‘Alien Artist,’ Winner of Best New Director at Kanazawa Film Festival 2021, Released
29.March.2022 | MOVIE
The Kanazawa Film Festival aims to ‘promote Japan’s countryside culture to the world.’ The event held from September 18 to September 20, 2021 marked the 15th anniversary. In addition to staging special works each year, the festival has an established reputation in the film community for its ‘New Directors with Promising Talent’ program.
The film Alien Artist was directed by Seiyo Hotani, who took home the promising director award in 2020. Given the excellent critic feedback for the movie, it has been decided that Alien Artist will be officially released this spring. Hotani is a university student studying philosophy at Kyoto University, and his directorial work certainly shows off his knowledge on the subject. The film was entirely shot in Kanazawa and Kaga, Ishikawa Prefecture.
Alien Artist inspired viewers with its bizarre storytelling and display of ideology and philosophy. If you could eradicate all of the ‘evil’ people on Earth, would you? Who decides who is evil? The movie follows a number of unique characters, each with their own personal stories and motivations, as the world faces destruction and rebirth.
Runtime: 90 Minutes
Release Year: 2021
Director: Seiyo Hotani
Script: Hifumi Keihan
Executive Producer: Ikuya Onodera
Cast: Kunihiko Watanabe, Yuuritsu Maruyama, Ryofu Karuma, Rui Kiriyama, Shigeo Osako, Jirou
Channel 47 made a splash at the 2021 Kanazawa Film Festival by producing the short video ‘HAKKEN -in Kanazawa Movie Festival.’ Check it out at the YouTube link below.
Title: HAKKEN -in Kanazawa Movie Festival-
Fans Asked to Name Blimp Inspired by the Upcoming Film ‘Doraemon: Nobita’s Sky Utopia’
The film Doraemon: Nobita’s Sky Utopia will be released on March 3, 2023. The 42nd Doraemon movie follows Doraemon, Nobita, and his friends as they venture off to find Utopia, a perfect land in the sky where everyone lines in joy and happiness. They do so using an airship with a time warp function on their adventure, and to commemorate the film’s release, the Flying Doraemon Project began on January 14. A real-life 17-meter-long Doraemon blimp will soon appear in the sky, and fans are being asked to decide on a name for the craft.
The blimp, inspired by the Doraemon movie, will feature popular characters including Nobita, Shizuka, Suneo, and Gian. The blimp is the largest unmanned airship in Japan.
The message of the Flying Doraemon Project is to convey the feeling that in this day and age, children and adults alike can once again look upward and move forward toward their hopes and dreams.
Fans are asked to contribute ideas for the blimps name during the application period. Check the website for more details!
Doraemon: Nobita’s Sky Utopia
Release Date: March 3, 2023
Official Site: https://doraeiga.com/2023/
Won’t You Think With Us? Secret Blimp Naming Conference
Application Period: January 14 – February 15, 2023 (Until 23:59)
How to Enter: Please apply using the online application form or by postcard.
Application Form: https://ssl.toho-movie.com/senden/23dora_cp01/
Official Site: https://doraeiga.com/2023/airship/
Eve to Sing Theme Song for Christmas Comedy Film ‘Black Night Parade’
Popular singer Eve will sing the theme song for the film Black Night Parade, coming to theaters nationwide on December 23, 2022. A new trailer featuring the track has also been released alongside the announcement.
Eve’s YouTube channel has over 4.2 million subscribers with video views of over 1.9 billion. The new song, Shirayuki, was written by the singer himself, who has become incredibly popular with overseas music fans as well. The track manages to be both gentle and powerful in equal measure, combining an orchestra with Eve’s unique vocals. In conjunction with the release of the trailer, an exclusive pre-release version of the song has been posted to TikTok.
Black Night Parade Trailer: https://youtu.be/57CkdVMky4o
Black Night Parade was originally manga series by Hikaru Nakamura, the creator of Arakawa Under the Bridge and Saint Young Men. The live-action film will be directed by Yuichi Fukuda, who has worked on a number of live-action film adaptations of manga series including Gintama and Kyo Kara Ore Wa! Fukuda also wrote the screenplay along with Tetsuo Kamata. The protagonist Miharu Hino will be played by Ryo Yoshizawa, while Shino Hojo will be played by Kanna Hashimoto. Taishi Nakagawa will play Kaizer Tanaka and Keisuke Watanabe will play Teppei Kohira.
