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13 movies to catch at the Japanese Film Festival 2016

Writer: Casey Lee

For fans of contemporary Japanese cinema, September is that time of the year when the Japanese Film Festival returns. Now onto its 13th installment in Malaysia, the selection of movies has become more exciting than ever, with none of them released before 2015. Not only are we getting some of the latest offerings that had recently come out in Japanese theaters, but we also get a very special and rare threat to catch some of the latest 2016 titles that had only just premiered in native Japan. As the JFF begins its first leg in the Klang Valley starting this 8 September before it moves to Penang, Kuching and finally to Kota Kinabalu, it's best to start scheduling your watch-list around these 13 movies, so that you don't miss out on seeing them on the big screen.

The Boy and the Beast



As the Beast Kingdom decides a new lord through a duel of succession between Kumatetsu and Iozen, a human orphan boy stumbles into one of their mock duels and is unable to return to the human world. Reluctantly taking the boy as his apprentice, Kumatetsu trains the boy in martial arts in preparation for the final duel, as beast and boy learn to respect and trust each other until the boy is able to return to the human world.

Japan is no doubt famous for its anime, and this year's JFF brings in the finest anime movie of 2015. Winner of the Best Animation at the Japanese Academy Awards, it is no surprise that any work by director Mamoru Hosoda would be a highly anticipated watch as he meshes a high level of fantasy with the touching themes of family and love. Fans of Hosoda's work would not want to miss watching "The Boy and the Beast" on the big screen for the first time in Malaysian cinemas to fully immerse themselves in the fullest of Hosada's artistic setting, even if they have already watched this.
Creepy



Takakura is a former detective turned lecturer who is asked to investigate a case of a missing family six years ago. As Takakura follows the leads provided by the only member of the family who hasn't disappearaed, he is greeted by Nishino; his new neighbour as Takakura and his wife move into the neighbourhood.

Premiered at this year's Berlinale and released in Japan in June, academic director Kiyoshi Kurosawa is back with another bone-chilling lesson in Japanese horror with this adaptation of Yutaka Maekawa's novel. This is Kurosawa's return to the genre he is best known for ("Cure" and "Pulse") after winning Best Director in the Un Certain Regard of Cannes for his romantic drama "Journey to the Shore" in 2015, and we expect him to fully deliver on what it says on the label, together with his "Tokyo Sonata" lead, Teruyuki Kagawa.
Chihayafuru Part 1 & Part 2



After being introduced to the competitive world of Karuta; a Japanese card game, Chihaya aims to form a Karuta team at her highschool and become the Queen of Karuta at the national championship.

Fans of the Yuki Suetsugu's shoujo sports manga have been anticipating to see this live-action adaptation since it came out earlier this year, and the surprise couldn't be better that Malaysians will get to see the complete two-parter on Malaysian screens. Directed by Norihiro Koizumi who is no stranger to youthful dramas and surging sports, it could not be made more perfect to have Suzu Hirose ("Our Little Sister") taking the lead role of Chihaya, wedged between her two best friends, Mackenyu as Arata and Shuhei Nomura as Taichi.
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Cinema Online, 05 September 2016

Related Movies:
Flying Colors (JFF) (Japanese) (08 Sep 2016)
What A Wonderful Family! (JFF) (Japanese) (08 Sep 2016)
The Mohican Comes Home (JFF) (Japanese) (08 Sep 2016)
Creepy (JFF) (Japanese) (08 Sep 2016)
An (JFF) (Japanese) (08 Sep 2016)
The Boy And The Beast (JFF) (Japanese) (08 Sep 2016)
Bakuman (JFF) (Japanese) (08 Sep 2016)
Desperate Sunflowers (JFF) (Japanese) (08 Sep 2016)
Chihayafuru Part 1 (JFF) (Japanese) (06 Sep 2018)
My Love Story (JFF) (Japanese) (08 Sep 2016)
After The Storm (JFF) (Japanese) (08 Sep 2016)
The Magnificent Nine (JFF) (Japanese) (08 Sep 2016)
Chihayafuru Part 2 (JFF) (Japanese) (06 Sep 2018)



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