ゴジラ . . . ですか? The arrival of SHIN GODZILLA version 2.0

Directors Hideaki ANNO and Shinji HIGUCHI’s multi-Japan Academy Prize-winning smash Shin Godzilla received its much-anticipated home video debut earlier this week, though not quite in the form fans might have been expecting.

As the special edition Blu-ray booklet notes, the original theatrical Shin Godzilla has received an upgrade. This is Shin Godzilla master ver, 2.0.

The booklet (the relevant section of which is copied above) notes a handful of changes which have been made to the film, visually, including one effects shot which has been replaced with a different angle, as well as adjustments to a half dozen of the film’s (many, many) captions and the end credits scroll. The booklet also mentions more general, albeit unspecified alterations to the audio mix.

In practice, I must confess to noticing no significant discrepancies at all between Shin Godzilla ver,2.0 and the theatrical release, which I saw twice in DCP last fall. The switched shot only caught my eye after I read through the booklet itself, which illustrates the switch explicitly. Otherwise I noted only the color and contrast, which seemed superior in their reproduction on the Blu-ray (and presumably the UHD disc as well, though I’ll need a significant home theater upgrade before I can comment on that) than in the DCP, though how much of that is down to actual adjustments versus my own arguably-dependable memory is debatable.

Ultimately I’m not entirely sure what to make of the alterations, excepting that they should come as no real surprise to anyone familiar with the people involved in the production. Co-director Anno’s Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone has been altered in each of its successive home video and theatrically re-released iterations (1.0 to 1.01 and eventually 1.11), to give just one example. That Shin Godzilla is now in ver,2.0 is par for the course, and perhaps even appropriate considering the themes of the film itself. One could lament, I suppose, the loss of the original theatrical experience, but maybe such experiences are best left to nostalgia anyway. Shin Godzilla remains Shin Godzilla, and though its aesthetic trappings have undergone an evolution the sum of its substance remains very much the same.

Shin Godzilla is out now in a variety of flavors from Toho Visual Entertainment, and is expected to receive an English-friendly North American home video edition through Funimation later this year.

Ishirō Honda’s THE H-MAN「美女と液体人間」to Blu-ray from Anolis in March!

German label Anolis Entertainment have announced the Blu-ray world premiere of Toho’s classic 1958 special effects thriller 「美女と液体人間」 The H-Man. The dual-format 2-disc set will present the film in three different versions; the original Japanese and American theatrical versions, as well as the German. Missing in action is the film’s original 3-channel stereo sound mix (available on the Region 2 Japanese DVD edition), but the specs seem impressive enough otherwise. The disc will be the sixth in the label’s latest iteration of its collector’s Galerie des Grauens series, and streets on March 17th 2017.

Full release details, courtesy of the Anolis Entertainment Facebook page:


Dieser Kracher, souverän inszeniert von Kaiju-Ikone Ishiro Honda, wird von den Fans gerne mit dem Original-Blob verglichen. Und wer sich den Inhalt anschaut, wird nicht drum herum kommen, dem zuzustimmen:

Rätselhafte Ereignisse erschüttern die Millionenstadt Tokio. Menschen verschwinden spurlos, die Polizei steht ratlos vor einem scheinbar unlösbaren Fall und einer Vielzahl unerklärlicher Phänomene. Während eines Drogendeals wird ein Kleinkrimineller von einem Taxi überfahren. Niemand findet den Verletzten, nur seine Kleidung ist zurückgeblieben. Die überlebenden Mitglieder eines Fischkutters berichten eine unglaubliche Geschichte über ein Geisterschiff in den Gewässern eines nuklearen Testgebiets. Gibt es einen Zusammenhang zwischen den Atombombenversuchen und den unfassbaren Vorfällen in Tokio? Erst mit Hilfe der Wissenschaft findet die Polizei die schauerliche Wahrheit heraus – doch ist es vielleicht bereits zu spät für die Bevölkerung Japans?

