My Film Recommendation | 5 Nostalgic Japanese Movies

01.July.2020 | FEATURES / MOVIE

ASOBINEXT is a new project launched by event management and talent agency ASOBISYSTEM, which is known for managing artists like Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. The project aims to create next generation icons who will promote their unique personalities and outlooks to the world using social media and in turn bring about new forms of culture.

As part of ASOBINEXT, MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON will be publishing content from each talent that is tied to ASOBINEXT in the form of their favourite and recommended things. Today, we take a look at 5 recommended nostalgic Japanese films from ASOBINEXT’s Mirai who makes sure to watch at least one film a week.

 

Our Little Sister

©2015 吉田秋生・小学館/フジテレビジョン 小学館 東宝 ギャガ

 

・Film Summary
The film follows three sisters: Sachi, Yoshino, and Chika who all live in the house of their grandparents in Kamakura where they all grew up together. One day, they receive news of the death of their father. At his funeral, they meet their 14-year-old half-sister Suzu for the first time, whose mother is already dead. She had been living with their father and her stepmom after he remarried. When the eldest daughter Sachi looks at Suzu as the sisters are saying goodbye to her, she invites Suzu to go and live with them in Asakusa. Suzu agrees to go, and thus begins the sisters’ journey together to deepen their relationship with Suzu. Its a very ‘Japanese’ film in many ways, and has a nostalgic Asakusa feel to it from the scenery and how people interact with one another.

 

・Why I Chose This Film
The story really gripped my heart. It’s heartwarming, sad, and has a kind of nostalgia I can’t quite put my finger on which makes me want to go back home. I love Asakusa, the setting of the movie, and go there every year to have fun with my family. We’re also four siblings, brothers and sisters, so this film felt more relatable to me as I watched it. If you’re someone who feels like they want to return to their hometown, or see someone you treasure, or want to feel something Japanese, then I recommend giving this film a go!

 

My Neighbor Totoro


・Film Summary
In the early summer, Satsuki and her younger sister Mei move into the countryside with their father to be closer to their mother who is hospitalised. They meet a mysterious creature who Mei gives the name “Totoro,” a being which cannot be seen by adults. Satsuki and Mei get whisked into a fantastical world as we see them grow.

 

・Why I Chose This Film
I’ve loved it since I was a kid. It’s one of Ghibli’s films I’ve always watched. The film is set to be set in 1952 during the Showa Period. I was born in the Heisei Period so I wasn’t even born yet when the film was released. Even so, this is a film that continues to receive love, so much so that it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that it’s known to all in Japan, and all have seen it. I believe there are still lots of kids who are watching Totoro even now. This film is an emotion that continues to live in our hearts as a memory, one that’s like a dream we had when we were young. I want the people of the world to watch this regardless of their age or gender!

 

Always: Sunset on Third Street

・Film Summary
Mutsuko Hoshino arrives in Tokyo from Aomori Prefecture to begin her employment at the auto repair shop Suzuki Auto. Captivated by the prospect of living and working in the sparkling city of Tokyo, Mutsuku is disappointed to find that Suzuki Auto is actually a rundown shop in Tokyo’s lower districts. Despite this, she goes into her job with will-power and positivity, and finds herself becoming a member of the Suzuki family. There is also the struggling writer Ryunosuke Chagawa, who accepts the custody of Junnosuke from Hiromi. Junnosuke is the orphaned offspring of the previous tenant of the building where Hiromi opens a bar. All of the cast members convey love, courage, and warmth in this story about being human.

 

・Why I Chose This Film
The moment I saw this film, it felt like I had been transported back in time to 1926, even though I was born in the Heisei Period and not the Showa Period. Despite that, it still fills me with a sense of nostalgia, and it makes me well up with a feeling of courage. The film is set in a time where smartphones, PCs, and TVs aren’t a thing yet, so it really made me realise the importance of our connection to others. I want to recommend this film to anyone who wants to know about old time Japan, or is looking for a film with heart!

Kimi ni Todoke

©2010映画「君に届け」製作委員会 ©椎名軽穂 / 集英社

 

・Film Summary
Sawako is avoided by her classmates in elementary school because of her appearance which leads them to name-call her “Sadako,” the main character from the film The Ring. They also call her a zashiki-warashi, a child spirit. But her father teachers her that a zashiki-warashi is a spirit that actually makes people happy. This makes her happy, since her motto is to “do one good thing a day.” When she becomes a high school stduent, she meets a certain boy, which marks the start of this cute and pure love story.

 

・Why I Chose This Film
This is my favourite of Japan’s love stories. It makes you feel that pure, butterfly stomach kind of youthful love. The music and the backgrounds in the film serve to add another layer to their relationship too. The film makes you want to cheer the two of them on from the shadows as they come to face complicated emotions they have never felt before. Everyone should check this out, regardless of age or gender, if they’re wanting a heart-throb story or feel like returning to their youthful days!

 

Korede iinoda! Eiga Akatsuka Fujio

・Film Summary
This film covers the life of manga artist Fujio Akatsuka—known for such popular series as Tensai Bakabon—and his 35 year relationship with his editor Toshiki Takei. You get to learn about the unique life of the manga artist, who has been called a genius.

 

・Why I Chose This Film
This comedy film is set in the 1970s and shows how the popular weekly manga magazine Weekly Shonen Sunday came about, a magazine which it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to call the start of Japanese manga. Of course, if you love Japanese manga, you should watch this, but I want all of the people of the world who are interested in the history of Japanese anime to see it!

 

Mirai

A 19-year-old affiliated with ASOBINEXT and known for her trademark black bob hair. Her hobby is watching movies—she watches one a week. Her goal for the future is to become an idol that stands out from the crowd and can work not just in Japan but around the world. She wants to work in many areas and endeavours to become a person that people look up to.

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  • My Recommended Outfits: Enjoy the Lolita Style Throughout the Year With These 4 Looks

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    ASOBINEXT is a new project launched by event management and talent agency ASOBISYSTEM, which is known for managing artists like Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. The project aims to create next generation icons who will promote their unique personalities and outlooks to the world using social media and in turn bring about new forms of culture.

