s Ruka, The Way – Man of the White Porcelain, Hotaru The Movie: It’s Only A Little Light in My Life, Library War: The Wings of Revolution Trailers and Japanese Charts

A mixed week in movie terms. Himizu flopped on its opening weekend leading Third Window Films to suspend future theatrical releases. It didn’t deserve to happen because it’s a brilliant film. Seriously, everybody needs to support labels like Third Window Films, Terracotta, Masters of Cinema, Artificial Eye so they keep releasing great gilms. In other news I started my Korean movie season and reviewed Arirang which was interesting but the best high? I went to see Prometheus yesterday and I absolutely loved it. Speaking as a fan of the Alien franchise I loved it. Sir Ridley Scott has delivered another classic – anybody who disagrees is wrong.

What do the Japanese movie box-office charts look like?

  1.  Men in Black III
  2.  Thermae Romae
  3.  Dark Shadows
  4.  The Final Judgement
  5.  Girls for Keeps

Will Smith proves he is still a global superstar but Thermae Romae is still in the top five! After dropping to number three last week it clawed its way back up to two. Nikkatsu’s The Final Judgement enters at four while Black Dawn entered at seven. What Japanese films get released today?

Signal – Monday’s Ruka                                                     Monday's Ruka Film Poster

Romaji: Sigunaru ~ Getsuyobi no Ruka

Japanese Title: シグナル月曜日のルカ

Release Date: 09th June 2012 (Japan)

Running Time: 112 mins.

Director: Masaaki Taniguchi

Writer: Hirotoshi Kobayashi, Yoshinobu Kamo,Hisashi Sekiguchi (original novel),

Starring: Azusa Mine, Takahiro Nishijima, Kengo Kora, Ken Utsui, Shunya Shiraishi, Yurie Midori

A mystery/romance film based on Hisashi Sekiguchi’s novel of the same name the lead role is taken by a new face in the form of Azusa Mine while Takahiro Nishijima (Love Exposure, Himizu) provides the male romantic lead. Other big names include Kengo Kora (Norwegian Wood), and Yurie Midori (GANTZ).


Ruka (Mine) is a young woman who has not left the theatre where she has worked as a projectionist for the last few years. This is set to change when university student Keisuke (Nishijima) arrives to work at the cinema oer summer and becomes attracted to Ruka.

Continue reading “Signal – Monday’s Ruka, The Way – Man of the White Porcelain, Hotaru The Movie: It’s Only A Little Light in My Life, Library War: The Wings of Revolution Trailers and Japanese Charts”