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Posts Tagged ‘Japan’


Trailer Watch: Hayao Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises TIFF trailer

From the Toronto International Film Festival YouTube comes a trailer for Hayao Miyazaki’s next, The Wind Rises, a “decade-spanning epic… inspired by the true stories of Jiro Horikoshi, visionary designer of one the most beautiful airplanes in history—the famed Zero fighter—and the poet Tatsuo Hori, whose verses are brought to life by the vivid animation of Studio Ghibli.”

The trailer is a thing of beauty, and while it’s been online for a little while, this one has subtitles for those of us who don’t know Japanese.

The film premieres at TIFF next month, naturally. There is no regular theatrical release date yet, and with the subject matter, I wouldn’t hold my breath unless an Academy Award nomination gets it some attention. But who knows?

Trailer Watch: Japanese Space Pirate Captain Harlock trailer

Appleseed and Appleseed Ex Machina director Shinji Aramaki is back with a CG-animated adaptation of Space Pirate Captain Harlock. This third trailer (all in Japanese, so… hopefully you either speak it, or you’re familiar enough with the anime that you have some idea of what’s going on). I never did, and my Japanese is basically non-existent, so I’m totally lost… but it sure looks pretty.

The film is out in Japan this September, but no signs of an American release at this time. It’s all but guaranteed to make it here on video, eventually, though, so if you’re a fan, just hang in there.

If you really want to spoil it for yourself, there’s about twelve minutes of footage online here.

Trailer Watch: Japanese Gatchaman trailer

Battle of the Planets was one of those things that I would talk about in my teens and everybody would look at me like I was making shit up. (“Birds…? Riiiiight.”) Now, everybody’s all “oh yeah, I totally watched that when I was a kid,” and I think they’re all a bunch of big, fat liars.


Toya Sato’s live action Gatchaman has another trailer out, and while I don’t understand any of it on account of only retaining about twenty words of Japanese from the classes I took in college, it looks… well, okay, it looks kind of bad. But it also looks awesome!

The movie stars some people I’ve never heard of (Tori Matsuzaka, Gō Ayano, Ayame Gouriki, Tatsuomi Hamada, and Ryohei Suzuki) and comes out in Japan on August 24th. It will probably not make it to the U.S. until its DVD release, so unless you live in the Land of the Rising Sun, don’t hold your breath just yet.

via @gmskarka by way of John Rogers

“Noiseman Sound Insect” (and other stuff) by Kōji Morimoto

Kōji Morimoto is one of my favorite animators whom I’ve never seen a feature by. That’s partly because the only feature he’s done to date is the 1991 Fly! Peek the Whale (an out-and-out kid flick, that I’ve never even seen a copy of), but he’s better known for his animated shorts, anyway.

His most seen short in the US, at least, is undoubtedly “Beyond” from the Animatrix anthology, which was one of that very strong collection’s best. He collaborated with Katsuhiro Otomo for the brilliant “The Order to Stop Construction” in Manie Manie anthology (also known as Neo Tokyo). He did Franken’s Gears from Robot Carnival. He’s also done an OVA series called Eternal Family and — most recently — a short called “Dimension Bomb” for the Genius Party Beyond anthology, neither of which I’ve seen. (A lot of this stuff is pretty hard to find!)

Morimoto has also directed a bunch of J-pop music videos, some of which are gorgeous. His stories have been hit and miss (in the films I’ve seen), but the skill of the animation always impresses me. It’s fascinating work, and it’s all begging to be collected onto one “The Work of Kōji Morimoto”-type set one day.

The reason for this post, though, is a 15-minute short he did back in 1997. Be warned: it’s weird. SFW weird, but weeeeiiiird. (And don’t worry; it’s not all filled with visual noise like the first few minutes. That’s intentional. The video gets perfectly clear after a couple of minutes.

Morimoto is supposedly at work on a feature called Sachiko, but I haven’t heard anything about that in years.