The Japan Film Programme Touring Will Launch on February 3

By Sonu | Jan 15, 2023 | 6 Min Read follow icon Follow Us


From February 3 to March 31, 2023, there will be a touring programme of Japanese movies. The programme features the anime movie Blue Thermal as well as a number of live-action manga-related movies (see below). The movie is based on the manga series Blue Thermal: Aonagi Daigaku Taiiku-kai Kk-bu (Aonagi College Sports Festival Aviation Club) by Kana Ozawa. Along with co-writing the script with Natsuko Takahashi (Tokyo Magnitude 8.0, My Love Story!!, Farewell, My Dear Cramer), Masaki Tachibana (Tokyo Magnitude 8.0, Barakamon, Princess Principal) directed the movie at Telecom Animation Film. The movie’s distributor is Toei. According to the Japan Foundation website, the movie’s plot is as follows: The Japan Film Programme Touring Will Launch on February 3

Tamaki, a recent university graduate from Nagasaki, is dedicated to finding the ideal student organisation in Tokyo in order to enjoy a fairy-tale romance. After breaking their prized glider, Tamaki ultimately decides to join the aviation club. Tamaki is initially hesitant to participate in the training sessions because they are far from the academic life she had imagined. However, as time goes on, she comes to develop an interest in flying. She sees her estranged sister, Chizuru, one day during a combined training session with another university. Tamaki loses her confidence and starts to doubt herself after realising that her sister hasn’t changed her attitude toward her. She also feels pressured at her first event.

“This coming-of-age animation is the fruit of the productive collaboration of reputable creators and voice performers, with the aviation industry serving as an interesting backdrop. The movie is comparable to a “Blue Thermal,” which is an updraft that occurs beneath a blue sky and lifts a glider higher. Tamaki’s gentle, ever-changing sentiment is tenderly captured in this lovely piece thanks to its magnificent sky representation.”

Details on the Blue Thermal screening will be posted here. The following locations have been confirmed as showings for the anime movie as of this writing: Plymouth Arts Center (February 23, 6 p.m.); ICA London (February 12, 3:20 p.m.); QUAD, Derby (February 26, 6 p.m.); Tyneside, Newcastle (March 1, 8 p.m.); Queen’s Film Theatre, Belfast (March 11); Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal, (March 16, 8 p.m.); Dundee Contemporary Arts (March 18); Broadway, Nottingham (March 18); Phoenix, Leicester (March 25); First (March 25, 3.30 p.m.).

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A live-action film adaptation of Waka Hirako’s My Broken Mariko is among the other films that will be screened as part of the schedule. The movie’s narrative was written by Yuki Tanada and Ksuke Mukai, who also served as its director. In November 2020, Yen Press published the manga in deluxe hardback. Manga won the 2021 New Face Award at the 24th Japan Media Arts Festival Awards.

“Overworked office worker Tomoyo learns that her best friend Mariko has died by suicide. Tomoyo feels helpless after failing to assist her friend and is unable to comprehend what took transpired. In addition to being in a relationship with an abusive partner, Mariko had endured years of abuse at the hands of her father when she was a little child. Tomoyo makes the decision to retrieve the remains after learning that Mariko’s ashes are in her father’s house. Tomoyo, who stole Mariko’s ashes, is resolved to do anything she can for her buddy, who has lived in complete poverty her entire life. She transports Mariko’s ashes to the beach where she had always envisioned Mariko going while she was caught in a flashback. To finally set Mariko, who has been broken by Tomoyo, free, they are embarking on their first and last adventure together.

Details regarding the My Broken Mariko screening will be posted here. As of this writing, it is confirmed that the movie will be screened at the following locations: Watershed, Bristol (February 7, 6 p.m.); ICA London (February 11, 6 pm); Depot, Birmingham (February 22, 6 p.m.); Cameo, Edinburgh (March 2, 8.45 p.m.); Midlands Art Centre (March 10, 5.45 p.m.); Warwick Arts Centre (March 13); Phoenix, Leicester (March 16); Queen’s Film Theatre, Belfast (March 18).

