Anticipated Japanese Films: 2014

The new year hasn’t even begun but already the list of anticipated films of next year is long….

On the list includes two new Sometani films, the return of some popular titles such as the continuation of Rurouni Kenshin and several big name adaptations.

Give a shout out to the films you would like to see next year or are waiting to see.

Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai

Kodaka Hasegawa has extremely light hair due to being half british on his mother’s side and fierce eyes. Because of this, other high school students assume he’s a delinquent and avoid him. Yozora Mikazuki is a mean girl with a sullen expression who seems to drive everyone away. One day, shy Kodaka overhears Yozora talking to an imaginary friend after class one day and, realizing that neither of them have any other friends, they decide to form the “Neighbor’s Club” (Rinjin-bu) in order to make some. In spite of Kodaka having no clue what he’s doing, new members start joining the club one after another.

Director: Takuro Oikawa
Featured Cast: Koji Seto, Kie Kitano, Mio Otani, Sara Takatsuki, Mao Kanjo
Watch Trailer

Title translation: The no friends club


The mention of the name Koji Seto would draw in a number of fangirls (fanboys) of the Dboy, me, not so much. However, I am willing to watch this. Seto normally does well in the acting department. So this should be entertaining at least and not a waste of time. But don’t hold me to those words.


ai-no-uzuAi no Uzu

The film version will star Sosuke Ikematsu with actress Mugi Kadowaki playing the heroine. The story revolves around the conversations and actions of various male and female characters that partake in a loveless sex orgy in the backroom of a sex club one night.

Director: Daisuke Miura
Featured Cast: Sosuke Ikematsu, Mugi Kadowaki, Hirofumi Arai, 
Kenichi Takito, Ryusuke Komakine
Watch Trailer


The cast alone of his movie makes me want to watch! This is based of a play with the same name. Movies adapted from plays are always interesting, because sometimes the script or actions don’t necessary transfer to the screen with the same intent as on a stage. But I think this one will play out like Kisaragi did and give the impression that your watching a play instead of a movie. So I can’t wait. Also the topic of sex is always interesting.



Morikawa plays a female high school student named Chiyoko who’s overcome with despair after losing both her mother and her pet dog. Soon she begins traveling with an eccentric movie-loving older boy named Masamune (Suda) and through their journey she rediscovers her will to live.

Director: Shiori Kazama
Featured Cast: Aoi Morikawa, Masaki Suda, Miwako Ichikawa, Jun Murakami, 
Atsuko Sudo


SUDA MASAKI do I need to say more(!). Suda has successfully, like Odagiri Joe before him, moved on from his boy-hood role in Tokusatsu and become an acclaimed actor in his own right. The roles he chooses are always interesting, which this movie sounds like. I don’t know much about the storyline. But here’s hoping its a human drama, or coming-of-age film without most of the clichés.


titlenoCrows EXPLODE

The film stars Masahiro Higashide, Taichi Saotome, and Yuya Yagira as three Suzuran High School students who become involved in a conflict with Kurosaki Industrial High School after Genji (protagonist of the previous films) graduates.

Director: Toshiaki Toyoda
Featured Cast: Masahiro Higashide, Taichi Saotome, Yuya Yagira, 
Ryo Katsuji, Takanori Iwata


doreiku-boku-to-23-nin-no-doreiDoreiku: Boku to 23-nin no Dorei

What if you could enslave anyone you wanted to? which can be used to turn other players into their  slaves. The film will include mature themes such as massacre scenes, domination,  and sexual content.

Eia (Akimoto) is a girl with a cold personality and darkened heart. Meanwhile, Yuuga (Hongo) is an eloquent, smart young man who gradually descends into insanity when he  becomes wrapped up in the darkness of the SM game.

Director: Sakichi Sato
Featured Cast: Sayaka Akimoto, Kanata Hongo, Hikaru Ohsawa, Yuki Yamada, Yuki Kubota


titlenoKamisama no Iutoori

A 2nd-year high school student named Shun Takawata 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. With no knowledge of who’s behind the games, he’s left with no other choice but to keep winning as his only means of protecting himself and his childhood friend, Ichika. Meanwhile, a troubled classmate named Takeru seems to actually be relishing the opportunity to get other students killed.

Director: Takashi Miike
Featured Cast: Sota Fukushi, Hirona Yamazaki, Ryunosuke Kamiki


ldk-posterL ♥DK

Aoi is a high school girl who is living on her own for the first time. One day, a certain incident leads to her and the school ladies’ man, Shuusei Kugayama, secretly living together under the same roof.