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    The four looks she has put together are focused on the jumper skirt, a versatile clothing item that can be worn in a multitude of ways, no matter the season.

     

    Black Half-Sleeve Blouse x Jumper Skirt

    Both the blouse and skirt have a black base. This, together with showing a bit of arm and leg, keeps the look tight without being over the top. And I keep the look fresh by styling my hair in curled twintails!

     

    White Long-Sleeve Blouse x Jumper Skirt

    A highlight of the jumper skirt is how you can change the impression you’ll leave by having the blouse just one tone. A black one piece, too, can give you a cute look like that of sweet and classic lolita fashion. I tried combining that with curly hair and a lace rose headdress. Going half-sleeve can be chilly in the spring and autumn, so I recommend this one for those seasons!

     

    Jumper Skirt x Trench Coat

    If we’re talking lolita coats, then you often get those with fur on the sleeves and collar, but putting a look together with a trench coat looks great too.

    Coats with lots of fur on them and warm, fluffy, and cute, but they can be difficult to pull off well.

    Trench coats, on the other hand, let you have the front unzipped and open so you can show off a one piece. And if it gets cold, you can zip it up. This means there’s two different ways you can wear a trench coat, making it very versatile. You can clad yourself in one during the cold spring and autumn days to keep warm.

     

    Jumper Skirt x Grey Vest

    “Thank you for visiting So-And-So Tower today. The observation deck is located on the 7th and top floor, up 356m high. It takes 120 seconds to reach it.” You can just hear the announcement with this look which gives off elevator-girl-in-front-of-the-department-store vibes. If you’re tired of the same old lolita looks, or are stuck on how to change things up, then I recommend this one to you.

     

    Bonus: Jumper Skirt x Cardigan

    For this bonus look I put my all into creating a casual lolita outfit. Wearing the cardigan without having a pannier on brings volume to the skirt and brings together its design, making it a lolita outfit that’s not too in-your-face. This one’s perfect for beginners who want to try out lolita fashion but are still a little apprehensive.

     

    What does lolita fashion mean to Izumi Aine?

    I put together four looks plus a bonus one for you all today. What did you think? When I was little, I was influenced by a manga series called Hime Gal Paradise which I used to read in Ciao Magazine. It opened my eyes to lolita fashion and all of its enchanting lace designs and patterns.

     

    In today’s internet society, the world has become a place where you can see things you don’t want to, like mental abuse and insults, which I feel is making it harder to shout about the things you love. But it’s been a while since smartphone have been around now, so I feel the time has come to talk about the things you love and respect our individualities! That’s the kind of world I want to aim for! And my first step towards that is promoting lolita fashion.

     

    Brand featured in this article: axes femme / BODYLINE

     

    Izumi Aine

    Worked as a model from a young age. Appears in newspaper ads, TV VTR, fashion catalogues, and other places. She stopped her activities for a while to focus on her studies, but after graduating school, she is now back at it after passing the ASOBINEXT auditions. She dreams of becoming an idol and is taking lessons and performing live on livestreams towards that goal. “Once in a lifetime” is her motto, and she lives up to that by challenging herself at things she wants to do. For her, enjoying life means you’re winning.

  • My Film Recommendation: Pulled Into the Story by Minami Hamabe’s Character in Let Me Eat Your Pancreas

    29.September.2020 | FEATURES / MOVIE

    ASOBINEXT is a new project launched by event management and talent agency ASOBISYSTEM, which is known for managing artists like Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. The project aims to create next generation icons who will promote their unique personalities and outlooks to the world using social media and in turn bring about new forms of culture.

    As part of ASOBINEXT, MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON will be publishing content from each talent that is tied to ASOBINEXT in the form of their favourite and recommended things. Today, we are joined by ASOBINEXT’s Haruna Tamura, an actor and YouTuber, whose film recommendation in this edition is the live-action adaptation of Let Me Eat Your Pancreas.


    Synopsis

    The story is centred on two individuals who, at the start of their relationship had never really spoken about anything in particular… initially. “Me,” the male protagonist in the film, comes across a diary in a hospital waiting room and discovers it belongs to his classmate Sakura Yamauchi. He learns in the diary that she has a pancreatic illness.

    Sakura is a very popular girl in Me’s class, and he never thought she would be suffering from such a fatal illness. She had kept it a secret, with only the people in her family knowing about it. And so begins a bittersweet love story between the plain and simple Me and Sakura, his complete opposite who is the popular one of the class.

    Cast 

    There are different cast members in Let Me Eat Your Pancreas for playing both the present and past selves of the characters.

     

    The characters of the past, 12 years ago, are played by the following: Minami Hamabe as Sakura Yamauchi, Takumi Kitamura as Me/Haruki Shiga, Karen Otomo as Kyoko, and Yuma Yamoto as Gamu-kun.

     

    This film marked the first time Minami and Takumi had starred in film together, and it was a huge success amongst viewers who shed tears at the relationship between the ill-stricken girl, and the boy who found her diary that details her experiences of living with said illness.

     

    Playing the characters of the present is: Shun Oguri as Haruki Shiga, Keiko Kitagawa as Kyoko, and Yusuke Kamiji as Gamu-kun. Comments from viewers who have watched the film often pointed towards how Shun and Yusuke gave authentic performances of Haruki and Gamu-kun grown-up together, and how they Keiko Kitagawa’s dress was spot on. I was drawn in by how they all knew each other at school.

    My Favourite Part

    The highlight of the film for me which I want to point out to everyone is Minami Hamabe’s portrayal of Sakura Yamauchi. She purposely puts energy into her performance, and that really left an impression on me. The world of the movie and the real world are two completely different things. Of course, this character doesn’t really exist, but when I watched the performance I felt I understood her. There was a real affinity there. As the story progresses, so too does the illness grow more serious, so what I want is for people to pay attention to her facial expressions, her demeanour, and such, as that happens.

     

    Wrapping Up

    I first watched this film when I was a 3rd year high school student. Since the film is set in the same school year, the story had an even greater impact on me. I was able to learn the bittersweet-ness of romance as well as the preciousness of life. To this day, I think it remains my favourite film.