The story follows Miharu Hino, a man who is completely hopeless at everything he does. He failed his entrance exam, failed at job hunting, and has no love life to speak of. After working at a convenience store for three years, he meets a man in a black Santa suit who kidnaps him, offering him a job. Miharu then begins working at Santa Claus House, a mysterious company at the North Pole that delivers gifts to children around the world.
Comment from Eve
“I’m incredibly honored because I loved both the original manga and Fukuda’s past works. I wrote this song Shirayuki with the hope that Christmas could be an important day for everyone. I would be so glad if this song makes you nostalgic for winter, making you imagine the cold air that stings your nose and the stars in the clear night sky. I love Kunehito, so I am looking forward to seeing him in the film.”
Sword Art Online Celebrates 10th Anniversary with New Original FIlm
Reki Kawahara’s web novel Sword Art Online began in 2002, later becoming a popular light novel series. The anime series debuted in 2012, followed by a second season in 2014 and a third in 2018. Following the characters Kirito and Asuna as they traverse a virtual reality MMORPG, the series has seen major success, with the light novels selling over 30 million copies worldwide.
During Sword Art Online’s anniversary event on November 6, it was revealed that a new film project is in the works. A brief teaser was also revealed, though concrete information is hard to come by at this point in time.
Be sure to check back soon for new information about the film!
“This may be a game, but it’s not something to take lightly.”
The world’s first VRMMORPG, Sword Art Online, has turned into a game of death. Over a month has passed since 10,000 users were trapped in the game world.
Asuna, who conquered the first level of the floating castle of steel Aincrad, continues her journey to the top floor along with Kirito.
With the help of the female informant Argo, the attack seemed to be going well. However…
The top player groups leading the attack are the ALS (Aincrad Liberation Force) and the DKB (Dragon Knights Brigade).Although they should be working towards the same goal, war breaks out.
Behind the scenes, a mysterious figure lurks…
What awaits Kirito and Asuna as they continue their journey?
©2020 川原 礫/KADOKAWA/SAO-P Project
THE FIRST SLAM DUNK Film Reveals Main Cast, Theme Song
THE FIRST SLAM DUNK will be released in theaters nationwide on December 3, 2022.
Ahead of the film’s release, more information about the main cast and music has been released. Toei Animation showed off a new promo video for the film during a livestream last week, and fans now know who will be playing the five main characters.
The Birthday will perform the film’s opening theme, while 10-FEET will perform the ending theme Dai Zero Kan. The newest trailer is available to watch on Toei Animation’s official YouTube channel.
Shugo Nakamura will portray Ryota Miyagi, while Jun Kasama will play Hisashi MItsui. Shinichiro Kamio will play Kaede Rukawa, Subaru Kimura will play Hanamichi Sakuragi, and Kenta Miyake will play Takenori Akagi. More information about the film is expected to be released soon!
© 2022 THE FIRST SLAM DUNK Film Partners
Mrs. GREEN APPLE Releases Music Video for ‘Soranji’
04.November.2022 | MUSIC
Mrs. GREEN APPLE will release the new song Soranji on November 9. The 10th single comes over three years after the group’s last release, and the Utopia ARENA SHOW Blu-ray and DVD will be released on December 14, 2022.
The music video for Soranji has been uploaded to YouTube. The song will serve as the theme for the film With Love from the Gulag, scheduled to be released in theaters nationwide on December 9. Motoki Ohmori is credited as the Music Video Planning Director, and the lyricist worked closely with video director Seri Yoshiharu to bring the song to life.
Soranji – Mrs. GREEN APPLE
The Soranji single also includes a cover of Ado’s I’m Invincible, currently a hit track due to its inclusion in ONE PIECE FILM RED, and Floriginal, a song being used in the fragrance and music collaboration project PARFATUNE. The limited first edition includes a bonus DVD with documentary footage of the production process, as well as a luxurious original sleeve case and a 24-page Soranji photo book.