Director: Taisuke Kawamura
Featured Cast: Ayame Gouriki, Kento Yamazaki, Akiyoshi Nakao, 
Rei Okamoto , Seiji Fukushi


majyo_B1_Ä“üe+Kiki’s Delivery Service (live-action)

Following a long-held tradition among witches, Kiki must leave her family home and live on her own for one year as a rite of passage. Utilizing her ability to fly on a broom, she starts a delivery service out of a local bakery to earn a living and experiences growth through her experiences.

Director: Takashi Shimizu
Featured Cast: Fuka Koshiba, Machiko Ono, Hiroshi Yamamoto, Rie Miyazawa, Michitaka Tsutsui
Watch Trailer


lupin-iii-live-actionLupin the 3rd (live-action)

The live action movie of the world’s most famous thief Arsene Lupin III (Shun), his right-hand man Daisuke Jigen (Tetsuji), the duo’s third wheel and master swordsman Goemon (Ayano), Lupin’s love interest and femme fatale character Fujiko (Meisa) and Inspection Koichi (Tadanobu) the one-man army constantly chasing the five member gang around the world.

Director: Ryuhei Kitamura
Featured Cast: Shun Oguri, Tetsuji Tamayama, Go Ayano, Meisa Kuroki, Tadanobu Asano



A psychic criminal (Fujiwara) with the ability to manipulate people’s minds is obsessed with confronting the one man who’s immune to his ability (Yamada).  A remake of Min-suk Kim’s 2010 South Korean blockbuster Haunters.

Director: Hideo Nakata
Featured Cast: Tatsuya Fujiwara, Takayuki Yamada, Satomi Ishihara, 
Tomorowo Taguchi, Motoki Ochiai
Watch Trailer


watashi-no-otokoMy Man

Jungo Kusarino becomes a father figure to a 10-year-old distant relative named Hana after she’s orphaned by an earthquake and Tsunami which decimated Okushiri Island, Hokkaido. Over the next 15 years, they grow to love each other like father and daughter in spite of Hana’s traumatic past. As Hana’s wedding day approaches in 2008, she reflects back on moments they shared as if flipping through the pages of a photo album.

Director: Kazuyoshi Kumakiri
Featured Cast: Tadanobu Asano, Fumi Nikaido, Tatsuya Fuji, Moro Morooka, Aoba Kawai


otona-dropOtona Drop

In the summer of their final year of high school, four teens deal with anxiety brought on by the transition from childhood to adulthood. Yu attempts to set up a date with his long-time crush Anne through his best friend Hajime, but ends up offending Anne and driving her away. Meanwhile, he seeks love advice from the older boyfriend of his friend Haru.

Director: Ken Iizuka
Featured Cast: Sosuke Ikematsu, Ai Hashimoto, Tomoya Maeno, 
Ryoko Kobayashi, Daichi Watanabe


titlenoParasyte – Part 1

The world has come under attack by body snatching parasitic aliens that borrow into the brains of unsuspecting citizens.

Shinichi Izumi (Sometani Shota) is a high school student who escapes such fate of being taken over  due to the fact he is wearing headphones during the alien attack. Instead the parasite known as  ‘Migi’ takes residence within his right hand and the two form a symbolic relationship. A friendship which extends to helping each other fight against other parasites who devour humans as food.

Director: Takashi Yamazaki
Featured Cast: Shota Sometani, Eri Fukatsu, Ai Hashimoto


rurouni-kenshin-densetsu-no-saigo-henRurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Taika-hen

The continuation of the Rurouni Kenshin trilogy sees the return of Sato Takeru as the legendary Samurai.

The second (and third movie) focus on the “Kyoto Arc” of the original manga, and depict the fierce battles between the protagonist Himura Kenshin (Sato) and his powerful enemies who attempt to gain control in Japan including Kenshin’s old enemy Shishio Makoto.

Director: Keishi Otomo
Featured Cast: Takeru Satoh, Emi Takei, Yusuke Iseya, Munetaka Aoki, Yu Aoi


Rurouni Kenshin: Densetsu no Saigo-hen

Director: Keishi Otomo
Featured Cast: Takeru Satoh, Emi Takei, Yusuke Iseya, Munetaka Aoki, Yu Aoi


Sanbun no Ichi

Fujiwara Tatsuya plays Kiyohara Shuuzou, the manager of “Honey Bunny” a night club where three gangsters who managed to rob a bank successfully run off to elude detection and equally divide the loot three-ways….

