Recent and not so recent Japanese dramas

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HungFist
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Re: Recent and not so recent Japanese dramas

Unread post by HungFist » 15 Nov 2011, 22:21

HungFist wrote: Keibetsu
- http://www.amazon.co.jp/s/ref=nb_sb_nos ... CC&x=0&y=0

I'm so pre-ordering the BD. Wish they had used black case, though.
Problem solved: be fast. The first press comes with a pretty cardboard sleeve.

Front ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Paper sleeve back (we'll let the real back cover be a surprise)
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Ann-chan goes topless in this film, just btw.

edit: (don't worry, she really does). Film and BD review:
viewtopic.php?f=19&t=6147
http://sketchesofcinema.wordpress.com/2 ... /keibetsu/

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Re: Recent and not so recent Japanese dramas

Unread post by HungFist » 02 Dec 2011, 20:12

HungFist wrote: Tokyo Drifter (トーキョードリフター) (2011)

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Director: Tetsuaki Matsue

"In May 2011, the director of Live Tape (2009 Japanese Eyes winner) shot his latest work on the neon-less streets of post-quake Tokyo. Musician Maeno sings and yells as he wanders on a rainswept night."

TIFF: http://2011.tiff-jp.net/en/lineup/works.php?id=146
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- http://till2017.blogspot.com/2011/10/pickout343.html

"The feel-good movie of 2011!"

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Re: Recent and not so recent Japanese dramas

Unread post by HungFist » 15 Dec 2011, 17:15

Daisuke Miura's excellent Boys on the Run coming to R1 February 28, 2012
- http://www.amazon.com/dp/B006GVN1BW

Japanese poster and R2J artwork
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Trailer:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rnFhga_jfj8

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Re: Recent and not so recent Japanese dramas

Unread post by HungFist » 22 Dec 2011, 18:13

HungFist wrote:Also at Tokyo Filmex, Ryuichi Hiroki's new film River

[Introduction]
A young girl walks alone in Akihabara. Ever since her boyfriend died in a crime that occured in this city, the real world has lost all meaning for her. Before long, she meets a young man living in an underground passage.... A film that delicately depicts the rebirth of the heartbroken heroine. The superbly framed scenic photography is also magnificent.

- http://filmex.net/2011/en/ss08.html
trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fmBYU6xW6o
site: http://river-movie.com/

via logboy

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A bit worried about the music, but otherwise it looks interesting. Kinda reminded me of Girlfriend - Someone Please Stop the World.

In related news, Keibetsu BD and Film Reviews:
viewtopic.php?f=19&t=6147
http://sketchesofcinema.wordpress.com/2 ... /keibetsu/

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Re: Recent and not so recent Japanese dramas

Unread post by HungFist » 23 Dec 2011, 20:04

Somai's A, haru (あ、春) (1998) coming to R2J 2012/03/28
http://www.allcinema.net/prog/show_dvd. ... sid=817860

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Re: Recent and not so recent Japanese dramas

Unread post by HungFist » 25 Dec 2011, 12:36

A small romantic gem unlikely to be discovered by wider audiences.

Rubbers ou onna (Japan, 2010)
- http://sketchesofcinema.wordpress.com/2 ... s-ou-onna/

More screencaps

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R2J info
Anamorphic widescreen, quite passable quality considering the film's origins. A 20 minute making of and trailers for Rubbers and Hectopascal: Uzuku onna (also from the same series) serve as supplements. No booklet as far as I can remember (will check once I return from the holidays).

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Re: Recent and not so recent Japanese dramas

Unread post by HungFist » 01 Feb 2012, 15:34

More Seishun H Second Series coming to dvd 2012/04/27

狼の生活
Dir. Takashi Naito
Trailer & info: http://artport.co.jp/cinema/h2/?/movie/10/ (coming soon)
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半分処女とゼロ男
Dir. Sakichi Sato
(co-stars Hiroshi Yamamoto!)
Trailer & info: http://artport.co.jp/cinema/h2/?/movie/06/
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ぱぴぃオールドマン
Dir. Tomoya Maeno
Trailer & info: http://artport.co.jp/cinema/h2/?/movie/09/
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Wild Flower
Dir. Norichika Aoki
Trailer & info: http://artport.co.jp/cinema/h2/?/movie/07/
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エレナー電気工業
Dir. Kôtarô Terauchi
Trailer & info: http://artport.co.jp/cinema/h2/?/movie/08/
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Re: Recent and not so recent Japanese dramas

