The Great Passage TV Anime PV

The award-winning novel/live-action film The Great Passage (2013) is getting an anime adaptation which is due to air in October this year as part of Fuji TV’s Noitamina. It is being animated by Zexcs (Aku no Hana) and directed by Toshimasa Kuroyanagi (director on Say “I love you.”) and the series scripts are being overseen/written by Takuya Sato (writer/director on NieA_7 and Strawberry Marshmallow and storyboard artist on And Yet the Town Moves and Kino’s Journey). The big name for a lot of anime fans isn’t necessarily the writer/director but the character designer/manga author Haruko Kumota who won fans for her series Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu.

My review was super positive on how good the movie is and that went on to clean up at the Japan Academy Awards 2014. The anime looks classy and mature so I’m hoping to enjoy it as my re-entry into the world of anime after three months off.

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Fuse: A Gun Girl’s Detective Story 伏 鉄砲娘の捕物帳 (2012)

Genki Fuse a Gun Girls Detective Story Review Banner

Fuse: A Gun Girl’s Detective Story       Fuse: A Gun Girl's Detective Story Movie Poster

Japanese Title:  鉄砲娘の捕物帳

Romaji: Fuse Teppō Musume no Torimonochō

Release Date:  October  20th, 2012 (Japan)

Running Time: 110 mins.

Director: Masayuki Miyaji

Writer: Ichiro Okouchi (Script), Kazuki Sakuraba (Original Writer),

Starring: Minako Kotobuki (Hamaji), Katsuyuki Konishi (Dousetsu), Mamoru Miyano (Shino), Hirofumi Nojima (Iesada Tokugawa), Hiroshi Kamiya (Makuwari), Kanako Miyamoto (Meido), Maaya Sakamoto (Funamushi)

I have been interested in this title for a while. How interested? I was reporting about the trailers constantly last year. I was excited at the prospect of this historical fantasy anime movie which reminded me of the Korean film Duelist. I have finally watched it and the comparison is pretty apt since this is a lovely slice of historical fantasy that is easy to watch and provided me with genuine pleasure.

Hamaji Ooyama (Kotobuki) is a young independent hunter.

Fuse A Gun Girl's Story Hamaji


Up until recently she was living with her grandfather Bokuhei Ooyama in a mountain until he was eaten by a bear. She is highly skilled at hunting with her rifle, but she now lives alone maintaining her lifestyle and knows little about the world outside.

Then she receives a letter from her brother Dousetsu (Konishi) who lives in in Edo, the capital of Japan, who has heard of Bokuhei’s death. He asks her to join him in the city so they can be together again. With little keeping her on the mountain and desperate to see her brother, Hamaji heads off to Edo with her rifle.

 Fuse A Gun Girls Detective Story Hamaji Heads to Edo

What she finds is a city that is bigger and far more bustling than she had ever imagined.

 Fuse A Gun Girls Detective Story Edo

It is also full of intrigue because the streets are stalked by Fuse. They are half-human half-dog, werewolf-like people who devour souls. Eight recently showed up in Edo and they have been killing people. Hamaji has entered town as the sixth has just been hunted down.


Hamaji soon witnesses an attack by a Fuse named Shino (Miyano). This same creature saves her when she gets caught between him and hunters and leads her to her brother Dousetsu who introduces her to his world.  

Fuse A Gun Girls Detective Story Funahashi, Dousetsu and Hamaji

In their five years apart Dousetsu has been working as a Ronin. He lives in a beat up row-house by a river and scrapes by with friends and Funamushi (Sakamoto), a woman who sells food by boat and is romantically involved with him. As Funamushi says of existence in Edo, “those who don’t work, don’t eat,” but Dousetsu has a plan: hunt Fuse.

The Shogun, Tokugawa Iesada, has offered a massive reward to anybody who can bring in the head of a Fuse (because decapitation is the only thing that kills them). Hamaji joins her brother Dousetsu  in hunting Fuse in the Yoshiwara district of Edo but can she bring herself to kill the one she has made a connection with, the mysterious Shino and are the Fuse really as villainous as the authorities make out?

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Fuse: A Gun Girl’s Detective Story Full Trailer

The first full-length trailer for the anime movie adaptation of Kazuki Sakuraba’s novel Fuse: A Gun Girl’s Detective Story (Fuse Teppō Musume no Torimonochō) was released last week and I am even more excited at the prospect of this historical fantasy anime movie which reminds me of Duelist.

The story  follows a teenage girl named Hamaji who joins her brother in hunting dog-human hybrids known as Fuse as part of a karmic cycle of retribution. The movie is based on the novel Fuse Gansaku: Satomi Hakkenden which was written by Kazuki Sakuraba, author of the Gosick light novels. She was inspired by a 19th century epic novel series named Nansō Satomi Hakkenden written by late Edo Period popular author Kyokutei Bakin. His tales dealt with themes based on Buddhist philosophy, Confucianism, and Bushido as it followed eight samurai serving the Satomi clan during the Sengoku (Warring States) period. These samurai are the reincarnations of the spirits that Princess Fuse mothered with a dog named Yatsufusa and they each represent a Confucianist virtue.

Although this isn’t the first time Kyokutei’s story has been adapted into modern mediums like anime – it had a 1999 sci-fi TV anime series named Shin Hakkenden and the story was Fuse no Musume Torimonochō Teppo Imageadapted for the video game Okami – it is the first time it has been made into a movie. The film is directed by Masayuki Miyaji (Eureka Seven, Xam’d: Lost Memories). The script comes from Ichiro Okouchi who is the scriptwriter for episodes of Azumanga Daioh and the Berserk movie adaptations. Music comes from Michiru Oshima who has composed the music for Production I.G.s historial fantasy Le Chevalier D’Eon. Okama is in charge of design and he has worked on the recent Evangelion anime movies.

Hamaji is voiced by Minako Kotobuki (Yūko Nishi in A-Channel) and she is supported my Mamoru Miyano (Rintarō Okabe in Steins;Gate), Maaya Sakamoto (Hitomi in Escaflowne and Akashi in Tatami Galaxy), and Hiroshi Kamiya (Kou in Arakawa Under the Bridge).

The film is released on the 20th of October!

Staff: Masayuki Miyaji (Director) Ichiro Okouchi (Script), Seiichi Hashimoto (Character Design), Okama (Design), Kazuki Sakuraba (Original Novelist), Michiru Oshima (Music), Chara (Movie Theme Song)

Voice Actors: Minako Kotobuki (Hamaji), Mamoru Miyano (Shino), Hirofumi Nojima (Iesada Tokugawa), MHiroshi Kamiya (Makuwari), Kanako Miyamoto (Meido), Katsuyuki Konishi (ousetsu), Maaya Sakamoto (Funamushi)

Studio: TMS Entertainment

Alternative Genki Christmas Music

The Japanese almanac says winter begins on the 8th of November, called Ritto (Beginning of Winter) and the first snow falls around the 22nd, Shosetsu (Little Snow). Now that bit of education is over, here are some Genki Winter songs!

It’s Christmas and all over the globe, terrible music will be blaring out of speakers in public places and private residences. I am no fan of Christmas songs so here is my alternative December Soundtrack.

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