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Featured image for Blind Beast (1969) by Yasuzo MasumuraBackground image for Blind Beast (1969) by Yasuzo Masumura

Blind Beast (1969) by Yasuzo Masumura

A kidnapping victim begins to sympathise with her captor in this tale of moral degeneracy and sado-masochistic lust. Aki Shima (Mako Midori) is a model who has recently…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for The Master Plan (2021) by Yuichi SatoBackground image for The Master Plan (2021) by Yuichi Sato

The Master Plan (2021) by Yuichi Sato

Makoto (Mackenyu Arata) and Kida (Takanori Iwata) are childhood friends, both orphans they have grown up with only each other for support. While still at school the two…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for Hard-Core (2018) by Nobuhiro YamashitaBackground image for Hard-Core (2018) by Nobuhiro Yamashita

Hard-Core (2018) by Nobuhiro Yamashita

Two men working a meaningless job find a high-tech AI robot in this existential comedy-drama. Unlike his younger brother Sakon (Takeru Sato) who is a high-flying professional, Ukon…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for Under the Stars (2020) by Tatsushi OmoriBackground image for Under the Stars (2020) by Tatsushi Omori

Under the Stars (2020) by Tatsushi Omori

A young girl begins to question her parents belief in an unusual cult in this examination of faith and family. As Chihiro Hayashi suffered with terrible exczma as…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for Aristocrats (2020) by Yukiko SodeBackground image for Aristocrats (2020) by Yukiko Sode

Aristocrats (2020) by Yukiko Sode

Two women from different social classes become romantically involved with the same man in this feminist fable. Hanako Haibara (Mugi Kadowaki) is the daughter of a doctor whose…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for The Adventures of Kosuke Kindaichi (1979) by Nobuhiko ObayashiBackground image for The Adventures of Kosuke Kindaichi (1979) by Nobuhiko Obayashi

The Adventures of Kosuke Kindaichi (1979) by Nobuhiko Obayashi

Famous detective Kosuke Kindaichi (Ikko Furuya) finds himself entangled in a mysterious case involving the missing head of a statue. A group of roller-skating, clown-costumed, art thieves are…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for 5 Centimeters Per Second (2007) by Makoto ShinkaiBackground image for 5 Centimeters Per Second (2007) by Makoto Shinkai

5 Centimeters Per Second (2007) by Makoto Shinkai

Two teens face a difficult separation in this melancholic exploration of young love. Takaki Tono (Kenji Mizuhashi) and Akari Shinohara (Yoshimi Kondo) become friends after both transferring to…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for Drive my Car (2021) by Ryusuke HamaguchiBackground image for Drive my Car (2021) by Ryusuke Hamaguchi

Drive my Car (2021) by Ryusuke Hamaguchi

Theatre director Yusuke Kafuku (Hidetoshi Nishijima) leads a seemingly ideal life with his loving wife Oto (Reika Kirishima), a popular television screenwriter. After returning home early following a…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for Pure Japanese (2022) by Daishi MatsunagaBackground image for Pure Japanese (2022) by Daishi Matsunaga

Pure Japanese (2022) by Daishi Matsunaga

Daisuke Tateishi (Dean Fujioka) works on the ninja show at an Edo-themed amusement park. Although he is a skilled martial artist, he is relegated to doing the sound…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for Belle (2021) by Mamoru HosodaBackground image for Belle (2021) by Mamoru Hosoda

Belle (2021) by Mamoru Hosoda

Suzu (Kaho Nakamura) is a shy high-school student living with her father. When her best friend Hiro (Lilas Ikuta) invites her to “U”, an online virtual reality world,…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for The Lady Shogun and her Men (2010) by Fuminori KanekoBackground image for The Lady Shogun and her Men (2010) by Fuminori Kaneko

The Lady Shogun and her Men (2010) by Fuminori Kaneko

In an alternate history of Japan’s feudal period, a disease known as the red-faced pox has killed three quarters of the male population. This matriarchal society is ruled…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for Ikigami (2008) by Tomoyuki TakimotoBackground image for Ikigami (2008) by Tomoyuki Takimoto

Ikigami (2008) by Tomoyuki Takimoto

An authoritarian state maintains order by systematically killing one in every thousand individuals in this satirical, dystopian drama. At the age of six, children are injected with a…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for Luxurious Bone (2001) by Isao YukisadaBackground image for Luxurious Bone (2001) by Isao Yukisada