     

    I was captured by the array of emotions that Minami Hamabe portrays in particular. There are a lot of parts that I can relate to from being a student to becoming an adult. It’s a very easy story to get behind, so if you’re reading this, I’d love it if you checked it out.

     

    Minami Hamabe and Takumi Kitamura are also starring in the film Omoi, Omoware, Furi, Furare which is showing now too. I want to go and see it for myself to see how they have both grown.

     

    Haruna Tamura

    Actor and YouTuber. He has played major roles in drama series and films and has over 1 million subscribers on his YouTube channel. He is working towards appearing at Fun Fest. He’s skilled at baseball and his hobbies include watching movies and playing games.

  • My Recommended Outfits: How to Style Colourful Clothes Fitting For Summertime

    13.August.2020 | FASHION / FEATURES

    ASOBINEXT is a project launched by event management and talent agency ASOBISYSTEM, which is known for managing artists like Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. The project aims to create next generation icons who will promote their unique personalities and outlooks to the world using social media and in turn bring about new forms of culture.

     

    As part of ASOBINEXT, MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON will be publishing content from each talent that is tied to ASOBINEXT in the form of their favourite and recommended things. Today, Fairy Kano is showcasing a colourful wardrobe of outfits for summer. Fairy Kano is a member of ASOBINEXT who posts her lifestyle on her social media pages.

     


     

    Hello World!

     

    I love colourful perspectives and interpretations—they just explode with personality! I’m Fairy Kano—no matter the colour, I can make it work, and I’m a pro at finding good quality items at a cheap price.

     

    Don’t you ever get it where you’re stuck on what colours you want to wear in summer, or what patterns to coordinate in your outfit? For those of you who answered yes, I’ve put together a list of styles using different colours—my forte—and divided each outfit by colour.

     

    Yellow Edition

    I combined a cream-coloured top with white jeans♡ Simple but it flaunts self-assertiveness!

    The denim-on-denim creates a balance that’s really cute. Adding yellow into the mix creates a happy, energetic vibe.

    This top has a flower pattern design which I combined with a yellow checked skirt. Don’t forget to dress to impress, even if its for yourself at home.

     

    Green Edition

    This look is so cute it makes me want to use run around with vim and vigour♡ The floral top is see-through, and the green overalls have a Mickey Mouse print on the front.

    Dayum, were short pants always this comfortable? This hand-knitted beret goes well with everything!

    The pants are green which is a hard colour to pull off. I added a baseball loose-fitting shirt on top of them with Betty Boop on it. This outfit has a hip-hop vibe to it, which looks stylish, don’tcha think?

     

    Pink Edition

    To add a sweet colour on top of the white T-shirt I went with a pink camisole. To complete the look, I donned short pants so the look doesn’t become overly-cute.

    I bought this pink T-shirt from Dole in Hawaii. Try combining 80’s shorts pants like this with something similar yourself.

    The floral shirt is actually a one piece. I made use to make my bottoms and headband the same colour to balance the look. Having that mix of rough and feminine is good!

     

    What does fashion mean to Fairy Kano?

    There are a lot of clothes out there, and there are a lot of outfit combinations out there. But there’s no ‘right’ way to do fashion. Don’t just follow what’s popular; put together something that makes you feel good, with your favourite colours, and create your own unique look. I believe that as long as you’re happy, that’s all that matters. That’s something I always think about whenever I’m enjoying fashion. So let’s all go with choosing what makes us happy!

     

    Fairy Kano

    Trainee idol at ASOBINEXT. Won the Popular Award at the National K-Pop Cover Contest hosted by the Korean Cultural Center. She loves to sing and is known for always singing ‘Part Of Your World’ from The Little Mermaid. She is particular when it comes to editing on Instagram where she posts her own unique content. Her dream for the future is to become a world famous artist known for their high performance level once she has come to the end of the road as an idol. She also wants to challenge herself to singing and performing in Broadway and Hollywood someday.

  • My Band Recommendation | SEKAI NO OWARI: Captivating the Crowd in a Dreamlike World

    12.August.2020 | FEATURES / MUSIC

    ASOBINEXT is a project launched by event management and talent agency ASOBISYSTEM, which is known for managing artists like Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. The project aims to create next generation icons who will promote their unique personalities and outlooks to the world using social media and in turn bring about new forms of culture.

    As part of ASOBINEXT, MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON will be publishing content from each talent that is tied to ASOBINEXT in the form of their favourite and recommended things. Today, we’re taking a look at a Japanese band recommended by ASOBINEXT’s Kanon Aihara, a dancer and vocalist.

     


     

    My name is Kanon Aihara, and I’d like to share my perspective on why SEKAI NO OWARI is such a great band—one that was born from a desire to deliver entertainment to people through music.

     

    Incredible live performances

    SEKAI NO OWARI’s stage sets are otherworldly. They pull the crowd into a dreamlike place away from reality. I remember how moved I was being in that bright and shining place even for a moment with the towering tree, the owl, the dancing fireworks, the trains dashing past on the ceiling. How much time and effort it must have taken to create a set like that.

     

    Band vocalist Fukase once said on a TV show that if they can’t do the kinds of live performances they love, then they may as well disband. I really feel how great SEKAI NO OWARI when I see them wanting to continue making everyone smile and feel something deeply, and not compromising when it comes to doing the things they want to do.

    The music

    It’s truly a difficult task to understand each and every lyric; and I find it difficult to cover their music. Despite this, even if I don’t understand something in a song, I find that each and every track really gets through to me.

     

    Their music speaks to and is loved by men and women of all ages, whether it be their song RPG Ya which was used as a theme song for the Crayon Shin-chan anime series, the main theme song RAIN for the film Mary and the Witch’s Flower, Sazanka which was used as the theme song for the NHK broadcast of the Winter Olympics Paralympics, and so on.

