Natsume Mito to Appear in Upcoming Film ‘Kono Chiisana Te’
18.January.2023 | MOVIE
Natsume Mito will star in the upcoming film Kono Chiisana Te (These Small Hands). The film will debut in theaters on April 8.
The movie is an adaptation of the manga series by Mamora Goda, also known for his works Kira Kira Hikaru and Mori no Asagao. The story follows a father who never cared for his daughter and a daughter who has forgotten her father.
This is the feature-length debut of director Hiroyuki Nakada, who previously worked as an assistant director on films such as Love is Light and Tsukuritai Onna to Tabetai Onna.
<Comment from Director Hiroyuki Nakada>
“What is a father?
This question came to me as I was watching my newborn son sleep.
Does supporting a family financially make a good father?
Can a man be a father in some other way? Can he do something else?
While I was pondering this, I came across Kono Chiisana Te.
I really wanted to find the answer to my question, so I decided to work on plans for this live-action film.
I hope that everyone who sees this film will take some time to think about their families in this fast-paced world.”
Kazuma, an illustrator, lives with his wife Sayuri and their three-year-old daughter Hina.
One night, while Kazuma is drinking with his work buddies, Sayuri gets into an accident and is hospitalized while out shopping.
Kazuma falls asleep at the bar and Hina wakes up alone the next day. She is rescued by the police and placed in an orphanage.
Given his actions, Kazuma can’t take Hina home. Having done nothing to help raise her, he’s decidedly unfit to parent. Sayuri doesn’t wake up, and time continues to pass.
Desperate, Kazuma gradually realizes that there are people who care for him and want the best for his life. Determined, he sets out to repair his bond with his daughter.
When Kazuma visits, however, all Hina can do is cry. Has she forgotten her father’s face?
Kono Chiisana Te (These Small Hands)
Release Date: In theaters nationwide April 8, 2023at Euro Space and other locations
Original Story: Kono Chiisana Te by Mamora Goda / Hiroshi Yoshida
Director: Hiroyuki Nakada
Script: Yusuke Moriguchi
Theme Song: Karen Aoki
Producer: Sho Matsushima
Music: Rhythm & Note
Production: Kono Chiisana Te Production Committee
Distributor: Fulmotelmo Inc.
2022/Japanese/Color/Vista Size/90 minutes
Renwa Satou, Sei Ando
Chie Tsuji, Natsume Mito, Himena Irei, Kenji Mitamura, Yoko Asaji, Reon Yuzuki, Kanji Tsuda, Yuki Matsushita, Yasufumi Terawaki
Actress Utano Aoi will star in the film Boku no Naka ni Saku Hanabi (The Fireworks That Blossom Within Me).
The film is directed by Yuto Shimizu, who won the Best J. Horror Award at the Japan Film Festival Los Angeles 2022 at the young age of 20 for The Soloist. Set in his hometown of Gifu Prefecture, he penned the screenplay after being inspired by his own life experiences. This marks his first feature film as a director.
After a painful incident, protagonist Minoru slowly begins to open up to his family and friends and gradually starts to accept his fear of death, deciding to live entirely in the present. The film focuses on the finite amount of time we have on this earth and Minoru’s knowing that even that nature around him will someday disappear, which is all the more reason to show love while you can. The heroine, Jyuri Mizuishi, is played by Utano Aoi.
Crowdfunding for the film is currently underway.
<Comment from Utano Aoi (Jyuri Mizuishi)>
“Strength and weakness, harshness and gentleness…we must juggle these extremes in order to learn how to live in the midst of unfathomable loneliness and despair. I hope to show all sides of Akari with subtlety. I want to feel the sights, smells, people, and emotions of the city. At the moment, I can already feel the power that the cast and crew are bringing to the filmmaking process. I’m also looking forward to the emotional location. I’m so excited. Please look forward to the film!”
Boku no Naka ni Saku Hanabi
Director/Screenwriter: Yuto Shimizu
Producer: Ken Ochiai
Starring: Iori Abe, Masaya Kato, Utano Aoi, Kokona Sumi, Nanako Sato
Planned Length: 100 min.
