Hanagatami 花筐 Dir: Nobuhiko Obayashi (2017)

Hanagatami    Hanagatami Film Poster

花筐 「Hanagatami

Running Time: 169 mins.

Release Date: December 16th, 2017

Director:  Nobuhiko Obayashi

Writer: Nobuhiko Obayashi, Chiho Katsura(Screenplay), Kazuo Dan (Original Novel)

Starring: Shunsuke Kubozuka, Shinnosuke Mitsushima, Keishi Nagatsuka, Tokio Emoto, Mugi Kadowaki, Tetsuya Takeda, Takako Tokiwa, Hirona Yamazaki,

IMDB Website

Is there subject-matter that film as a medium is better than others at capturing? Perhaps it is emotions. Or maybe memories. Filmmakers can examine them in many expressive ways and with an incredible arsenal of technical tools open to the cast and crew, imagination really is the limit. Enter the adventurous Nobuhiko Obayashi, a man not shy of being creative as proven in his career which stretches back to the 1950s and features a long filmography that trades in fantasy, experimentalism, and surrealism. He is best known for the haunted-house musical House (1977) but nothing will prepare those familiar solely with that fun film for Hanagatami! Obayashi’s limiters are off in this deep-dive into the precious memories of a man who lived through an age of emotional turbulence as Japan hurtled headlong into the chaos of World War II.

Hanagatami Image 4

It is the summer of 1941 in Karatsu City, Saga Prefecture. 17-year-old Toshihiko Sakakiyama (Shunsuke Kubozuka) has just travelled from his parents’ home in Amsterdam to stay with his wealthy aunt Keiko Ema (Takako Tokiwa) in her large manor. He will share it with his sickly cousin Mina (Honoka Yahagi) who suffers from tuberculosis. While there, he is attending a school where falls under the influence of the grim and philosophical Kira (Keishi Nagatsuka) who is physically infirm, and Ukai (Shinnosuke Mitsushima), a boy both strong in body and mind and with a pure soul that attracts Toshihiko. There are girls his age, too. Kira’s cousin, the melancholy Chitose (Mugi Kadowaki) who carries a camera she loves to use to capture people’s existence and the more playful and positive Akine (Hirona Yamazaki) whose mischievous grin and compassion for others lights up all occasions.

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Nerawareta Gakuen (School in the Crosshairs) Full Trailer

Nerawareta Gakuen (School in the Crosshairs)      Nerawareta Gakuen Poster

Japanese Title: ねらわれた 学園

Romaji: Nerawareta Gakuen lit. Aimed School

Release Date:  19th October 2012 (Japan)

Running Time: N/A

Director: Ryousuke Nakamura

Writer: Taku Mayumura (Original Story), Yuko Naito, Ryosuke Nakamura (Screenplay)

Starring: Mayu Watanabe, Yuutaro Honjou, Kana Hanazawa, Daisuke Ono

A full trailer for the forthcoming anime movie adaptation of Taku Maymura’s popular 1973 sci-fi novel Nerawareta Gakuen (School in the Crosshairs) has been released by the production studio Sunrise (Cowboy Bebop, Colorful). It looks stunning. Just watch.

It is spring and another new school year and another school for 8th grade junior high school student Ryoichi Kyogoku (Ono) who has recently moved to Kamakura. Things might be boring but Kyogoku is a telepath and has been ordered by his father to use this ability to scan other people’s minds and take over the school.

Being good looking and charismatic, he wins major popularity at the school which allows him to initiate his plans. He secretly manipulates his followers and pushes aside anyone who gets in his way but there is one student who seems unaffected – Seki. Does Seki have what it takes to save everyone?

This is the first anime movie adaptation and it looks spectacular – a rich mix of colours seen in the likes of Makoto Shinkai’s works. It is being produced by Sunrise’s Studio 8 (Accel World) with Ryosuke Nakamura acting as director and scriptwriter. Nakamua earned my attention with his work on Mōryō no Hako. He has also worked on other favourite anime titles of mine like Monster and Occult Academy. The music production group supercell (familiar from the Bakemonogatari themes) providing the theme song which can be heard in the trailer. Music composer Shusei Murai, who also worked on Mōryō no Hako, is here. Character designer Mieko Hosoi has worked on an interesting catalogue of titles including The Tatami Galaxy and The House of Five Leaves. It stars the voices of Kana Hanazawa (Anri in Durarara!! and Kobato in the anime of the same name and, most importantly for me, Mayuri in Steins;Gate) and Daisuke Ono (Itsuki in the Haruhi Suzumiya franchise) while AKB48 member Mayu Watanabe takes another role.

This is not the first time that the book has been adapted into different formats multiple times with two live-action films made in 1981 and 1997 and four live-action television dramas. Interestingly, the 1981 film was directed by Nobuhiko Obayashi who made the wonderful and surreal horror film House. For those of us in the UK this October it can be seen at Scotland Loves Anime.

Nerawareta Gakuen (School in the Crosshairs) Trailer

Taku Maymura’s popular 1973 sci-fi novel Nerawareta Gakuen (School in the Crosshairs) is due for an anime treatment with the production studio Sunrise (Cowboy Bebop) handling the adaptation. This is not the first time that the book has been adapted into different formats multiple times with two live-action films made in 1981 and 1997 and four live-action television dramas. Interestingly, the 1981 film was directed by Nobuhiko Obayashi who made the wonderful and surreal horror film House.

 

Synopsis

Abeno 6th Middle School is one of the best in the country but high expectations have lead to a stressful atmosphere which has lead to a deterioration of discipline among the pupils. In steps a mysterious and beautiful girl named Michiru Takamizawa who becomes chairperson of the student council. At first she seems normal but it soon becomes evident that she controls the school by force. Concerned students Kōji Seki and Kazumi Kusumoto decide to stop her but it is soon revealed that an even more powerful person is shaping events.

This is the first anime movie adaptation and it looks spectacular. It is being produced by Sunrise’s Studio 8 (Accel World) with Ryosuke Nakamura (Mōryō no Hako) acting as director and the music production group supercell (familiar from the Bakemonogatari themes) providing the theme song which can be heard in the trailer.  It is expected to see a release this autumn.

Staff: Ryosuke Nakamura (Director), Taku Mayumura (Original Writer), Supercell (Theme Song)

Voice Actors: N/A

Studio: Sunrise

House ハウス (1977)

Only recently released in the west, this horror film has earned cult status for being one of the silliest, surreal, inventive and fun horror movies ever, House is an exciting experience because director Obayashi uses various cinematic tools to create a cross between Poltergeist and Scooby Doo.

The summer holidays have arrived and for seven high school girls, Melody, Prof., Sweetie, Kung-fu, Mac, Fantasy, and Angel, they have the chance to go camping with their teacher Mr. Togo. Angel declines because her father is back from Italy and she’s looking forward to staying at a villa with him. Her plans are ruined when he introduces her to his potential new wife. Angel is upset at the presence of the woman and decides to visit an eccentric spinster aunt, inviting her friends along for the trip. After a long journey the girls arrive at the aunt’s house but find their presence has triggered a hostile supernatural force that immediately attacks them, picking them off one by one while the eccentric woman watches.

Yoko Minamida as Auntie in House

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