Japans Meister des phantastischen Films, Inoshiro Honda, präsentiert mit diesem Film einen ganz besonderen Gruselschocker und fesselt die Zuschauer auch ohne die bewährten Riesenmonster. Er visualisiert das vielleicht schrecklichste Monster aller Zeiten: Einen dämonischen Albtraum, der durch den Menschen selbst erschaffen wurde. Ein packendes Schauerstück, das bis heute nichts von seiner Aktualität eingebüßt hat.

Und wie kommt das gute Stück daher? Auf jeden Fall auch schon wieder auf Blaustrahl:

Verpackung: Standard Amaray Hülle (mit Flügel für 2. Disc)
Bestell-Nr: 31076
EAN-Code: 404 1036 31076 9

Bildformat: 1:2,35 (16:9)
Tonformat: Deutsch/Englisch/Japanisch DTS MA 2.0 Mono
Untertitel: deutsch (ausblendbar)

2-Disc-Edition (Blu-ray & DVD)

Extras: Japanische Langfassung und amerikanische bzw. deutsche Kinofassung wählbar / Audiokommentar von Dr. Rolf Giesen und Jörg M. Jedner / Audiokommentar mit Jörg Buttgereit, Bodo Traber und Alexander Iffländer / Deutscher Kinotrailer / Werberatschlag / Filmprogramm / Bildergalerie

16-seitiges Booklet geschrieben von Jörg M. Jedner

Als VÖ-Termin haben wir den 17. März 2017 festgelegt. Wie üblich gehen morgen die Infos an die Krämerseelen raus, somit sollte der Titel ab Dienstag/Mittwoch bei allen Shops vorbestellbar sein.

PS: Kurz noch was zu den Sprachen. Die Japanische Fassung weist deutschen und japanischen Ton auf, die amerikanische Version deutschen und englischen Ton. Die beiden Versionen haben also nicht 3 Sprachversionen zur Auswahl.

At this time I have no pre-order information to include, but will update as it becomes available.

Anolis’ dual format The H-Man Blu-ray / DVD can be preordered now through Amazon.de, and looks to run about $33 shipped at present exchange rates. It’s worth noting that, despite the inclusion of the American theatrical edition of the film, English subtitles are not included with this release.

For those region-locked customers, or those just looking to see the film in an English-friendly option, The H-Man is available in both its Japanese and American theatrical versions as part of Sony’s excellent (and value-priced) Icons of Sci-Fi: Toho Collection DVD set.

Makoto Shinkai’s YOUR NAME.「君の名は。」hits North American cinemas April 7th from Funimation Films

Makoto SHINKAI’s award-winning block-busting animated feature, currently in special IMAX release in Japan, will arrive in domestic cinemas in both its original Japanese with English subtitles as well as dubbed English.

From Funimation:

Separated By Distance
Connected By Fate

Makoto Shinkai’s latest masterpiece, Your Name. has quickly risen as one of the top anime films in the world. Award winning and under consideration for an Oscar, this number-one film is finally coming to North American theaters on April 7th, presented in both Japanese with English subtitles and English dub.

This release will also include the newly dubbed English soundtrack recorded by the Japanese band, Radwimps—which has not been debuted in any previous theatrical release!

Keep an eye on Funimation Films’ Your Name. site for further details and advance tickets.

All Brand New! An Important Film of Our Age Starring Russ Tamblyn, Kumi Mizuno, and… Kipp Hamilton?

Tokusatsu Tuesdays is a regular feature relating to Japanese special effects entertainments and their associated whatsits, and a bridge, so to speak, between Eiga · Bouei and its sister site, Exploderbutton.com

Just a short write-up for all of you this Tuesday. The artwork shared below comes courtesy of a trade ad Toho placed in the September 14th 1966 issue of the industry publication Motion Picture Herald, in which it serves as the back cover image (which is great, as it means I didn’t have to dismember the entire mag just to get a decent picture of it). The sharp two-tone design is a variation on the key poster image Toho produced to advertise the film to international buyers, and which served as the basis for the final theatrical poster art in territories like France and Spain.

