A Road Stained Crimson, The End of Puberty, Bakarea High School, Space Battleship Yamato 2199, Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie Part 2: Eternal Trailers and the Japanese Movie Box Office Chart

chungking-expressThis week will be memorable for me forever because I attended my first ever major film event in the shape of the BFI London Film Festival where I saw some God-tier films although things got dicey on my final day because I had to run part of the way to the BFI because I took a wrong turn at Horse Guards Parade (I got there just before the film started). Thankfully I had such a great time that my Olympic marathon could not dent my enthusiasm and the film I saw was, as I mentioned earlier, God-tier. Meanwhile, back at the ranch… the blog kept going because I posted information about Third Window Films and their forthcoming releases of the double set for Tetsuo: The Iron Man and Tetsuo II: Body Hammer, and Kotoko, which came out on Monday and Isn’t Anyone Alive? which comes out on the 22nd. I also posted a trailer for Park Chan-Wook’s English language debut film Stoker and a little piece about my trip to London for the 56th BFI London Film Festival.

What are the new entries in the Japanese movie box-office this week?

  1. Outrage Beyond
  2. Bayside Shakedown 4: The Final New Hope
  3. Tsunagu
  4. Resident Evil: Retribution
  5. The Mystical Law
  6. Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax
  7. Madoka Magica
  8. The Bourne Legacy
  9. I Have to Buy New Shoes
  10. Intouchables

All of last week’s releases are in the charts…? Really? Even The Mystical Law? Well Outrage Beyond is at the top spot, Tsunagu takes third, The Mystical Law takes fifth and I Have to Buy New Shoes is at nine despite the negative criticism from Alua and Goregirl 😉

What are the Japanese films getting a release today?

A Road Stained Crimson                      A Road Stained Crimson Movie Poster

Japanese Title: 赤い 季節

Romaji: Akai Kisetsu

Release Date:  13th October 2012 (Japan)

Running Time: 111 mins.

Director: Tetsuhiko Nono

Writer: Tetsuhiko Nono

Starring: Hirofumi Arai, Jun Murakami, Jun Fubuki, Masatoshi Nagase, Taguchi Tomorowo

This trailer featured on Otherwhere last month because it was part of Raindance London. It looks absolutely brilliant, a feeling reinforced by the actors since it stars Hirofumi Arai (Outrage Beyond), Jun Fubuki (Séance, Pulse), Taguchi Tomorowo (Tetsuo: The Iron Man, Tetsuo: Body Hammer), and Jun Murakami (Land of Hope). It features music from Yusuke Chiba, former frontman of J-rock outfit Thee Michelle Gun Elephant.

Ken (Arai) was once a contract killer but has turned his back on violence and spends his time working in a motorcycle shop with his mother Yoko (Fubuki). The one thing that eats away at him is the identity of the man who killed his detective father. Until Akira (Murakami), another contract killer, shows up at the shop and tries to lure Ken back into the killing life. With Akira and the mystery surrounding his father playing on his mind, Ken is faced with destroying the peaceful life he has established with Yoko.

The End of Puberty                                                                       The End of Puberty Movie Poster    

Japanese Title: 恋 に 至る 病

Romaji: Koi ni Itaru Yamai

Release Date:  13th October 2012 (Japan)

Running Time: 116 mins.

Director: Shoko Kimura

Writer: Shoko Kimura

Starring: Miwako Wagatsuma, Yoichiro Saito, Aimi Satsukawa, Shota Sometani

Shoko Kimura makes her directorial debut in a comedy that was seen at this year’s Berlin Film Festival. It sounds like an absolutely twisted story seen in the anime world but reviews plug it as something more considered. It stars. Miwako Wagatsuma (Sentimental Yasuko, Guilty of Romance), Aimi Satsukawa (Demon’s Elevator) and rising star Shota Sometani (Himizu, Isn’t Anyone Alive?, The Wolf Children Rain and Snow). I love the chip-tune music!

