SciFi Japan
    Manga Adaptation Opens in Japan on September 1st Source: Shochiku Co., Ltd., NTV (Nippon Television Network) Official Movie Site: (Japan) SPOILER WARNING: This article contains plot details and images from an upcoming Japanese movie. The compact can transform you into "anything you want to be". Just say the secret magic words... Akko-chan (??????????, Himitsu no Akko-chan) is a manga by Fujio Akatsuka that created a great sensation in Japan. Originally serialized in Sueisha`s Ribon magazine from 1962-1965, Akko-chan was adapted by Toei as three THE SECRET OF AKKOCHAN anime television series and two animated feature films between 1969 and 1999. On September 1st, it will appear on the silver screen as a brand-new original story, AKKO-CHAN: THE MOVIE (?? ??????????, Eiga Himitsu no Akko-chan). Haruka Ayase (CYBORG SHE, ICHI) stars as Akko in this first live-action adaptation of the comic.

    Everyone is Caught Up in the Turmoil of the Kirishima Thing... Source: Showgate, NTV (Nippon Television Network) Official Movie Site: (Japan) SPOILER WARNING: This article contains plot details and images from a new Japanese movie. Directed by Daihachi Yoshida, whose FUNUKE: SHOW SOME LOVE, YOU LOSERS! (??????????????? Funuke Domo, Kanashimi no Ai wo Misero, 2007) was officially selected for the Critics` Week at the 60th Cannes Film Festival, THE KIRISHIMA THING (???????????, Kirishima, Bukatsu Yamerutteyo) is the perfect showcase of his unique portrayal of the dark side of people who end up being sympathetic. In this, his first time to work in the teenage milieu, he explores the human geography of a high school as it descends into turmoil caused by the unseen character of Kirishima. What results is a fascinating blend of character study, unforeseen twists and very real emotion

    VOD and Limited Theatrical Run in 3D Source: Shochiku Co., Ltd., Tribeca Film Official Site: (Japan), tribecafilm/hara-kiri-death-of-a-samurai (US) HARA-KIRI: DEATH OF A SAMURAI (??, Ichimei, 2011), director Takashi Miike`s (AUDITION, 13 ASSASSINS) remake of Masaki Kobayashi’s cult classic HARAKIRI (??, Seppuku, 1962), is now available in the United States from distributor Tribeca Film. The film was released nationwide on VOD July 18th and begins a limited theatrical run on July 20th. In HARA-KIRI: DEATH OF A SAMURAI, a mysterious samurai arrives at the doorstep of his feudal lord, requesting an honorable death by ritual suicide in his courtyard. The lord threatens him with the brutal tale of Motome, a desperate young ronin who made a similar request with ulterior motives, only to meet a grisly end. Undaunted, the samurai begins to tell a story of his own, with an ending no one

    Violent Manga Adaptation Opens September 8th Source: Toei Co., Ltd. Official Site: (Japan) SPOILER WARNING: This article contains plot details and images from an upcoming movie. On September 8th, the action film BLAZING FAMIGLIA (????, Bakugyaku Kazoku) will open in theaters across Japan. Based on the 1994-2004 manga series of the same name by Hiroshi Tanaka (originally serialized in Kodansha`s Weekly Young Magazine), the film was produced and distributed by Toei Co. BLAZING FAMIGLIA was directed by Kazuyoshi Kumakiri (KICHIKU, SKETCHES OF KAITAN CITY) and stars Yoshimi Tokui of the comedy group Chutorial. Additional cast members include Sadao Abe (THE GREAT YOKAI WAR, MAKO HAAAAN!!!!), Tetsuji Tamayama (CASSHERN, GOEMON), Hirofumi Arai (HARA-KIRI: DEATH OF A SAMURAI), Arata Iura (20TH CENTURY BOYS), Kazuki Kitamura (GODZILLA: FINAL WARS, KAIBUTSU-KUN: THE MOVIE), Nao Omori (ALWAYS -SUNSET ON THIRD STREET- 3, HELTER SKELTER), Jun Murakami

    "Desire is the Only Truth!" in Live Action Adaptation of the Award-Winning Manga Source: Asmik Ace Entertainment, Inc. Official Site: (Japan) Translations: Elliot Gay SPOILER WARNING: This article contains plot details and images from an upcoming Japanese movie. Actress Erika Sawajiri (ASHURA, SHINOBI) makes her return to the big screen after a 5 year hiatus with HELTER SKELTER (?????????, Heruta Sukeruta), opening in Japan on July 14, 2012. The movie is based on Kyoko Okazaki`s manga of the same -- first published by Shodensha in 2003 -- which took top honors from the 2004 Osamu Tezuka Cultural Prize. Sawajiri plays Ririko, an icon who is the top star in the acting world. Her fame is so great it’s hard to look anywhere without seeing Ririko`s image plastered all over magazines, on television or in film. But Ririko has a secret that