Unread post by HungFist » 03 Feb 2012, 14:55

HungFist wrote:Our Brief Eternity (アワ・ブリーフ・エタニティ) (2009)

“This film opened the Japanese Eyes section of the 22nd Tokyo International Film Festival, was formally entered in foreign film festivals such as the 12th Barcelona Asian Film Festival in Spain, and has set late show attendance records for live-action films at theaters in Tokyo, where it was released. A rare disease called "emanon" which causes people to lose their most precious memories is spreading in Tokyo. Mio (Romi) is called out to by a man she doesn't recognize, Teru (Kusano Kota). She thinks he's trying to pick her up, but he says he used to be her boy friend.”

director: Takuya Fukushima
site jp: http://ourbriefeternity.com/
site eng: http://ourbriefeternity.com/english/
info eng: http://jfdb.jp/en/title/2308
trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SGDuAhF-F0

No dvd announced yet. It was still playing in cinema’s this spring.

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DVD announced for 2012/03/02
- http://www.allcinema.net/prog/show_dvd. ... sid=823107

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Re: Recent and not so recent Japanese dramas

Unread post by HungFist » 04 Feb 2012, 13:23

March Comes in Like a Lion (三月のライオン) (1991)
- http://sketchesofcinema.wordpress.com/2 ... ke-a-lion/

DVD: Uplink's rather affordable release comes with English subtitles, even though the back cover claims otherwise. 1.33:1, which according to the dvd, is the original aspect ratio. Screencaps and artwork scan below.

The film has a tendency to look darned good
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Yoshiko Yura has a tendency to look darned good, too
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The photos she takes have a tend...
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Sleepy Japan
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DVD artwork
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Re: Recent and not so recent Japanese dramas

Unread post by HungFist » 03 Mar 2012, 13:58

HungFist wrote: Tokyo Drifter (トーキョードリフター) (2011)

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Director: Tetsuaki Matsue

"In May 2011, the director of Live Tape (2009 Japanese Eyes winner) shot his latest work on the neon-less streets of post-quake Tokyo. Musician Maeno sings and yells as he wanders on a rainswept night."

TIFF: http://2011.tiff-jp.net/en/lineup/works.php?id=146
Trailer, in case you missed it before:
http://youtu.be/paSN2dbm9Po

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Re: Recent and not so recent Japanese dramas

Unread post by mirkoraba » 03 Mar 2012, 14:49

Really loved Live Tape, especially the feeling of here and now (or maybe then and there :P), looking forward to Tokyo Drifter.

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Re: Random Japanese movie news

Unread post by HungFist » 09 Mar 2012, 19:35

This turned out unexpectedly good...
HungFist wrote:Norwegian Wood (Japan, 2010)
An unexpectedly great, somewhat Wong Kar Wai esque adaptation from Mukakami’s famous novel. The film comes out a mesmerizing zeitgeist with terrific soundtrack, strong performances, and a refreshingly natural and beautiful approach to love and sex. The classy and old fashioned look, which slightly pushes the focus from the actors, is compensated by having most of the important scenes played in single long takes. In these scenes newcomer Kiko Mizuhara, the better-than-his-reputation Ken’ichi Matsuyama, and especially Rinko Kikuchi, are all terrific. The cinematography (by Lee Ping Bin, who did stunning work in Koreeda’s Air Doll) is thoroughly good and manages several jaw dropping shots towards the end. Interestingly, and quite successfully, the film only uses the 1960’s political turmoil as distanced background. Many of the younger viewers will probably miss some of this context.

side note 1: took me about 15 min to realize Lee Ping Bin was the cinematographer

side note 2: viewing this film on format lesser than BD should be illegal
Favorite screencaps (and a few others), since the film looks rather amazing:

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(caps from the Finnish BD, which is probably more or less identical to the UK BD except without that horrible artwork...)

