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Japanese movie news, pictures, and trailers

A new clip has been released for Yu Irie’s live-action adaptation of Katsumasa Enokiya’s rock ‘n’ roll manga “Hibi Rock” featuring actress Fumi Nikaido as Saki Utagawa performing the song “Sunrise”.

Sunrise was written and produced by DECO*27. “Hibi Rock” will be released nation-wide in Japan on November 22, 2014.


Yoji Yamada to direct family comedy “Kazoku wa Tsurai yo”

Yoji Yamada will direct a comedy slated for release in 2016 titled “Kazoku wa Tsurai yo” (lit. “It’s tough being a family”) starring 8 cast members from his 2013 film “Tokyo Family”.

The story revolves around an aging married couple (Isao Hashizume and Kazuko Yoshiyuki) who suddenly decide to get divorced on the eve of their 50th wedding anniversary. The news shocks their children and throws the family into a state of panic as each member begins voicing their dissatisfaction with the situation.

Additional cast members include Masahiko Nishimura, Yui Natsukawa, Tomoko Nakajima, Shozo Hayashiya, Satoshi Tsumabuki, and Yu Aoi.


Yoko Maki to star in live-action “Nounai Poison Berry” film

Yoko Maki will star in a 2015 live-action movie adaptation of Setona Mizushiro’s unconventional romance manga “Nounai Poison Berry” (out 2015).

Maki will play a woman named Ichiko Sakurai who experiences various inner conflicts after bumping into a younger man named Saotome (Yuki Furukawa) whom she had previously met at a party. As the two get to know each other, all of Ichiko’s inner thoughts are acted out by a cast of characters inside her brain.

The brain council members will be played by Hidetoshi Nishijima, Ryunosuke Kamiki, Yo Yoshida, Hiyori Sakurada, and Kazuyuki Asano.


Mikako Tabe and Go Ayano to star in live-action “Piece of Cake” film

Mikako Tabe and Go Ayano have been announced as the co-stars of Tomorowo Taguchi’s live-action movie adaptation of “Piece of Cake” (out fall 2015).

The movie is based on a romance manga by George Asakura. Tabe will play a young woman named Shino Umemiya who escapes an abusive relationship, quits her job, and moves to a new area. She soon she finds herself becoming romantically involved with her new neighbor and boss, Kyoshiro Sugahara (Ayano). Unfortunately, the situation is complicated by the fact that Kyoshiro still lives with his girlfriend Akari.


Takeru Satoh and Aoi Miyazaki to star in “Sekai kara Neko ga Kieta nara”

Takeru Satoh and Aoi Miyazaki will star in a movie adaptation of producer Genki Kawamura’s ‘s debut novel “Sekai kara Neko ga Kieta nara” (lit. “If a cat has disappeared from the world”).

Satoh will play a postman who discovers he has a terminal illness and doesn’t have long to live. Soon, a devil appears to him (also played by Satoh) and offers to extend his life by one day for each thing that gets erased from his life. He agrees to the deal, but as each thing is removed, so are his ties to the people who have been most important to him including his first love (Miyazaki) and best friend (Gaku Hamada).

Filming will begin next month and a nation-wide release is planned for sometime in 2015.


A 90-second trailer has been released for Isshin Inudo’s “Miracle: Debikuro-kun no Koi to Maho” (out Nov 22, 2014).

Based on a novel by Kou Nakamura, the film stars Arashi’s Masaki Aiba as a bookstore employee and aspiring manga artist named Hikaru who distributes mysterious “Debikuro Communication” flyers at night. On one Christmas night, he experiences a miracle involving his childhood friend Anna (Nana Eikura), a renowned lighting designer named So-yeon (Han Hyo-joo), and a former university classmate named Kitayama (Toma Ikuta) who’s become a successful manga artist.

The story was inspired by the classic Japanese Christmas song “Christmas Eve” by singer-songwriter Tatsuro Yamashita, who was recently announced as the film’s music supervisor.


A new 90-second trailer has been released for Daihachi Yoshida’s “Paper Moon” (out Nov 15, 2014).

Based on a 2012 novel by Naoki Prize-winning author Mitsuyo Kakuta, the film stars Rie Miyazawa as a bank employee named Rika Umezawa who embezzles money from customers’ deposits as she begins having an affair with a much younger man. Over time, her theft spirals out of control as she attempts to fund her secret life.


A new 30-second teaser has been released for Yu Irie’s “Joker Game” (out Jan 31, 2015).

The film is set during the lead up to World War II and stars Kazuya Kamenashi as a man named Kato who’s recruited by former spy Colonel Yuuki (Yusuke Iseya) to join a secret intelligence agency called D Kikan. His first mission involves infiltrating an international Asian city and stealing a critical “black notebook” from a US Ambassador. Kyoko Fukada co-stars as a woman named Rin who’s also after the notebook.


Koichi Sato, Tsubasa Honda, and Machiko Ono to star in “Kishuten Eki: Terminal”

Koichi Sato will star in Tetsuo Shinohara’s “Kishuten Eki: Terminal” (out fall 2015).

Based on a novel by Naoki Prize-winning author Shino Sakuragi, the film revolves around a 55-year-old former judge turned public defender named Kanji Washida who’s been living in a state of self-imposed isolation as penance for an incident from his past involving his former lover Saeko (Machiko Ono). However, one day he’s suddenly reminded of Saeko when he’s assigned the case of a 25-year-old woman named Atsuko (Tsubasa Honda) who was arrested for use of illegal stimulants.


A new teaser has been released for Takashi Miike’s teen survival thriller “As the Gods Will” (out Nov 15, 2014).

The film stars Sota Fukushi as a 2nd-year high school student named Shun Takawata who lives an ordinary teenage life until one day he’s suddenly forced to participate in a series of children’s games such as “Daruma-san ga Koronda” with death as the penalty for losing. Other cast members include Hirona Yamazaki, Ryunosuke Kamiki, Mio Yuki, Shota Sometani, Nao Omori, and Lily Franky.