This was a very interesting class for japanese film, for a total of reasons. In commercial terms, two were the most crucial productions of 2016 : Toho ’ s boot of the Godzilla franchise, for the third time in the kaiju ’ mho history, and the turn of the “ Your Name ” zanzibar copal .
The first one, titled “ Godzilla Resurgence ”, is one of the best entries in the history of the franchise, since Toho decided to spend big money on it ( $ 15 million ) and made a big decisiveness by giving the helm to Hideaki Anno, the creator of “ Evangelion ”. The film is the highest grossing live-action japanese film of 2016 and the highest grossing Japanese-produced Godzilla movie in the franchise .
“ Your diagnose ” proved that Makoto Shinkai is the next “ passkey ” of zanzibar copal, with the film becoming the fifth highest grossing film of all time in the area – domestic or imported – and the second-biggest domestic film ever, behind the Oscar-winning “ Spirited Away ”. It is besides the beginning zanzibar copal not directed by Hayao Miyazaki to earn more than $ 100 million at the Japanese box position.
Reading: The 10 Best Japanese Films of 2016
The resurrection of the “ Roman Porno ” serial by Nikkatsu was besides big news for the diligence, with a count of directors getting involved, and Sion Sono standing out with his “ Anti-porn ”, a film that brought him back to his pre-Fukushima era .
UK-based production company Third Window managed to produce in Japan the best no-budget film of the year, “ Lowlife Love ”. The manga/anime adaptations continued to present big productions, with “ Chihayafuru ” standing out .
expectantly, the indie social play had the biggest slice of the pie once more, with a overplus of productions. however, “ Hime Anole ” presented a very different take on the genre that resulted in a truly capital film. last, Kiyoshi Kurosawa returned to the horror genre, with “ Creepy ” .
Some films may have premiered in 2015, but since this occurred at the end of the class, I took the liberty of including them .
With a focus on diverseness, here are the 10 best japanese films of 2016 .
10. Chihayafuru ( Norihiko Koizumi )
Based on the multi-awarded, homonymic manga, written and illustrated by Yuki Suetsugu, “ Chihayafuru ” revolves around Karuta ( a card crippled combining accelerate and cognition of poetry ) and the relationship of a daughter with two boys. The movie is presented in two parts .
Chihaya Ayase, a high educate scholar, is obsessed with the game, playing since childhood with two of her schoolmates, Arata Wataya and Taichi Mashima. The three of them were separated, though, and Ayase has been playing by herself for some clock. In high school, however, she finds Mashima again and the two of them try to establish a Karuta cabaret in their new school, since there hasn ’ t been one until now .
finally, they manage to find three other members ; Kanade Oe, a traditional poetry fancier ; Yusei Nishida, besides a player since childhood ; and Tsutomu Komano, a swot obsessed with trains, who ends up in their club just because he wasn ’ thyroxine keen on joining any other .
The five of them train rigorously to compete in the school contest, while Arata is in Tokyo, caring for his grandfather, a Karuta Master, who ’ s not certain what he wants to do with the game, despite the fact that he is the best musician his age .
furthermore, the three of them – Ayase, Arata, and Mashima – form an underlie love triangle, with Mashima actually playing to be close to Ayase ; Ayase having some feelings for Arata ; and Arata being, once again, not certain of his own. In the second separate, as the team trains even more rigorously, things become more complicate by the presence of the Karuta Queen, Shinobu Wakamiya, who seems to have an interest in Arata, since the two of them are the best players in their long time .
Norihiko Koizumi directs a movie that would be another high school quixotic drollery, if not for the main subject of Karuta, which gives the claim extra depth, making it stand apart from the many entries in the category. In that fashion, the beloved triangle stands slightly in the background, as the game is actually the main composition. The characters are very interesting in their assortment and their analysis is quite exhaustive .
9. Over the Fence ( Nobuhiro Yamashita )
The script is based on the short-circuit fib “ Over Fence ” from the solicitation “ Ogon no Fuku ” by Yasushi Sato. Shiraiwa is recently divorced and has moved to another township, where he takes carpentry lessons at a vocational school. His disassociate has left him with some psychological trauma, as is the case with many of his classmates, who seem to be there for diverse reasons. One of them named Kazuhisa takes him to a cabaret, in arrange to pitch him an estimate for a joint occupation venture .
While there, he meets an eccentric host, Satoshi, who seems to like him immediately. A peculiar relationship is initiated between them, as she borders on craze and he is filled with self-pity. In the meanwhile, he and his classmates are besides training for a baseball match between schools .
Nobuhiro Yamashita directs a film in the well-established style of the contemporary japanese drama, with dense pace without many outbursts, technical minimalism, a little moment of liquid body substance, enough of insidious drama, and attention to characters that touches the borders of surrealism but remaining in the spectrum of reality, as with the general set .
The concept of Satoshi is credibly the film ’ s strongest trait, and the one that makes it stand apart from the overplus of like productions. apart from the fact that she has a man ’ s name, Satoshi works in a menagerie and she enjoys mimicking how birds court each other in populace .
The fact that she mimics how swans and ostriches flirt in the bar where she works, and even in front of a supermarket, makes her appear cockamamie but adorable at the same meter. however, she is besides “ damaged ”, and when her raging hysteria surfaces, she becomes in truth terrify, in both the scenes where this happens. In that fashion, Yu Aoi gives a brilliant performance, in a very unmanageable role .
8. Creepy ( Kiyoshi Kurosawa )
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Kiyoshi Kurosawa ’ s long-awaited return to his psychological J-horror roots, since his latest films were by and large art-house ( “ Journey to the Shore ”, “ Real ” ) or social ( “ Tokyo Sonata ” ), ultimately occurred, and the result was quite like to “ Pulse ” ( “ Kairo ” ) .