The film itself should need little introduction. 1966’s 「フランケンシュタインの怪獣 サンダ対ガイラ」War of the Gargantuas, the kind-of sort-of sequel to the prior year’s 「フランケンシュタイン対地底怪獣バラゴン」Frankenstein Conquers the World, received significant distribution both in theaters and on television worldwide and remains one of the best-known and beloved of Toho’s special effects productions. Toho have a fine all-region Blu-ray available, albeit in Japanese only, and an inexpensive domestic DVD is available which features both the Japanese and American versions.

Toho’s international key art speaks well for the film’s charms – two monsters locked in a duel to the death, the military amassed against them and the fate of a city in the balance. The film’s opening attraction – a malevolent giant octopus – even makes an appearance. Perhaps my favorite thing about the piece, however, is how also-ran guest star Kipp Hamilton finagles a third-place credit, right behind genuine stars Russ Tamblyn and Kumi MIZUNO. Hamilton appears briefly to regale audiences with War of the Gargantuas‘ enduring anti-classic lounge tune “The Words Get Stuck in my Throat“, before running afoul of a not-so-jolly green giant. The lamentable number is shared, below the ad, in its DEVOlved version.

Makoto Shinkai’s 5 CENTIMETERS PER SECOND「秒速5センチメートル」to Blu-ray from Discotek Media this February

Discotek Media will release the 2007 film to Blu-ray on February 28th. The disc, which presents the film in Japanese with English subtitles or in dubbed English, is available for pre-order through Amazon.com and other outlets. A standard DVD, released by Discotek label Eastern Star in 2015, is also available.

From Discotek:

At what speed must I live in order to see you again? The modern-day anime classic and brainchild of rising star Makoto Shinkai, 5 Centimeters Per Second, presented to you as never before. Witness the story of Takaki, a young man on a journey from Tokyo to reunite with his childhood best friend, Akari. Feel his emotions superimposed on the gorgeous. heavily researched and impressively animated backdrops of Japan as he travels by train to see her. Join Takaki on a voyage into three interconnected tales of love and lost innocence that span the minutes and months of their lives. 5 Centimeters Per Second, the speed at which cherry blossoms fall from the trees, reminiscent of the pace of life as our lives intermingle.

5 Centimeters per Second is directed by Makoto SHINKAI (The Garden of Words), whose latest feature Your name. has taken Japanese audiences by storm four the last five months. Your name. is in the midst of a special 2-week IMAX engagement, and is expected in North American release from Funimation Films later this year.

WOLF GUY 「ウルフガイ 燃えろ狼男」 lives! To Blu-ray in the UK / US this Spring from Arrow

In a bombshell of an announcement for fans of elusive ’70s exploitation, Arrow Video have revealed that they’ll be releasing Toei’s seldom seen 1975 action oddity Wolf Guy to Blu-ray and DVD in the United States and United Kingdom at the end of April.

From the Arrow announcement:

Shinichi “Sonny” Chiba is a martial arts “manimal” in the ultra-70’s, 100% bizarre mixture of horror, action and sci-fi that is Wolf Guy, one of the rarest and most sought-after cult films produced by Japan’s Toei Studio. Based on a manga by Kazumasa Hirai (creator of 8 Man), and never before released outside of Japan, it’s a genre film classic waiting to be discovered and a completely unclassifiable trip into phantasmagoric funk.

Chiba stars as Akira Inugami, the only survivor of a clan of ancient werewolves who relies on his supernatural powers to solve mysterious crimes. After a series of bloody killings perpetrated by an unseen force, Inugami uncovers a conspiracy involving a murdered cabaret singer, corrupt politicians, and a plot by the J-CIA to harvest his blood in order to steal his lycanthropic powers! At the same time, Inugami also discovers the truth behind his family heritage, and that he may not be the last of his kind.

Directed by B-movie genius Kazuhiko Yamaguchi (Sister Streetfighter, Wandering Ginza Butterfly, Karate Bear Fighter), Wolf Guy truly is one-of-a-kind, with Chiba in full effect as the part-man, part-wolf, all-karate action hero and a collection of familiar 1970’s Toei actors in support. Violence, action, nudity, real surgical footage, and a psychedelic musical score all work together to create an unforgettable trip to the heights of Japanese cinematic weirdness.