The Utopia Blu-ray and DVD will include all 23 songs from the one-night-only live performance held on July 8, 2022, as well as special behind-the-scenes rehearsal footage.
Soranji – Mrs. GREEN APPLE
Release Date: November 9, 2022
Anime Film ‘The Tunnel to Summer, the Exit of Goodbyes’ Wins Special Award at Bucheon International Animation Festival
03.November.2022 | ANIME&GAME
Mei Hachimoku and Kukka’s light novel The Tunnel to Summer, the Exit of Goodbyes won the 13th Shogakukan Light Novel Award upon release. The film adaptation, which was released in theaters nationwide on September 9, 2022, managed to win the Korean Society of Cartoon and Animation Studies Award at the Buncheon International Animation Festival 2022.
The Buncheon International Animation Festival has been held in Buncheon, northern South Korea, for over 20 years, and is accredited by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as one of the leading international animation film festivals in Asia. There are six categories of competition, and the anime film was entered in the Feature Film category.
The special prize is awarded to the most popular film at the festival. “This film took us to a place that we could see, hear and feel. The impressive music also struck a chord with audiences,” a comment reads.
“I never thought I’d win an award,” said the film’s director Tomohisa Taguchi. “I’m so happy and honored! The fact that this film was so appreciated in Korea is proof that we were able to create a universal film that transcends borders. I’m so happy to be a part of the long history of the Buncheon International Animation Festival!”
The film will also be screened in the Japanese Animation Competition at the 35th Tokyo International Film Festival, which starts on October 24. On October 31, the film was screened at an interview event featuring the film’s director.
The Tunnel to Summer, the Exit of Goodbyes
Official Site: https://natsuton.com
Blue Giant Anime Film’s Teaser Trailer Hints at Incredible Jazz Soundtrack
In 2013, Shinichi Ishizuka’s Blue Giant manga series hit the scene. Serialized in Big Comic, the series has sold over 8.8 million copies to date, and readers seem to have fallen in love with the author’s depiction of emotion. Ishizuka has even influenced the real-world jazz scene with his creation.
Blue Giant will be turned into an anime film in February 2023, directed by Yuzuru Tachikawa, known for his work on Mob Psycho 100 and Death Parade. The script is being written by NUMBER 8, the editor of the original manga and the story director for the Blue Giant Supreme spin-off. Studio NUT is handling the animation.
As the manga series largely focuses on the world of jazz, the film’s soundtrack is already being highly anticipated by fans. World-renowned pianist Hiromi Uehara is composing the original music that the film’s jazz trio JASS performs. He’ll also play the piano for the character Yukinori Sawabe.
Saxophonist Tomoaki Baba will play the saxophone for the character Dai. Auditions were held in cooperation with Universal Music, featuring leading players from Japan and abroad. Baba was an easy choice, wowing judges with his large sax and powerful performance.
Shun Ishiwaka, the drummer of the band Millennium Parade, will play the drums for Dai’s classmate Shunji Tamada. One of the most sought-after drummers on the scene, Ishiwaka is active in a number of genres.
Hiromi Uehara’s piano performance is sure to wow audiences. His incredible technique and emotionally-charged performances have wowed the world for years.
“I never thought the day would come that I’d be able to truly recreate the music I had heard only in my head,” Uehara said. “I’ll put all my passion into it.” The pianist is a fan of the work and has continuously expressed his excitement about the project.
“As I performed the saxophone as Dai, I could feel his passion and his obsession for music,” said Tomoaki Baba. Ishiwaka also expressed excitement. “We had a lot of fun going through the trial and error process,” he said. Baba and Ishiwaka, both from Hokkaido, were in the same big band when they were in elementary school, and oddly enough, the members feel a connection like that of their respective characters.
Original manga author Shinichi Ishizuka expressed his excitement about the project. “I’m so glad that Uehara is on board. I want to thank all of the musicians for their awesome sounds!”
Be sure to check the film out when it releases next February!