Luxurious Bone (2001) by Isao Yukisada

Miyako (Kumiko Aso) works as a call-girl, living with her friend Sakiko (Tsugumi Otake) with whom she shares a bond that hovers over the border of sisterhood and…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for Yakuza Apocalypse (2015) by Takashi MiikeBackground image for Yakuza Apocalypse (2015) by Takashi Miike

Yakuza Apocalypse (2015) by Takashi Miike

Yakuza, vampires and martial arts collide in this wacky action comedy from Takeshi Miike. Kageyama (Hayato Ichihara) is a young gang member whose sensitive skin and inability to…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for Grasshopper (2015) by Tomoyuki TakimotoBackground image for Grasshopper (2015) by Tomoyuki Takimoto

Grasshopper (2015) by Tomoyuki Takimoto

Following the death of his girlfriend a man becomes entangled in a dark, underground world of drug gangs and assassins. On Halloween night in Shibuya a car ploughs…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for Chaos (2000) by Hideo NakataBackground image for Chaos (2000) by Hideo Nakata

Chaos (2000) by Hideo Nakata

It is hard to describe the plot of “Chaos” without giving away the twists and turns that enliven the plot. The film revolves around Komiyama (Ken Mitsuishi), a…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for Throne of Blood (1957) by Akira KurosawaBackground image for Throne of Blood (1957) by Akira Kurosawa

Throne of Blood (1957) by Akira Kurosawa

Based on Shakespeare’s Macbeth, “Throne of Blood” tells the story of Washizu, a captain of the lord of Cobweb Castle, and his ill-fated supplanting of his former master.…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for Hell Girl (2019) by Koji ShiraishiBackground image for Hell Girl (2019) by Koji Shiraishi

Hell Girl (2019) by Koji Shiraishi

In 1965 a girl gets revenge on the school bully by calling on Hell Girl (Tina Tamashiro), an infernal avenger, and her fellow demons to take her to…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for A.I. Love You (2016) by Shogo MiyakiBackground image for A.I. Love You (2016) by Shogo Miyaki

A.I. Love You (2016) by Shogo Miyaki

Haruko Hoshino (Aoi Morikawa) is works as a kitchen porter while dreaming of opening her own patisserie someday. Disillusioned by a series of job interview rejections she finds…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for Bubble (2022) by Tetsuro ArakiBackground image for Bubble (2022) by Tetsuro Araki

Bubble (2022) by Tetsuro Araki

Mysterious bubbles descend on Tokyo, destroying the city and leaving it mostly submerged under water. Years later, the survivors have formed into teams who compete in parkour competitions…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for Bitter Honey (2016) by Gakuryu IshiiBackground image for Bitter Honey (2016) by Gakuryu Ishii

Bitter Honey (2016) by Gakuryu Ishii

An aging writer (Ren Osugi) finds solace in his pet goldfish, anthropomorphised as a beautiful and flighty young woman in red (played by Fumi Nikaido). The two of…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for Avatar (2011) by Atsushi WadaBackground image for Avatar (2011) by Atsushi Wada

Avatar (2011) by Atsushi Wada

Ai Hashimoto stars in this dark teen drama as a high-school girl whose obsession with a mobile fashion game has deadly consequences for those around her. Michiko (Hashimoto)…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for Another Lonely Hitman (1995) by Rokuro MochizukiBackground image for Another Lonely Hitman (1995) by Rokuro Mochizuki

Another Lonely Hitman (1995) by Rokuro Mochizuki

Following a brutal hit on a rival mob boss, Yakuza hitman Takashi Tachibana (Ryo Ishibashi) is released from a ten year prison sentence. He is welcomed back to…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for Bloody Chainsaw Girl (2016) by Hiroki YamaguchiBackground image for Bloody Chainsaw Girl (2016) by Hiroki Yamaguchi

Bloody Chainsaw Girl (2016) by Hiroki Yamaguchi

Rio Uchida stars as a chainsaw-wielding teenage delinquent in this slice of silly splatter comedy. Giko Nokomura (Uchida) is a rebellious high-schooler, who inexplicably totes around a chainsaw…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for Masked Ward (2020) by Hisashi KimuraBackground image for Masked Ward (2020) by Hisashi Kimura