• High Definition digital transfer
• High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations
• Original uncompressed mono audio
• New optional English subtitle translation
• New video interview with actor Shinichi “Sonny” Chiba
• New video interview with director Kazuhiko Yamaguchi
• New video interview with producer Tatsu Yoshida
• Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Wes Benscoter

FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Patrick Macias and a history of Japanese monster movie mashups by Jasper Sharp

Wolf Guy can be preordered now through Amazon.co.uk, and Stateside preorders are expected to be up and running soon.

Lily Franky stars in new teaser trailer for Yukio Mishima adaptation BEAUTIFUL STAR 「美しい星」

GAGA have dropped a new teaser trailer for the anticipated film adaptation of Yukio MISHIMA’s 1962 novel Beautiful Star 「美しい星」. The film is co-written and directed by Pale Moon‘s Daihachi YOSHIDA (The Kirishima Thing), and stars Lily Franky (Like Father, Like Son), Kazuya KAMENASHI (Joker Game), and Ai HASHIMOTO (Parasyte).

The film is expected to hit cinemas in May 2017.

Keiichi Hara’s MISS HOKUSAI 「百日紅」to North American Blu-ray from Universal in March

Fresh from a limited theatrical release through GKids last fall, Production I.G’s animated historical drama Miss Hokusai (adapted from the manga by Hinako SUGIURA) will soon find a more permanent home courtesy of a Blu-ray release from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

From the Gkids website:

From award-winning director Keiichi Hara (Colorful) and Japanese powerhouse Production I.G (creators of Ghost in the Shell) comes a remarkable story of the daughter behind one of history’s most famous artists.

As all of Edo flocks to see the work of the revered painter Hokusai, his daughter O-Ei toils diligently inside his studio. Her masterful portraits, dragons and erotic sketches – sold under the name of her father – are coveted by upper crust Lords and journeyman print makers alike. Shy and reserved in public, in the studio O-Ei is as brash and uninhibited as her father, smoking a pipe while sketching drawings that would make contemporary Japanese ladies blush. But despite this fiercely independent spirit, O-Ei struggles under the domineering influence of her father and is ridiculed for lacking the life experience that she is attempting to portray in her art. Miss Hokusai‘s bustling Edo (present day Tokyo) is filled with yokai spirits, dragons, and conniving tradesmen, while O-Ei’s relationships with her demanding father and blind younger sister provide a powerful emotional underpinning to this sumptuously-animated coming-of-age tale.

The dual-format Universal Blu-ray / DVD set will present Miss Hokusai in both its original Japanese as well as dubbed English, and is set to include a making-of featurette, trailers, as well as a digital copy. The disc streets on March 7rd, and is available for preorder through Amazon.com and other retailers.

Miss Hokusai 「百日紅」 was directed by long-time Crayon Shin-Chan alum and Colorful director Keiichi HARA from a screenplay by Colorful‘s Miho MARUO (The Dog of Flanders).

Makoto Shinkai’s YOUR NAME.「君の名は。」expanding to IMAX from 1/13 through 1/26

Toho’s megalithic animated hit Your Name. 「君の名は。」 will be expanding its influence to the IMAX screen for a limited 2-week engagement in select Toho Cinemas. A runaway smash since its release in late August, Your Name. is currently second only to 2001’s Spirited Away (director Hayao MIYAZAKI, Studio Ghibli) as the highest-grossing Japanese film of all time.

Stateside fans will have to wait a little longer to see Your Name., though a release through Funimation Films is expected later this year. Your Name. recently won in the Best Animation category at the 42nd LAFCA Awards, and is expected to be a strong Oscar contender.

A full listing of the film’s impending IMAX engagements is available from TohoYour Name. is written and directed by Makoto SHINKAI (5 Centimeters per SecondChildren who Chase Lost Voices).

Sion Sono’s ANTIPORNO 「アンチポルノ」: New Trailer from Nikkatsu

Nikkatsu have dropped a new trailer for Sion SONO’s much-anticipated feature Antiporno 「アンチポルノ」, the fourth film from the studio’s Roman Porno Reboot project to see theatrical release. Ami TOMITE (Tag) and Mariko TSUTSUI (The Land of Hope) star.

