SciFi Japan

    Shochiku 2009 Film and Anime Lineup

    New Titles to Premiere at European Film Market in Berlin Source: Shochiku Co., Ltd. Special Thanks to Junko Kawaguchi

    The Japanese studio Shochiku Co., Ltd. has announced their key movie and anime titles for 2009. The fantasy film KAMOGAWA HORUMO ? BATTLE LEAGUE IN KYOTO and the animated feature MAI MAI MIRACLE were both recently completed and will premiere with screenings at the European Film Market in Berlin. The 2009 EFM runs from February 4-15. The studio`s summer and holiday schedule will include the big budget ninja movie KAMUI and OTOUTO, the latest film from director Yoji Yamada. This spring will see the animated TV series SENGOKU BASARA?SAMURAI KINGS, based on the Capcom video game. Shochiku will also screen their acclaimed 2008 drama DEPARTURES (Okuribito) at the European Film Market. The emotionally moving tale about a failed cellist who becomes an "Encoffineer" (a person who handles the ceremonial preparation for placing the deceased into the coffin and sending them off to the next life) has been nominated in 13 categories including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor for the Japanese Academy Awards. It also played to overflow crowds and won the Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature at the 2009 Palm Springs Film Festival, and is now the Japanese contender for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. The EFM screenings of DEPARTURES will take place Feb 6 (Fri) 16.00 @ CineStar 4 and Feb 9 (Mon) 17.00 @ CineStar 4.

    Shochiku is also promoting 2008 releases such as MONSTER X STRIKES BACK. Photo courtesy of Shochiku. © 2008 Guilala Production Committee

    Also being promoted at EFM are several 2008 Shochiku releases, including the spy comedy MR. TADANO’S SECRET MISSION ? FROM JAPAN WITH LOVE (Tokumei Kakaricho Tadano Hitoshi Saigono Gekijo Ban), the Zatoichi update ICHI, the coming of age manga adaptation THE CHERRY ORCHARD - BLOSSOMING (Sakura no Sono), CHEER CHEER CHEER! (Fure Fure Shojo)— the Japanese BRING IT ON—, the documentary PANDA DIARY (Pandaful Life), the action fantasy KITARO AND THE MILLENNIUM CURSE (Gegege no Kitaro Sennen Noroi Uta), the monster comedy MONSTER X STRIKES BACK / ATTACK THE G8 SUMMIT! (Girara no Gyakushu Samitto Kiki Ippatsu), the shocking tale of child prostitution CHILDREN OF THE DARK (Yami no Kodomo-tachi), the action comedy KUNG FU KID (Kung Fu Kun), the WWII drama KABEI ? OUR MOTHER (Kabei), the new horror film franchise SHRILL CRIES OF SUMMER (Higurashi no Naku Koro ni), the fish market story THE TASTE OF FISH (Tsukiji Uogashi Sandaime), and the erotic anime series MASTER OF MARTIAL HEARTS (Zettai Shogeki Platonic Heart). Shochiku`s European Film Market booth will be located at Martin-Gropius-Bau Stand #127. KAMOGAWA HORUMO ? BATTLE LEAGUE IN KYOTO(Kamogawa Horumo) Fantasy / Action / Game / 113min Release Date: April 18, 2009 Official Movie Site: horumo.jp/

    Director: Katsuhide Motoki (KITARO, KITARO AND THE MILLENNIUM CURSE, 10 PROMISES TO MY DOG) Original Story: Manabu Makime Starring: Takayuki Yamada (CROWS ZERO, TRAIN MAN: DENSHA OTOKO) Chiaki Kuriyama (THE SKY CRAWLERS- voice, BATTLE ROYALE, KILL BILL VOL.1) Sei Ashina (SILK) A big hit fantasy novel by Manabu Makime has finally been adapted into a combat action comedy film with VFX and animation by GONZO, the creators of AFRO SAMURAI and BRAVE STORY. The story is about a group of university students who inevitably gets involved in playing a game of "Horumo" - a combat match where each person manipulates 100 spirits (referred to as "oni") to fight their opponent. An exciting combination of live action and animation, the mysterious combat battle makes this film great entertainment for all audiences. Akira Abe, a freshman at Kyoto University student falls for his classmate Kyoko, and soon ends up at a mysterious club called “Kyoto University Azure Dragon” which turns out to be one of the Horumo teams, playing the mysterious (and somewhat absurd) game which started over 1,000 years ago in the Heian period. The heat rises as you see the 2,000 CGI created spirits wage fierce battles against the backdrop of the breathtakingly beautiful city of Kyoto. Let the battle begin! EUROPEAN FILM MARKET PREMIERE: Feb 6 (Fri) 20:45 @ CineStar2, Feb 8 (Sun) 12:30 @ CinemaxX4