    Takashi Miike Remakes Cult Classic in 3D Source: Shochiku Co., Ltd., FilmPressPlus Official Site: (Japan) Special Thanks to Richard Lormand SPOILER WARNING: This article contains plot details and images from a Japanese movie not yet released in the United States. HARA-KIRI: DEATH OF A SAMURAI (??, Ichimei, 2011) is director Takashi Miike`s (AUDITION, 13 ASSASSINS) remake of Masaki Kobayashi’s cult classic HARAKIRI (??, Seppuku, 1962). It was the first 3D movie to compete for the Palme d`Or at the Cannes Film Festival. Released in Japan in late 2011, the film received a limited theatrical run in the UK this past May from Revolver Entertainment and will open in Australia on August 23rd from Icon Films. Plans for distribution in North American have not yet been announced. SciFi Japan presents a look at HARA-KIRI: DEATH OF A SAMURAI with press notes and

    Well Go USA Teams with Variance to Release What is Clearly the Most Awesome Film Ever Made Source: Well Go USA, MPRM Communications press release Special Thanks to Leif Helland Everyone knows Well Go USA Entertainment, who brought you such kung-fu badassery as IP MAN, IP MAN 2, LEGEND OF THE FIST and SHAOLIN is the best home entertainment company ever. It is also clear that Variance Films, whose corporate motto is “we are not afraid of you and we will beat your ass,” is probably the best theatrical distributor of all time. In their exhaustive travels, Well Go USA discovered a film called TAI CHI 0 (??????), which may be the most awesome film ever made. For proof: ? It is a steampunk martial arts film. ? It’s from the creators of SHAOLIN SOCCER and DETECTIVE DEE. ? It features choreography by

    Taiwan’s Foreign Language Oscar Entry to Open in Major Markets Source: Well Go USA, MPRM Communications Official Movie Site: Special Thanks to Leif Helland Well Go USA Entertainment has set April 27, 2012 for the theatrical release of WARRIORS OF THE RAINBOW: SEEDIQ BALE (???·??, 2011), Taiwan’s official entry for the Academy Awards foreign language category. The film will open in key markets including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Washington, D.C., Toronto, Vancouver, Austin, and Honolulu. Produced by John Woo, the epic WARRIORS OF THE RAINBOW: SEEDIQ BALE was directed by Wei Te-Sheng (CAPE NO. 7) and tells the true story of Taiwan’s aboriginal people who were almost wiped out by Japanese colonizers in the 1930s. The film stars Lin Ching-Tai, Umin Boya, Ando Masanobu, Kawahara Sabu, Vivian Hsu, Lo Mei-Ling, Landy Wen, Da Ching, Pawan Nawi, Yakau Kuhon, Lee Shih-Chia

    Source: IFC Center Special Thanks to Subway Cinema Today, the cult classic BATTLE ROYALE (?????????, Batoru Rowaiaru, 2000) begins its New York City theatrical premiere engagement with a week-long run at the IFC Center. A long-unavailable underground hit, veteran director Fukasaku’s epically violent, still-shocking and deeply influential genre masterpiece takes place in a dystopic alternate universe. To combat social unrest and economic catastrophe, the government has taken radical steps: every year, a randomly-selected ninth-grade class is sent to a deserted island and forced to battle to the death until only one survivor is left. Chiaki Kuriyama (KILL BILL), Tatsuya Fujiwara (DEATH NOTE), Aki Maeda (GAMERA 3: REVENGE OF IRIS), Kou Shibasaki (DORORO), Masanobu Ando (SUKIYAKI WESTERN DJANGO) and screen legend Takeshi Kitano (BOILING POINT, BROTHER) star in the movie that has been argued, acclaimed and banned around the world. More than a decade later, it remains

    Source: Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation press release Official Site: Special Thanks to Jim Yeager and Roberta Silverman Anime Expo (AX), North America`s largest anime, manga and Japanese pop culture celebration, will feature a live concert by acclaimed composer and producer Yuki Kajiura when it returns to the Los Angeles Convention Center from June 29 – July 2, 2012. Kajiura brings her unique fusion of Japanese and European styles to AX in “FictionJunction,” her music project featuring the composer on keyboards and a special vocalist. The multi-talented Yuki Kajiura began her music career performing in the female trio See-Saw. She has gone on to establish herself as a solo musician, composing music for other artists as well as producing for TV, commercials, films, anime and games. In 2002 she had a major hit with “Annaniisshodattanoni,” the ending theme song of TV anime MOBILE

