Cinema of Japan

Itsu no ma ni ka, koko ni iru Documentary of Nogizaka 46, Gekijouban Free! Road to the World Yume, Despair of the Monster, GOZEN junren no ken, Saitan kyori wa mawarikudokute, Fukansho ni natte iku korekara no bokura ni tsuite, Mongol800 Message, Diner, Strawberry Song, Amber Light, Me Singing, Me Fall in Love, Entoko no uta netakiri kajin endou shigeru, Overtime Kawasaki Brave Thunders 2018-19 Season Official Documentary Film, Brave Boxer Hikari Kankei, Hentai Metamorphose Woman Woman Woman Japanese Film Trailers

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Happy weekend, everyone.

I hope you are all well.

I am writing that at 2:20 on Saturday morning because I have woken up super-early. I think it was drinking at a friend’s leaving party. I have chocolate, a slight headache and writing to keep me company in the dark.

Three out of four of my reviews for the New York Asian Film Festival have gone live over at VCinema – Samurai Marathon, Mr. Long, The Fable – and there’s one more to go. I’ll be reviewing more from the fest over the next couple of months on this blog. I’ll also be reviewing titles from Japan Cuts so please stay tuned for that. For this blog I posted about the Dreaming Korea Animation Festival and the Japan Foundation UK’s screenings of live-action films at the British Museum and the Japanese films at the Fantasia International Film Festival.

What is released this weekend? Lots. The best-looking titles for me are Fukansho ni natte iku korekara no bokura ni tsuite, Me Singing, Me Fall in Love because I like indie films and they look the most interesting. How about you?

Itsu no ma ni ka, koko ni iru Documentary of Nogizaka 46 Itsu no manika koko ni iru Documentary of Nogizaka 46 Film Poster

いつのまにか、ここにいる Documentary of 乃木坂46  Itsu no manika, koko ni iru Documentary of Nogizaka 46

Release Date: July 05th, 2019

Duration: 120 mins.

Director: Tsutomo Iwashita

Writer: N/A

Starring: Manatsu Akimoto, Erika Ikuta, Karin Ito, Junna Ito, Riria Ito, Sayuri Inoue,

Website

Synopsis: This is the second documentary movie dedicated to idol group Nogizaka 46 and in the time since the first film, the group has sold millions of records and held two concerts, one at Meiji Jingu Stadium and the other at Chichibunomiya Rugby Stadium. Between that and graduations of members, there’s a lot to look over for fans.

Gekijouban Free! Road to the World Yume Gekijouban Free! Road to the World Yume Film Poster

劇場版 Free! Road to the World 夢  Gekijouban Free! Road to the World Yume

Release Date: July 05th, 2019

Duration: 99 mins.

Director: Eisaku Kawanami

Writer: Masahiro Yokotani (Composition), Koji Oji (Original Creator),

Starring: Daisuke Hirakawa (Rei Ryugazaki), Mamoru Miyano (Rin Matsuoka), Nobunaga Shimazaki (Haruka Nanase), Tatsuhisa Suzuki (Makoto Tachibana), Tsubasa Yonaga (Nagisa Hazuki),

Animation Production: Kyoto Animation, Animation DO

Website ANN MAL

Synopsis: A “reconstruction” of the Free! Dive to the Future television anime series with extra footage animated. The story follows the swimmers Haruka and Asahi who are in Tokyo together. Following this meeting, Haruka thinks about his middle school years with the others on their team who are each trying to fulfil their own dreams in Tokyo and even Sydney, Australia.

Despair of the Monster Despair of the Monster Film Poster

絶望の怪物  Zetsubo no kaibutsu

Release Date: July 06th, 2019

Duration: 30 mins.