Madoka (Saito) is a biology teacher with no backbone. Therefore, he cannot control his class who misbehave. Tsubara (Wagatsuma) is the only person who takes any notice of him. She’s not interested in lessons as she is more interested in Madoka himself because she’s in love with him. Tsubara is quite a strange person herself as she only eats things with preservatives so that her body will not rot after death and she and be remembered. She also likes to draw manga of Madoka and herself having sex but with sexual organs reversed. When the two do have a real life encounter and their sexual organs are switched, they flee to the countryside. Tsubara’s best friend En (Satsukawa) and her amorous boyfriend Maru (Sometani) track them down and they have some erotic energy of their own that they want to work out.

Bakarea High School                                         Shiritsu Bakarea Koko Movie Poster

Japanese Title: 私立バカレア 高校

Romaji: Shiritsu Bakaleya Koko

Release Date:  13th October 2012 (Japan)

Running Time: 111 mins.

Director: Takashi Kubota

Writer: Akimoto Yasushi, Yuko Matsuda

Starring: Shintaro Morimoto, Hokuto Matsumura, Taiga Kyomoto, Haruka Shimazaki, Mina Oba, Kaoru Mitsumune

Popular NTV show Shiritsu Bakaleya Koko gets the big screen treatment. It features a whole gamut of (ridiculously named) young idols from groups managed by Johnny’s Jr and teams from AKB48 (Haruka Shimazaki, Mina Oba). Just looking at the cast list, poster and the trailer I know I should be packing up my stuff and heading for the hills because this is not aimed at me. Actually parts of it look like a cheap and unmemorable Ai to Makoto.

When the the all-male high school of Baka merges with the all-female high school of Cattleya, the rich girls find themselves confronted with a bunch of troublemakers. Presumably hilarity and romance ensue. 

Space Battleship Yamato 2199                   Space Battleship Yamato 2199 Poster

Japanese Title: 宇宙 戦艦 ヤマト 2199

Romaji: Uchū Senkan Yamato 2199

Release Date: 13th October 2012 (Japan)

Running Time: 110 mins.

Director: Akihiro Enomoto, Yutaka Izubuchi

Writer: Ryusuke Hikawa

Starring: Daisuke Ono (Susumu Kodai), Houko Kuwashima (Yuki Mori), Kenichi Suzumura (Daisuke Shima), Takayuki Sugo (Captain Jūzō Okita), Aya Hisakawa (Lt. Kaoru Niimi), Rie Tanaka (Ensign Akira Yamamoto), Rina Satou (Makoto Harada)

In 1974 Leiji Matsumoto (Galaxy Express 999, Captain Harlock) and Yoshinubu Mishizaki created Space Battleship Yamato which became a massive hit. Thirty-eight years later we see  the latest part of the anime movie adaptation released. The role of director is taken up by two men: Yutaka Izubuchi is a veteran designer in the anime industry having worked on anime like RahXephon and the brilliant anime Patlabor. He joined by Akihiro Enomoto who has worked on Fafner, Mobile Suit Gundam 00. Nobuteru Yuki (Escaflowne) acting as character designer and animation director.

There are a lot of veteran seiyuu involved with Daisuke Ono (Shizuo Heiwajima in Durarara!!), Kenichi Suzumura (Uta no Prince Sama), Aya Hisakawa (Yoko Yuzuki in Mōryō no Hako), Rina Satou (Mikoto Misaka (A Certain Magical Index), and Rie Tanaka (Sammy in Time of Eve). The animation is produced by Xebec (Nyarko-san: Another Crawling Chaos) and AIC (Burn Up). 

 

In the year 2199, the human race has lost a war against alien invaders named Gamilos and have been driven underground due to the threat of radiation. Scientists give humanity a year before it is destroyed. When young officers Susumu Kodai and Daisuke Shima retrieve a capsule from a ship that crash landed on Mars they set off to Iscandar on the other side of the Magellan Galaxy which has the technology to smash the Gamilos and save Earth. The battleship Yamato is sent on a mission to get that technology.

