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Featured image for Words Bubble Up Like Soda Pop (2020) by Kyohei IshiguroBackground image for Words Bubble Up Like Soda Pop (2020) by Kyohei Ishiguro

Words Bubble Up Like Soda Pop (2020) by Kyohei Ishiguro

Yui Sakura (Someguro Ichikawa), known familiarly as ‘Cherry’, is a quiet, thoughtful young high-schooler, working part time at a day care centre for the elderly, and spending his…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for Pycho-Pass: The Movie (2015) by Katsuyuki MotohiroBackground image for Pycho-Pass: The Movie (2015) by Katsuyuki Motohiro

Pycho-Pass: The Movie (2015) by Katsuyuki Motohiro

When a group of foreign terrorists arrive on Japanese soil, Inspector Akane Tsunemori (Kana Hanazawa) finds herself beginning an investigation that will once again force her to question…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for Psycho-Pass 2 (2014)Background image for Psycho-Pass 2 (2014)

Psycho-Pass 2 (2014)

Investigator Akane Tsunemori (Kana Hanazawa) heads up division one as they take on a new challenge in the shape of a mysterious figure intent on tearing society apart.…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for Airport 2013 (2013) by Koki MitaniBackground image for Airport 2013 (2013) by Koki Mitani

Airport 2013 (2013) by Koki Mitani

When there is a transfer flight delay, a put-upon ground staff worker at a small town airport has to deal with a family that has plenty of problems…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for Crazy Samurai: 400 vs 1 (2020) by Yuji ShimomuraBackground image for Crazy Samurai: 400 vs 1 (2020) by Yuji Shimomura

Crazy Samurai: 400 vs 1 (2020) by Yuji Shimomura

Tak Sakaguchi (Versus, Re:Born) is known for his action films, both a competent stunt performer and choreographer. This ambitious project is centered around an incredible one-take fight sequence…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for Burst City (1982) by Sogo IshiiBackground image for Burst City (1982) by Sogo Ishii

Burst City (1982) by Sogo Ishii

A wild joyride through the heart of the punk subculture of the early 1980’s, “Burst City” offers a snapshot of the rebellious spirit of a generation. The film…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for Irezumi (1966) by Yasuzo MasumuraBackground image for Irezumi (1966) by Yasuzo Masumura

Irezumi (1966) by Yasuzo Masumura

Otsuya (Ayako Wakao) elopes with her lover Shinsuke (Akio Hasegawa), who is apprenticed to her father. The two arrive at a nearby inn where they hope to find…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for Jigoku: Japanese Hell (1999) by Teruo IshiiBackground image for Jigoku: Japanese Hell (1999) by Teruo Ishii

Jigoku: Japanese Hell (1999) by Teruo Ishii

A journey into the depths of hell from master of the macabre, Teruo Ishii. Rika (Miki Sato) is a young woman who is brought to hell by its…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for Evangelion 3.0 + 1.0: Thrice Upon a Time (2021) by Hideaki AnnoBackground image for Evangelion 3.0 + 1.0: Thrice Upon a Time (2021) by Hideaki Anno

Evangelion 3.0 + 1.0: Thrice Upon a Time (2021) by Hideaki Anno

The final instalment in the “Rebuild of Evangelion” tetralogy brings things to a thrilling, poignant, and oftentimes shocking conclusion. This is in effect the third time that this…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo (2012) by Hideaki AnnoBackground image for Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo (2012) by Hideaki Anno

Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo (2012) by Hideaki Anno

The third Evangelion film finds Shinji Ikari (Megumi Ogata) awakening from a fourteen-year coma following the cataclysmic events of the previous film. Shinji returns to earth to find…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for Evangelion 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance (2009) by Hideaki AnnoBackground image for Evangelion 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance (2009) by Hideaki Anno

Evangelion 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance (2009) by Hideaki Anno

In this instalment of the “Rebuild of Evangelion” series we are introduced to a new Eva pilot, the feisty, confident Asuka Langley Shikinami (Yuko Miyamura), who joins Shinji…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for Evangelion 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone (2007) by Hideaki AnnoBackground image for Evangelion 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone (2007) by Hideaki Anno