Genre: Youth/Family/Human Drama
Release: Theatrical Release/At Film Festivals in Japan and Abroad
On August 10, the apparel brand tiit tokyo released a short film titled ESCAPE starring model and talent Nagomi.
The film comes prior to tiit tokyo’s first solo pop-up shop at Shibuya PARCO, scheduled to open on August 24. The final scene of the film was filmed at Shibuya PARCO and features the location’s classic symbol–a neon ‘P.’
The story follows a woman who lives a strictly controlled life who, after witnessing an incredible scene, begins planning her escape and a new beginning. Nagomi plays the main character, a female vampire.
ESCAPE was written and directed by fashion event director and filmmaker Hajime Tsuda, who previously worked on the film Daughters. The creative director for tiit tokyo, Sho Iwata, served as fashion director.
ESCAPE (Part One)
*Part Two will be released on August 22
ESCAPE (tiit tokyo Short Movie)
Release Date: August 10, 2023 (Part One) / August 22 (Part Two)
Where to Watch: tiit tokyo’s Official Instagram / YouTube
Writer / Director: Hajime Tsuda
Fashion Director: Sho Iwata (tiit tokyo)
tiit tokyo Official Site
Sora Nomoto to Star in Upcoming Film ‘Fanfare’
27.July.2023 | MOVIE
Actress Sora Nomoto will star in the film Fanfare, set to premiere on November 17, 2023.
The film tells an emotionally-charged story as two women who have graduated from an idol group struggle to pursue new careers. Sora Nomoto will play the role of Rei Sudo, the former center of the idol group Fun☆Fare who left the group to pursue a career in fashion.
The film will be directed by Ryohei Yoshino, whose works include Spring Has Come (2015) and Eternally Younger Than Those Idiots(2021). The idol music, costumes, and choreography are all original to the film.
Crowdfunding is also underway to support the film’s nationwide release.
Release Date: November 17, 2023 at CINE QUINTO and other theaters nationwide
Starring: Kyoka Minakami, Sora Nomoto
Noa Kita, Karin Hashiguchi, Miyu Matsuzaki, Mimi Shirai, Nene Sotohara
Director/Screenwriter/Editor: Ryohei Yoshino
Marika and Rei were members of the idol group Fanfare, and after graduating from the group, the two went on to become choreographers and stylists. One day, Yuna, a current member of the group, asks the girls to design the costumes and choreography for her graduation concert. The opportunity appears suddenly, as the two yearn to grasp their own dreams. However, trouble soon arises as the two struggle to create what they envision and begin to dredge up painful past relationships. The film follows the girls as they face themselves and attempt to move forward, from the moment they begin the exciting project to the day of the concert.
Actress Haruhi Ito will star in the upcoming film Matatakimade, which will be screened at Ikebukuro’s cinema rosa for one week only starting August 5.
The film is the fourth from the independent film production company Rune Cinema and follows Kazoku Awase, which received record attendance in 2019 despite its late-night run at cinema rosa. The company’s film Arano no Hate won three awards at the Kadoma International Film Festival in 2020, including Best Film, while Tooi Raimei appeared at numerous domestic and international film festivals and won Best Director at the 2022 Asian Film Festival. Matatakimade tells the story of a family through the events that take place in a single room in an apartment.
Ito will play the role of Chiho Matsui, a childhood friend of the main character Ami Tokita, a popular novelist.
<Comment from Haruhi Ito (Chiho Matsui)>
“What is family? I’ve been thinking about that question since I read Matatakimade. Is it something ambiguous? Something solid, or corrupt, or something that’s warm and occasionally cold? I’ve thought about it so much, yet I haven’t found a complete answer. When you glimpse a family through a single telescope or a single book, I hope you’ll search for the answer too.”
Ami Tokita (Hitomi Maki), a popular novelist, is in the middle of dealing with a divorce settlement over custody of her only child, an elementary school student. One day, a mysterious man (Ryo Ikeda) appears at the apartment where she works, asking to rent a room for the night. Despite pushback from her editor, Reiko Iijima (Karin Nishina), Ami agrees to the man’s request out of curiosity. Strangely, the mysterious man intends to look through a telescope at the apartment building across the street. The next morning, Reiko casually peeks through the telescope left in her room, only to see a small child being abused. Ami’s best-selling novel, titled Snow, Moon and Flowers, tells the story of a young girl who was abused by her mother. Is what happened in the apartment across the street a coincidence? Or was it inevitable?