     

    SEKAI NO OWARI – “RPG” Music Video

     

    SEKAI NO OWARI – “RAIN” Music Video

    The band members

    SEKAI NO OWARI is formed of four members. There was actually a time when all of them shared a house together. On a TV show the band appeared on, all of the members excluding the vocalist Fukase said, “We want to create live performances that Fukase enjoys.” Hearing those words really made me feel the love and connect the band has for each other.

     

    For me, SEKAI NO OWARI is a place that lets me sees dreams. It also makes me feel strongly that I want to do the kinds of things they do too!

    I believe that a lot of things are born from live performances when the artist and fans become one. Like SEKAI NO OWARI, I’m aiming to create live performances that are like going to a theme park too. The band are fun, cute, and cool, and are everything I aspire to be.

     

    The one thing I always want to keep doing through music is performing live. That feeling of being one with the crowd. Seeing all of their smiles fills me with a happiness I’ve never felt before. Music is expression and is free to mean whatever you want. That’s why the thing I want to do is to put my all into it for so that people enjoy themselves for all of time. I want to continuously think of and put out new, entertaining things in the future.

     

    Kanon Aihara
    Dancer and vocalist. Made her debut as a child actress. Currently active as a tarento (talent) with a focus on music. Since starting her music career, she has toured around all of Japan and up to now has held performed 4 solo concerts and released 4 singles. She is very particular when it comes to her live performances, and more than anything wants people to have fun and to put on theme park-like shows. Her hobbies are watching comedy programmes. She’s also a skilled snowboarder and surfer.

  • Chawanmushi Recipe: Savoury Dessert Made With Carrots, Cream Cheese & Mirin

    31.July.2020 | FEATURES / FOOD

    Together with soy sauce and miso, mirin is a fundamental condiment in the Japanese kitchen and for many recipes for Japanese food. It’s a sweet rice wine that has lower alcohol content and higher sugar content when compared to sake, adding a sweet flavour to dishes.

     

    Today, we’re taking a look at a recipe that uses “Mikawa Mirin,” a brand of mirin made from high quality rice, to make carrot and cream cheese chawanmushi. Chawanmushi is a savoury egg custard dessert eaten in Japan.

     

    Carrot & Cream Cheese Chawanmushi

    Chawanmushi is made using mirin and has a smooth texture to it as well as a subtly sweet flavour. It’s the perfect accompaniment to a hot summer’s day.

     

    Ingredients (Serves 1)


    ●Chawanmushi
    60g carrots
    240ml dashi
    20ml soy sauce
    120ml Mikawa Mirin
    8g sugar
    18g cream cheese
    1 egg

     

    ●Okra-an
    Okra
    30ml dashi
    0.5g salt
    3ml Mikawa Mirin

     

    Method

    We will start by making the chawanmushi.

    1. Slice the carrots and boil them until they become soft.

    2. Add the soy sauce, sugar, and lots of mirin and cook through the dashi.

    3. Cook for approximately 20 minutes on a medium heat, then cool with ice. Add the cooled carrots, cream cheese, and 20ml of the dashi into a blender and bend.

    4. Add the egg to the mix and steam the mix for 12 minutes on a medium heat.

     

    While the chawanmushi is cooling, we’ll make the okra-an.

    5. Mix together the okra-an dashi, mirin, and salt together. Add watered potato starch and thinly sliced okra. Leave to cool in the refrigerator.

    6. Add the okra-an to the cooled chawanmushi and tuck into your cute two-layered dessert.

    Carrot & Cream Cheese Chawanmushi

    The dessert is an enjoyable mix of the sticky texture from the okra-an and smooth chawanmushi. It’s great to have not only at lunch or dinner, but at home parties with friends too.

     

    –How’s the taste?


    Misa Kimura: “It works really well with the mirin. The chawanmushi is like a sweet treat. It’s super easy to make too, so I think I’ll be making it at home!”

     

    Mirin is indispensable to any Japanese cupboard and can be used in many ways, whether it be a classic Japanese dish or a dessert like this one.

    Mikawa Mirin 700ml: ¥1,122 (Tax Included)

    This authentic brand of mirin is made using a traditional method of Japanese brewing which blends in the delicious taste of rice. It’s so delicious that you just want to drink the whole bottle. A high quality mirin, it has a distinct sweetness, colour, and texture. It has a rich flavour, and the taste of the rice elevates the flavours of its ingredients.

     

    Mikawa Mirin Official Website: http://www.mikawamirin.jp/
    Official Online Store: http://mikawamirin.jp/product/product_step1.php?m=n
    Official Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mikawamirin

     

    Recipe


    This recipe was conceived by ITEMAE, a famous restaurant serving Japanese cuisine that is listed in the Michelin Guide.

     

    Model: Misa Kimura
    Photographer: Haruka Yamamoto

  • My Anime Recommendation | Darling in the Franxx: Children Paving the Way For Their Future

    30.June.2020 | ANIME&GAME / FEATURES

    ASOBINEXT is a new project launched by event management and talent agency ASOBISYSTEM, which is known for managing artists like Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. The project aims to create next generation icons who will promote their unique personalities and outlooks to the world using social media and in turn bring about new forms of culture.

    As part of ASOBINEXT, MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON will be publishing content from each talent that is tied to ASOBINEXT in the form of their favourite and recommended things. Today, we take a look at a recommended anime series by ASOBINEXT’s Yuka Koyama who always watches anime on the weekend without fail and is always on the lookout for new series.

    ©Darling in the Franxx Production Committee

     

    Darling in the Franxx’s Story

    The story is centred on children who are deprived of individuality and are raised solely for piloting Franxx, giant robot mecha, in boy-girl pairs. These children fight against strange creatures known as Klaxosaurs and various other kinds of enemies.

     

    What led you to watch Darling in the Franxx?

    I decided to watch it after seeing the character Zero Two in the recommendations column of the app I always use when I’m watching anime. Her pink hair really left an impression on me.

    Why do you want to recommend the series?

    The children in the series face many different emotions and conflicts. It’s a wonderful story about their growth. The art style an animation is really beautiful too, so if you’re stuck on what anime to watch next, I recommend trying this one out.

     

    Who is your favourite character?

