Tonkatsu DJ Agetaro とんかつDJアゲ太郎 (2020) Director: Ken Ninomiya [New York Asian Film Festival 2021]

Tonkatsu DJ Agetaro   Tonkatsu DJ Age-Taro Film Poster

とんかつDJアゲ太郎 Tonkatsu DJ Age-Taro

Release Date: October 30th, 2020

Duration: 100 mins.

Director: Ken Ninomiya

Writer: Ken Ninomiya (Script), Iipyao, Yujiro Koyama (Original Manga)

Starring: Takumi Kitamura, Maika Yamamoto, Kentaro Ito, Yusuke Iseya, Brother Tom, Reiko Kataoka, Natsumi Ikema, Kou Maehara, Kodai Asaka,

Website IMDB

In Tonkatsu DJ Agetaro, Shibuya’s club land gets a sweet-hearted remix made via juggling an epicurean adventure in Japanese cuisine with musical antics. Its origins lie in a popular gag manga by Yujiro Koyama and Iipyao which originates from around 2014 with a TV animation released in 2016 but newbies need not worry as this fun family-friendly film is a standard-issue coming-of-age story that anyone can get into.

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Distance ディスタンス Dir: Hirokazu Kore-eda (2001)

Distance    Distance Film Poster

ディスタンス Disutansu

Release Date: May 26th, 2001

Duration: 132 mins.

Director: Hirokazu Kore-eda

Writer: Hirokazu Kore-eda (Script) 

Starring: Yui Natsukawa, Yusuke Iseya, Arata, Susumu Terajima, Tadanobu Asano, Ryo, Kenichi Endo, Kanji Tsuda,

IMDB

Hirokazu Kore-eda made Distance after he became interested in the disciples of Aum Shinrikyo, the group which committed the Tokyo subway sarin attack¹. He wanted to comment on how everyone in society could be responsible for it in some way. In so doing, he strikes at a universal fear surely felt by everyone which is that perhaps those who should be the closest to us are sometimes the ones furthest away.

This idea of distance is given to us through the story of a group of people who are ostensibly disconnected from each other but each has a deep personal connection to a terrorist incident described at the start of the film by a radio announcer.

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Inuyashiki いぬやしき Dir: Shinsuke Sato (2018)

Inuyashiki         Inuyashiki Film Poster

いぬやしき Inuyashiki

Running Time: 127 mins.

Release Date: April 20th, 2018

Director: Shinsuke Sato

Writer: Hiroshi Hashimoto (Screenplay), Hiroya Oku (Original Manga)

Starring: Noritake Kinashi, Takeru Satoh, Kanata Hongo, Fumi Nikaido, Yuki Saito, Yusuke Iseya, Mari Hamada, Ayaka Miyoshi, Nayuta Fukuzaki,

Website IMDB

Ever since his debut The Princess Blade (2001), director Shinsuke Sato has helmed action-packed films with a particular focus on live-action adaptations of manga. Titles in his filmography include Death Note: Light Up the New World, Library Wars, and I Am a Hero. He also sat in the directors chair for the two adaptations of Hiroya Oku’s manga Gantz which were released in the early 00s. Most are slick and solid and his style is improving all the time with Inuyashiki, which is based on another of Oku’s works, being his best yet. This is like a coherent, sanitised, high-budget take on Tetsuo The Iron Man.

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Dreams for Sale 夢売るふたり (2012) Dir: Miwa Nishikawa

Dreams for Sale                                  Dreams for Sale Movie Poster

夢売るふたり  Yume Uru Futari

Release Date: September 08th, 2012

Running Time: 137 mins.

Director: Miwa Nishikawa

Writer: Miwa Nishikawa (Screenplay/Original Novel)

Starring: Takako Matsu, Sadao Abe, Lena Tanaka, Sawa Suzuki, Tamae Ando, Yuka Ebara, Tsurube Shoufukutei, Tae Kimrua, Teruyuki Kagawa, Yusuke Iseya, Kanji Furutachi,

Website    IMDB

“Dreams for Sale” is the award-winning fourth feature film from Miwa Nishikawa and it was released in 2012 after having travelled around international film festivals such as the London Film Festival and the Toronto Film Festival. It follows on from her previous film by being a tale of a family riven by deceit and compromised morals but it is far darker than “Wild Berries” and “Dear Doctor”, this feels more akin to “Sway”, tougher.