Antiporno hits theaters on January 28th with a rating of R18+. As with other series entries, an R15+ edition will also screen on BS Sky Perfect! from the same date.

Kikuchi’s GENOCIDE: Music for Insects to War By

Tokusatsu Tuesdays is a regular feature relating to Japanese special effects entertainments and their associated whatsits, and a bridge, so to speak, between Eiga · Bouei and its sister site, Exploderbutton.com

Out of the string of grim and out-there sci-fi horrors Shochiku Company produced at the tail end of the 1960s, perhaps the grimmest and most out-there of them all was 1968’s 「昆虫大戦争」 Genocide.

A sort of precursor to the ecologically-minded nature-gone-wild horrors of the 1970s, Genocide finds a small island in the South Pacific serving as ground zero for clandestine biological warfare experiments, a wrong-man murder mystery, simmering Vietnam-era East-West tensions, and an apocalyptic revolt of the insect world as well. Drug-addled soldiers descend into trauma-fueled murder frenzies, fifth-columnist hotel managers letch, and scientists elucidate insidious insect intent from out of a groovy psychotropic haze, all while a lost H-bomb ticks ever more ominously away.

Needless to say, Genocide had an awful lot on its plate.

The production boasts plenty of talent with recent experience in Shochiku sci-fi – director Kazui NIHONMATSU, a long-time assistant director for the company best known for 1967’s one-of-a-kind kaiju goof-off The X From Outer Space, X‘s effects supervisor Keiji KAWAKAMI (The Thick-Walled Room), X and Goké Bodysnatcher From Hell photographer Shizuo HIRASE, as well as X-actor Keisuke SONOI (Affair of the Heart), Goké co-star Kathy Horan, and long-time scenarist and Goké scribe Susumu TAKAKU (The Blood Sword of the 99th Virgin). Chief among the returning staff however, for the sake of this article at least, is prolific composer Shunsuke KIKUCHI, who had been tasked with Goké‘s score just a few months prior.

Kikuchi’s work on Genocide is marked by his usual trademarks (staccato low-brass for action and extended muted brass for suspense and atmosphere, with ecstatic ascending motifs to punctuate the major plot beats), but it is also possessed of a nuance and subtlety not typically expected of the composer.

The latter is evident from the very beginning, with the main title’s more emphatic strains complemented by a Vertigo-esque layer of violins and flutes and the first tentative appeals towards Genocide‘s melancholic love theme. The theme reveals itself in full for Joji and Yukari (love theme), a restrained minute and 43 seconds whose judicious blend of high and mid-range strings perfectly evoke the fated nature of the two lovers – Joji, in over his head with a mysterious foreign mistress and jailed for murders he did not commit, and Yukari, faced with the prospect of raising their unborn child on her own.

As Yukari is to the greater film, Kikuchi’s bittersweet love theme is a glimmer of hope and humanity amidst Genocide‘s overwhelming gloominess, receiving plaintive reprises all the way through to the film’s doom-ridden finale. In Mankind’s Final Sunrise the theme emerges tentatively from a plume of nuclear destruction, a single violin with increasingly rich harmonized accompaniment, but its resolution is cut short by Ending‘s resounding and atonal piano din.

Cinema-Kan’s restored CD release of Genocide‘s score makes it easier to appreciate Kikuchi’s work than ever before. The film’s eccentric narrative seems to have compelled him towards more variety than his scores typically achieve, from the bright chords and jungle-trotting exoticism of Jungle Search to the insectine woodwinds and mounting tonal chaos of Revived Fear. Cinema-Kan went back to the original 6mm tape recordings to build this 42 minute release, which collects the film’s music in total for the first time ever, and with excellent sound to boot – Kikuchi’s laser brass is crisp and clear, free of the distortion I’ve become accustomed to hearing with it.

In addition to the requisite liner notes (in this case a heavily illustrated booklet complete with film credits, release notes, a listing of Genocide‘s past LP and CD releases, track-specific commentary, and a biographical section on the composer) Cinema-Kan offer a few on-disc surprises as well. The incidental music heard over the radio in the film is present in full, and what a weird mix it is. Lobby BGM is in the light chamber music style, while Radio Music 1 is pure glitzy pop, electric guitar and all. Radio Music 2 and are different still, lurid and torchy numbers to compliment the seediness of the hotel bar they’re overheard in. Listeners get a couple of bonus tracks as well – a percussion-only alternate take for Jungle Search, and a recording of the isolated music from the film’s trailer.