    The pink-haired Zero Two. She’s a cute and mischievous girl, and I find myself really drawn to her merciless side which she shows on occasion. In this anime, where we see the kids experience numerous conflicts while growing as individuals, Zero Two, who used to be a loner, experiences what it’s like to treasure friends and enjoy being around people, as well as at times feel the bitterness of losing friends. She’s a very human character, and really like that.

     

    What’s your favourite scene?

    The scene where Zero Two and Hiro run away from the adults when they’re young kids. The adults restrict their freedom, but the two of them frantically escape the facility when they are young to find their freedom. It moved me in a big way, since I’m one to normally hesitate when it comes to something big.

    Who do you want to watch it?

    I definitely want anyone who is challenging themselves to something new, or anyone who is going through something right now, to watch it. The kids really go through a lot but carve out their own path in the process. Seeing that really gives you courage.

     

    Any final comments?

    You end up empathising with the characters in Darling in the Franxx without even realising. It’s a story of war with romance and friendship built into it. You always want to know what happens next, so I really recommend it. A second season is coming too, so be sure to check it out.

     

    Yuka Koyama

    16-years-old and a second-year high school student. Affiliated with ASOBINEXT. Currently taking lessons with the goal of becoming a model. Her hobby is discovering anime she hasn’t seen yet. She’s part anime otaku, never failing to watch anime on the weekends. In the future, she aims to become a regular model of a magazine that people admire and feature on the front cover. She also wants to expand her talent not only to magazines but TV too.

  • Winners Announced For The 7th Washoku World Challenge Competition

    03.March.2020 | FOOD

    The final round for the 7th Washoku World Challenge Competition was held in Tokyo on February 20 and 21, which saw WANG Wei Ping of China, and chef at SUN with AQUA JAPANESE DINING SUNTORY, as the winner.

     

    The two-day event brought together five chefs from Hong Kong, Singapore, Paris, Donostia-San Sebastian, and New York come together to compete and show their skills create dishes based on the competition’s main theme of “Umami” and this year’s theme of “Texture and Mouthfeel.”

    The judges said: “This 7th edition demonstrates that the finalists’ technical level keeps improving every year. Creating Japanese dishes that incorporate the characteristics and unique ideas of other countries’ culinary cultures, while respecting the fundamentals of Japanese cuisine built on the concept of umami, expands the potential of Japanese cuisine. The creations of each one of the finalists embodied this notion.”

    Middle Contender: WANG Wei Ping, 1st Place Winner

    WANG Wei Ping’s Dish

    On the first day, the chefs used the same ingredients to create a “nimonowan.” On the second day, they forged their own original dishes using five or more ingredients which they arranged on a Japanese “hangetsubon” tray.

     

    When reacting to his victory, Wang Wei Ping said: “I thank the owner and other members of my restaurant. After returning to Shanghai, I would like to continue conveying the excellence of Japanese cuisine, which is both healthy and tasty.”

     

    Finalists

    Hong Kong

    First Place: WANG Wei Ping (China, SUN with AQUA JAPANESE DINING SUNTORY)

     

    USA

    Second Place: Yael PEET (USA, Fury’s) *The restaurant will be open this summer.

     

    Singapore

    Third Place: Loh Man HONG (Singapore, FAT COW)

     

    Paris

    Wojciech POPOW (Poland, Beaverbrook)

     

    Judges

    – Head Judge: Mr. Yoshihiro MURATA

    (Chairman of Japanese Culinary Academy, Owner and chef of Kikunoi, Japanese Cuisine Goodwill ambassador)

    – Deputy Head Judge: Mr. Masahiro NAKATA

    (Director of Taiwa Gakuen Education Inc. President of Kyoto Culinary Art College)
    – Judge: Mr. Hideaki MATSUO

    (Owner of Japanese Cuisine KASHIWAYA, Japanese Cuisine Goodwill ambassador)
    – Special Judge: Yoshio KOJIMA

    (Comedian)

  • Experience Tasting Mount Koya’s Famous Sesame Tofu at ONAKA PECO PECO in Tsukiji

    07.August.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD

    ONAKA PECO PECO by Rurubu Kitchen is a cafe located in Tsukiji, a district in Chuo, Tokyo. They serve rice balls filled with locally sourced ingredients from various locations in Japan. In the evenings, the rice balls can be enjoyed with delicious sake.

     

    If you visit the cafe right now you’ll be able to try sesame tofu (goma tofu) made by the long-running restaurant Kadohama. Sesame tofu is a meibutsu―or “local speciality”―of Mount Koyo.

     

    While it is possible to buy sesame tofu on Kadohama’s online store, the only places you can eat them out at is at their restaurant on top of Mount Koya or at select branches of department stores such as Mitsukoshi or Isetan. We visited ONAKA PECO PECO by Rurubu Kitchen for a taste of this exquisite collaboration.

    Mount Koya is located in the Ito district of northern Wakayama Prefecture and is home to the town of Koya. The region is encased an abundant mountainous landscape. The Japanese Buddhist monk Kūkai opened the sacred mountain around 1,200 years ago. In 2004, Mount Koya which was registered as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2004 under the “Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range” category. It has since become a popular tourist destination with Japanese and foreign travellers alike.

     

    Here is the heavenly menu lineup at ONAKA PECO PECO which is packed full of Kadohama’s sesame tofu.

    There are five items which are made with the sesame tofu: an onigiri rice ball, crab soup, cold tofu, pork shabu shabu, and a drink.

    Time to tuck in and try this famous food which has been enjoyed for many years!

    White Vegetables & Steamed Pork Shabu w/ Koji Sesame Tofu Sauce – ¥800

    This dish is garnished with a generous serving of fresh white vegetables and succulent meat. It includes lotus root, enoki mushrooms, cauliflower, and pork. It also comes with a white sauce made with sesame tofu, shio koji, and sesame oil. The sauce has a mild flavour in which you can get the full glorious taste of the tofu. It’s smooth and refreshing so is a perfect pick for the hot summer.

    Sesame Tofu & Plum Cheese-Loaded Rice Ball – ¥250

    This rice ball is a flavourful combination of a sesame tofu and plum paste and lots of cheese.