The live-action movie version of BL Metamorphosis (Metamorphose no Engawa), written and illustrated by Kaori Tsurutani, is also part of the Japan Foundation programme. According to The Japan Foundation’s website, the movie is as follows:

“Urara, who is seventeen, lives a dreary high school life. Boy’s Love (BL) manga reading is her one and only interest, which she keeps a secret. She occasionally works at a bookstore where she one day meets Yuki, an old woman. Since losing her husband, Yuki has been living alone. She unknowingly purchases a copy of a BL manga because of its attractive cover while not knowing what BL is. Yuki returns to the bookstore to buy the next volume after initially feeling humiliated but then being enthralled by what she discovers within. Urara gently offers to assist Yuki in falling down the rabbit hole because they both share an interest in BL. The two quickly put their fifty-eight-year age difference behind them and develop an unanticipated relationship in the process.

“A touching picture about two lonely ladies who get together to form a friendship and discover a new sense of self despite having a significant age gap between them and coming from different cultural backgrounds. The 2022 movie, which was well-received overall, especially by the BL fandom, which is a distinctive manga subgenre with a sizable female readership in Japan, was very well-received.” In the movie, Urara is portrayed by Mana Ashida, and Ichinoi is portrayed by Nobuko Miyamoto. Kyhei Takahashi, Kotone Furukawa, Tomoko Ikuta, Ken Mitsuishi, Yuki Shioya, Taeko It, Asumi Kikuchi, and Shtar Oka are additional cast members from Naniwa Danshi.

The movie was produced by Yoshikazu Okada, with Shunsuke Kariyama serving as director. Producer credit goes to Hiroko Gura, Yutaka Tanito, and Hidehiro Kawano. The BL manga that was depicted in the movie was drawn by both Tsurutani and Janome, who created it. The manga in English is available via Seven Seas Entertainment. In Takarajimasha’s Kono Manga ga Sugoi! 2019 guidebook, the manga came in first place on the list of manga for female readers. In addition to taking sixth place in the 12th Manga Taisho in 2019, the manga also won the New Face Award at the 22nd Japan Media Arts Festival Awards.

You may get information on the BL Metamorpohosis screening here. As of this writing, it has been confirmed that the film will be screened at the following locations: Plymouth Arts Center (March 9 at 6 p.m.); Howard Theatre, Downing College, Cambridge; Firstsite, Colchester (February 3, 7.30 p.m.); Aberystwyth Arts Centre (February 6, 5.30 p.m.); ICA London (February 7, 6.15 p.m.); Showroom Cinema, Sheffield (February 21, 6 p.m.); Phoenix, Leicester (March 19).

The movie Sensei, Would You Sit Beside Me?, which incorporates comic book artwork by Aki Arata and Akane Torikai and a manga that serves as the basis for the narrative, will also be a part of the Japan Film Programme. On the website of The Japan Foundation, the following is how the story is described:

For five years, Sawako and Toshio, a manga artist, have been wed. However, Toshio is secretly dating Chika, the editor of Sawako (Nao). He becomes mentally imprisoned by the possibility that his wife may have learned of his secret one day while reading Sawako’s latest comic on adultery. Sawako is then seen having a love affair with a younger driving instructor as the manga story progresses. Is this manga a wholly fantastical work? The amusing game of cat and mouse starts when Toshio quakes in fear and jealousy.

“A movie that is incredibly misleading and not at all as sweet as its title promises. It shows a marriage on the point of going crazy and an incredible psychological conflict, where reality and fiction collide in a way that propels the audience to a shocking conclusion. The views inside the making of Japanese manga artwork are another feature of this movie.”

Details about the screening will be posted here. The following locations have been verified as showings of the movie as of this writing:

Showroom Cinema, Sheffield, February 7, at 6 p.m. Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff, February 10, at 6:10 p.m. ICA London, February 10, at 6:10 p.m. Phoenix, Leicester, February 20, at 2 p.m. Firstsite, Colchester, March 2, at 1 p.m. Depot, Leicester, March 2, at 1 p.m. Midlands Arts Center, March 15, at 7:45 p.m. Howard Theatre, Downing College, Cambridge (March 25)

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