 

Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie Part 2: Eternal                             Madoka Movie 2 Poster

Japanese Title: Maho Shojo Madoka Magika Eien no Monogatari

Romaji: Maho Shojo Madoka Magika Eien no Monogatari

Release Date:  13th October 2012 (Japan)

Running Time: 109 mins.

Director: Akiyuki Shinbou

Writer: Gen Urobuchi

Starring: Aoi Yuuki (Madoka Kaname), Eri Kitamura (Sayaka Miki), Chiwa Saito (Homura Akemi), Emiri Kato (Kyuubey)

Following on from last week’s release of the first Madoka Magica movie, this is the second and it covers the last four episodes of the television series. The animation in the trailers and the look of the posters are incredible but I still cannot bring myself to watch the film. Cast and staff remain largely unchanged but it looks like the one character I might have rooted for didn’t make it…

 

Madoka Kanome (Yuuki) is a normal school girl with a caring family and good friends like Sayaka (Kitamura). She leads a calm life until she meets a new transfer student named Homura Akemi (Saito). What changes? She sees Homura attack a creature. When Madoka tries to stop Homura she finds herself transported to a strange world where scary creatures exist and it is only with the help of a girl called Mami Tomoe (Mizuhashi) that she manages to escape. She soon finds herself in a world of magic but soon finds it can be very deadly.

Mystical Laws, Outrage Beyond, Chat Noir Lucy, I Need to Buy New Shoes, Tsunagu, Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie Part 1 Trailers and the Japanese Movie Box Office Charts

This week I created a Film Review Archive (an excuse to use an image of Rin Takanashi) and trailers for the anime movies Gothicmade and Nerawareta Gakuen as well as the release details for Petty Romance. Reviews have been a bit light this week because I saw an uninspiring K-horror and I have been super busy with work helping set up a genuinely Blazblue Noel Kisaragiunnerving exhibition and trying to post at AUKN and other assorted projects – there are still two follow-up Tsukamoto posts to come. I am now coming into a period of calm and stability. In other words, blue skies are ahead and I can write a lot more. Blue skies the week after next week, to be more precise, because that is when I am going to attend some screenings at THE BFI LONDON FILM FESTIVAL.

What are the new entries in the Japanese box-office this week?

  1. Bayside Shakedown 4: The Final New Hope
  2. Resident Evil: Retribution
  3. The Bourne Legacy
  4. The Hunger Games
  5. Rurouni Kenshin
  6. Intouchables
  7. Insight into the Universe
  8. Tiger and Bunny: The Beginning
  9. Key of Life
  10. Hotel Transylvania

The major change from last week in the chart is the fact that there are three western films muscling their way in. As far as Japanese films go, Resident Evil and Bayside Shakedown switch places at the top. Rurouni Kenshin and Insight into the Universe and Key of Life remain in the top ten while Intouchables remains at six. The Wolf Children Rain and Snow hangs in at number thirteen.

What are the Japanese films released today in Japan?

Mystical Laws                                                         Mystical Laws Movie Poster

Japanese Title: 神秘 の 法

Romaji: Shinpi no Hou

Release Date:  05th October 2012 (Japan)

Running Time: 119 mins.

Director: N/A

Writer: N/A

Starring: Takehito Koyasu, Daisuke Hirakawa, Ayumi Fujimura, Ryoka Yuzuki, Shinichiro Miki, Miki Ito

The Happy Science religion (Kofuku no Kagaku) has released their latest film yesterday in both the US and Japan and it is a feature length anime named Shinpi no Hou – The Mystical Laws.