Director: Junya Kotani

Writer: Junya Kotani (Screenplay/Original Creator),

Starring: Makoto (Aoi Hoshino), Risa Kagawa (Keigo Oomiya), Shun Ogawa (Toshio Hoshino), Kaoru Kawasaki (Kanae Hoshino/Mao Fujita), Tomomi Kadokura (Yuuta Hoshino/Noriko Shimamura),

Animation Production: Studio WUU

Website

Synopsis: Fourteen-year-old Aoi Hoshino and her brother find out that she and her family are alien monsters. Their parents had hid it from them by making them take a medicine that allows them to assume a human form. However, the medicine begins to lose its effects on Aoi…

GOZEN junren no ken GOZEN junren no ken Film Poster

GOZEN 純恋の剣  GOZEN junren no ken

Release Date: July 05th, 2019

Duration: 91 mins.

Director: Hidenori Ishida

Writer: Keiko Tani (Screenplay), Nobuhiro Mori (Original Stageplay)

Starring: Atsuhiro Inukai, Mio Yuuki, Kouhei Takeda, Hayato Anozuka, Shoma Machii,

Website

Synopsis: The sengoku period may be over but the Shogun, Tokugawa Hidetada, is trying to keep everyone in check and so he sends agents across the land. Shinosuke Aoyama is a samurai and a spy looking into rumours of a rebellion but finds himself drawn to a woman named Yae Kamiya, daughter of the man possibly plotting to overthrow the Shogun, and this happens as his cover gets blown and he has to face off with another samurai also in love with the woman.

Saitan kyori wa mawarikudokute Saitan kyori wa mawarikudokute Film Poster

最短距離は回りくどくて、  Saitan kyori wa mawarikudokute

Release Date: July 05th, 2019

Duration: 70 mins.

Director: Daisuke Yamauchi,

Writer: Daisuke Yamauchi (Screenplay),

Starring: Riku Mukai, Ryohei Shoguchi, Takeo Hattori, Hiroto Hasegawa, Jinya Omino,

Pink film company OP Pictures made a lot of films for a festival last year and they are back with a boy’s love tale.

Synopsis: Yuto is a lonely high school student who attracts the attention and feelings of Aoyama, a new teacher. The two start an exchange diary, and Yuto opens up his mind little by little to Aoyama but, one day, when Yuto is sick, Aoyama tries to steal a kiss which upsets the boy who violently rejects his teacher. Three years later, Yuto comes back into contact with Aoyama but since graduating from high school he has become a host and is in desperate circumstances so he sells his body…

Fukansho ni natte iku korekara no bokura ni tsuite Fukansho ni natte iku korekara no bokura ni tsuite Film Poster

不感症になっていくこれからの僕らについて  Fukansho ni natte iku korekara no bokura ni tsuite

Release Date: July 05th, 2019

Duration: 30 mins.

Director: Makoto Shimada

Writer: Makoto Shimada (Screenplay), Nobuhiro Mori (Original Stageplay)

Starring: Dai Ikeda, Satsuki, Marika Fukunaga, Gaku Hosokawa,

Makoto Shinada

Synopsis: The story follows a guy named Ken who is struggling with his dream of being a musician in Tokyo. He has lost all songwriting inspiration. He returns to his hometown where he meets his childhood friends Haruka and Taro…

Mongol800 Message Mongol800 Message

Release Date: July 05th, 2019

Duration: 83 mins.

Director: Takeshi Yamashiro

Writer: N/A

Starring: Kiyosaku Uezu, Takashi Gima, Satoshi Takazato,

Website

Synopsis: Mongol800 is a Japanese three-piece punk rock band formed by Kiyosaku Uezu, Takashi Gima and Satoshi Takazato, in Urasoe, Okinawa, Japan in 1998. When they were aged 19, they released their first album. In 2001, their second album, “MESSAGE” sold over two million copies despite the guys being on an indie label and since then they have toured Japan, heading to remote islands and big festivals while working on a number of collaborations with artists across generations and genres all while remaining independent from big media demands. The director, who went to the same school as the band and directs their music videos, has brought a film about their 20-year career to the big screen.

Diner Diner Film Poster

ダイナー  Daina-

Release Date: July 05th, 2019

Duration: 114 mins.