Masked Ward (2020) by Hisashi Kimura

Junior doctor Hayami (Kentaro Sakaguchi) is brought in by his senior Kosakai (Ryohei Otani) for a night-shift at a former psychiatric hospital, vestiges of which include the disused…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for No Longer Human (2019) by Mika NinagawaBackground image for No Longer Human (2019) by Mika Ninagawa

No Longer Human (2019) by Mika Ninagawa

A dramatization of the later life of Osamu Dazai, acclaimed author of works such as “The Setting Sun” and “No Longer Human”. The film introduces us to Dazai…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for It’s a Summer Film! (2020) by Soshi MatsumotoBackground image for It’s a Summer Film! (2020) by Soshi Matsumoto

It’s a Summer Film! (2020) by Soshi Matsumoto

Uninmpressed with her school film club’s current project, a saccharine romance, ‘Barefoot’ (Marika Ito) along with her friends ‘Kickboard’ (Yumi Kawai) and ‘Blue Hawaii’ (Kurara Inori) sets out…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for Intolerance (2021) by Keisuke YoshidaBackground image for Intolerance (2021) by Keisuke Yoshida

Intolerance (2021) by Keisuke Yoshida

A father comes to terms with his daughter’s accidental death in this powerful examination of grief. When Kanon (Aoi Ito) is caught shoplifting at a local supermarket, she…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for The Sound of Grass (2021) by Hisashi SaitoBackground image for The Sound of Grass (2021) by Hisashi Saito

The Sound of Grass (2021) by Hisashi Saito

Kazuo (Masahiro Higashide) is taken to a psychologist after suffering a stress-related breakdown who recommends a break from work, medication and regular excercise. Kazuo soon takes to his…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for Angel Dust (1994) by Sogo IshiiBackground image for Angel Dust (1994) by Sogo Ishii

Angel Dust (1994) by Sogo Ishii

A forensic psychologist is brought in to help investigators with a serial murder case involving women being injected with a poison on the Yamanote line and surroundings. Setsuko…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for Shrieking in the Rain (2021) by Eiji UchidaBackground image for Shrieking in the Rain (2021) by Eiji Uchida

Shrieking in the Rain (2021) by Eiji Uchida

A first-time female director battles studio executives, chauvanistic crew members, and the ratings board, as she tries to bring her vision to life in this comedy-drama from Eiji…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for Life: Untitled (2019) by Kana YamadaBackground image for Life: Untitled (2019) by Kana Yamada

Life: Untitled (2019) by Kana Yamada

A group of young women working at an escort agency attempt to come to terms with the lives that have brought them to this point. Kano (Sairi Ito)…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for Karate Girl (2011) by Yoshikatsu KimuraBackground image for Karate Girl (2011) by Yoshikatsu Kimura

Karate Girl (2011) by Yoshikatsu Kimura

10 years after her father was killed and her sister kidnapped, Ayaka Kurenai (Rina Takeda), descendent of the legendary Kurenai Karate-ka Shoujiro, is drawn back into a conflict…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for Summer Wars (2009) by Mamoru HosodaBackground image for Summer Wars (2009) by Mamoru Hosoda

Summer Wars (2009) by Mamoru Hosoda

OZ is a virtual online world where friends can gather and companies do business; connecting the global population in a vast virtual playground. As well as this it…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2006) by Mamoru HosodaBackground image for The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2006) by Mamoru Hosoda

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2006) by Mamoru Hosoda

Makoto (Riisa Naka) is a high-school student who is often late and a little disorganized. She spends her free time hanging out with her friends Kosuke (Mitsutaka Itakura)…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for Baby Assassins (2021) by Yugo SakamotoBackground image for Baby Assassins (2021) by Yugo Sakamoto

Baby Assassins (2021) by Yugo Sakamoto

Two high-school assassins attempt to develop covers as ordinary members of society in this action-comedy. Mahiro (Saori Izawa) and Chisato (Akari Takaishi) are skilled killers but lack any…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for First Love (2021) by Yukihiko TsutsumiBackground image for First Love (2021) by Yukihiko Tsutsumi

First Love (2021) by Yukihiko Tsutsumi

Forensic psychologist Yuki (Keiko Kitagawa) is interviewing a young murderer for a new book. The girl, Kanna (Kyoko Yoshine), has apparently murdered her father and told police that…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for Eternally Younger than those Idiots (2020) by Ryohei YoshinoBackground image for Eternally Younger than those Idiots (2020) by Ryohei Yoshino