Release Date: August 5 – August 11 at cinema rosa in Ikebukuro (Late-night screenings)
Starring: Hitomi Maki, Ryo Ikeda, Karin Nishina, Yusuke Takahashi, Haruhi Ito, Yasuhiko Fujita, Harumi Shuhama
Writer/Director/Cinematographer: Tomofumi Hasegawa
Official Site: https://runecinema.com/matataki/
Natsume Mito Celebrates 10th Anniversary in Showbiz with Photo Essay Book ‘Natsumelon’
Natsume Mito began her career as a model in 2013 before gradually breaking her way into dramas and stage performances as an actress. To commemorate ten years in show business, Mito will release a photo essay book titled Natsumelon on August 12.
Yuuka Eda, a popular young film director, snapped the photos for the book. Shooting took place in Taiwan, a place with great sentimental value for Mito. Readers will find plenty of food and locale recommendations including the wholesale district, lined with restaurants in business for over 100 years, and the famous night markets in Taipei. In the accompanying essays, Mito, now in her 30s, speaks openly about her views on work, marriage, clothing, makeup, relationships, and future goals, while also including adorable hand-drawn illustrations. The book also contains details about Mito’s current wardrobe, her recommended manga and stationery, and behind-the-scenes snapshots.
<Comment from Natsume Mito>
“I’m so happy to announce the release of my photo essay book, celebrating my first 10 years in show business!
One of my goals was to publish a photo essay in my 30s, and I’m so grateful to all the fans and staff who made that dream come true. I chose Taiwan, a place with so many happy memories, as the location. I think that the readers will enjoy seeing many different sides of me, from playful Natsume to quiet Natsume.
The shoot brought me so much joy, and I was so glad to be back in Taiwan for the first time in so long after the pandemic. At the same time, I was excited to see what kind of future awaits me in this new decade. I included an essay reflecting on the past decade along with the photos. I hope you’ll read the ramblings of a woman in her 30s! Be sure to check out my current fashion breakdown too. For those who have supported me over the past ten years, I think you’ll enjoy my more mature personal style!”
<Comment from Photographer Yuuka Eda>
“I followed Natsume’s dizzying schedule of eating, laughing, and walking through the streets of Taiwan, and had such a blast. If you let someone young spread their wings and live their own lives, they’ll mature on their own. But during the shoot, I completely forgot about taking “age-appropriate” shots—instead, all I wanted to do was have a good time and do what was fun. I ignored what I should have done and instead did what we wanted to do. I’d be happy if even a few important moments of Natsume’s life were immortalized in this book.
Please, enjoy your life.”
Born in Gunma Prefecture in 1994, Eda directed her first feature film, Girls’ Encounter, in 2017. Starring Moeka Hoshi and Serena Motola, the film won the Audience Award at MOOSIC LAB 2017 and was subsequently released in theaters to great acclaim. Invited to the Hong Kong International Film Festival and Shanghai International Film Festival, Eda also won the Best Director Award at the Asian Film Festival in Barcelona. In 2019, she won the Best New Director Award at the Japan Movie Critics Awards. Eda also works as a photographer, having shot numerous artists and promotional materials.
Natsumelon (Natsume Mito photo essay book)
Release Date: August 12, 2023
Price: ¥2,970 (Tax Included)
Preorder on Amazon
Gai Ueno to Star in Upcoming Film ‘Sensei! Kuchisake-onna desu!’
12.May.2023 | MOVIE
On July 7, the film Sensei! Kuchisake-onna desu!, starring Gai Ueno, will open in theaters.
The coming-of-age battle and horror film focuses on the unlikely relationship between an urban legend and a group of high school punks. After three punks steal a motorcycle, they realize that the owner of the bike is none other than a Kuchisake-onna–in Japanese folklore, this is an evil woman with her mouth slit from ear to ear. Gai Ueno plays the role of F1, a member of the high school gang and a hotwiring genius.