Director: Mika Ninagawa

Writer: Hirohito Goto, Yoshikazu Sugiyama, Mika Ninagawa (Screenplay), Yumeaki Hirayama (Novel)

Starring: Tatsuya Fujiwara, Tina Tamashiro, Masataka Kubota, Kanata Hongo, Shinji Takeda, Takumi Saito, Erika Sato, Shun Oguri, Anna Tsuchiya, Miki Maya, Eiji Okuda,

Website IMDB

Director/fashion photographer Mika Ninagawa makes her return to the screen following Helter Skelter and Sakuran with this film with a cast list rich with stars and it looks super camp and full of a variety of over-saturated colours based on the post alone.

Synopsis: Kanako Oba (Tina Tamashiro) was looking for a decent paying job but didn’t use the usual channel of Hello Work so she ends up being sold to the owner of a diner called Diner. This fancy place with an anonymous name is has a clientele consisting of colourful contract killers and Kanako has no choice to provide good service or she will be killed. The place is run by the rather flamboyant Bombero (Tatsuya Fujiwara). Impeccable manners are demanded from all, especially Kanako who has to serve the sometimes extreme needs of the customers…

Strawberry Song Strawberry Song Film Poster

いちごの唄  Ichigo no Uta

Release Date: July 05th, 2019

Duration: 114 mins.

Director: Shintaro Sugawara

Writer: Yoshikazu Okada (Screenplay/Novel), Kazunobu Mineta (Novel)

Starring: Yutaro Furutachi, Shizuka Ishibashi, Emi Wakui, Ken Mitsuishi, Kaya Kiyohara, Aju Makita,

Website IMDB

This is based on novel “Ichigo no Uta” by Yoshikazu Okada and the musician/actor Kazunobu Mineta and the story is based on seven songs by Mineta’s band Ging Nang Boyz.

Synopsis: When Kota Sasazawa (Yutaro Furutachi) was younger, he and his friend Shinji loved a girl named Sennichi Amano (Shizuka Ishibashi). Shinji died saving Sennichi from a fatal car accident. Kota cannot forget this and his memories are stirred up again when he meets Sennichi for the first time in ten years…

Amber Light Kohaku Film Poster

こはく  Kohaku

Release Date: July 06th, 2019

Duration: 104 mins.

Director: Hatsuki Yokoo

Writer: Yusuke Moriguchi (Screenplay),

Starring: Arata Iura, Akira Ohashi, Kumiko Endo, Kyusaku Shimada, Miu Shiota, Mayu Tsuruta,

Website IMDB

Synopsis: Ryota Hironaga (Arata Iura) and Shoichi Hironaga (Akira Ohashi) are brothers whose parents divorced when they were children. They were raised by their mother in Nagasaki and Ryota has now inherited the glasswork factory his father used to work at. They have lost contact with their father and Ryota feels like he is falling down a similar path as the old man as he has just been divorced. When Shoichi sees their father in town, they try to track down the old man.

Me Singing, Me Fall in Love Me Singing Me Fall in Love Film Poster

歌ってみた 恋してみた  Utatte mita Koishite mita

Release Date: July 05th, 2019

Duration: 108 mins.

Director: Minami Nishiogi

Writer: Minami Nishiogi (Screenplay), Nobuhiro Mori (Original Stageplay)

Starring: Sumire Ueno, Kaoru Oshima, Souhei Motomura, Azusa Kobayashi, Shijimi, Mikoto,

Website IMDB

Synopsis: A female NEET named Yuko (Sumire Ueno, an idol from Nomakes), heads to Koenji in Tokyo at the invitation of a friend over the internet named Hikaru. The two are fans of a singer named Takuro and his band and plan to meet their idol but their wild imagination and the reality of the man create a conflict for the young lady.

Entoko no uta netakiri kajin endou shigeru En to kono uta netakiri kajin endou shigeru Film Poster

えんとこの歌 寝たきり歌人・遠藤滋  Entoko no uta netakiri kajin endou shigeru

Release Date: July 06th, 2019

Duration: 96 mins.

