Friday, 31 July 2015

Review: From Up On Poppy Hill

While it is true that most of the Studio Ghibli classics are epic anime that feature magical stories and fantastic adventures, a number of their beloved releases are indeed ‘smaller films’ that tell realistic stories, like Isao Takahata’s Only Yesterday and Tomomi Mochizuki’s Ocean Waves. And Goro Miyazaki’s From Up On Poppy Hill belongs to that latter group. It is a smaller-scale film that is charming and crowd-pleasing.

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Stand By Me Doraemon Had Record-Breaking Opening In China

Stand By Me Doraemon has continued its success in Asia. After taking Japan, South Korea, Indonesia and Hong Kong by storm (as previously reported on this blog), the robot cat film opened in China last weekend with a record-breaking opening. It is the first Japanese film to be released in China for 3 years.

Monday, 27 April 2015

Fun Video: Have You Seen ALL Of The Studio Ghibli Films?

If you are a fan of anime, you have probably seen all of the Studio Ghibli films. The question is: have you really seen ALL of the Studio Ghibli films? 

Trailer: Sinbad: The Flying Princess And The Secret Island

Nippon Animation is collaborating with Shirogumi to produce three Sinbad anime films to celebrate its 40th anniversary. The first film, titled Sinbad: The Flying Princess And The Secret Island, is due for release on July 4 and its trailer is now available.

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Trailer: Attack On Titan’s Second Animated Film: Wings Of Freedom

Fans of Hajime Isayama’s Attack On Titan have more than one reason to rejoice. Besides the upcoming live-action adaptation, the second anime film based on the popular anime series is also due for release in June this year.

Studio Ghibli Co-produces Michaël Dudok de Wit’s The Red Turtle

Paris-based Company Wild Bunch will launch sales on British-Dutch animator Michaël Dudok de Wit’s The Red Turtle, a co-production between a number of companies that include Studio Ghibli and is the only European project the Japanese studio has ever supported. This will be de Wit’s first animated feature after a series of shorts that include Father and Daughter, which won him Best Animated Short Film at the Oscars.

Friday, 24 April 2015

Trailer: Live-Action Attack On Titan (English-subbed)

An English-subbed trailer has arrived for the upcoming 2-part live-action film adaptation of Hajime Isayama's influential manga Attack On Titan. The manga has already been adapted into popular anime series and films, and the upcoming big budget live-action films are two of this year's most hotly anticipated films. 

Fun Video: Schick x Evangelion 2015: You Can (Always) Be Free

Gendo Ikari is back, shaved and happy in the latest commercial for Schick shavers: 'Schick x Evangelion 2015: You Can (Always) Be Free'. It is actually quite funny and you can check it out below. 

Trailer: Sion Sono’s Tag

Sion Sono certainly seems to be keeping up with his promise to release 6 films in 2015. Another one of his projects due for release soon is Tag. It stars Reina Triendl, Mariko Shinoda, Erina Mano and Yuki Sakurai.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Trailer: Sion Sono’s Love & Peace

The extended trailer for cult director Sion Sono's Love & Peace has arrived. Reportedly one of six films to be released by Sono in 2015, this is a romantic comedy that features an officer worker, a fellow employee he fancies, his pet turtle and a giant creature. 

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Studio Ghibli Was Once Interested In Adapting Parasyte Manga

Studio Ghibli co-founder and former producer Toshio Suzuki said in a recent podcast that Hayao Miyazaki and he were at one point interested in adapting Hitoshi Iwaaki’s sci-fi horror manga Parasyte, reports ANN.

Monday, 20 April 2015

Mr Masafumi Konomi, Japanese Film Festival Director For 18 Years, Is Leaving

It really is the end of an era. Mr Masafumi Konomi, the man who has directed every one of Australia’s Japanese Film Festival since it started in 1997, is leaving for Japan tomorrow. There, he will be promoting Japanese films to ASEAN countries as the Senior Project Manager of the Asia Center at the Japan Foundation Head Office. 

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Trailer: Studio Ghibli’s When Marnie Was There

When Marnie Was There, Studio Ghibli’s last feature film (at least for the time being), will be released in the US on May 22. It is directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi (The Secret World of Arrietty) and based on the novel by Joan G. Robinson.

Trailer: Takashi Miike’s Yakuza Apocalypse: The Great War Of The Underworld

It’s getting closer and closer to the time for Takashi Miike to unleash his Yakuza Apocalypse, the world’s first yakuza vampire movie. The cast includes Hayato Ichihara (Rookies the TV series and movie, Ushijima The Loan Shark) and Yayan Ruhian (who played Mad Dog in The Raid). 

Trailer: The Boy And The Beast From Director Mamoru Hosoda

One of the front-runners in the race to become Japan's next king of anime is Mamoru Hosoda, the man who directed The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Summer Wars and Wolf Children. All of these films won Best Animation at the Japanese Academy Awards, and were international hits. 

Monday, 6 April 2015

Studio Ghibli’s Latest Work Is A Delightful Animated Commercial

While the world is eagerly waiting (and hoping) for Studio Ghibli to return to feature film production, it is great to see that the animation studio has kept busy making animation.

Friday, 13 March 2015

Arrietty Director Hiromasa Yonebayashi Left Studio Ghibli

At a talk show event earlier this week, Hiromasa Yonebayashi, director of Studio Ghibli films The Secret World Of Arrietty and When Marnie Was There, told the press that he left the Studio at the end of last year and is no longer affiliated with it. He also said that he still wants to make films and may try making a film that is the complete opposite of Marnie.

Monday, 9 March 2015

Sensei Tatsumi Has Passed Away

Yoshihiro Tatsumi, the father of ‘gekiga’, the darker, less traditional and more dramatic form of Japanese manga, passed away on March 7. He was 79.
The sad news came via an email from Singapore filmmaker Eric Khoo, who directed the award-winning Tatsumi animated film. “Sensei passed away today,” Khoo wrote in his email to journalist Paul Gravett last Saturday.

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Stand By Me Doraemon Continues Its Winning Streak!

Stand By Me Doraemon, the 36th feature film in the iconic robot cat franchise, is simply unstoppable.

Upon its release in Japan in August last year, it topped the box office charts for 5 consecutive weeks and went on to become the highest grossing local film at the Japanese box office in 2014. Since then, it has enjoyed strong overseas performance in markets including Hong Kong, Italy, Indonesia and South Korea.

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Teaser: Takashi Miike’s Yakuza Apocalypse: The Great War Of The Underworld

It really looks like 2015 will be a great year for fans of Japanese genre films. While Sion Sono is planning to release 6 films this year, the (once) equally prolific Takashi Miike will be unleashing his Yakuza Apocalypse. The film stars Hayato Ichihara (Rookies the TV series and movie, Box! and Ushijima The Loan Shark) and Yayan Ruhian, the incredible Indonesian fighter from The Raid and its sequel.

Friday, 30 January 2015

Trailer: Sion Sono’s Shinjuku Swan

If you like cult Japanese films, chances are that you love Sion Sono. After all, who could forget his 4-hour masterpiece Love Exposure? I actually love every one of his films (except Tokyo Tribe, which is too manic for my liking). So it’s a good day when we get to see the first teaser for another new film from the director and hear that he plans to release a staggering 6 films in 2015!