<Comment from Gai Ueno (F1)>
“I’m Gai Ueno, and I play the role of F1. Sensei! Kuchisake-onna desu! is truly a film that I want everyone to see. The characters are somehow cute and you’ll immediately love them–I’m confident that this is the cutest-ever Japanese film focused on high school delinquents. Even now, I wonder if I can personally get fired up and serious about the smallest things. Working on this movie reminded me to have the power to believe in myself. Please enjoy the movie and take the time to think back to your high school days! I’ll be waiting for you at the theater.”
<Comment from Director Yuu Nakamoto>
“I guess it’s been about 10 years since I lived in Hiroshima, where I grew up. I’m really interested in motorcycles, and one day, I was just mindlessly driving along the country roads at night. Then, from the other side of the road, I heard a noise…and suddenly, there was a woman wearing a mask walking nearby. I had this intuition…I thought “she’s not from this world,” and in that moment, I lost consciousness. Before I knew it, I was here, directing this film. Hmm…strange, isn’t it?”
High school students Takeshi (Taisei Kido) and F1 (Gai Ueno) work part-time stealing motorcycles and selling them to a gang of delinquents for cash. One day, Ayaka (Reina Kurosaki) decides to join after transferring to the boy’s school, and business booms. While trying to steal a bike parked at a deserted apartment, the group is discovered by a masked woman who seems to be the motorcycle’s owner. In a panic, Takeshi and his friends rush to escape but are quickly overtaken by the woman, who seems to have unbelievable physical abilities far beyond any other human. This woman running 100 meters in 6 seconds is actually the Kuchisake-onna, her mouth slit from ear to ear! What will happen to the group of high schoolers?! And just who is this Kuchisaka-onna?!
Sensei! Kuchisake-onna desu!
Release Date: July 7, 2023 nationwide
Starring: Taisei Kido, Reina Kurosaki, Gai Ueno, Ririka, Masanari Wada/Naomasa Musaka, Shigeo Osako, Hiroko Yashiki, etc.
Director/Screenwriter/Editor: Yuu Nakamoto (Shiryou Gundan Ikari no DIY, Fukuyama Shichou ni Ichinichi Micchakushitemita)
Official Site: https://kuchisake-onna.jp/
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/
SSSS.GRIDMAN Compilation Film Bonuses Revealed
17.January.2023 | ANIME&GAME
Based on the Tsuburaya Productions Gridman live-action tokusatsu series from 1993, the
SSSS.GRIDMAN anime series aired in October 2018. A sequel, SSSS.DYNAZENON, followed in April 2021.
Ahead of the release of GRIDMAN UNIVERSE, an all-new anime film coming in March, both SSSS.GRIDMAN and SSSS.DYNAZENON will be getting compilation films. Each will only be
in theaters for two weeks.
The SSSS.GRIDMAN film will be in theaters starting January 20. Those buying tickets will
receive a special illustration card with a voice drama created by Akira Amemiya, the director of the SSSS series, while supplies last. The title of the drama is Hinekuremono Demo (Even if You’re Cynical) starring Soma Saito (Sho Utsumi) and Hass (Akari Kito).
The newly-revealed illustration card’s design features Yuta Hibiki, Sho Utsumi, Rikka
Takarada, and Akane Shinjo happily snapping photos.
SSSS.DYNAZENON will be released for two weeks starting March 10, and those buying
tickets will also get an illustration card and a special voice drama written by Akira Amemiya.
The SSSS.GRIDMAN compilation film is being directed by Yoshiyuki Kaneko, who served as assistant director on the anime series. The film will show a somewhat new interpretation of the story under his new direction. Both compilation films will include extra footage leading
up to the release of GRIDMAN UNIVERSE on March 24, 2023.
©円谷プロ ©2023 TRIGGER・雨宮哲／「劇場版グリッドマンユニバース」製作委員会
SSSS.GRIDMAN Compilation Film
Limited 2-week screenings begin January 20, 2023
Admission Bonus: Illustrated Card with Voice Drama by Akira Amemiya
Official Website: https://ssss-movie.net/
New 90-Second Trailer, Key Visual Released for DEEMO: Memorial Keys
DEEMO: Memorial Keys is scheduled to release in select locations nationwide on February 25, 2022, and a new key visual and 90-second trailer filled with brand-new footage just dropped!