    July 12 – 15, 2012 in Toronto Source: Shinsedai Cinema Festival, Ciarlo Communications press releases Official Site: Special thanks to Vince J. Ciarlo Shinsedai Cinema Festival July 12 – 15, 2012 Revue Cinema Tickets on Sale June 21, 2012 Chris Magee, Co-director and Co-programmer of the Shinsedai Cinema Festival has announced that Japanese director Yu Irie’s film RINGING IN THEIR EARS (??? ????????? ???????????????, Gekijouban Shinsei Kamattechan Rokkun Roru wa Nariyamanai, 2011 ) will have its Canadian premiere as the opening night film of the fourth annual festival on Thursday, July 12, 2012 at 7:00 p.m., at the festival’s new home, The Revue Cinema in Roncesvalles Village. This film kicks off four days of Japan’s best new filmmaking talent for a new generation. New this year, the festival presents "Battle Girls & Bondage", Toronto’s first ever Pink Film Double Bill, on Saturday,

    Source: Third Window Films press release Official Movie Site: (Japan), (UK) Special Thanks to Adam Torel Distributor Third Window Films has acquired the UK rights for ISN`T ANYONE ALIVE? (????????????, Ikiteru mono inai noka, 2011). After nearly 10 years without a feature film, veteran director Sogo Ishii returns (now with the name Gakuryu Ishii) with a black comedy (based on the Shiro Maeda play of the same name) about strange deaths happening all over a college campus after talk of a curse spreads around it, and soon the world! Featuring many new faces of Japanese cinema including the award-winning star of HIMIZU, Shota Sometani, and from a director who has been bringing us strange and surreal films for 30 years (BURST CITY, CRAZY THUNDER ROAD, CRAZY FAMILY, ANGEL DUST, ELECTRIC DRAGON 80000V) ISN`T ANYONE ALIVE? is a wonderful and unique piece of filmmaking from a

    Source: Third Window Films Official Movie Site: (Japan), (UK) Special Thanks to Adam Torel HIMIZU (???, 2012), the award-winning film from Japanese director Sion Sono (LOVE EXPOSURE, COLD FISH) opens in cinemas across the UK on June 1st from Third Window Films. The new film from Sono, HIMIZU tells the powerful story of two teenagers’ struggle to live in dystopian future Japan destroyed by a natural disaster. When young Yuichi is pushed too far he embarks on a violent campaign of revenge against society’s evil doers and it’s up to Keiko -- who is desperately in love with him -- to try to bring him back to the path of a decent man. A heart-rending drama and tender love story, HIMIZU features startling performances from its young leads. The film was in competition at the 68th Venice International Film Festival in

    Source: Japan Society Special Thanks to Subway Cinema Tomorrow, the Japan Society in New York City will host free 35mm screenings of GODZILLA and FISH STORY as part of their Open House Weekend running May 5-6. Passes are first-come-first-served and will be available for pick-up at 2:00 PM on Saturday, May 5. Japan Society is located at 333 East 47th Street between First and Second avenues (accessible by the 4/5/6 and 7 subway at Grand Central or the E and V subway at Lexington Avenue). For more information, call 212-832-1155 or visit Saturday, May 5, 4:00 PM GODZILLA (???, Gojira) 1954, 96 min., 35mm., black and white, in Japanese with English subtitles. Directed by Ishiro Honda. With Akira Takarada, Momoko Kochi, Akihiko Hirata, Takashi Shimura. GODZILLA is the roaring granddaddy of all monster movies. It’s also a remarkably humane and melancholy drama, made in Japan at

    Grauman’s to Host Korean Film Screenings, VIP Events and First-Ever Castings of Korean Talent Source: BWR Public Relations press release Official Website: Special Thanks to Cindy Lyster An appreciation of all things Korean has swept into popular culture -- from taekwondo to kalbi to K-pop -- extending to a proliferation of film and television talent who trace their lineage to the Asian peninsula. This summer, Hollywood will offer an appreciation with the first Look East: Korean Film Festival, a celebratory weekend taking place Saturday and Sunday, June 23-24. Hyundai Motors serves as a Lead Festival sponsor of the festival. Marking the first time in its 85-year history, Asian performers will cast their hand and footprints in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood on Saturday, June 23. They include Korean actor Byung-hun Lee, an award-winning international star who recently appeared as Storm Shadow in Paramount

