By Motoko Tamamuro. Hayao Miyazaki was initially unaware of the phenomenon of the “Balse Festival” that broke out on social media. The Balse was the spell of destruction, cast by the protagonists Pazu and Sheeta in Studio Ghibli’s first official production, Laputa: The Castle in the Sky. Over the years, fans in Japan began tweeting […]
By Jasper Sharp. The Motion Picture Producers Association of Japan (Eiren) has just released its annual overview of the financial facts, figures and trends for the Japanese film industry for last year. For filmo-watchers, the 2018 statistics yield few surprises, but still merit further contemplation.
By Jonathan Clements. Reading the contributor biographies for the collection Law and Justice in Japanese Popular Culture: From Crime-Fighting Robots to Duelling Pocket Monsters, one gets the sense that this book was put together by a bunch of young, ardent scholars determined to have some fun. I see a lot of PhD candidacies and associate […]
by Jeremy Clarke. Part relationship drama, part love story, part comedy, part science fiction, Before We Vanish is the latest movie by Japanese auteur Kiyoshi Kurosawa to hit UK Blu-ray and may be his strangest ever film. This is saying a lot for a director whose filmography includes horror movies like Pulse (2001), ghost stories […]
By Andrew Osmond. Some live-action manga adaptations proclaim they are manga adaptations in each and every frame, with lurid colours and effects, absurd costumes and acting that would look broad in a panto. Pumpkin and Mayonnaise, which is screening around the UK and Ireland as part of the Japan Foundation’s Touring Film Programme for 2019, […]