    This fat rice ball is wrapped in paper like a hamburger. The rich taste of the tofu and cheese reduces the sourness of the plum, giving it a gentler flavour.

    Sesame Tofu & Egg Crab Soup – ¥400

    The soup is an amazing combination with the rice ball. It has a miso soup base filled with green onion, enoki mushrooms, and crab. The elastic-y tofu is cut into big satisfying chunks. Its rich, creamy flavour combined with the crab is to die for.

    Sesame Tofu & Sweet Sake Jelly Drink – ¥350

    The cute white-coloured beverage is a healthy mix of sesame tofu paste and sweet sake. It retains the pulpy texture of the tofu and the aftertaste is super refreshing.

    You can order the drink for takeout so you can take a stroll around the streets of Tsukiji.

    Kadohama Sesame Tofu – Eat In: ¥300 / Takeout: From ¥240

    If you’re looking to enjoy the sesame tofu on its own then you’ve got to try it with either the wasabi and soy sauce or brown sugar. You can also order this to take away too. Each box contains one piece of tofu.

    The cafe is also selling exclusive merchandise as part of the collaboration. The collection includes a t-shirt, sacoche bag, and cap. Each item has a simple design making them easy to incorporate into looks.

    Easy access to Kadohama’s sesame tofu―which is made using traditional cooking methods that have been passed down generations at Mount Koya―can only be enjoyed at ONAKA PECO PECO by Rurubu Kitchen. If you’re in Tokyo this summer, then take a trip to Tsukiji district to try this healthy and nutrient-packed tofu.

     

    Model: Ririka Satsuki

    Writer: Sayuri Mizuno (MMN Editorial Team)

    Photographer: Haruka Yamamoto

    Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

  • Lorenzo Ferro and Yutaro Discuss the True Crime Film ‘El Angel’ | MMN Interview

    02.August.2019 | FEATURES / MOVIE

    The 2018 Argentine-Spanish true crime film El Angel is set to hit theatres in Japan this year on August 16.

    The movie is inspired by the real-life Argentine serial killer Carlos Robledo Puch. It was screened at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival and was chosen for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 91st Academy Awards in the Argentine category. The film caught public attention and has enjoyed great success, and that’s in huge part thanks to Argentina actor Lorenzo Ferro, a newcomer who has made his acting debut with his role as Puch. He plays the character naturally and effortlessly, capturing the seemingly “pure” looks of Puch coupled with his evil intent, a killer who had free reigns to do whatever he needed to do to achieve his goal. The 60s-70s fashion that Ferro dons in the film is also a highlight worthy of note.

     

    MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON spoke to Ferro who came to Japan to promote the film, and Yutaro, who is the same age as Ferro, and is a model that has recently become very busy in the acting world. We questioned them about them about the film, the character role, and fashion.

    *Interview translated from Japanese.

    ──What are your thoughts after having seen El Angel, Yutaro?

     

    Yutaro: This was actually my first time watching an Argentine movie. The first thing that piqued my interest was the unique sound of the language. With the story, when I heard that it was about a serial killer I thought it would be a pretty graphic portrayal, but it wasn’t. Even people who aren’t good with graphic and shocking kinds of films would be able to watch this.

     

    ──That kind of reasoning and moral compass [which the film depicts] makes you feel kind of uneasy, doesn’t it?

     

    Yutaro: Obviously the things that the protagonist Carlos does is against the law and morally wicked, but he himself doesn’t believe any little thing he does is bad. He moves on instinct which in his mind is somehow acceptable, and that’s dangerous. Was it hard for you to create the character, Lorenzo?

     

    Lorenzo: It really was tough. I hadn’t played a character until then, so the first thing I had to learn was just being in front of a camera. Playing the role came after. I had to become “friends” with the movie and “friends” with the camera. Those were the first things I needed to do to fulfill my commitment.

     

    The whole shoot took around a month and a half, but prep time was half a year. During that time I practised playing piano and mastered riding a bike. It was a lot of work, but when I finally saw the completed movie, I felt it was definitely worth all the effort.

     

    Yutaro: When you’re playing someone who is far from anything like yourself, prep time is really important, isn’t it? You have to gather material on the role and really use your imagination. I also make sure to properly communicate with the director before shoots. I ask about the film’s theme and intent. If our perceptions don’t match then it’s not going to hold up on screen.

    Lorenzo: It’s definitely important to respect the director and communicate with them effectively. When we were filming, I wanted to make sure I didn’t forget to see the director as a friend. For instance, if the hierarchal relationship is overly strict and the director is the kind of person to look down on you and order you around, then you can’t build trust. I also think the best kind of relationship is when you can give your own opinion. Saying to them like, “That was no good, was it?” [laughs] “Why do I gotta do the same thing 40 times!?” You should be frank and express your doubts.

     

    Yutaro: Speaking of that, it’s important to have trust with your fellow cast members too. I believe that even if you’re filming together, if you can’t build that trust, that subtle distance between you will be conveyed [in the scene]. You yourself have got to try and converse with them in a positive manner. Go out for a meal together before a shoot, talk together about your roles.

    ──You live your days laboriously, Yutaro, including as an actor. What does a time look like for you when things get particularly tough?

     

    Yutaro: I’ve recently been doing a lot of shoots for multiple films at the same time. When that happens I find it very important to maintain retention so that I don’t forget my roles. In that sense, I also find that it’s important to look at how you spend your time outside of shoots when you’re working an acting job.

     

    Lorenzo: Oh, yeah! Having spare time during shoots is a curse as an actor [laughs] Even if you fire yourself up―preparations are done, you’ve done your warmups, and you say, “Right, time to shoot!”―you have to start from zero again if you have time until the next shoot. That happens quite a lot.

     

    ──So you’re demanded to have self-discipline too. El Angel is set in 1970s Buenos Aires. The fashion and interior designs seen in the film really stood out.

     

    Yutaro: For me personally the women’s clothes left an impression on me, particularly the one piece that Carlos’s mother wears. The clothes that Carlos wears in each scene too. They’re plain and simple but cool. I liked the leather jacket he wore when he went on a double date with his pal Ramón.