    Source: Third Window Films press release Official Movie Site: (Japan), (UK) Special Thanks to Claire Marty Third Window Films is pleased to announce the UK theatrical release of MITSUKO DELIVERS (????????, Hara Ga Kore Nande, 2011), opening at ICA and selected regional sites May 11th, 2012. Directed by Yuya Ishii (SAWAKO DECIDES), the film stars Riisa Naka (LOVE STRIKES!, TIME TRAVELLER: THE GIRL WHO LEAPT THROUGH TIME), Aoi Nakamura (PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2: TOKYO NIGHT, QUIRKY GUYS AND GALS, BECK) and Ryo Ishibashi (AUDITION, THE GRUDGE, KIDS RETURN). MITSUKO DELIVERS is an Official Selection of the London Film Festival, Busan Film Festival and Vancouver Film Festival. INTRODUCTION The 28-year-old film director, Yuya Ishii, has now burst on the world scene with his brilliant filmmaking. Ishii’s film MITSUKO DELIVERS was featured in the 37th Rotterdam International Film Festival and the 32nd Hong Kong

    A Beautiful Young Coach Inspires Her Team with "Boobs Volleyball" Source: NTV (Nippon Television Network) Official Site: Special Thanks to Asuka Kimura and Tzeling Huang SPOILER WARNING: This article contains plot details and images from a Japanese movie not yet released in the United States. INTRODUCTION “If we win the competition, our teacher will show us her boobs?!” 1979, Kitakyushu. Shortly after accepting her new junior high school teaching position, Mikako, who has become advisor to the inept boys of the volleyball team, makes an extraordinary promise to show them her boobs (Oppai) if they win a game. Mikako has mixed feelings about the boob promise, but the members wholeheartedly want to see her boobs and practice with feverish intensity, gaining strength as if they had become different people. What fate befalls Mikako in the face of this conflict?!

    Source: Terracotta Distribution Official Site: Special Thanks to Claire Marty The 4th annual Terracotta Far East Film Festival is set to run April 12th -15th and will once again be hosted by Prince Charles Cinema in the heart of London’s Chinatown. With a stunning line-up of films hand-picked from the best of the region, encompassing diverse genres from comedy to drama to horror and everything in between, the festival will continue to hold exclusive Q&As, masterclasses and fabulous parties. Each year the festival strives to improve on last year and to discover new talent: last year, the programme included a little known indie-comedy from China, RED LIGHT REVOLUTION, which ended winning the festival Audience Award. This year, there will be a focus on Taiwan, given the strength of output in recent years. Most cineastes will be familiar with the works of Edward Yang, Hou Hsiao-hsien

    Special Screening Event on March 14th Honors One-Year Anniversary of Japanese Tsunami Tragedy Source: FUNimation Entertainment press release Official Movie Site: Special Thanks to Scott Lonski On March 11, 2011, Japan’s Tohoku coastal region was destroyed by a 9.0 magnitude earthquake and devastating tsunami that followed. PRAY FOR JAPAN takes place in the devastated region of Ishinomaki, Miyagi -- the largest coastal city in Tohoku with a population of over 160,000 people. Filmmaker Stu Levy -- an American living in Japan -- filmed the tsunami aftermath during his trips to Tohoku as a volunteer and over a period of 6 weeks, captured over 50 hours of footage. PRAY FOR JAPAN focuses on four key perspectives of the tragedy -- School, Shelter, Family, and Volunteers. With each perspective we meet victims who faced significant obstacles and fought to overcome them. Through these four vantage points, the

    Star of VERSUS and YAKUZA WEAPON at Anime Convention in Dallas, June 1-3 Source: Monster Attack Team Official Site: Special Thanks to Edward Holland The Texas-based Japanese live-action magazine Monster Attack Team is hosting Super Action Star Tak Sakaguchi during an onslaught of Q&As, demo sessions and exclusive autograph signings at A-Kon 23, June 1-3, 2012 in downtown Dallas, home of the longest running Anime Convention in North America. This summer, meet live in person one of the most explosive cult heroes of the Japanese film industry today. For over a decade, Tak Sakaguchi has been one of the most recognizable superstars within the realms of Japanese action, science fiction, fantasy and horror visual media. He is a multi-talented martial artist, actor, fight choreographer, scriptwriter, and director and before motion pictures and television studios came calling, he made his living as a street fighter. On

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