Cinema-Kan’s CD release of Genocide is available now, through third-party sellers at Amazon.com and directly through Amazon.co.jp and elsewhere. The film itself is available on DVD, with English subtitles, through the Criterion Collection’s Eclipse sub-label as part of the four-film set When Horror Came to Shochiku.

ONE PIECE FILM: GOLD at Minneapolis’ own Lagoon Cinema in limited engagement from January 10th

The latest cinematic installment in the megalithic One Piece saga will be on-screen in Minneapolis, starting tomorrow evening. The Lagoon Cinema, in conjunction with Funimation Films, will hold three screenings of One Piece Film: Gold from tomorrow through the 17th – January 10th at 7pm, January 14th at 12pm, and January 17th at 7pm.

From the Funimation Films site:

The Straw Hat pirates are hitting the big screen once again in an all-new high-flying adventure! The popular series that has captivated fans all over the world unfolds a new saga in the highly anticipated movie, One Piece Film: Gold.

The glittering Gran Tesoro, a city of entertainment beyond the laws of the government, is a sanctuary for the world’s most infamous pirates, Marines, and filthy rich millionaires. Drawn by dreams of hitting the jackpot, Captain Luffy and his crew sail straight for the gold. But behind the gilded curtains lies a powerful king whose deep pockets and deeper ambitions spell disaster for the Straw Hats and the New World alike.

One Piece Film: Gold is presented with English dubbed dialogue. Advance tickets are available now through the Lagoon Cinema website.

Meiko Kaji retrospective from The Japan Society this February

Just in time for Valentine’s Day and in celebration of the iconic star’s 70th birthday in March, New York’s Japan Society will present Cruel Beauty: A Romantic Weekend with Meiko Kaji from February 10th through the 12th. The five-film retrospective is guest curated by producer Marc Walkow (The ABCs of Death), and features a selection of works from the height of the actor’s career.

Festivities begin with New Battles Without Honor and Humanity: The Boss’s Head (director Kinji FUKASAKU, Toei, 1975) on February 10th, continue with Lady Snowblood: Love Song of Vengeance (director Toshiya FUJITA, Toho, 1974) and Stray Cat Rock: Sex Hunter (director Yasuharu HASEBE, Nikkatsu, 1970) on February 11th, and conclude with Eiga · Bouei favorite Blind Woman’s Curse (director Teruo ISHII, Nikkatsu, 1970) and Female Prisoner Scorpion: Beast Stable (director Shunya ITŌ, Toei, 1973) on February 12th. Tickets are $13 per film ($10 for seniors / students, or $9 for Japan Society members), or $50 for an all access pass ($35 seniors / students, $30 Japan Society members).

Details, a full schedule, and tickets are available through the Japan Society site. Trailers for the films follow below. Lady Snowblood: Love Song of Vengeance is out on Blu-ray / DVD from The Criterion Collection, while Stray Cat Rock: Sex HunterBlind Woman’s Curse and Female Prisoner Scorpion: Beast Stable are out on Blu-ray / DVD from Arrow Video.

Love is mystery. Lust is misery. English-subtitled trailer for Isao Yukisada’s AROUSED BY GYMNOPEDIES 「ジムノペディに乱れる」

Nikkatsu have published an English subtitled trailer for writer / director Isao YUKISADA’s Aroused by Gymnopedies 「ジムノペディに乱れる」, which was released in Japanese cinemas just last week. Yukisada’s film was produced as a part of Nikkatsu’s Roman Porno Reboot project, and was the first of the series of five films to see release.

Aroused by Gymnopedies was written and directed by Yukisada, who co-wrote with Anne HORIZUMI (Five Minutes to Tomorrow), and stars actor and comedian Itsuji ITAO (Tokyo Gore Police), Sumire ASHINA, and Izumi OKAMURA (The Virgin Psychics).