     

    Lorenzo: Wow, you really took in at all the little details. The influence for Carlos and Ramón was drawn heavily from James Dean and Marlon Brando who were both popular actors at the time.

     

    Yutaro: Oh, really?

    Lorenzo: Like smoking cigarettes and wearing a leather jacket. We naturally had an amazing stylist who prepared our outfits for us. We were both also conscious of people like James Dean and Marlon Brando when we played Carlos and Ramón.

    ──What kind of clothes do you like, Lorenzo?

     

    Lorenzo: I usually wear the kind of thing I have on now. I have a lot of rough-looking clothes. I really like fashion, my wardrobe is packed [laughs] The more clothes you have the harder it is to decide what to wear, so I really want to just wear the same t-shirt, pants and shoes all the time [laughs].

     

    Yutaro: I looked at your Instagram, you wear t-shirts with Japanese games and anime characters on them, don’t you? You have a Super Mario one on today, and I saw a Pokémon one on your Instagram. I like how you venture to wear t-shirts of games that were popular a while back now.

     

    Lorenzo: Really? Thanks, that makes me happy. The overalls you have on now are really cute, but I think that’s because it’s something that would suit you. If I wore something like that I’d probably look like a clown [laughs].

    Yutaro: Do you have a criteria when picking out a character t-shirt?

     

    Lorenzo: Well, I try not to wear t-shirts of franchises I don’t like, or games I haven’t played yet, or of bands I’ve never listened to before [laughs]. I’m wearing a Mario t-shirt today but there’s still much I don’t know about Japanese games or culture. I’m interested in many different cultures of many different countries, so I want to know more about Japan.

     

    Yutaro: In that case, let’s go shopping together in Harajuku next time!

     

    Writer: Takanori Kuroda

    Photographer: MURA

    Models: YutaroLorenzo Ferro

    Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

     

    ©2018 CAPITAL INTELECTUAL S.A / UNDERGROUND PRODUCCIONES / EL DESEO

    TALENT PROFILE

    Yutaro

    Yutaro was born in Hiroshima on June 3rd 1998. His modeling career has earned him lots of attention as a fashion icon of the new generation. The famous model also works as a “charisma” shop assistant. Yutaro has gained his reputation as a “mysterious and handsome guy” from his appearance on Japanese variety shows. His debut was made on the show “Gyoretsu no Dekiru Horitsu Sodanjo” and has since then appeared on numerous different TV shows. He challenged himself to appear on stage for the very first time in March this year and is gaining popularity by the day for his diverse work.

  • Toshio Suzuki & Studio Ghibli Exhibition Bound For Nagasaki This Summer

    10.July.2019 | ANIME&GAME / SPOT

    The second run of the Toshio Suzuki & Studio Ghibli Exhibition is set to take place at Huis Ten Bosch in Nagasaki from July 13 to September 23. The event is focused on longtime Studio Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki and centres on specific “words” he wishes to convey through this work.

     

    The exhibition had its first run in Tokyo back in April this year. We covered that event in detail so be sure to give it a read.

    The enormous 3-meter tall Yubaba & Zeniba centrepiece will return at the Nagasaki exhibition. Visitors can draw omikuji fortunes from the display which have Suzuki’s keywords written on them along with his explanation of them. You can take these home with you―a perfect addition for your Studio Ghibli collection!

    An extremely special merchandise shop will also open at the site with exclusive items and products on sale and decor and decorations that will have you feeling you have stepped right into an enchanting world woven by Studio Ghibli.

    Fan: ¥702 (Tax Included)

    Get your hands on an official Spirited Away fan to cool yourself down at the event this summer. On one side is an illustration of Yubaba and on the other some powerful words from Suzuki.

    Tote Bag: ¥1,620 (Tax Included)

    Express your love for Studio Ghibli everyday with this tote bag featuring the same illustration of Yubaba―which is the main visual for the exhibition―on the side. It’s big enough to be worn on your shoulder making it a convenient day-to-day item.

    Tea-Towel: ¥1,296 (Tax Included)

    This beautiful tea towel is made in collaboration with dyed goods company Chikusen who have been around since the Edo period. It has a traditional indigo blue colour and is made from high quality material. A perfect gift and souvenir for any fan of Studio Ghibli.

     

    We can’t forget the themed food menu either. You’ll find it on the first floor of Huis Ten Bosch at the Tea Salon.

    Bath House Dessert: ¥850 (Tax Included)

    A fitting dessert for any guest of the Spirited Away bath house, look forward to a bamboo charcoal-black chocolate-sprayed vanilla ice cream, colourful sugar candy and a cookie. It’s also served with iced corn tea.

    Toast For Adventure Lovers: ¥650 (Tax Included)

    Served with a glass of iced corn tea is a delicious egg-topped slice of toasted baked in the hotel bakery. Like you see in anime series, it makes you want to grab it, shove it between your teeth and run outside on an adventure.

    Any fans of Studio Ghibli’s work aren’t going to want to miss out on this very special event. If you’re in Japan this summer be sure you get to go.

     

    ©️TS ©️Studio Ghibli

  • Tokyo Ghoul S Live-Action Film Shown & Cast Give Q&A at Japan Expo in France

    09.July.2019 | ANIME&GAME / MOVIE

    The sequel to the live-action film Tokyo Ghoul, entitled Tokyo Ghoul S, will be released on July 19, 2019. The first film dropped in 29 countries around the world in July 2017 and went on to become a huge hit. The sequel features a whole new staff team with returning cast members.

    Tokyo Ghoul S was shown at the 20th Japan Expo event in Paris, France on July 7, the first pre-release screening since its premiere in Tokyo. Several cast members including Masataka Kubota (Ken Kaneki), Shota Matsuda (Shū Tsukiyama) and Maika Yamamoto (Touka Kirishima) as well as the film producer Tomohiro Nagae appeared at the event for a Q&A session with fans.