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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.

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The Land of Hope 希望の国 (2012)

Genki The Land of Hope Review Banner

The Land of Hope                               The Land of Hope Movie Poster

Japanese: 希望 の 国

Romaji: Kibou no Kuni

Release Date: October 20th, 2012 (Japan)

UK Release Date: August 26th, 2013

UK Distributor: Third Window Films

Running Time: 133 mins.

Director: Sion Sono

Writer: Sion Sono

Starring: Isao Natsuyagi, Naoko Otani, Jun Murakami, Megumi Kagurazaka, Yutaka Shimizu, Hikari Kajiwara, Denden, Mariko Tsutsui, Yusuke Iseya, Mitsuru Fukikoshi,

When Sion Sono’s last film Himizu came to its stunning open ending it was clear that he was far from finished addressing the issues surrounding the Tōhoku Earthquake and Tusnami. The Land of Hope is the powerful and important follow-up which is epic in scale and drama. For daring to take on such a taboo subject in Japan, Sono had to go to foreign investors but what has resulted is a film that is a key way of seeing the effects of a disaster. At two hours it captures all sorts of aspects about the disaster but remains incredibly humane as it centres on the travails of two families.

An old couple named Yasuhiko and Chieko Ono (Natsuyagi and Otani) live on a farm with their son Yoichi (Murakami) and his wife Izumi (Kagurazaka) near Ohara town in Nagashima prefecture.

 The Land of Hope Ono and Suzuki Families

It is a peaceful place whose only claim to fame is the nearby Nagashima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Yasuhiko’s days are spent farming land owned by his family for generations, taking care of Chieko who suffers dementia and talking with the neighbouring Suzuki family made up of father Ken (Denden), mother Meiko (Tsutsui), son Mitsuru (Shimizu) and his girlfriend Yoko (Kajiwara). 

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Fish on Land, Ouran High School Host Club – Friday Break, Afro Tanaka Trailers

No change at the top of the Japanese box-office apart from number three which is Moneyball instead of The Three Musketeers. Japan adores baseball so I guess it’s no surprise. Better news has emerged with the return of Indiemoviesonline. The site went down earlier this year because of disagreements with sponsors but it is back and has a nice selection of Japanese films… I already own half on DVD but that’s okay. Back to the trailers!

A poor selection of trailers this week with only A Fish on Land impressing. Fortunately I have just discovered the One Piece story-arc Ghost Island Thriller Bark and it is cracking me up. I have also started watching a couple of new anime which I’ll inevitably write about and bore people to death with – I’ll try and keep it short. Good Lord… I’ve been struck down with a bout of ennui. I need more One Piece to cheer me up

Ouran High School Host Club – Friday Break

Release date:  17th of March, 2012

Running time: N/A

Director:

Starring: Haruna Kawaguchi, Mariko Shinoda, Nichkun, Yusuke Yamamoyo, Shunsuke Daito

Ouran High School Host Club – Friday Break, is a live-action adaptation of TBS’s television series which is an adaptation of Bisco Hatori’s romantic comedy manga Ouran High School Host Club which I have never read the manga or watched the anime but understand that it is quite popular. Very, very popular. The trailer looks underwhelming.

Ouran High School Host Club follows a girl named Haruhi Fujioka who attends a wealthy school. One day she damages a vase and so disguises herself as a boy to join the host club and pay off the damage.

The film stars Haruna Kawaguchi who, in her feature film debut, reprises her role as Haruhi Fujioka, Mariko Shinoda of J-pop super-group AKB48.

  Continue reading “Fish on Land, Ouran High School Host Club – Friday Break, Afro Tanaka Trailers”