Women on the Edge, Eight Ranger, Naruto the Movie: Road to Ninja Trailers and the Japanese Box-Office Chart

Kouhaku Kuroboshi designs for One OffThis week I got my Himizu poster from Adam over at Third Window Films and I wrote two reviews for the J-horror films Shibuya Kaidan 1 and 2 and a preview of Fuse: A Gun Girl’s Detective Story. Fuse is really capturing my imagination at the moment. I have been terribly busy this week what with work and life in general and so I found myself watching only a couple of Takeshi Kitano films and no anime (although I did watch the new trailer for One Off which still looks intriguing) and I pretty much stopped posting for AUKN (I wonder if anyone notices). I’m back on a somewhat even keel so I’ll resume my news duties and get back to watching more awesome Japanese films. Wasn’t the opening to the London 2012 Olympics spectacula?

What’s does the Japanese movie box-office chart look like this week?

  1. Umizaru 4: Brave Hearts
  2. The Wolf Children Ame and Yuki
  3. Pikachu the Movie 2012
  4. Helter Skelter
  5. Brave
  6. The Amazing Spider-Man
  7. Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha The MOVIE 2nd
  8. Soreike! Anpanman Yomigaere Bananajima
  9. Rinjo
  10. Thermae Romae

Last week’s new entry The Wolf Children Ame and Yuki has taken second in the charts while Uzimaru holds onto the top and Helter Skelter holds on to fourth in its second week. Thermae Romae remains in the top ten. Interestingly it was announced for this year’s Toronto International Film Festival alongside Takeshi Kitano’s latest film Outrage Beyond.

What films are released today?

Women on the Edge                                         Women on the Edge Movie Poster

Romaji: Girigiri no Onnatachi

Japanese Title: ギリギリ の 女たち

Release Date: 28th July 2012 (Japan)

Running Time: 101 mins.

Director: Masahiro Kobayashi

Writer: Masahiro Kobayashi

Starring: Miho Fujima, Yuko Nakamura, Makiko Watanabe

Masahiro Kobayashi, writer and director of grim films like Bashing is back with Women on the Edge which stars Miho Fujima (Ju-On: The Grudge, Tajomaru), Yuko Nakamura (Blood and Bones), and Makiko Watanabe (Himizu, Love Exposure). Reviews aren’t kind.

The three Onodera sisters return to the home of their deceased parents’ in Kesennuma, Miyagi, a place affected by the Tohoku Earthquake. The house has survived the earthquake and tsunami and the three are looking to claim an inheritance. Nobuko (Nakamura) moved to Tokyo and is a divorcee, Takako (Watanabe) moved to New York and works as a butoh dancer. Third sister Satomi (Fujima) stayed behind. There are deep resentments and over the course of the film they will come out.

 

Eight Ranger                                          Eight Ranger Movie Poster

Eito Renja

Japanese Title: エイトレンジャー

Release Date: 28th July 2012 (Japan)

Running Time: N/A

Director: Yukihiko Tsutsumi

Writer: N/A

Starring: Yu Yokoyama, Subaru Shibutani, Shingo Murakami, Ryuhei Maruyama, Shota Yasuda, Ryo Nishikido, Tadayoshi Okura, Hiroshi Tachi, Becky, Misako Renbutsu, Renji Ishibashi, Hitomi Takahashi,

Yukihiko Tsutsumi went from box-office smash hit SPEC: Heaven to the more intimate and small-scale film My House. Now he is tackling a parody of super sentai shows as Eight Ranger shows. I really hate that type of show (Takeshi Kitano’s Getting Any? was going along perfectly until the final section with the Earth Defence Force…). It is based on some of the boy band Kanjani Eight’s live performance. Kanjani Eight take the lead roles but there other notable names including Renji Ishibashi (One Missed Call, Audition, Outrage),  Hitomi Takahashi (The Sound of the Sea, Crime or Punishment?!?), and Misako Renbutsu (River, Quirk Guys & Gals).

The devastated city named Eight City is under attack from Dark Crusade and only the Eight Rangers can protect the inhabitants.

Naruto the Movie: Road to Ninja.