A release date for SHIN GODZILLA 「シン・ゴジラ」?

I’m awaiting confirmation of this from more official sources (updated! see the note at the end of this article), but according to one Twitter user fans can expect a home video release of Shin Godzilla early in 2017 (in Japan, at least – due to licensing restrictions a US release is unlikely until considerably later). The tweet, which follows below, lists a release date of March 22nd for not only the anticipated DVD, Blu-ray, and special edition Blu-ray packages, but a 4k UHD Blu-ray release as well.

Again, I’m awaiting a more official announcement, but tentatively speaking, this is quite exciting. Godzilla in UHD is a tantalizing prospect, and one hopes that some of Toho’s classic series efforts will eventually make that leap as well. No specifics are yet known, of course, but I’ll update whenever they become available. My preliminary thoughts on the film itself are here.

Blessedly less ambiguous, as of earlier today, is the release date of the megalithic and oft-delayed The Art of Shin Godzilla 「ジ・アート・オブ・シン・ゴジラ」 hardcover tome, which will finally see the light of day on December 30th of this year. The 560-page record of the making of Japan’s most successful live-action film of 2016 is set to include a host of extras, including a complete screenplay and a deluxe slipcase, and retails for around $100. Full details and pre-order are available at Amazon.co.jp and the Evangelion Store.

Note (2016/12/2): Another tweet to share. Co-director Shinji HIGUCHI appears to have, himself, confirmed a release date for Shin Godzilla in March, which is more than enough for me.

Masanori Murakami-directed ONE WEEK FRIENDS 「一週間フレンズ。」 feature in theaters from Shochiku in February

A feature film adaptation of Matcha HAZUKI’s beloved manga One Week Friends 「一週間フレンズ。」 is set to charm cinema-goers early next year. Previously adapted as an anime television series from Brain’s Base, which aired in the Spring of 2014, Shochiku’s live-action One Week Friends will be in Japanese theaters from February 18th, 2017.

The film stars Haruna KAWAGUCHI (Creepy) and Kento YAMAZAKI (fresh from this year’s Your Lie in April) as Kaori, a lonely high school girl seemingly doomed to forget her friends upon waking each Monday morning, and Yūki, a boy who must befriend her anew each week. Masanori MURAKAMI (1 Litre of Tears) directs. Shochiku’s new theatrical trailer for the film follows below.

Yuriko Yoshitaka to star in film adaptation of Mahokaru Numata’s YURIGOKORO 「ユリゴコロ」

Snakes and Earrings star Yuriko YOSHITAKA will headline the anticipated film adaptation of author Mahokaru NUMATA’s acclaimed 2011 novel Yurigokoro 「ユリゴコロ」. The novel (published in the US under the title Nan-Core), which won the Haruhiko Oyabu Award in 2012, follows a young man’s attempts to unravel the mystery surrounding three journals found in his family home – journals which appear to be a confession of murder.

Naota KUMAZAWA (A Short Distance RelationshipKimi ni Todoke) will direct. Yurigokoro is expected to be completed by the Summer of 2017, and is scheduled for release in September 2017.

Uncensored English trailer for Akihiko Shiota’s WET WOMAN IN THE WIND is NSFW as hell

Nikkatsu have prepared a fully English-subtitled trailer for Akihiko SHIOTA’s Wet Woman in the Wind 「風に濡れた女」, and it certainly doesn’t mince words… or images. The second film to be released as part of the Roman Porno Reboot project, the R18+ rated Wet Woman in the Wind is in Japanese theaters from December 17th 2016, and will also be broadcast on BS SKY PerfectTV in an R15+ edition. Yuki MAMIYA (Crawler in the Attic) and Tasuku NAGAOKA (Why Don’t you Play in Hell) star.

The new trailer follows below (I’ve included the creatively, colorfully censored general audience-ready Japanese theatrical trailer for comparison), and is definitely not safe for work.

New trailer for Naoko Ogigami’s CLOSE KNIT 「彼らが本気で編むときは、」

Close Knit 「彼らが本気で編むときは、」, the unconventional new family drama from writer and director Naoko OGIGAMI (Kamome Diner), now has a full trailer. The film follows a neglected 11-year old who develops a close bond with her uncle and his partner, a transwoman named Rinko.