    MAI MAI MIRACLE (Mai Mai Shinko to Sennen no Maho) Animation / Fantasy Release Date: 2009 Official Movie Site: mai-mai.jp/ Director: Sunao Katabuchi (BLACK LAGOON, PRINCESS ARETE, Assistant Director for KIKI`S DELIVERY SERVICE) Original Story: Nobuko Takagi (Mai Mai Shinko published by Magazine House) Production by Madhouse Ltd. (THE PERFECT WORLD OF KAI, PAPRIKA, THE GIRL WHO LEAPT THROUGH TIME) From the assistant director for Hayao Miyazaki`s KIKI`S DELIVERY SERVICE and the animation studio of BLACK LAGOON and THE GIRL WHO LEAPT THROUGH TIME (Madhouse Ltd.) comes a new heartwarming fantasy. Shinko, a third grade elementary school student, loves to imagine and daydream about the ancient world. Her fantasies travel far into the days of the Heian Period (year 794-1185). One day a girl called Kiiko transfers from Tokyo and joins Shinko`s class where they become good friends. Before long, the two of them become engulfed in a strange incident from one thousand years ago... A beautiful animation feature of a girl who loves imagining things. Through her eyes, we enjoy the happiness of friendships, the beauty of nature, and also the pain of growing up. EUROPEAN FILM MARKET PREMIERE: Feb 6 (Fri) 15:30 @ CineStar5, Feb 7 (Sat) 13:15 @ CineStar5

    SENGOKU BASARA?SAMURAI KINGS (Sengoku Basara) Animation TV Series / Samurai Action Episodes: 22 min x 13 episodes Release Date: April, 2009 Official Site: sengokubasara.tv Director: Itsuro Kawasaki (TSUBASA CHRONICLE: THE PRINCESS OF THE BIRDCAGE KINGDOM) Animation Production: Production I.G (THE SKY CRAWLERS, GHOST IN THE SHELL) Series Composition: Yasuyuki Muto (BASILISK, LE CHEVALIER D`EON) Based on the video game series produced by: Capcom (RESIDENT EVIL, DEVIL MAY CRY) The million-seller Samurai Action Video Game Series now becomes an exciting animation series by Production I.G. Set on the stage of Sengoku/Warring States Period (around 1467-1573) where great military commanders all have one goal of conquering Japan and stand as the head of the united kingdom. A young one-eyed military commander from the north named Date Masamune joins the legendary battle of "Kawanaka-jima" where two powerful lords, Takeda Shingen and Uesugi Kenshin, were preparing for their battle. Date`s goal was to kill both leaders and conquer both territories. KAMUI (Kamui Gaiden) Action/Ninja Release Date: September 19, 2009 Official Movie Site: http://www.kamuigaiden.jp/

    Based on the story by: Sampei Shirato (Sasuke) Director: Yoichi Sai (BLOOD AND BONES, QUILL) Screenplay: Kankuro Kudo (PING PONG, ZEBRAMAN, GO) Starring: Kenichi Matsuyama (DEATH NOTE series, DETROIT METAL CITY) Koyuki (THE LAST SAMURAI, ALWAYS- SUNSET ON THIRD STREET) Suzuka Ohgo (MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA) Hideaki Ito (SUKIYAKI WESTERN DJANGO) Anna Tsuchiya (SAKURAN, KAMIKAZE GIRLS) A high concept $18 million US budget Ninja action film, like you have never experienced. KAMUI is a Ninja on the run and in search for true freedom. However, he is burdened with the fate where it is forbidden to take Ninja secret outside of the tribe -- if you are born as Ninja, you must die as Ninja. This brings him to constantly fight for his life against other Ninjas who tries to kill him and keep their secrets hidden from the outside world. He does not trust, and he does not love. Showing weakness leads to immediate death. An incident brings him to an old fisherman`s village, where he finally starts to open up to other people. However, his pursuers were just minutes away from setting up a huge trap on Kamui... LOVE LETTERS IN THE DRAWER (Hikidashino nakano Love Letter) Romance/ Drama Release Date: 2009 Director: Shinichi Mishiro (notable TV director) Starring: Takako Tokiwa (20th CENTURY BOYS) Kento Hayashi (THE BATTERY, LOVE FIGHT) Tomoko Nakajima (THE TASTE OF TEA) Some feelings that you want to express, remain unexpressed...“I love you...” “Thank you...”, giving another chance to say these words to the one you care for. Everyone has a drawer in their heart that holds precious thoughts that they want to express, but cannot. This film will give you a chance to take a breath and then push you forward to “express your thoughts.” E-mails, Blackberry, Facebook… at a time that is said to have diminished direct and verbal communication, this movie will present to you to the utmost degree the importance and warmth that words possess. OTOUTO Drama Release Date: Winter 2009 Director: Yoji Yamada Screenplay: Yoji Yamada, Emiko Hiramatsu (LOVE AND HONOR, KABEI - OUR MOTHER) Starring: Sayuri Yoshinaga (KABEI ? OUR MOTHER) Tsurube Shofukutei (KABEI ? OUR MOTHER) Yu Aoi (HULA GIRLS, TOKYO!) Ryo Kase (LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA, TOKYO!) The new film from Yoji Yamada will bring the unreasonable, yet loving, and sometimes sad relationship of family and siblings, depicted through heartfelt laughter and tears. Following the enormous success of the samurai trilogy that includes the 2004 Academy Award nominated film THE TWILIGHT SAMURAI as well as the highly acclaimed KABEI - OUR MOTHER which premiered at the 2008 Berlin Film Festival in competition, Yoji Yamada now returns to modern drama for the first time in 10 years. The film focuses on one foolish brother and his warm and caring older sister. Though it seems that the brother is only a nuisance to the family, the sister takes in the brother’s ridiculousness and keeps her love and care for him. However, an incident brings the sister to break off their relationship, and the brother is left to stand alone in devastation. When they finally reunite, they find that the brother is fighting a fatal disease.

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