Synopsis

Sixteen years ago, a creature known as Kurama the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox was released from its jinchūriki (living prison) by a mysterious ninja and unleahed on the Hidden Leaf Village, leading to the death of many people. In order to stop this demon the Fourth Hokage Minato Namikaze, and his wife Kushia Uzumaki, who was the jinchūriki, sealed the demon inside their new born son, Naruto. With the beast sealed inside Naruto, things went back to being peaceful until a group of ninja known as Akatsuki attack the village. They are under the guidance of Tobi, the mysterious ninja who unleashed the demon the first time.

This is the sixth Naruto movie to be released thus far and it is set in an alternate timeline Naruto the Movie Road to Ninja Posterin which Naruto’s parents are still alive. People also have very different personalities as seen when Sasuke is hitting on Sakura and Hinata is much more aggressive. Masashi Kishimoto, the creator of Naruto, is handling the character designs and writing the script with Yuka Miyata (Naruto Shippūden) for the movie. The film is directed by Hayato Date who has handled countless Naruto TV episodes and movies like Ninja Clash in the Land of Snow. The franchise voice actors also return with Junko Takeuchi voicing Naruto, Nana Mizuki voicing Hinata, Noriaki Sugiyama voicing Sasuke and Chie Nakamura voicing Sakura. The awesome J-rock outfit Asian Kung-Fu generation are providing the film’s theme.

Staff: Hayato Date (Director), Masashi Kishimoto (Script/Character Design/Original Creator), Yuka Miyata (Script), Tetsuya Nishio (Animation Director), Asian Kung-Fu Generation (Movie Theme)

Voice Actors: Junko Takeuchi (Naruto Uzumaki), Emi Shinohara (Kushina Uzumaki), Toshiyuki Morikawa (Minato Namikaze), Kazuhiko Inoue (Kakashi Hatake), Chie Nakamura (Sakura Haruno), Nana Mizuki (Hinata Hyuga), Noriaki Sugiyama (Sasuke Uchiha)

Studio: Studio Pierrot

Girls for Keeps, Kotsutsubo, My House, Still Human Beings Trailers and Japanese box-office Charts

The Cannes film festival is winding down and critical responses have been mixed for Japanese films. Abbas Kiarostami’s latest film, Like Someone in Love, has had prLike Someone in Love Posteraise for the performances of the actors (particularly the gorgeous Rin Takanashi) but the story with its ambiguous ending has upset many. Thankfully Takashi Miike rescued proceedings with Ai to Makoto. Also flying the flag for Japan was Koji Wakamatsu with his Mishima biopic which has garnered a good review (more on that tomorrow).  I also had the pleasure of seeing the Olympic Flame pass by and managed to get a picture of the young lady carrying it. And all of the sponsors. And the Metropolitan Police Escort.

What is dominating the Japanese movie box-office charts?

  1.  Dark Shadows
  2.  Thermae Romae
  3.  Sadako 3D
  4.  Space Brothers
  5.  Detective Conan: The Mystery of the Eleventh Striker

Tim Burton storms to the top of the charts of the charts as the newest entry at number one while familiar franchise entries make up the rest of the top ten. Thermae Romae is doing excellent business as it remains in the top three  for the fourth week in a row. Enough of that… what Japanese films get released today?

Girls for Keeps                                             Girls for Keeps Movie Poster

Japanese Title: ガールGaru

Release Date: 26th May 2012 (Japan)

Running Time: 124 mins.

Director: Yoshihiro Fukagawa

Writer: Hideo Okuda (Novel)  

Starring: Kumiko Aso, Karina, Yuka Itaya, Rei Dan, Rosa Kato, Michiko Kichise, Osamu Mukai, Yusuke Kamiji, Jun Kaname, Kento Hayashi, Eriko Hatsune, Mei Kurokawa, Kenichi Yajima

Based on the 2006 anthology novel Girl, the movie adapts a number of short stories that follow women in their romantic lives and so on. Obviously I’m not the target audience but I recognise a lot of the names involved: Kumiko Aso (Pulse), Yuka Itaya (Suvive Style 5+, Apartment 1303). Eriko Hatsune (Norwegian Wood, Spiral) head the list of beautiful ladies while the handsome men include Kento Hayashi (Arakawa Under the Bridge), Jun Kaname (Casshern), and Kenichi Yajia (Sonatine, Kamikaze Taxi).

 

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