As the Gods Will 神さまの言うとおり Kami-sama no Iutoori (2014)

As the Gods Will      

As the Gods Will Film Poster 1
As the Gods Will Film Poster 1

Japanese: 神さまの言うとお

Romaji: Kami-sama no Iutoori

Release Date: November 15th, 2014 (Japan)

Running Time: 117 mins.

Director: Takashi Miike

Writer: Hiroyuki Yatsu (Screenplay), Muneyuki Kaneshiro, Akeji Fujimura (Original Manga)

Starring: Sota Fukushi, Hirona Yamazaki, Ryunosuke Kamiki, Mio Yuki, Shota Sometani, Nao Omori, Lily Franky


As the Gods Will is the big-budget adaptation of a horror-survival manga series written by Muneyuki Kaneshiro and illustrated by Akeji Fujimura. I picked up on it at the end of last year because it looked great and was directed by Takashi Miike who has gone back to his V-cinema horror/action roots as of late. The DVD/blu-ray was released at the end of May and I’m happy to report that this film doesn’t disappoint fans of Miike. The film is a star-studded affair with talented actors like Ryunosuke Kamiki, Shota Sometani, Lily Franky being led by Sota Fukushi in a tale about a bored schoolboy who wants a bit of excitement in his life and gets more than he bargained for.

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Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno るろうに剣心京都大火編 (2014)

Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno    RUROUNI KENSHIN 2_Poster

Japanese Title: るろうに剣心京都大火編

Romaji: Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Taika Hen

Release Date: August 01st, 2014 (Japan)

Running Time: 139 mins.

Director: Keishi Ohtomo

Writer: Watsuki Nobuhiro (Original Manga), Kiyomi Fujii, Keishi Ohtomo (Screenplay)

Starring: Takeru Sato, Emi Takei, Munetaka Aoki, Yu Aoi, Ryunosuke Kamiki, Tatsuya Fujiwara, Yosuke Eguchi, Kaito Oyagi, Yosuke Eguchi, Yusuke Iseya, Tao Tsuchiya, Maryjun Takahashi,

History is never as clean or as clear cut as the books make it out to be and for the survivors’ of the Boshin War and the pivotal Battle of Toba-Fushimi the scars run deep and the old hatreds have simmered. It is to be expected that the consequences of this battle are messier and farther reaching than many would like considering the conflict between the Tokugawa Shogunate and the eventually victorious Imperial forces decided the fate of Japan and set in motion the end of samurai era and ushered in the modernisation and westernisation of Japan. Many who fought on both sides found themselves cast adrift in a new world that does not require their deadly skills but these people who fought to change the future of their nation will find history can never be escaped.

Continue reading “Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno るろうに剣心京都大火編 (2014)”

As the Gods Will Teaser Trailer and Information

As the Gods Will   As the Gods Will Film Poster 1

Japanese: 神さまの言うとおり

Romaji: Kami-sama no Iutoori

Release Date: November 15th, 2014 (Japan)

Running Time: 83 mins.

Director: Takashi Miike

Writer: Hiroyuki Yatsu (Screenplay), Muneyuki Kaneshiro, Akeji Fujimura (Original Manga)As the Gods Will Film Poster 2

Starring: Sota Fukushi, Hirona Yamazaki, Ryunosuke Kamiki, Mio Yuki, Shota Sometani, Nao Omori, Lily Franky

When Takashi Miike announced he was going back to making gory and funny films I couldn’t help but grin. When I saw this trailer I replayed it a dozen times and possibly (probably) cackled with glee at the comedy! This trailer is just fun!

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The Kirishima Thing 桐島、部活やめるってよ (2012)

Genki Kirishima Thing Banner

The Kirishima Thing                                                   The Kirishima Thing Poster

Romaji: Kirishima, Bukatsu Yamerutteyo

Japanese Title: 桐島、 部活 やめるってよ

Release Date: August 11th, 2012 (Japan)

Running Time: 103 mins.

Director: Daihachi Yoshida

Writer: Ryo Asai (Original Novel), Kohei Kiyasu, Daihachi Yoshida (Screenplay)

Starring: Ai Hashimoto, Ryunosuke Kamiki, Suzuka Ohgo, Mayu Matsuoka, Motoki Ochiai, Masahiro Higashide, Kurui Shimizu, Mizuki Yamamoto, 

High school is a universal experience for a lot of people and a very popular setting for film and anime. Japan is especially good at creating high school, especially when one considers the dominance of clubs in high school life¹. Many stories look deep into the nature of relationships and the way people socialise and deconstruct various aspects to capture high school life and all of the ephemeral emotions adolescents have as this treasure of a film demonstrates.

Genki Kirishima Thing Cast of Characters

The story starts on a Friday when news that the popular high school volleyball star player Kirishima has quit the team is broken to various people.

Shockwaves are sent through the school’s social world with Kirishima’s handsome and equally popular best friend Hiroki Kikuchi (Higashide) left bewildered by the few facts that emerge, Kirishima’s socially popular girlfriend Risa (Yamamoto) angry, and the volleyball team in a panic ahead of a big game with the less capable Koizumi Fuusuke (Taiga) taking Kirishima’s pivotal libero position and getting scared by the pressure to live up to Kirishima’s performance leel.

Also affected, but indirectly, are the rest of the students who see the results of the revelation of Kirishima’s disappearance like badminton players Kasumi Higashihara (Hashimoto) and Mika Miyabe (Kurumi Shimizu), the less popular kids in the culture clubs like Aya Sawashima (Ohgo) a brass band musician with an impossibly earnest crush on Hiroki, and the president of the film club Ryoya Maeda (Kamiki) and his assistant director Takefumi (Maeno).