Director: Hiroshi Shinagawa
Featured Cast: Tatsuya Fujiwara, Koki Tanaka, Ryuichi Kosugi, 
Mika Nakashima, Yosuke Kubozuka


shirayuki-hime-satsujin-jiken-posterShirayukihime Satsujin Jiken

Shirono Miki is an office worker at a cosmetics company whom everyone suspects of having murdered her beautiful co-worker, Noriko Miki. Soon, a tabloid television program is broadcast featuring interviews with various people including co-workers, family members, former classmates, and people from Noriko’s hometown as rumors about her begin to multiply and spread at a staggering rate thanks to the intense media attention and the rapid sharing of information and gossip on the internet.

Director: Yoshihiro Nakamura
Featured Cast: Mao Inoue, Go Ayano, Nanao, Mitsuki Tanimura, Misako Renbutsu


Soko nomi nite Hikari Kagayaku

In the new film, Ayano (Go) plays a young man named Tatsuo Sato who quits his job and goes through life aimlessly until he meets a wild, yet friendly youth named Takuji Oshiro (Suda) in a pachinko parlour. He later goes to Takuji’s home, which is a shack where he lives with his bed-ridden father, his mother who spends her time looking after the father, and his older sister Chinatsu (Ikewaki). Tatsuo finds himself charmed by Chinatsu’s ability to “shine” in spite of being stuck on the bottom rung of society.

Director: O Mipo
Featured Cast: Go Ayano, Masaki Suda, Chizuru Ikewaki


titlenoSweet Poolside

Toshihiko Ota (Kenta Suga) is a first year high school student. He is a member of the school’s swimming club. He also suffers from not having enough body hair.

Meanwhile, Ayako Goto (Yuiko Kariya) is also a fellow first year high school student and member of the same swimming club. She suffers from having too much hair. She confides to Toshihiko Ota about her “hairy” problem. A relationship soon develops as Toshihiko begins to shave her arm and leg hair. [Asianwiki]

Director: Daigo Matsui
Featured Cast: Kenta Suga, Yuiko Kariya


taekwondo-damashii-rebirthTaekwondo Damashii: Rebirth

Three brothers are involved in a family conflict over which one of them will be heir to the family taekwondo dojo. One day, they accidentally wander into a mysterious forest where they’re confronted by waves of enemies which they must keep defeating with their taekwondo skills in order to escape.

Director: Hideyuki Katsuki
Featured Cast: Masahiro Inoue, Ryoma Baba, Kyosuke Hamao, 
Shinichi Hashimoto, Yuichiro Hirata


tokyo-nanminTokyo Nanmin

Osamu Tokieda is a student who commutes back and forth to a third rate university in Tokyo. One day Osamu is suddenly expelled from school due to unpaid tuition, and at the same time his father cuts off contact and stops sending payment for his living expenses. Osamu begins staying at a net cafe overnight alongside other refugees with the goal of becoming a successful host, but soon finds himself descending into homelessness.

Director: Kiyoshi Sasabe
Featured Cast: Aoi Nakamura, Chihiro Otsuka, Sho Aoyagi, Mizuki Yamamoto, Akiyoshi Nakao
Watch Trailer


titlenoTokyo Tribes

Set sometime in the future. Five years has passed since the Shibuya riots. There are now several tribes that exits in Tokyo. Boys makeup tribes and they occupy areas under their influence. Kai Deguchi is a member of the tribe Musashino Saru led by Tera.

One day, a member of Musashino Saru is killed by rival tribe Bukuro Wu-RONZ led by Mera.  Kai and Mera are former best friends, but not anymore. Meanwhile, Tera, the leader of Musashino Saru and a moderate who forbids using violence, is killed by Mera from Bukuro Wu-RONZ.

Musashino Saru is now divided by two sides: one advocates following their slain leader’s non-violence idealogy and the other side who wants to use violence to exact revenge. A riot soon ensues among the tribes. [Asianwiki]

Director: Shion Sono
Featured Cast: YOUNG DAIS, Ryohei Suzuki


titlenoUshijima the Loan Shark 2

Ushijima continues dealing with deadbeat debtors. Meanwhile, internal strife threatens to splinter the team at CowCow Finance.

Director: Masatoshi Yamaguchi
Featured Cast: Takayuki Yamada, Go Ayano, Hiromi Sakimoto, Kyosuke Yabe


Wood Job!

Yuuki Hirano is an 18-year-old who recently graduated from high school, but has no prospects due to having failed his university entrance exams. One day a brochure for a 1-year forestry program catches his eye and he sees it as a second chance. Soon, he winds up in Kamusari, a remote village situated deep in the mountains. Although Hirano is initially annoyed by the lack of amenities in the remote location and intimidated by his instructor, he decides to stay when he meets a beautiful young woman named Naoki.

Director: Shinobu Yaguchi
Featured Cast: Shota Sometani, Masami Nagasawa, Hideaki Ito
Watch Trailer

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