Eternally Younger than those Idiots (2020) by Ryohei Yoshino

Secrets and traumatic memories lurk beneath the surface of this university drama. Student Horigai (Yui Sakuma) is due to submit her thesis, gathering questionnaire responses on childhood experiences…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for Child of Kamiari Month (2021) by Takana ShiraiBackground image for Child of Kamiari Month (2021) by Takana Shirai

Child of Kamiari Month (2021) by Takana Shirai

Primary school student Kanna (Aju Makita) lives with her father (Minako Kotobuki). As the school marathon approaches it stirs up difficult memories of the death of her mother…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for Typhoon Club (1985) by Shinji SomaiBackground image for Typhoon Club (1985) by Shinji Somai

Typhoon Club (1985) by Shinji Somai

A group of teenagers are trapped at their rural school during a typhoon in this adolescent drama. Girlfriends Yasuko and Yumi; their friends Midori and Michiko (Yuka Onishi),…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for Homestay (2022) by Natsuki SetaBackground image for Homestay (2022) by Natsuki Seta

Homestay (2022) by Natsuki Seta

A soul named Blank is returned to the body of a recently deceased high-schooler named Makoto Kobayashi (Kento Nagao). Blank is told by a figure known only as…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for An Adolescent (2001) by Eiji OkudaBackground image for An Adolescent (2001) by Eiji Okuda

An Adolescent (2001) by Eiji Okuda

A middle-aged policeman and a teenage schoolgirl begin a relationship in this drama based on a short story. Tomokawa (Eiji Okuda) works as a police officer, largely abusing…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for The Door into Summer (2021) by Miki TakahiroBackground image for The Door into Summer (2021) by Miki Takahiro

The Door into Summer (2021) by Miki Takahiro

Based on a novel by Robert A. Heinlein with a screenplay by Tomoe Kanno, “The Door into Summer” is a science-ficiton infused romantic drama. Soichiro (Kento Yamazaki) has…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for Cowboy Bebop (1998)Background image for Cowboy Bebop (1998)

Cowboy Bebop (1998)

Spike Spiegel (Koichi Yamadera) and Jet Black (Unsho Ishizuka) are bounty hunters and the sole crew of the spaceship Bebop. The show opens with plenty of questions as…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for Labyrinth of Dreams (1997) by Sogo IshiiBackground image for Labyrinth of Dreams (1997) by Sogo Ishii

Labyrinth of Dreams (1997) by Sogo Ishii

Tomiko (Rena Komine) starts work as a bus conducter after the death of her friend Tsuyako (Tomoka Kurotani) who dies while working the same job. Tomiko is soon…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for Cellular Girlfriend (2011) by Mari AsatoBackground image for Cellular Girlfriend (2011) by Mari Asato

Cellular Girlfriend (2011) by Mari Asato

A deadly mobile phone dating game begins to claim the lives of players and other victims in this follow up to Keitai Kareshi. The mysterious game from the…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for Lowlife Love (2016) by Eiji UchidaBackground image for Lowlife Love (2016) by Eiji Uchida

Lowlife Love (2016) by Eiji Uchida

Tetsuo (Kiyohiko Shibukawa) is an amateur film director. After having a small independent hit a few years before, he has decided to make this his career despite making…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for Black Fox: Age of the Ninja (2019) by Koichi SakamotoBackground image for Black Fox: Age of the Ninja (2019) by Koichi Sakamoto

Black Fox: Age of the Ninja (2019) by Koichi Sakamoto

A historical live-action spin-off/prequel to the anime film “Black Fox”, the story takes us back in time to provide an origin myth for the titular hero. We are…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for Good for Nothing (1960) by Yoshishige YoshidaBackground image for Good for Nothing (1960) by Yoshishige Yoshida

Good for Nothing (1960) by Yoshishige Yoshida

Ikuko Makino (Hizuru Takachiho) works as a secretary for Mr. Akiyama, whose son Toshio (Yusuke Kawazu) spends his days idling around town with his group of similarly aimless…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for Blind Woman’s Curse (1970) by Teruo IshiiBackground image for Blind Woman’s Curse (1970) by Teruo Ishii

Blind Woman’s Curse (1970) by Teruo Ishii

Akemi Tachibana (Meiko Kaji), the head of the Tachibana crime family, has to deal with the rival Aozora gang who are threatening to take over their territory. Dobashi…

Japanese Film Reviews