©2023 映画「BLUE GIANT」製作委員会 ©2013 石塚真一／小学館
Release Date: February 17, 2023
Official Site: bluegiant-movie.jp
The Klutzy Witch Anime Film Reveals First Key Visual, Stunning Main Cast
The first key visual for The Klutzy Witch: Fuka and the Dark Witch has been revealed. The main cast was also announced, with Honoka Inoue playing Fuka, Matsumi Tamura playing Fuka’s childhood friend Chitose, and Manaka Iwami playing another of Fuka’s friends Karin.
“I hope that both children and adults alike will come to the theater to enjoy the magic and fun together,” Satoko Narita, the original children’s book author, commented. Enaga Senno, the original illustrator, also gave a comment along with a new illustration. “I’m looking forward to seeing Fuka, Karin, and Chitose’s adventure!”
“I’ve always wanted to be a witch, ever since I was a little girl, so I’m extremely happy,” said Honoka Inoue.
Produced by Production I.G, the film, directed by Takayuki Hamana and written by Kiyoko Yoshimura, will be released in Spring 2023. It’s based on the popular children’s book series which has sold over 1.6 million copies in total and will feature character designs by Marumi Sugita. Set in a world filled with witches and wizards, the story follows the apprentice witch Fuka after she breaks the seal of a dark witch who almost destroyed the world.
Movie tickets paired with a clear bookmark set will be available for preorder at select theaters and online starting October 14, 2022.
The Klutzy Witch: Fuka and the Dark Witch
Opening Spring 2023
Official Website: https://anime-rakumajo.com/
Director Makoto Shinkai Chooses RADWIMPS to Perform Theme for Anime Film Suzume no Tojimari
Famed director Makoto Shinkai and rock band RADWIMPS are teaming up for the third time. The group will provide music for Shinkai’s upcoming film Suzuka no Tojimari, scheduled to open in theaters nationwide on November 11, 2022. Kazuma Jinnouchi, a world-renowned film composer, will work with the group to form the strongest musical team in the history of Shinkai’s films. Previously, RADWIMPS worked with Shinkai on 2016’s Your Name and 2019’s Weathering With You.
At the film’s announcement press conference, Shinkai gave his thoughts. “I want to create a film that gives people a reason to come to the theater,” he said. “I want to create imagery and sounds that will immerse every single person in the audience.” With this determination to create a new and unique theater experience, Shinkai decided to have not only RADWIMPS work on the film’s music, but Kazuma Jinnouchi as well. This would mean a bolder score, but also a larger challenge.
Yojiro Noda, the lead vocalist, songwriter, and guitarist of RADWIMPS, gave a comment. “Working with Kazuma Jinnouchi, who has such a long history of creating music for movies and video games, gave me a new perspective. His amount of experience is hard to put into words.”
“The music we created for the film’s action scenes was largely influenced by my experience in Hollywood,” Jinnouchi said.
Some recording for the film was done overseas at the historic Abbey Road Studios in London, a first for a Shinkai film.
The new theme song, aptly titled Suzume, can be heard in the trailer for the film. At Noda’s request, the production team searched for the most suitable voice for the song–one that would truly express the film’s vibe. After listening to audition tapes and a number of voices from around the web, TikTok sensation Toaka was chosen as the song’s vocalist. “I felt a connection between Toaka and this song. No one else could come close,” Noda commented.
Suzume no Tojimari, Shinkai’s first new film in three years, is a coming-of-age story, following a girl named Suzume as she travels to disaster-stricken locations around Japan, closing doors to keep those nearby safe.
Suzume Iwato, the heroine, will be played by Nanoka Hara. Souta Munakata will be portrayed by Hokuto Matsumura. Be sure to check out the latest trailer!
Suzume no Tojimari Trailer
Suzume no Tojimari
Release Date: November 11, 2022
Official Site: https://suzume-tojimari-movie.jp/
THE RAMPAGE, NCT 127, and BE:FIRST Release Trailer for Crossover Song ‘Wings’
With over 5.56 million people seeing the films in theaters and box-office revenue of over ¥7.8 billion, the High&LoW film series has inspired audiences around Japan for years with its themes of friendship and struggle. In 2019, the film High&Low THE WORST was released as a collaboration with Hiroshi Takahashi’s manga Worst and Crows, which have collectively sold over 80 million copies. A sequel, High&Low THE WORST X, will be released in theaters nationwide on September 9, 2022.