Very nice film indeed, aside one dumb beach scene near the end.

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Re: Recent and not so recent Japanese dramas

Unread post by HungFist » 10 Mar 2012, 14:41

Life (ライフ) (2006)
- http://sketchesofcinema.wordpress.com/2012/03/10/life/

DVD
The R2J is by Ace Deuce, oop for a good while now even though it's a 2009 release. Heavy interlacing, but perhaps because of the way the film was shot. No real complaints, though. Extras are limited to TV spot and trailer.

More screencaps:
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Re: Recent and not so recent Japanese dramas

Unread post by HungFist » 12 Mar 2012, 17:57

HungFist wrote:
HungFist wrote:Also at Tokyo Filmex, Ryuichi Hiroki's new film River

[Introduction]
A young girl walks alone in Akihabara. Ever since her boyfriend died in a crime that occured in this city, the real world has lost all meaning for her. Before long, she meets a young man living in an underground passage.... A film that delicately depicts the rebirth of the heartbroken heroine. The superbly framed scenic photography is also magnificent.

- http://filmex.net/2011/en/ss08.html
trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fmBYU6xW6o
site: http://river-movie.com/

via logboy

Image

A bit worried about the music, but otherwise it looks interesting. Kinda reminded me of Girlfriend - Someone Please Stop the World.

In related news, Keibetsu BD and Film Reviews:
viewtopic.php?f=19&t=6147
http://sketchesofcinema.wordpress.com/2 ... /keibetsu/
""River" is the sort of quiet, lyrical, slow-paced film that Hiroki's producers on his more mainstream outings, such as the 2010 period drama "Raiou (The Lightning Tree)," no doubt regard as box-office poison."
- http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/ff20120309a1.html

Now I really want to see this, even though Keibetsu was underwhelming.

Very limited distribution so far, but I'm hopeful this will hit the northern island sooner or later...

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Re: Recent and not so recent Japanese dramas

Unread post by HungFist » 16 Mar 2012, 12:28

Lost & Found (2007)
- http://sketchesofcinema.wordpress.com/2 ... ost-found/

DVD
R2J by Pony Canyon. No subs as usual.

Screencaps

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Official site:
- http://www.gazebofilm.jp/lostandfound/HOME.html

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Re: Recent and not so recent Japanese dramas

Unread post by HungFist » 18 Mar 2012, 16:29

A Closing Day (Tojiru hi / 閉じる日) (2000)
- http://sketchesofcinema.wordpress.com/2 ... osing-day/

DVD
R2J by Pony Canyon, oop, but not too hard to find (I can sell mine if you're interested). Full screen original aspect ratio, no subs, only trailer and info screens for other Love Cinema releases as extras. The dvd artwork is damn gorgeous.

Screencaps
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Re: Recent and not so recent Japanese dramas

Unread post by HungFist » 18 Mar 2012, 16:30

Luxurious Bone (Zeitaku na hone / 贅沢な骨) (2001)
- http://sketchesofcinema.wordpress.com/2 ... ious-bone/

DVD
R2J by KSS Films, non-anamorphic and window boxed but otherwise good looking transfer. Interviews with Aso, Tsugumi and Yukisada (23 min) and original trailer as extras. No booklets. Still in print, but probably won’t be forever as the release is quite old (2002).

Screencaps
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Re: Recent and not so recent Japanese dramas

Unread post by HungFist » 26 Mar 2012, 00:25

Hiroki's got a new (old) movie coming out on R2J 2012/05/25: Bokura wa Aruku, Tada Soredake (僕らは歩く、ただそれだけ)
- http://www.nipponcinema.com/trailers/bo ... ku-trailer

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Re: Recent and not so recent Japanese dramas

Unread post by HungFist » 27 Mar 2012, 16:00

Sabishinbou (さびしんぼう) (1985)

- ok, this wasn't my movie at all. I expected a dark(ish) drama about a lonely high school girl, got a goofy comedy about a teenage boy. Made to look old fashioned and nostalgic even at the time of its release, I can see the film's charm for local audiences. A few cute moments and typically nice Obayashi visuals were not enough for me, though: I gave up after 40 minutes (dvd for sale now). Obayashi's Tenkousei (1982, fantasy comedy) is great, though, and Futari (1991, fantasy drama) is his masterpiece.