It is the year 201X… and the newly-formed Empire of Godom has been able to gain access to technology offered to them by Reika Chang (Fujimura), the president of a trading company. With this technology they plan to take over the world. Shou Shishimaru (Koyasu) is the only one who can stop them because he has access to mystical technology as well. The Empire know this and decide to hunt him down but thanks to the intervention of mysterious Indians, he evades capture and sets about trying to fulfil a prophecy about the second coming of a saviour.

Yeah… The religion of Happy Science was founded in Japan on the 6th of October, 1986 by Ryuho Okawa who, according to Wikipedia, “claims to channel the spirits of Muhammad, Christ, Buddha and Confucious and claims to be the incarnation of the supreme spiritual being called El Centre.” If this sounds like a cult to you then you are not alone because mainstream Japanese media regard the as such. Still, the movie does look rather… special. Seiyuu involved include some pretty well known ones like Daisuke Hirakawa (Franz d’Epinay in Gankutsuou), Ayumi Fujimura (Miwa in Bartender, Raimei in Nabai no Ou, Takashi Natsume in Natsume Yuujinchou) and Takehito Koyasu (the legend that is Il Palazo in Excel Saga).

Outrage Beyond                                                    Outrage Beyond Film Poster

Japanese Title: アウトレイジ ビヨンド

Romaji: Autoreiji Biyondo

Release Date: 06th October, 2012 (Japan)

Running Time: 110 mins.

Director: Takeshi Kitano

Writer: Takeshi Kitano

Starring: Takeshi Kitano, Ryo Kase, Tomokazu Miura, Fumiyo Kohinata, Toshiyuki Nishida, Hirofumi Arai, Akira Nakao, Yutaka Matsushige, Kenta Kiritani, Sansei Shiomi, Hideo Nakano

Outrage Beyond recently had its world premiere at the Venice International Film Festival in competition and then at the Toronto International Film Festival. I have half read a review for it and it seems like those who loved the first will find that there is much to enjoy in this as the politics way heavy in the first half and the violence and gangster thrills come clobbering in during the second. The stars are on the poster but if you need more names then take a gander at these: Takeshi Kitano (Kids ReturnBoiling Point), Ryo Kase (Like Someone in LoveSPEC: Heaven), Tomokazu Miura (Adrift in TokyoSurvive Style 5+), Hirofumi Arai (A Road Stained Crimson), Kenta Kiritani (Beck), Yutaka Matsushige (Ring) and Fumiyo Kohinata (Ring 2, Audition) who plays that wiley cop Kataoka who wasn’t as dumb as he looked.

When Tokyo’s anti-gang investigator is found dead the police crack down on the Yakuza. Corrupt cop Kataoka (Kohinata) is in charge of the investigation and he finds himself caught in the machinations of two rival families. Cue the release from prison of Ohtomo (Kitano) who finds himself part of a police plot to destroy his former Yakuza brothers. Not that he would object considering his shabby treatment at their hands.

Chat Noir Lucy                      

Kuro Neko Lucy

Japanese Title: くろ ねこ ルーシー

Romaji: Kuro Neko Rushi (literally Black Cat Lucy)

Release Date:  06th October 2012 (Japan)

Running Time: N/A

Director: Toru Kamei

Writer: Yuji Nagamori

Starring: Muga Tsukaji, Megumi Yasu

I a totally unfamiliar with the director and the actors’ Muga Tsukaji (Akko-chan: The Movie) and Megumi Yasu but the trailer is amusing. Both leads have acted alongside each other before in Honcho Azumi television series so I am assuming that fans of that are going to be drawn to this film.

Ken Kamoshida (Tsukaji) is a middle-aged fortune teller who is highly superstitious. Since splitting from his wife (Yasu), he has been beset by difficulties. One day, he encounters two black kittens which represent misfortune and they seem to be living up to the legend since he takes to caring for them but soon he uses them in his fortune telling and he sees what is really important to him.

 

I Have to Buy New Shoes                                                 I Have to Buy New Shoes Movie Poster

Japanese Title: 新しい 靴 を 買わなくちゃ

Romaji: Atarashii Kutsu wo Kawanakucha

Release Date:  06th October 2012 (Japan)

Running Time: 115 mins.