While the film itself is a massive collaboration between rivals, it will also feature a major collaboration between artists! Kazuma Kawamura and Hokuto Yoshino from THE RAMPAGE, Yuta Nakamoto from NCT 127, and Ryoki Miyama from BE:FIRST have come together to perform the song Wings. The track will be played during key scenes in the film and is sure to pull at your heartstrings.
The song came to be after the four became closer acting in the film. Wings is a positive and emotional song about friendship and trust and evokes the image of irreplaceable friends and a man who will never stop moving forward.
In the new trailer for the song, the images of the four artists performing the track overlap with the images of their characters in the film.
Wings – HiGH＆LOW THE WORST X
The film is sure to be the breakout hit of the summer, bringing together powerhouses from THE RAMPAGE, NCT 127, and BE:FIRST when it releases on September 9. The characters, action, and music have all been powered up when compared to the previous film, so be sure to tune in!
Comment from Kazuma Kawamura (Fujio Hanaoka) (THE RAMPAGE)
“This song transcended the boundaries of our group and a dream crossover was able to happen.
Without our collaboration in the film, I don’t think we would have had this incredible opportunity to work together on music so quickly.
We probably would have just ended up doing a cover or something like that.
It was such a joy for us to be able to collaborate on a new piece of music that was totally our own.
It’s a coming-of-age song that matches our roles and certain scenes in the movie perfectly, and I hope it will touch your heart!”
Comment from Hokuto Yoshino (Tsukasa Takajo) (THE RAMPAGE)
“Even though we’re all in different groups, we were so honored to come together to sing together as a foursome for this film!
I hope lots of people will enjoy this heartwarming and tender ballad, which shows our individuality but also has a real sense of unity.
I hope everyone will be able to experience the world of HiGH&LOW THE WORST X in theaters, and I also hope you’ll pay attention to the scenes in which this song is played!”
Comment from Yuta Nakamoto (Ryo Suzaki) (NCT 127)
“It’s rare to find a song with a medium tempo that’s so emotionally moving, and it was a fresh and fun experience to sing a song for my first movie. Although some parts were difficult, it was a great experience and I’m grateful for it.
Ryo and Amagai’s relationship is reflected in the lyrics of Wings, and I think that this one will make you emotional.”
Comment from Ryoki Miyama (Amagai Kouhei) (BE:FIRST/RYOKI)
“This was one of the most nerve-wracking recordings I’ve ever done.
Singing with everyone was a valuable experience, and I really wanted to give it my all. I discussed it with the director and after a number of takes, I think we were able to get the most emotional of the bunch.
We’re so happy to bring this film to life, and along with so many talented artists and actors, this song is really the culmination of everyone’s hard work.”
©2022「HiGH&LOW THE WORST X」製作委員会 ©髙橋ヒロシ(秋田書店) HI-AX
HiGH＆LOW THE WORST X (Cross)
Release Date: September 9, 2022
Official Site: https://www.high-low.jp/movies/theworst-x/
NAKED Exhibition Inspired by Tea Master Sen no Rikyu Opens at 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa
NAKED’s newest work, inspired by Sen no Rikyu, has opened at the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa! The exhibition will run through September 3 and blends physical art pieces found in the museum with the Metaverse.
NAKED’s first exhibition at this popular Kanazawa Museum brings visitors a modern version of chanoyu, or the ‘Way of Tea.’ This year marks the 500th birthday of Sen no Rikyu, a historical figure who had a significant influence on the tea ceremony still found in Japan today. NAKED wants to honor his contribution to shaping this massive part of Japanese culture. Visitors are invited to a traditional tea ceremony room, but the experience itself has been modernized by NAKED. This unprecedented art exhibition allows both those who know nothing about Sen no Rikyu and those who know him well to experience his philosophy and aesthetics in an entirely new way.
Gate: Greetings from the Master
Open-air: The Crossroads of this Transient World
Wash Basin: Where the Four Seasons Float
Dry Landscape Garden: The Teachings of Rikyu
Tea Whisk: “Make a Good Tea for your Guest.”
