University of Miami to screen Enoshima Prism and Wonderful World End


The University of Miami will present free screenings of 2 Japanese films on September 16th and 23rd, 2016.

September 16 – The time-travel friendship drama Enoshima Prism, directed by Yasuhiro Yoshida, stars Sota Fukushi (Kamen Rider film series, Bleach), Shuhei Nomura (Litchi Hikari Club, Flying Colors), and Tsubasa Honda (GTO: Great Teacher Onizuka, Full Metal Alchemist) as high school friends bound by tragedy, and their journey to change to the past.

September 23 – Wonderful World End, directed by Daigo Matsui, is a teenage friendship drama rooted in modern-day digital communication, starring Ai Hashimoto and Jun Aonami and based on pop singer Seiko Oomori’s music videos.


The film screenings are free and open to the public. Information at the Consulate General of Japan in Miami’s official Facebook page:

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Death Note – Light up the NEW world (trailer)


The trailer for Death Note Light up the NEW world, the sequel to the immensely popular manga, anime, and film series, features the return of Erika Toda as Misa Amane, along with newcomers Masahiro Higashide, Sosuke Ikematsu, Masaki Suda, and Rina Kawaei.

Hanzawa Naoki – Episode 1 (Review)

Hanzawa Naoki
Episode 1

Review by David Cirone


Hanzawa Naoki‘s opening shot, a slowly-zooming close-up of the title character’s confession of beliefs, instantly brings to mind comparisons to The Godfather. Like Michael Corleone, mild-mannered banker Hanzawa is a man who transforms because of a duty to family, a dedication to his father, and ultimately, a singular focus to right the wrongs that have been done to him. Like Michael, Hanzawa is also capable of lying to those closest to him, even to himself, and his desire for revenge brings out his strength at the same time it brings out darker sides of his nature.

We’re rooting for Hanzawa from the start because he’s a little man who’s underestimated — we can all identify with that — but we’re accomplices, too, because right from this opening scene, Hanzawa Naoki is lying, and we know it.

Starting with the 1991 flashback to Hanzawa’s job interview, we see his determination to do things his way. “Surely there are other banks,” his interviewer prods, but Hanzawa insists. “It has to be this bank.” At the new hire orientation, he makes a veiled statement to the two men who will become his lifelong friends, Kondo (Kenichi Takito), his university kendo partner, and the management-minded Tomari (Mitsuhiro Oikawa): “I’m going to make it to the top,” Hanzawa proclaims, “and then there’s something I have to do.”

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FUNimation reveals trailer for Rurouni Kenshin Trilogy


FUNimation has revealed the trailer for the U.S. release of the popular Rurouni Kenshin film trilogy starring Takeru Sato, Emi Takei, Munetaka Aoki, and Yu Aoi. The films will screen in select theaters nationwide with a home video release to follow.

Rurouni Kenshin: Origins – August 8, 9 & 10
Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno – September 12, 13 & 14
Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends – October 3, 4 & 5


Sadako vs. Kayako (Trailer)


Kadokawa Films has revealed the trailer for the upcoming ghost-on-ghost-battle, Sadako vs. Kayako.

Japanese horror buffs are bound to lose their minds just hearing the concept alone: the ghost of The Ring (Ringu) vs. the ghost of The Grudge (Ju-on). The modern geek equivalent of Godzilla vs King Kong…? Maybe.

The film’s producers are encouraging everyone to have fun with this concept, with special novelty goods (like cup decorations), goofy Instagram shots, and even a special introduction video from Sekima II, who provides appropriately evil-ish music for the film, due for release in June.

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Hibana (Spark) (trailer)


Preview trailer for the upcoming Netflix / Yoshimoto Kogyo series Hibana (Spark), based on the Akutagawa Prize-winning novel by comedian Naoki Matayoshi. The series stars Kento Hayashi and Kazuki Namioka.

Princess Jellyfish (Film Review)

Princess Jellyfish
Review by Jen Wang

Very rarely do female geeks get the same treatment as their male counterparts. They may be obsessive and awkward, but their quirks are endearing and adaptable to modern society. That’s what makes Princess Jellyfish so appealing. The geeks of this live-action adaptation are full on 40-Year-Old Virgin awkward, and they wouldn’t have it any other way.

Tsukimi Kurashita (Rena Nouen) and her Amamizukan flat mates, known collectively as the “Amars”, spend their time avoiding men and fashionable women. Instead they pursue their one interest, be it trains or kimonos. Tsukimi’s obsession is jellyfish, and a chance encounter at the pet store with the cross-dressing son of a politician, Kuranosuke Koibuchi (Masaki Suda), couldn’t come at a better time. He brings her out of her shell and helps the Amars take a stand against developers trying to tear down their safe haven.


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Atelier (Series Review)

Series Review by David Cirone


Netflix Japan’s premiere original series Atelier (titled “Underwear” for its Japanese release) is an infuriatingly weak attempt to showcase the provocative world of lingerie. Cardboard characters, illogical plot twists, and episode-after-episode of junior-high-school idealistic speeches made this series a real challenge to finish. In truth, the story is over by episode 9, but the 13-episode commitment stretched this thin plot even thinner. It would have been much more fashionable for this series to leave the party early.

A self-described “fabric geek” Mayuko (Mirei Kiritani) comes to the big city to pursue her dreams of joining the fashion industry. All wide-eyed and bushy-tailed, she lands an intern job at Emotion, a small boutique shop in Tokyo’s Ginza district, with the lingerie world’s most renowned designer, Mayumi Nanjo (Mao Daichi). It’s not long before Mayuko starts making changes and making speeches about how Nanjo and her team of designers should view the concept of feminine beauty and change what’s been working for them so many years. She disobeys orders and causes trouble for the shop, jeopardizing Nanjo’s business and reputation so often that there wasn’t one single episode where I didn’t shout “You’re fired!” out loud at the screen.


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