The action in the film starts immediately, as a tragedy occurs when a serial cause of death that detective Takakura was questioning escaped. The consequence of the incident was for Takakura to resign, and to follow an academic career in condemnable psychology .
The script then moves in two axes. The inaugural one takes place in the new region where Takakura and his wife Yasuko be active. While Yasuko wants to become friends with the perch of the neighbors, they treat her with misgiving, except for Nishino, who seems to be the most peculiar of all, until he is proven to be absolutely creepy .
The second axis occurs when Takakura decides to check out an unsolved crime regarding a kin that disappeared six years ago. As he meets Saki, the sole survivor, Takakura delves into the case, losing himself once more in it, while his wife seems to have psychological issues of her own .
Kurosawa ’ s most distinct trait in his repugnance films is his ability to build up tension lento until the point of “ explosion ”. This ability of his does not seem to have abandoned him, as he succeeds in gradually producing the awful elements through the behind pace and the infrequent dialogue, while retaining, most of the time, a general sense that something is amiss .
however, the issue with the aforesaid build-up is that it lags a bite, a fact that results in the agony devolve after a time, although the moment of disclosure and the extraordinary finale pay, to a helping at least. It would be for the best, though, if the film was 15-20 minutes briefer ( it actually lasts 130 minutes ) .
All three protagonists emit the sense that something is wrong from the begin of the film. Hidetoshi Nishijima as Takakura seems besides tidal bore to examine the crime, Yuko Takeuchi as Yasuko seems besides eager to make friends, and most of all, Teruyuki Kagawa as Nishino, who looks absolutely creepy, no topic how he acts .
In my impression, Kagawa could not be missing from a film called “ Creepy ”, since he excels at portraying like characters. All the aforesaid actors give equip performances in harmony with the film ’ s cosmopolitan aesthetics, but Kagawa is the one who decidedly stands out .
7. The long Excuse ( Miwa Nishikawa )
Sachio Kinugasa is a once successful writer who presently makes his populate by appearing on talk shows. He is married to a hairdresser, Natsuko, but he constantly ignores her while having an matter with his editor program. His life turns top down when Natsuko is killed in a busbar accident, along with her friend Yuko. The two widowers, Sachio and Yoichi, softwood with the incident in wholly different fashions .
Sachio tries to “ seduce ” the media once more, while Yoichi is absolutely devastated. however, due to Yoichi ’ s efforts to become friends with him, the two men start socialize, and finally Sachio agrees to act as a babysitter for Yoichi ’ s two kids, Shinpei and Akari. As he starts warming up to them, Sachio realizes the mistakes he has made in his animation, peculiarly regarding his die wife .
Miwa Nishikawa directs and pens ( she actually adapts her own book ) a affect movie that starts out as a play, becomes a comedy for awhile, and then switches back to drama. Her unique sense of humor is one of the output ’ sulfur best aspects .
It comes in two forms. One is subtle, through Sachio ’ sulfur fictional character, who looks hilarious as he tries to take caution of the children without knowing a thing about raising them. The second is more aim and derives from Akari, an adorable little girl who is bound to make anyone who watches the film laugh, with her shout and questions that are excessively intelligent for her age .
The act is on a very high level and is actually one of the best aspects of the film. Masahiro Motoki is in good form as he presents both the dramatic and the amusing aspects of his fictional character with ornateness. His transformation from a selfish adulterer to a caring “ uncle ” is impressive .
Pistol Takehara is besides very convincing as the about illiterate Yoichi. however, the ones that steal the show are decidedly the two children, Kenshin Fujita as Kenshin and Tamaki Shiratori as Akari. The latter is quite adorable through her many lines ( considering her old age ), while the early gives a bang-up performance, with his soliloquy against his forefather being one of the strongest moments of the word picture. Eri Fukatsu besides appears in the movie as Natsuki, but her character is very small .
6. After the Storm ( Hirokazu Koreeda )
Over the last two decades, Hirokazu Koreeda has emerged as the contemporary victor of japanese class drama, with films like “ Nobody Knows ”, “ still Walking ”, “ Like Father, Like Son ”, and many more. “ After the Storm ” continues his bequest in the music genre .
Ryota, an former prize-winning novelist, has fallen on hard times. He has stopped writing and presently works in a PI agency. however, he spends the money he earns ( with fly-by-night tactics ) on gambling, and is constantly broke. His wife, Kyoko, has divorced him, and since he does not pay his alimony, she does not let him see his son. In order to cope, he tries to earn money by pawning farce from his parents ’ house, although his mother, Yoshiko, is onto his antics, as is everybody else .
furthermore, when he discovers that his wife is meeting up with person, he starts stalking her, since he does not seem to be able to move on, in reverse to Kyoko and Yoshiko. In orderliness to avoid becoming precisely like his dead person forefather, who has disappointed them all, he tries to play a more significant function in his son ’ sulfur life. A stormy night offers him a casual to redeem himself.
Koreeda directs another meaningful family play in his usual stylus, which has become the norm for films of the writing style in Japan. This style includes a slow tempo, a laid-back atmosphere without any kind of outbursts, capital attention to detail ( peculiarly in the realistic word picture of casual life ), people and their interactions, and some little dosages of humor .
Hiroshi Abe is identical convincing as the rotter Ryota, and the gorgeous Yoko Maki is great as Yoshiko, a early “ victim ” that has taken life into her own hands. however, the one who steals the indicate, once more, is Kirin Kiki, who presents a feisty and very intelligent Yoshiko, despite her 73 years .
The scenes where she mocks herself and other members of the syndicate, and in general, the ones where she is joking, are the highlights of the film. Lily Franky, who seems to be everywhere these days, besides has a modest part .