Evangelion 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone (2007) by Hideaki Anno

The earth is under attack from giant extra-terrestrial beings known as Angels. The only hope for humanity is the secretive organisation NERV who have created huge robots known…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for Gemini (1999) by Shinya TsukamotoBackground image for Gemini (1999) by Shinya Tsukamoto

Gemini (1999) by Shinya Tsukamoto

Doctor Yukio (Masahiro Motoki) has recently returned from treating soldiers at the front. His parnter Rin (Ryo) is a woman who appears to be suffering amnesia, with Yukio…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for Flowers of Passion: Stories from the Japanese Underground Idol Scene (2021) by Derek VasconiBackground image for Flowers of Passion: Stories from the Japanese Underground Idol Scene (2021) by Derek Vasconi

Flowers of Passion: Stories from the Japanese Underground Idol Scene (2021) by Derek Vasconi

An exploration of the subculture of underground idols and the personal stories behind the performers, fans and producers. For those unfamiliar with the concept of ‘idols’, they are…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for Rurouni Kenshin: The Beginning (2021) by Keishi OtomoBackground image for Rurouni Kenshin: The Beginning (2021) by Keishi Otomo

Rurouni Kenshin: The Beginning (2021) by Keishi Otomo

Kenshin Himura (Takeru Sato) joins an anti-shogunate force led by Katsura Kogoro (Issey Takahashi), soon becoming one of their greatest assessins due to his unmatched skills with a…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for Inferno of Torture (1969) by Teruo IshiiBackground image for Inferno of Torture (1969) by Teruo Ishii

Inferno of Torture (1969) by Teruo Ishii

Unable to pay her debts, Yumi (Yumiko Katayama) is taken by Samejima (Haruo Tanaka) to a brothel specialising in sadomasochism. All the women there are tattooed with elaborate…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for Shogun’s Joy of Torture (1968) by Teruo IshiiBackground image for Shogun’s Joy of Torture (1968) by Teruo Ishii

Shogun’s Joy of Torture (1968) by Teruo Ishii

Three tales of sin, shame, and brutal punishments are brought together in Teruo Ishii’s historical ero-guro drama. The first story concerns Mitsu (Masumi Tachibana) and her brother Shinzo…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for Hiroshima (1953) by Hideo SekigawaBackground image for Hiroshima (1953) by Hideo Sekigawa

Hiroshima (1953) by Hideo Sekigawa

The atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima was a tragic landmark in world history, a painful reminder of humanity’s capacity for violence and the devastating power of technology. The…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for The Naked Director Series 2 (2021)Background image for The Naked Director Series 2 (2021)

The Naked Director Series 2 (2021)

Toru Muranishi (Takayuki Yamada) is on top of the world, with Sapphire Productions making money hand over fist, his staff and stars, including Rugby (Takenori Goto), Junko (Sairi…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for Moonlight Whispers (1999) by Akihiko ShiotaBackground image for Moonlight Whispers (1999) by Akihiko Shiota

Moonlight Whispers (1999) by Akihiko Shiota

A tortured teenage love story touching on themes of perversion and control. Takuya Hidaka (Kenji Mizuhashi) and Satsuki Kitahara (Tsugumi) are classmates and members of the same high-school…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for Yakuza and the Family (2020) by Michihito FujiiBackground image for Yakuza and the Family (2020) by Michihito Fujii

Yakuza and the Family (2020) by Michihito Fujii

A poignant story of a young man’s involvement in a crime family told over two decades. In 1999, Kenji Yamamoto (Go Ayano) attends the funeral of his father,…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for Tokyo Fist (1995) by Shinya TsukamotoBackground image for Tokyo Fist (1995) by Shinya Tsukamoto

Tokyo Fist (1995) by Shinya Tsukamoto

Tsuda (Shinya Tsukomoto) works as an insurance salesmen, living a comfortable, if monotonous life, with his girlfirend Hizuru (Kahori Fujii). Their relationship is jeapordized with the reappearance of…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for Demon Slayer: Mugen Train (2020) by Haruo SotozakiBackground image for Demon Slayer: Mugen Train (2020) by Haruo Sotozaki