DVD
Toho's OOP dvd comes in jewel case. Note that extras feature an option to watch the entire film with alternate, and in my opinion far superior, end credits with vocal version of the theme song. A bunch of other extras to be found, and a decently good transfer... in other words: a very nice release for the fans of the film.

Random screencaps:
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Standard ending
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Alt. ending with vocal + the girl in the background
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Extras (the following two screencaps may be a bit fucked up since I took them 720 x 404 and had to resize to 720 x 540)

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DVD
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Re: Recent and not so recent Japanese dramas

Unread post by HungFist » 14 Apr 2012, 18:37

Futari (1991)
A junior high school girl communicates with her dead sister in Nobuhiko Obayashi stunning fantasy drama. The 2½ hour film hits the essence of adorable, yet manages strong character drama and heavy topics at the same. Idol Hikari Ishida is terrific in the lead role, in terms of both acting and coming up with one of the cutest performances ever seen in Japanese cinema. Joe Hisaishi’s score, which sounds like lifted from Studio Ghibli movie, completes the package. Indeed, Futari is very much a live action Hayao Miazaki film if there ever was one – and every bit as great as Miyazaki’s best movies. It’s almost a shame director Obayashi is internationally known only for his lesser (though classic) movies like House.

- Beautiful Obayashi small town visuals and atmospheric! Check!
- Crazy special effects and elegant B&W images with random details in blooming color! Check!
- The most kawaii performance in the history of Japanese Cinema. Check!
- Excellent screenplay blending in serious themes with light fantasy. Check!
- Tremendous Joe Hisaishi score. Check!
- Junko Fuji in a supporting role. Check!

This is Obayashi's masterpiece!

R2J
Strong R2J 1 disc release by Pioneer, somewhat misleadingly titled as "Deluxe Edition", as there's also a long OOP (but not impossible to find) 2 Disc "Special Premium Edition" (no kidding) with the film's cut, international version on the second disc. The International Version was apparently subtitled on dvd, but who would want to see version cut by over 30 minutes???

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Deluxe Edition
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Special Premium Edition
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Re: Recent and not so recent Japanese dramas

Unread post by HungFist » 16 Apr 2012, 16:37

Barren Illusions (1999)
Here is a challenging film by Kiyoshi Kurosawa. Unlike the yakuza and horror films he is best known for Barren Illusion omits the mainstream catch (scares, yakuzas, storyline) and goes for a social commentary. With a near future setting, where people experiment a new medicine against an epidemic, it’s essentially a sci-fi film but without sci-fi imagery. Even the hallucinations caused by the medicine are so discreet they are likely to pass unnoticed by the less observant viewers. It’s an interesting film, but somewhat unrewarding for those looking for a character focus. Kurosawa’s characters and minimalist filmmaking are merely tools for observing the society rather than individual characters.

The R2J is an old release and not all that glossy – the non-anamorphic image looks rough. Extras include a 60 minute Kurosawa interview + biographies. The bonus features are a little bit hidden – choosing “main menu” takes one directly to the film as if the disc had no menu. The actual menu can be accessed via “root menu”. A post card is included with the dvd.

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Re: Recent and not so recent Japanese dramas

Unread post by HungFist » 19 Apr 2012, 16:06

HungFist wrote:
HungFist wrote: Tokyo Drifter (トーキョードリフター) (2011)

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Director: Tetsuaki Matsue

"In May 2011, the director of Live Tape (2009 Japanese Eyes winner) shot his latest work on the neon-less streets of post-quake Tokyo. Musician Maeno sings and yells as he wanders on a rainswept night."

TIFF: http://2011.tiff-jp.net/en/lineup/works.php?id=146
Image Image
- http://till2017.blogspot.com/2011/10/pickout343.html
ok, this one was totally great! As was Maeno himself, who gave a mini-concert after the screening in the theater! Very funny guy, constantly wearing sunglasses (and telling how hard it was to shoot a movie in post Fukushima Tokyo at night when one has sunglasses on!). Still haven't seen Live Tape yet, but sure will soon! Majorly pissed off I can't go to Maeno's concert tomorrow because I have a flight to Tokyo, dammit!