Close Knit is both written and directed by Naoko Ogigami, and stars Tōma IKUTA (The Brain Man), Kenta KIRITANI (Beat Kids), Rinka KAKIHARA, and Mimura (Dog in Sidecar). The film is set to open in theatrical release on February 25th 2017.

New trailer for Kazuya Shiraishi’s DAWN OF THE FELINES 「牝猫たち」

The third film in Nikkatsu’s Roman Porno Reboot series now has a trailer and release date. Dawn of the Felines「牝猫たち」, from director Kazuya SHIRAISHI (Twisted Justice), will arrive in Japanese cinemas on January 14th, 2017. The film, rated R18+, will also be broadcast on BS Sky PerfectTV in an R15+ edition.

Dawn of the Felines is both written and directed by Shiraishi, and stars Satsuki MAUE, Juri IBATA, and Michie.

English-dubbed ONE PIECE FILM GOLD in theaters from Funimation Films in January

Released this past July so significant success in Japan, the thirteenth adventure in the One Piece theatrical saga will soon be setting sail on US screens. Funimation Films will screen Hiroaki MIYAMOTO’s One Piece Film Gold in a limited theatrical engagement from January 10th through January 17th 2017.

From the Funimation Films site:

The Straw Hat pirates are hitting the big screen once again in an all-new high-flying adventure! The popular series that has captivated fans all over the world unfolds a new saga in the highly anticipated movie, One Piece Film: Gold.

The glittering Gran Tesoro, a city of entertainment beyond the laws of the government, is a sanctuary for the world’s most infamous pirates, Marines, and filthy rich millionaires. Drawn by dreams of hitting the jackpot, Captain Luffy and his crew sail straight for the gold. But behind the gilded curtains lies a powerful king whose deep pockets and deeper ambitions spell disaster for the Straw Hats and the New World alike.

One Piece Film Gold will be presented in dubbed English. A home video release has not yet been announced, but will presumably follow at a later date. Funimation Films’ English-language trailer follows below.

Tetsuya Mariko’s DESTRUCTION BABIES arriving in 2017 from Third Window Films

Tetsuya MARIKO’s Destruction Babies will receive theatrical and home media distribution in the UK from Third Window Films in 2017. The film, released this Summer in Japan, snagged the Best Emerging Director award for Mariko at the 2016 Locarno International Film Festival.

From the Third Window Films website:

Taira, an unnervingly quiet delinquent teen, mysteriously leaves town right before the coming of age festival. His disappearance doesn’t worry anyone except for younger brother Shota, his only remaining family, who sets off to look for him amidst the faded downtown neon lights.

Taira aimlessly wanders through a nearby city, provoking fights with random bystanders. His violent streak intrigues high schooler Yuya who rallies him to beat up more people. As the night progresses, street-side scuffles soon turn into a sinister game, becoming even more mindless and indiscriminate. The two leave behind a trail of blood and mass confusion.

Indie director Tetsuya Mariko brings us a deceptive piece of cinema which begins like a slice-of-life story and then takes an abrupt plunge into a pit of moral ambiguity. It stars award-winning actors Yuya Yagira (Nobody Knows) and Masaki Suda (The Light Shines Only There, Princess Jellyfish) in one of their best performances in Japanese cinema this year.

Third Window’s English-subtitled trailer for the film follows below. No release date has been announced.

English-language trailer for Nikkatsu’s 45th anniversary Roman Porno Reboot

We’re getting our first English-friendly look at Nikkatsu’s much-anticipated Roman Porno Reboot project, featuring five new films from some of Japan’s top directorial talent. Nikkatsu began releasing the films just this past weekend, with Isao YUKISADA’s Aroused by Gymnopedies, and an additional film in the series will be released each month from there.

The English-subtitled trailer for Nikkatsu’s Roman Porno Reboot is below, followed by the trailers for Yukisada’s Aroused by Gymnopedies and Akihiko SHIOTA’s Wet Woman in the Wind.