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Just in time this time round. 🙂

Hope you had a good weekend. It actually snowed in London, but only for 10 minutes and no one – except those of us up at 6 am on Saturday morning – noticed. I even saw three people in shorts at that hour, one being a runner, the other two… lunatics? At least I can’t figure out any other explanation for wearing shorts at 1 degree Celsius!

Anyhow, five trailers today (in order to be timely), all J plus one K.

  • ウォーターボーイズ」 (Wōtā Bōizu/Water Boys, 2001) – (Note: Could only find a Korean trailer). This is another Tsumabuki Satoshi film. Except that I first stumbled across the 2003 dorama that followed the film, assuming that Tsumabuki was in it, which he wasn’t. By the time I realised that, I had already been totally pulled in by the high school bromance story of a group of infectiously enthusiastic boys that wants to organise a synchronised swimming performance for their last school festival before graduating. However, no one else thinks that is a good idea, with the student council president (Eita playing, at least initially, a total stickler for rules), various teachers and their parents all placing seemingly insurmountable hurdles in their way. The story in the film is the same. I haven’t yet watched that version, but I can tell you the dorama isn’t just eyecandy, it’s a heartwarming tale, reminding us that we should pursue our dreams to the best of our abilities. (Note: Wōtā Bōizu was so successful that there is even a season 2 of the dorama as well as a second film.)
  • 명왕성 (Myungwangsung/Pluto, South Korea, 2012) – I took one look at that trailer -mere seconds of it – and, ahhh, who did I see! Sung Joon! Aka the rocking Ji-Hyuk from the k-drama bromance-awesomeness of 닥치고 꽃미남밴드 (Dagchigo Kkochminambaendeu/Shut Up Flower Boy Band, South Korea, 2012) from earlier in the year. Not that I needed that to be convinced to watch Myungwangsung: its exploration on high school bullying of the extremest kind and its reception at the Busan Film Festival already had me convinced that this is a film I’ll be watching. The trailer promises some gorgeous cinematography too.
  • 横道世之介」 (Yokomichi Yonosuke/A Story of Yonosuke, Japan, 2012) – I actually don’t know very much about this film. Based on a novel, it is set in the 1980s and is about a college student, Yonosuke, who lives in the port city of Nagasaki and becomes popular by… dancing the samba. The trailer is no more than a teaser of 38 seconds but this is the follow-up from「キツツキと雨」(Kitsutsuki to Ame/The Woodsman and the Rain, Japan, 2012) director Okita Shuichi, so I’m going to trust this film will be just as good fun as Kitsutsuki to Ame was. Kora Kengo, who had only a minor role as the ‘other’ Koichi in Okita’s other film, plays the lead here. Yokomichi Yonosuke is set for a 2013 release, but recently had its world premiere at the Tokyo International Film Festival.
  • 苦役列車」 (Kueki Ressha/The Drudgery Train, Japan, 2012) – One of the actors in the first season of the Wōtā Bōizu dorama is Moriyama Mirai. I have featured some of his films in previous Trailer Weeklies – 「フィッシュストーリー」 (Fisshu Sutori/Fish Story, Japan, 2009) in #36 and 「セイジー陸の魚―」 (Seiji – Riku no Uo/Fish on Land, Japan, 2012) in #12. I find myself rather mesmerised by him. There is just something in his looks – his eyes – that is utterly enthralling. His Tatematsu in Wōtā Bōizu was also a riot (that kind of high school boy that would drive you bonkers as a teacher, but that you still love so much more than any robotic goody-two-shoes). Anyhow, Kueki Ressha: here Moriyama plays Kitamichi, a 19-year old, middle-school drop-out labour worker who fools around in life. He falls in love with Yasuko and also befriends Kusakabe (Kora Kengo again) – who is in love with the same girl as him. Never having had either a girlfriend or a real friend before, jealousy soon overtakes Kitamichi. Could be dark!
  • 北のカナリアたち」 (Kita no Kanariatachi/A Chorus of Angels, Japan, 2012) – More Moriyama Mirai (just because!). This film I noticed already a little while back, but its synopsis – “20 years ago, an elementary school student falls on an island in the northern tip of Hokkaido. A teacher and 6 students makes contact through songs. What happened to the studen [sic] who fell? The teacher returns 20 years later to meet with her former students.” (asianwiki.com) – didn’t draw me in, in part because it’s sort of vague (“Falls on an island”?). But the trailer is in fact rather atmospheric and has me much, much more interested. (The poster, meanwhile, couldn’t be more boring.)

Bonus Bits

  • 「おおかみこどもの雨と雪」 (Ookami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki/Wolf Children, 2012) now also has been picked up for UK/European distribution. Manga Entertainment plans a DVD and Blu-Ray release, as well as theatrical showings – possibly as part of a Hosoda Mamoru Retrospective. Sounds stellar to me! (Special thanks to Genkinahito for alerting me to this bit of news on animenewsnetwork.co.uk.)
  • There is some awesome stuff happening for anime fans in Paris, namely the Mon Premier Festival, which starts on October 31st and runs for a week. “Awesome” meaning a Miyazaki Hayao retrospective, plus plenty of other Studio Ghibli films (including the fairly recent 「借りぐらしのアリエッティ」 (Karigurashi no Arrietty/Arrietty, 2010), Hosoda Mamoru fare (including Ookami Kodomo), Kon Satoshi and lots more. Anyone else green with envy? Himonogirl, do please report back on how much you enjoyed yourself!