    The French fans welcomed the staff on stage with a round of applause as Kubota and Matsuda greeted them with a “Bonjour!” They got straight into the Q&A, with Kubota, who plays the half-ghoul Kaneki, explaining to the crowd, “All of you eat meat and vegetables, but ghouls are only able to eat people.”

     

    He continues, “People go mad when it’s them who are to be eaten. But I think that’s part of the appeal of this movie.”

    The producer Nagae elaborated on the film’s deep theme: “One thing about this film is how universal its theme is. No matter where you go in the world, it’s mutual. Humans and ghouls experience much drama throughout the franchise, but this also applies to those close to you. When you’re watching the film, try thinking what would happen if you yourself became a ghoul.”

    When asked about their favourite characters in the films, Kubota answered Juzo Suzuya, Matsuda answered Kaneki, and Yamamoto said her own character Touka.

    Matusda also earned huge cheers from the crowd with his Tsukiyama-like answer, saying: “In this film Tsukiyama says for the first time since meeting Kaneki that he wants to eat him, so now I can’t think of anything else but him.”

     

    When asked what fans should look forward to in this film, Kubota simply said “Shota Matsuda!” Matsuda followed this up saying, “I believe this is a romance film between Tsukiyama and Kaneki. Look forward to that aspect of it too.”

     

    ©Sui Ishida / Shueisha   ©2019 “Tokyo Ghoul S” Production Committee

  • Going on a cinema trip during Golden Week? Here’s 5 films perfect for kids and adults!

    01.May.2019 | ANIME&GAME / FEATURES / MOVIE / Uncategorized

    Hey everyone! It’s Midori again from Moshi Moshi Nippon’s Editorial Department!

     

    As this Golden Week holiday is especially long, some people are going on holiday! As the weather is pretty unpredictable, it’s the perfect opportunity to get your hands on cinema tickets ー it shouldn’t be crowded either! Here’s five of our film recommendations. Adults as well as kids are bound to love these films and they’re all showing during April and May!

     

    Crayon Shin-chan: Honeymoon Hurricane ~The Lost Hiroshi~

    Every year, there’s a new Shin-chan movie! In this movie, the Nohara family explore an unknown region during their trip to Australia! The Nohara couple have never celebrated their honeymoon, so what better time than now, they thought! Father Hiroshi, however, was kidnapped by a masked figure who wants to get their hands on some treasure! The masked figure, treasure hunters and the Nohara family are against each other to retrieve Hiroshi! As the final silly adventure of the Heisei era, it’s something you just can’t miss! Aimyon is in charge of the theme song for this movie, so this is your chance to hear her song “Haru no Hi”!

    Aimyon to Perform Crayon Shin-chan: Honeymoon Hurricane ~The Lost Hiroshi~ Main Theme

     

    Crayon Shin-chan: Honeymoon Hurricane ~The Lost Hiroshi~

    Release: Fri 19th April 2019

    Official website: http://www.shinchan-movie.com/

    © Yoshito Usui / Futabasha / Shinei / Television Asahi ADK

    2019 ©U/F・S・A・A 2019

     

    Detective Conan: The Fist of Blue Sapphire

    The film Detective Conan: Zero the Enforcer which was released last year was the highest grossing film out of the entire Detective Conan series. In its opening weekend, The Fist of Blue Sapphire managed to top the revenue of Zero Enforcer, and we are expecting this to rise up to become the highest grossing film in the Japanese box office! The film is set in Singapore where Kaito Kid steals the blue sapphire! Kaito Kid is a popular character even in the original series and with Makoto Kyogoku added to the mix, we’ve got a recipe for mayhem! Adults and children are bound to love this Detective Conan movie!

     

    Detective Conan: The Fist of Blue Sapphire

    Release: 12th April 2019

    Official website: https://www.conan-movie.jp

    ©1997-2019 Gosho Aoyama/Detective Conan Design by Committee

     

    Pokémon Detective Pikachu

    This world-famous anime has finally become a movie! Former Pokémon trainer Tim discovers that his father has gone missing and embarks on a quest to find him. He heads to Ryme City;  a city where Pokémon and people live together in harmony. Upon his arrival, he meets his father’s partner Detective Pikachu,  who surprisingly seems to be able to talk to him! Tim is still uncertain whether his father is even still alive, and so the pair search for Tim’s father and protect Ryme City against the terrible incidents that occur during their visit! Will Tim ever be reunited with his father?! This is your chance to see Pikachu feature in a Hollywood film!

     

    Pokémon Detective Pikachu

    Released first in Japan on 3rd May.

    Official website: https://meitantei-pikachu.jp/

     

    © 2019 Legendary and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.

    © 2019 Pokémon.

     

    Kakegurui

    This popular adult manga/anime is becoming a movie! The movie is set at Hyakkaou Private Academy; a school for rich kids. Here, the social hierarchy is determined by the strongest gambler.  The movie features obsessive gambler Yumeko; a natural gambler who gets a thrill from taking risks and has plunged into game with sweaty clenched fists. The series currently on air is a massively popular drama series. With Minami Hamabe playing the leading part, Taishi Nakagawa, Elaiza Ikeda and many other young actors and actresses have joined forces for this! The original author and director of the series created this version of film too, and so it is a completely original story! Whether you’ve always been a fan or whether this is your first encounter with the series, you’re bound to enjoy it!

     

    Kakegurui

    Release: 3rd May

    Official website: https://kakegurui.jp/

     

    Aladdin

    Disney’s classic movie Aladdin is now a live-action film! The poor, young Aladdin meets the rich princess Jasmine, and through fate, they encounter a magical genie in a lamp! The genie, who can grant three wishes, sets them on an adventure to seek what they really desire! Not only can you enjoy the movie’s signature song “A Whole New World”, but the live-action film features new songs created by the music teams behind La La Land and the Greatest Showman. Disney’s high movie quality reputation and Will Smith’s appearance as the Genie in the film are quite big topics in the news right now!

     

    Aladdin
    Release: 7th June
    Official website: https://www.disney.co.jp/movie/aladdin.html

     

    All these films were quite big in the news even before Golden Week! If you’re tired of the crowds of tourists, how about popping to the cinema for a break?

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