Director: Shinichi Ise

Writer: N/A

Starring: Shigeru Endo

Website

Synopsis: Shigeru Endo is a tanka poet who has been forced to live in bed for the last 35 years due to his cerebral palsy, but has still been able to make poetry thanks to assistants. The documentary, made by a long-standing friend who has made another one about Endo, captures how the poet and his assistants make the best use of his life and his poetry despite his situation. “Entoko” (meaning “where there is an end, where there is a relationship”).

Overtime Kawasaki Brave Thunders 2018-19 Season Official Documentary Film Ōvertime Kawasaki Brave Thunders 2018-19 Season Official Documentary Film Film Poster

OVER TIME 新生・川崎ブレイブサンダース、知られざる物語  Ōbātaimu Shinsei Kawasaki bureibusandāsu, shira rezaru monogatari

Release Date: July 06th, 2019

Duration: 89 mins.

Director: Shinichi Ise

Writer: N/A

Starring: N/A

Website

Synopsis: The official documentary of Kawasaki Brave Thunders, a professional basketball team belonging to B.LEAGUE. The operating company was handed over to the DeNA business group in the 2018-19 season and they were branded as the “New Kawasaki Brave Sanders”. They made a good start with two consecutive wins in the opening round, but struggled afterwards. The documentary shows what was going on with the club and team at the time with moments at practice sessions, locker rooms, lodgings, and team meetings.

Brave Boxer Brave Boxer Film Poster

破天荒ボクサー  Hatenkō bokusā

Release Date: July 06th, 2019

Duration: 115 mins.

Director: Michikazu Takeda

Writer: N/A

Starring: Kenichi Yamaguchi, Katsunari Takayama,

Website

Synopsis: A documentary that follows the travails of a boxer named Kenichi Yamaguchi, who had been a member of the Osaka Teijin Gym and fought 11 consecutive matches, each a win, since his debut, but had his hopes for a challenge to a Japanese title match dashed because the Japan Boxing Commission failed to set him up with a title match so he quit the group. He moved overseas to fight but was lured back to Japan by an offer of a title match from the Toyo Pacific Boxing Federation, however, Yamaguchi’s return to Japan Boxing Commission was presented as the condition…

The next two short films will be screened at Cinema Rosa in Ikebukuro

Hikari Kankei

光関係  Hikari Kankei

Release Date: July 06th, 2019

Duration: 26 mins.

Director: Akira Kawachi

Writer: N/A

Starring: Karen Kuno, Keisuke Machida,

This won the Grand Prix at the 2017 Chofu Short Film Competition.

Synopsis: Kimura, a young woman who failed to commit suicide, is using her phone and board. A young man who is unpopular with women takes matters into his own hands in the restroom of a train station. Their two lives meet via their phones.

Hentai Metamorphose

変態 metamorphose  Hentai Metamorphose

Release Date: July 06th, 2019

Duration: 26 mins.

Director: Tsuyoshi Matsumoto

Writer: Tsuyoshi Matsumoto (Screenplay),

Starring: Aina Tanaka, Mika Hattori, Tomoya Ihara,

Synopsis: Two girls, Akane and Haruka, go to different schools in a small country town. Haruka is in love with Akane but also has a sense of superiority over her. Over the course of a day in early summer, adolescent girls transform into adults.

Woman Woman Woman Woman Woman Woman Film Poster

ウーマンウーマンウーマン  Uman Uman Uman

Release Date: July 09th, 2019

Duration: 68 mins.

Director: Keisuke Kondo

Writer: Keisuke Kondo (Screenplay),

Starring: Nori Sato, Nene Ito, Titi Hasegawa, Shiotomo Mizui, Shun Yamamoto, Yuugo Migawa,

Synopsis: An adventurous woman who travels the world while pulling a cart meets a female college student who believes in all things cute and fighting for justice. Meanwhile, four men in a baseball club go on a hot spring trip…

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