The story ends on a Tuesday when some of the students find themselves having crossed social boundaries and redefined themselves while others remain steadfastly in their mind-set. 

The Kirishima Thing was the big winner at the 36th Japan Academy Prize Awards taking Picture of the Year, Most Popular Film and Director of the Year awards.  It is based on a similarly named high school novel written by Ryo Asai who worked on adapting the book’s omnibus story framework into a film which has resulted in a non-linear narrative that covers all sorts of people who witness different things from different perspectives.

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Just Pretended to Hear, The Kirishima Thing, Jewelpet the Movie: Sweets Dance Princess Trailers and the Japanese Movie Box Office Charts

I have been watching yet more of the London 2012 Olympics and marvelling at how sono3spectacular it has been and the great sporting achievements. Whilst writing reviews I have had the BBC’s coverage streaming in the background. What reviews did I write? Angel Dust, a brilliant psychological thriller by Sogo Ishii, Sweet Home, a brilliant haunted house film by Kiyoshi Kurosawa and I also wrote a preview for 009 Re:Cyborg.

What’s the state of the Japanese movie box-office chart this week?

  1. Umizaru 4: Brave Hearts
  2. The Wolf Children Ame and Yuki
  3. The Dark Knight Rises
  4. Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted
  5. Pokemon: Best Wishes 2012
  6. Road to Ninja: Naruto the Movie
  7. Helter Skelter
  8. Eight Ranger
  9. Another
  10. Brave


The Dark Knight Rises drops one place from two to three in its second week as The Wolf Children Ami and Yuki claw their way back to second place. Helter Skelter remains at seven. Two of last week’s releases enter the top twenty with the Code Geass anime at twelve and Another at nine.

What Japanese films are released in Japan today?

Just Pretended to Hear                                                    Just Pretended to Hear Poster

Romaji: Kikoeteru, Furi wo Sita Dake

Japanese Title: 聴こえてる、ふり を した だけ

Release Date: 11th August 2012 (Japan)

Running Time: 99 mins.

Director: Kaori Imaizumi

Writer: Kaori Imaizumi

Starring: Hana Nonaka, Meru Gouda, Takayuki Sugiki, Aki Etohu, Yasumi Yashima

This film was at this year’s Berlin Film Festival where it came second in the Generation section and received a special mention from the Children’s Jury earning it a Crystal Bear. It is directed by Kaori Imaizumi, a nurse who shot this on maternity leave, and stars Hana Nonaka.

This film follows a young girl named Sachi whose mother has died and her father is emotionally self-destructing as a result. Her only relief is in a friend and the belief in an afterlife that allows her mother to stay by her side.

The Kirishima Thing                                                  The Kirishima Thing Poster

Romaji: Kirishia, Bukatsu Yamerutteyo

Japanese Title: 桐島、 部活 やめるってよ

Release Date: 11th August 2012 (Japan)

Running Time: 99 mins.

Director: Daihachi Yoshida

Writer: Ryo Asai (Novel)

Starring: Ai Hashimoto, Ryunosuke Kamiki, Suzuka Ohgo, Mayu Matsuoka, Motoki Ochiai, Masahiro Higashide, Kurui Shimizu, Mizuki Yamamoto,

Ryo Asai’s high school novel “Kirishima, Bukatsu Yamerutteyo” (2010) gets the big screen treatment. The omnibus story tells of the stories of multiple characters and as a result it features a range of young acting talent. It stars Ai Hashimoto (Another, Control Tower), Ryunosuke Kamiki (Survive Style 5+, SPEC: Heaven),  Suzuka Ohgo (Soup), Mayu Matsuoka (Love Exposure), and Motoki Ochiai (Hard Romanticker). The director of the film is Daihachi Yoshida who should be familiar to UK cinephiles from his excellent work film Funuke Show Me Some Love, You Losers!

When high school volleyball star player Kirishima quits the team shockwaves are sent through the school. This is the story of the students surrounding Kirishima from his friend Hiroki Kikuchi (Higashide), girlfriend Risa (Yamamoto), Aya (Ohgo) a brass band musician with a crush on Kirishima, badminton player Kasumi (Hashimoto), and the president of the film club Maeda (Kamiki). The students will cross social boundaries and defy groups as they attempt to redefine themselves.


Jewelpet the Movie: Sweets Dance Princess       Jewel Pet Poster

Romaji: Eiga Juerupetto: Suuītsu Dansu Purinsesu

Japanese Title: 映画 ジュエルペット スウイーツ ダンス プリンセス

Release Date: 11th August 2012 (Japan)

Running Time: N/A

Director: Hiroaki Sakurai

Writer: Takashi Yamada

Starring: Mana Ashida, Ayaka Saitō, Aya Hirano, Nozomi Sasaki, Miyuki Sawashiro Aki Toyosaki, Rina Hidaki

Despite writing for anime news sites and posting trailers daily I sometimes forget to place that info on my own blog. I might have forgotten this because it is an anime movie based on a property aimed at young girls but I am determined to get things in order! Not that I will ever watch this. Anyway the seiyuu involved include Aki Toyosaki (Momoka Oginome in Mawaru Penguindrum – her scene in the child crusher made me emotional…), Aya Hirano (Konata in Lucky Star), and Ayaka Saitō (Akane Kojima in Boogiepop Phantom).


Ruby (Saito) and her friends are preparing for Princess Mana’s birthday party in Sweetland but when a mysterious item falls out of the sky, a Sweetspet boy appears. Cue much hilarity.

Continue reading “Just Pretended to Hear, The Kirishima Thing, Jewelpet the Movie: Sweets Dance Princess Trailers and the Japanese Movie Box Office Charts”