The key visual was created by Mebachi, a popular illustrator known for creating the character designs for both DEEMO and the ending animation of Love Live! Nijigasaki High School Idol Club.
Against the backdrop of the castle where Deemo lives, a spiral staircase made of piano keys leads guests to a mysterious world. Alice, the main heroine, and Deemo, the masked girl, along with other characters are seen gazing up at the sky. Cherry blossom petals and light pour down from above in this emotional key visual that perfectly encapsulates the story’s world.
DEEMO tells the story of a girl who falls from the sky. She has no memories and finds herself traversing a strange castle. The sound of piano rings out, and the girl must discover the truth of who she is, and where she finds herself.
DEEMO: Memorial Keys Trailer
Based on the popular DEEMO mobile game, many famous tracks from the title will appear in the movie, so fans shouldn’t miss it!
ⓒRayark Inc./「DEEMO THE MOVIE」製作委員会
DEEMO: Memorial Keys
Official site: deemomovie.jp
Boat Race Tokoname in Aichi Prefecture to Screen Popular Films at Drive-in Theater
The Boat Race track at BOATRACE Tokonome will be home to a 3-day Drive-in Theater event on November 19, 20, and 21. The vast west parking lot will welcome guests to enjoy three films from the safety and privacy of their vehicles. In past years, the Hamanako, Tokuyama, Naruto, and Mikuni locations have participated. Now, it’s Tokoname’s turn!
La La Land (with subtitles) – November 19, 2021
© 2017 Summit Entertainment, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
The Secret Life of Pets 2 (dubbed) – November 20, 2021
© 2019 Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.
A Whisker Away – November 21, 2021
This lineup of films can be enjoyed by families, lovers, and friends. The final film, A Whisker Away, is a coming-of-age fantasy set in the city of Tokoname. Visitors can enjoy these films on one of the largest air screens in Japan, at 722 inches. Don’t miss some additional boat race content that even beginners can enjoy!
BOATRACE de DRIVE-IN THEATER in BOATRACE Tokoname
Dates: November 19, 20, 21 – Doors open at 18:00, film starts at 19:00
Address: BOATRACE Tokoname West Parking Lot (4-111 Shinkaicho, Tokoname-shi, Aichi)
Official Site: https://boatrace-driveintheater.com
New Balance 996 Model Sneakers to be Redesigned, Relabeled
06.September.2021 | FASHION
Since their creation in 1988, the 996-model sneaker has been one of New Balance’s most popular models. This month, the 996 will be reborn as the New Balance Standard, with the same comfortable feel and some minor changes to the logo.
In the new campaign, Natsume Mito, Saki Shibata, Fumiko Aoyagi, and Shiho Takechi will be modeling the new shoes, each in a sleek new color. The photos are meant to depict women living their daily lives with positivity, as they did in 1988 and as they do today.
The 996 model sneakers are the third model in the 99X series. Released in 1988 as a running shoe meant to be used on paved surfaces, its comfort and design has made it a best-seller among both men and women.
Will you be grabbing a pair of these updated kicks?
New Balance Reunites With Natsume Mito on New Sneaker Collection
09.April.2021 | FASHION
It’s been seven years since New Balance Japan launched its ‘Sneaker and Me’ campaign in collaboration with Japanese model Natsume Mito. The pair have now come together again in promotion of the brand’s new edition of its 996 models, the ‘WL996’ lifestyle models for women, with Mito donning the sneakers in a look-book of outfits coordinated by Mito herself. “Even though the sneakers and their form haven’t changed since I first wore them back then,” she explains, “I really felt that these 996’s lend more room to look good on adults. I also understand why these shoes have been loved for so long. I want to become someone like that too, so I admire the appearance of the 996’s.”
Mito shows off her looks in a short interview with New Balance in the video below.
The 996 models followed the 990’s which released in 1982 as the third in the 99X series. They made their debut in 1988 in the US and have long since been enjoyed not only as running shoes but everyday shoes too. They’re a long seller in New Balance’s books.