Demon Slayer: Mugen Train (2020) by Haruo Sotozaki

While it is possible to enjoy this film without having seen the Demon Slayer anime, I would advise watching the series first. The film picks up directly from…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for Demon Slayer (2019)Background image for Demon Slayer (2019)

Demon Slayer (2019)

When Tanjiro Kamado’s (Natsuki Hanae) family are brutally murdered by a demon, he is set on a path to become a demon slayer, an elite of warriors tasked…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for Rurouni Kenshin: The Final (2021) by Keishi OtomoBackground image for Rurouni Kenshin: The Final (2021) by Keishi Otomo

Rurouni Kenshin: The Final (2021) by Keishi Otomo

Taking place several years after the previous film, Himura Kenshin’s (Takeru Sato) peace is once again disturbed by a figure from his past. Enishi Yukishiro (Mackenyu Arata) bears…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for Rurouni Kenshin 3: The Legend Ends (2014) by Keishi OtomoBackground image for Rurouni Kenshin 3: The Legend Ends (2014) by Keishi Otomo

Rurouni Kenshin 3: The Legend Ends (2014) by Keishi Otomo

The final part of the Rurouni Kenshin trilogy tells the story of the legendary swordsman Kenshin Himura (Takeru Sato) as he battles against Shishio (Tatsuya Fujiwara), a fellow…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for Rurouni Kenshin 2: Kyoto Inferno (2014) by Keishi OtomoBackground image for Rurouni Kenshin 2: Kyoto Inferno (2014) by Keishi Otomo

Rurouni Kenshin 2: Kyoto Inferno (2014) by Keishi Otomo

The film opens with an atmospheric sequence in which we see police chief Hajime Saito (Yosuke Eguchi) tracking down the dangerous gang-boss Makoto Shishio (Tatsuya Fujiwara), a figure…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for Rurouni Kenshin (2012) by Keishi OtomoBackground image for Rurouni Kenshin (2012) by Keishi Otomo

Rurouni Kenshin (2012) by Keishi Otomo

A new age is dawning in Japan, one of peace following the bloody struggles of rival samurai. After the last battle of a long war, legendary swordsman Battosai…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for Over Your Dead Body (2014) by Takashi MiikeBackground image for Over Your Dead Body (2014) by Takashi Miike

Over Your Dead Body (2014) by Takashi Miike

Dreams and reality begin to merge during preparations for a stage production of a popular ghost story. Miyuki (Ko Shibasaki) and Kosuke (Ebizo Ichikawa) are playing the lead…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for Dead Sushi (2012) by Noboru IguchiBackground image for Dead Sushi (2012) by Noboru Iguchi

Dead Sushi (2012) by Noboru Iguchi

The sushi bites back in this horror comedy from writer-director Noboru Iguchi. Keiko (Rina Takeda) is dismissed from her father’s sushi restaurant after failing to meet his high…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for Jimmy (2018)Background image for Jimmy (2018)

Jimmy (2018)

A dramatization of the early career of Jimmy Onishi, a popular comedian and painter. An early talent for baseball ends in ignominy when young Hideaki Onishi (Akiyoshi Nakao)…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for Almost Coming, Almost Dying (2017) by Toshimasa KobayashiBackground image for Almost Coming, Almost Dying (2017) by Toshimasa Kobayashi

Almost Coming, Almost Dying (2017) by Toshimasa Kobayashi

Sex and death, two of humanities most enduring fascinations are brought together in this darkly comic tale. After many years out of work, and trying with little success…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for Big Man Japan (2007) by Hiroshi MatsumotoBackground image for Big Man Japan (2007) by Hiroshi Matsumoto

Big Man Japan (2007) by Hiroshi Matsumoto

Comedian Hiroshi Matsumoto writes, directs and stars in this slapstick take on the kaiju genre. Daisato (Matsumura) lives a simple life, alone in a small house, taking care…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for Whsiper of the Heart (1995) by Yoshifumi KondoBackground image for Whsiper of the Heart (1995) by Yoshifumi Kondo

