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Japanese movie news, pictures, and trailers

A teaser trailer has been released for Hiroshi Sato’s live-action adaptation of “Otoko no Isshou” (out Feb 14, 2015).

Based on a manga by Keiko Nishi, the movie stars Nana Eikura as a young woman named Tsugumi Dozono who decides to move into her grandmother’s home after she passes away. However, she soon discovers a middle-aged man named Kaieda (Etsushi Toyokawa) also had a set of keys to the home and was staying in the guest house.

Tsugumi is initially confused about what sort of connection this man had to her grandmother, but has no choice but to let him stay there until she’s officially granted ownership. Eventually, the awkward living arrangement leads to Tsugumi and Kaieda developing an unconventional relationship of their own.

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17-year-old actress Sara Takatsuki will play femme fatale character Shizuka in Takahisa Zeze’s “Strayer’s Chronicle” (out 2015).

Based on a 3-act series of modern science fiction novels by Takayoshi Honda, the film revolves around two rival groups of 20-year-olds who were granted unique superhuman abilities by secret scientific experiments conducted in the early 1990s to control the progression of human evolution.

Takatsuki’s character Shizuka is a member of “Ageha”, an assassination squad which fights against the team led by protagonist Subaru (Masaki Okada). Shizuka’s special power consists of seducing her victims and killing them with a deadly toxin transmitted through a kiss.

17-year-old actress Sara Takatsuki will play femme fatale character Shizuka in Takahisa Zeze’s “Strayer’s Chronicle” (out 2015).

Based on a 3-act series of modern science fiction novels by Takayoshi Honda, the film revolves around two rival groups of 20-year-olds who were granted unique superhuman abilities by secret scientific experiments conducted in the early 1990s to control the progression of human evolution.

Takatsuki’s character Shizuka is a member of “Ageha”, an assassination squad which fights against the team led by protagonist Subaru (Masaki Okada). Shizuka’s special power consists of seducing her victims and killing them with a deadly toxin transmitted through a kiss.

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A new trailer has been released for Masaharu Take’s “100 Yen Love”, which premiered at the Tokyo International Film Festival on October 25.

The film stars Sakura Ando as a hikikomori (shut-in) named Ichiko who decides to move out of her parents’ home after clashing with her recently-divorced sister. She gets a job at a 100 yen store, where she spends most of her time trying to catch glimpses of an aging boxer named Yuuji (Hirofumi Arai) practicing at a nearby gym. Soon the two begin seeing each other and Ichiko’s life takes a dramatic turn when she takes up boxing herself.

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Keiko Kitagawa cast as heroine of “Something Like It” sequel

Keiko Kitagawa will play Kenichi Matsuyama’s love interest in “No Yona mono no Yona mono”, the sequel to Yoshimitsu Morita’s 1981 debut film “Something Like It”.

Morita died suddenly in December 2011, and this film is being made by staff and cast members he had worked with in the past as an homage to him. Kitagawa considers Morita to have been a mentor for her, giving her a chance to make her debut in his 2006 comedy “The Mamiya Brothers” and encouraging her to stick with acting. Filming wrapped on September 30 and a release is planned for 2015.

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Shunji Iwai is directing an animated prequel to his 2004 teen romance film “Hana & Alice” titled “The Case of Hana & Alice” (out Feb 2015). Anne Suzuki and Yu Aoi reprised their roles for the project as voice actors.

The story begins as Tetsuko “Alice” Arisugawa (Aoi) transfers to a new junior high school and hears rumors of a murder which supposedly occurred a year earlier. She then learns that the house next door to her is feared by her classmates, who’ve dubbed it “Hanayashiki” (the flower garden). While investigating Hanayashiki, Alice meets Hana Arai, another classmate who’s been staying home from school.

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Shota Matsuda and Atsuko Maeda to star in Yukihiko Tsutsumi’s “Initiation Love”

Shota Matsuda, Atsuko Maeda, and Fumino Kimura have been cast in Yukihiko Tsutsumi’s 2015 film “Initiation Love”.

The movie is based on a popular 2004 novel by Kurumi Inui which has recently seen a sudden increase in sales due to glowing praise from various celebrities. Although it seems like a standard romance story for the majority of the novel, it suddenly makes a drastic turn toward mystery in the final two lines.

Matsuda will play a job-hunting university student in Shizuoka named Yuuki who begins a relationship with a young dental hygienist named Mayu (Maeda). However, when he finds a job in Tokyo, he moves away and their relationship begins to deteriorate. Their situation eventually expands into a love triangle involving Kimura’s character Miyako.

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Tori Matsuzaka and Fumino Kimura have been cast in Tomorowo Taguchi’s live-action adaptation of George Asakura’s “Piece of Cake” (out fall 2015).

The film stars Mikako Tabe as a young woman named Shino Umemiya who moves to escape a dead-end job and abusive relationship, only to fall in love with her neighbor Kyoshiro Sugahara (Go Ayano). Unfortunately, Kyoshiro has a live-in girlfriend named Akari.

Matsuzaka will play Shino’s flamboyantly gay school friend and coworker Ten-chan while Kimura will play her childhood best friend Nanako. Other cast additions include Kaoru Mitsumune, Masaki Suda, Tasuku Emoto, Tomoya Nakamura, Tamae Ando, and Ryu Morioka.

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A new 90-second trailer 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.

The new clip also offers a preview of the film’s newly-announced voice cast including Atsuko Maeda as the beckoning cat, Tsutomu Yamazaki as the polar bear, comedy trio Dacho Club as the kokeshi dolls, and Tommies Masa as the daruma doll.

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Kankuro Kudo, Takayuki Yamada, and Lily Franky join live-action “Bakuman” cast

Kankuro Kudo, Takayuki Yamada, and Lily Franky have been announced as supporting cast members in Hitoshi Ohne’s live-action movie adaptation of “Bakuman” (out 2015)

Based on a manga by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata, the movie stars Takeru Satoh and Ryunosuke Kamiki as aspiring mangaka Moritaka Mashiro and Akito Takagi.

Kudo will play Taro Kawaguchi, Moritaka’s uncle and the original inspiration for his desire to become a manga artist. Yamada will play Akira Hattori, an editor who recognizes Moritaka and Akito’s talent and helps them along the way. Franky will play Sasaki, the Editor-in-chief of Weekly Shonen Jump magazine who keeps an eye on Moritaka and Akito’s progress. Kenta Kiritani, Hirofumi Arai, and Sarutoki Minagawa will also appear as rival manga artists.

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GAGA has released a new trailer for Yukiko Mishima’s “Tsukuroi Tatsu Hito” (out Jan 31, 2015).

Based on a manga by Aoi Ikebe, the film stars Miki Nakatani as a seamstress named Ichie who takes over her grandmother’s dressmaking shop. In spite of her dress designs being popular with locals, she continues on the path laid out by her grandmother by avoiding mass production and branding.

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