Director: Eriko Kitagawa

Writer:  Eriko Kitagawa

Starring: Miho Nakayama, Osamu Mukai, Mirei Kiritani, Gou Ayano

I would probably avoid this based on the poster and title. I am not even a familiar with two of the actors – Miho Nakayama, Osamu Mukai (Beck, Girls for Keeps). I am familiar with Gou Ayano (The Samurai that Night, Helter Skelter, Tajomaru) and Mirei Kiritani who was Maya in Ace Attorney and Nino in Arakawa Under the Bridge. It is directed and written by Eriko Kitagawa and this is the third film directed by a Japanese woman I have written about this year. She was apparently inspired when she read about the actress Miho Nakayama and her life in France. It is produced by Shunji Iwai (All About Lily Chou-Chou, Vampire, April Story).

Aoi Teshigahara (Nakayama) is a freelance writer based in Paris. She meets Sen Yagami (Mukai) who is a photographer who has just arrived in the city of flowers to join his younger sister Suzume (Kiritani). When Aoi and Sen meet they fall in love over the next three days while Suzume and Kango (Ayano), the beau at the other long distance relationship, meet.

 

Tsunagu                                                               Tsunagu Movie Poster

Japanese Title: ツナグ

Romaji: Tsunagu

Release Date:  06th October 2012 (Japan)

Running Time: 129 mins.

Director: Yuichiro Hirakawa

Writer:  Mizuki Tsujimura (Novel)

Starring: Tori Matsuzaka, Kirin Kiki, Ryuta Sato, Mirei Kiritani, Ai Hashimoto, Ito Ono, Tetsuya Bessho, Miyoko Asada, Kenichi Endo, Manami Honjou

This featured over at Otherwhere in a trailer weekly where I first saw it. It stars Tori Matsuzaka (The King and I, The Wings of the Kirin) and Kirin Kiki (Still Walking, Villain) in the leads with support from Ryuta Sato (Umizaru 4: Brave Hearts, Insight into the Universe) and Ai Hashimoto (Control Tower, Sadako 3D, Another, The Kirishima Thing).

Ayumi (Matsuzaka) is a high school student who is being trained by his grandmother (Kiki) as a tsunagu, an intermediary between the living and the dead.

 

Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie Part 1                   Madoka Movie 1 Poster

Japanese Title: 劇場版 魔法少女まどか☆マギカ [前編]始まりの物語

Romaji: Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magika Movie 1

Release Date:  06th October 2012 (Japan)

Running Time: 130 mins.

Director: Akiyuki Shinbou

Writer: Gen Urobuchi

Starring: Aoi Yuuki (Madoka Kaname), Kaori Mizuhashi (Mami Tomoe), Eri Kitamura (Sayaka Miki), Chiwa Saito (Homura Akemi), Emiri Kato (Kyuubey)

I have no interest in magical girl anime. I watched a few episodes of Sailor Moon and that was enough for me. However, the Madoka Magica franchise is getting such positive buzz that I may have to check it out. It is looking like the Evangelion of magical girl anime what with its post-modern take on the genre and devastating psychological intrigues. Anyway, the first in the trilogy of movie adaptations is released today and it covers the first eight episodes of the television series. It has been directed by Akiyuki Shinbou who has been connected to some of the most important anime of the last five years like Arakawa Under the Bridge and Bakemonogatari.

 

Madoka Kanome (Yuuki) is a normal school girl with a caring family and good friends like Sayaka (Kitamura). She leads a calm life until she meets a new transfer student named Homura Akemi (Saito). What changes? She sees Homura attack a creature. When Madoka tries to stop Homura she finds herself transported to a strange world where scary creatures exist and it is only with the help of a girl called Mami Tomoe (Mizuhashi) that she manages to escape. She soon finds herself in a world of magic but soon finds it can be very deadly.