Whsiper of the Heart (1995) by Yoshifumi Kondo

Childhood romance blossoms in this light-hearted Ghibli film directed by Yoshifumi Kondo. Bookish schoolgirl Shizuku (Yoko Honna) is intrigued when she discovers the same name on a number…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for Whisper of the Heart (1995) by Yoshifumi KondoBackground image for Whisper of the Heart (1995) by Yoshifumi Kondo

Whisper of the Heart (1995) by Yoshifumi Kondo

Childhood romance blossoms in this light-hearted Ghibli film directed by Yoshifumi Kondo. Bookish schoolgirl Shizuku (Yoko Honna) is intrigued when she discovers the same name on a number…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for Mio on the Shore (2019) by Ryutaro NakagawaBackground image for Mio on the Shore (2019) by Ryutaro Nakagawa

Mio on the Shore (2019) by Ryutaro Nakagawa

Mio (Honoka Matsumoto) lives in a picturesque rural village in Nagano with her grandmother who runs a bathhouse. When her grandmother becomes sick, Mio moves to Tokyo to…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for Homunculus (2021) by Takashi ShimizuBackground image for Homunculus (2021) by Takashi Shimizu

Homunculus (2021) by Takashi Shimizu

Susumu Nakoshi (Go Ayano) is suffering from amnesia, homeless and living out of his car, when a strange man named Ito Manabu Ito (Ryo Narita) taps on his…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for Three-foot Ball & Souls (2017) by Yoshio KatoBackground image for Three-foot Ball & Souls (2017) by Yoshio Kato

Three-foot Ball & Souls (2017) by Yoshio Kato

Four individuals learn about one another’s lives when they gather to commit joint suicide. Happa (Kanji Tsuda) has created a 3-foot sphere packed with fireworks with which to…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for Theatre: A Love Story (2020) by Isao YukisadaBackground image for Theatre: A Love Story (2020) by Isao Yukisada

Theatre: A Love Story (2020) by Isao Yukisada

Following a chance meeting on the street and a brief romance, impoverished playwright Nagata (Kento Yamazaki) and Saki (Mayu Matsuoka) move in together. Their relationship is far from…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for Taste of Emptiness (2017) by Marina TsukadaBackground image for Taste of Emptiness (2017) by Marina Tsukada

Taste of Emptiness (2017) by Marina Tsukada

A moving story about a young high-school girl suffering with an eating disorder. Satoko (Haruna Hori) appears to be a happy and healthy teenager, part of her school…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for Hysteric Betty (2020) by Iori KedakaiBackground image for Hysteric Betty (2020) by Iori Kedakai

Hysteric Betty (2020) by Iori Kedakai

A story of female liberation starring writer-director Iori Kedakai. 30 year old Iori (Kedakai) is picked up by a fashion scout, Tomiyoshi (Tatsuya Nakayama), on a visit to…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for The End of Evangelion (1997) by Hideaki AnnoBackground image for The End of Evangelion (1997) by Hideaki Anno

The End of Evangelion (1997) by Hideaki Anno

“The End of Evangelion” is not a standalone film, rather it is the conclusion to the “Neon Genesis Evangelion” anime series. Many fans were dissatisfied with the ending…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995-1996)Background image for Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995-1996)

Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995-1996)

In the year 2015, a group of teenagers are called upon to save the world from a predicted apocalypse known as Third Impact. “Evangelion” throws us straight into…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for Shape of Red (2020) by Yukiko MishimaBackground image for Shape of Red (2020) by Yukiko Mishima

Shape of Red (2020) by Yukiko Mishima

A woman stuck in a rut sees the possibility of a new life when she reconnects with an old boyfriend. Toko (Kaho) is living a simple yet unexciting…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for Lesson of Evil (2012) by Takashi MiikeBackground image for Lesson of Evil (2012) by Takashi Miike

Lesson of Evil (2012) by Takashi Miike

            Takashi Miike gives us a violent crime thriller following a deranged psychopath in this gory film adaptation of Yusuke Kishi’s novel. The film begins with a scene…

Japanese Film Reviews

Featured image for Alice in Borderland (2020)Background image for Alice in Borderland (2020)

Alice in Borderland (2020)

A series of violent games tests the wits and courage of young Tokyoites as they work to find out who is behind them. Arisu (Kento Yamazaki) is a…

Japanese Film Reviews