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Re: Recent and not so recent Japanese dramas

Unread post by HungFist » 25 Apr 2012, 15:27

HungFist wrote:
HungFist wrote: About the Pink Sky (ももいろそらを) (2011)

Director: Keiichi Kobayashi

"A high school girl finds a money-laden wallet and tracks down its owner, with unexpected consequences. Its monochrome images create a naturalistic portrait of her emotional state."

The trailer sounds awful but looks absolutely gorgeous.
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5Aj1Nc6_TA
- http://2011.tiff-jp.net/en/lineup/works.php?id=156
"The 24th Tokyo IFF wraps with two Japanese films picking up awards

...In the Japanese Eyes program Keiichi Kobayashi's teen drama "About the Pink Sky" (above) picked up the top prize. In a plot that sounds a little like a variation on Satoru Hirohara's indie drama "Good Morning to the World!!", "About the Pink Sky" follows a high school girl who is trying to find the owner of a wallet full of money that she has found. Unlike Hirohara's film "About the Pink Sky" goes for a subtle art house feel by being shot entirely in black-and-white..."

- http://jfilmpowwow.blogspot.com/2011/11 ... anese.html
Review:

"...the perfect cliché of a boring (japanese) independent film, trying to be meaningful without expressing anything, nor telling a proper story with characters. Why bother telling something when vagueness allows the audience to imagine their own film.

-http://wildgrounds.com/2012/04/24/thoug ... -pink-sky/

Sounds quite promising, actually.

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Re: Recent and not so recent Japanese dramas

Unread post by HungFist » 02 May 2012, 17:04

mini review:

Monsters Club (2011)

A Japanese take on the Unabomber theme, by punk-art director Toshiyaki Toyoda who was one of the most promising Japanese directors before his drug bust in 2004. Monsters Club pushes the balance further towards art house, coming out somewhat more pretentious than the director’s early, energetic and violent yet poetic films. Set in a cabin in the middle of a snowy forest with a young man (Eita) fighting the society by posting explosive mail, it’s an occasionally beautiful though dialogue/monologue heavy film.

Indeed, Monster’s Club suggest of a slightly new kind of, though still easily recognizable Toyoda. His past rock soundtracks have made way to more classical tunes, and raging yakuzas have stepped down in favor of voices inside the protagonist’s head. There’s a more artistic and perhaps theatrical feel to it – which doesn’t always work but comes out clumsy in places. Nevertheless, it’s an interesting work from a director who has his own voice.

(the film does deserve a second viewing before the final judgement, though - I was terribly tired in the screening, and to be honest, the monologue flood was a bit much for my modest Japanese proficiency...)

Sidenote: Love the official site. The music, the images... even if the site is infunctional as hell, it's great:
- http://monsters-club.jp/

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Re: Recent and not so recent Japanese dramas

Unread post by HungFist » 02 May 2012, 17:22

Mini-review:

Donzumari benki (2012)

Another gritty indie from a Japanese female director (who, a bit ironically, have a tendency to leave the sappy girl-cinema to their male colleagues). The psycho-sexual film follows a mentally disturbed girl (Nanaha, from Zeze’s Heaven’s Story) and her brother (Kuniaki Nakamura) trying to get along under the same roof. The girl’s only aim in life, however, seems to infect everyone around her with her misery.

Occasionally intriguing and sometimes shocking indie fare comes out a little bit staged – an issue not eased by the instantly recognizable digital look of it. Acting is good, but cannot fully undone the common issue of traumatized characters not being all that interesting due to their obsessive behavior. Despite the large amount of sex featured in the film there is no bare skin on display – an artistic (?) choice that doesn’t feel quite natural in the context. The film marks feature length debut for the 27 year old director Haruhi Oguri.

Official site:
- http://movie.geocities.jp/torauma_donzumari/index.html

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(screencaps from the trailer)

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Sidenote: The Friday night screening at Tokyo’s Eurospace was accompanied by Oguri, Nanaha, and Takahisa Zeze, who seemed like he might have had a rough party the previous night. Mr. Zeze stole the show whenever he wasn’t nodding off

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