Hanging Scroll: The Master’s Memories
Small Room: Evolution
Tearoom: The End and the Beginning
NAKED Fuji Canele
Tsukubai, or a low stone basin filled with water, is used to cleanse the hands before entering a tearoom. Using interactive art, the water’s surface is covered in digital flowers that blossom when a guest’s hands pass over the basin.
In the ‘Small Room: Evolution’ area, guests will find the Sustainable Contemporary Golden Tearoom, which was created by NAKED staff together with sixth graders using golden trash collected at Kanazawa University Elementary School. The calligraphy on display in the tearoom was also done by children, with the best creations selected to be included in the exhibition. The scent was produced by EarthRing, an aroma brand located in Hakusan, Ishikawa Prefecture. The ‘Tea Whisk’ area offers a unique experience for all five senses, including the scent of matcha, which guests can smell when they mimic the act of prepping tea.
In addition, guests can purchase special NAKED Fuji Canele and a Kutani ware Original Tumbler with special tea-inspired motifs. The Canele is a triple collaboration with Fukumitsuya, the oldest sake brewery in Kanazawa, so don’t miss out!
NAKED Meets Sen no Rikyu
Venue: 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Civic Gallery B
(1-2-1 Hirosaka, Kanazawa, Ishikawa)
Running: August 6 – September 3, 2022
*For more information about tickets, please visit the official website.
Tickets / Details: https://meets.naked.works/kanazawa21/
Creepy-Cute Halloween Sweets Available for a Limited Time at Hyatt Centric Kanazawa
Halloween is on the way, and the Hyatt Centric Kanazawa hotel is prepping some spooky sweets to celebrate! From October 1 until October 31, a Monster Halloween Cake Set will be available at the hotel’s restaurant FIVE – Grill and Lounge. Guests can also enjoy a Halloween lunch and dinner menu featuring a chic menu filled with black, red, and purple dishes. Visitors who come in costume will gain access to some special offers as well!
Halloween Lunch / Dinner Course
Poached Eggs with Black Chaudfroid Sauce
Grilled Beef Tenderloin with Beet Variation
The courses were inspired by an adult Halloween party and will be available for four days only. Each dish contains colors perfect for the season, like haunting black and bloody red punctuated with a purple-tinted memory of moonlight. While the dishes may look strange, they are made with the finest ingredients.
Monster Halloween Cake Set
Witch’s Mont Blanc Pudding
Jack-o’-Lantern Cream Puff
Spider Web Mousse
GO FOR KOGEI 2022 Collaboration 5×5 Cake Set
A special cake set featuring everything from Frankenstein to spider webs will get you in the Halloween mood. The lineup includes Witch’s Mont Blanc Pudding topped with purple sweet potato cream, and the adorable Jack-o’-Lantern cream puff filled with–you guessed it–pumpkin cream. Come enjoy some other playful treats like the Mummy Macaron filled with apricot and the Denture Parfait with berries and marshmallows. On weekdays from October 3 until October 21, the cakes will be served on a special Kutani ware in collaboration with GO FOR KOGEI 2022. This 5×5 set will be limited to five servings per day. Kutani ware is a style of traditional Japanese porcelain found in Ishikawa Prefecture.
This year’s Halloween cocktail is the rock-themed Back in Black. With a tequila base, you’re sure to have some extra fun after downing this classy beverage.
Come enjoy some spooky and cute Halloween sweets while you can!
Hyatt Centric Kanazawa
FIVE – Grill & Lounge
Address: Hyatt Centric Kanazawa 3F (1-5-2 Hirooka, Kanazawa, Ishikawa)
Official Site: http://fivegrillandlounge.jp
Lunch / Dinner Menu
Available: October 28 – October 31, 2022
Lunch: 11:30-14:30 (Last Order at 14:00)
Dinner: 17:30-21:00 (Last Order at 20:30)
Monster Halloween Cake Set
Available: October 1 – October 31, 2022
*On weekdays from October 3 to October 21, the 5×5 cake set, made in collaboration with GO FOR KOGEI 2022, will only be offered in a limited number of 5 per day. (Advance reservations required.)
Hours: 12:00-17:00 (Last Order at 16:30)
Available: October 24 – October 31, 2022
Hours: 17:00-24:00 (Last Order at 23:30)
*Menu subject to change depending on availability.