Alter-egos: Nanimono & Aku to Kamen no Ruru

Greetings for the new year! Here’s wishing everyone a plentiful year in terms of dramas and films, and whatever your heart desires. It is fitting therefore to begin the year with a post on films by two actors I like and who are always lovely to watch on screen. The two films are very different in content, but there are some surprising similarities to be found.

Also, happy birthday to Tamaki Hiroshi! 💖💖💖 He turns 39 this year, and after the big year he had in 2018 – getting married, starring in three films, and being picked for a WOWOW drama, among other achievements – here’s hoping 2019 will bring more success for him! Continue reading


Life as a purist is hard.

A pawnshop owner is killed in 1973 in Osaka. Detective Sasagaki Junzo, who has been assigned to the case, begins to piece together the connection of two young people who are seemingly involved in the crime – the son of the victim, and the suspect’s daughter. Over the years, Sasagaki tracks the whereabouts of these two people as he tries to bring the case to a close… Continue reading

Nobunaga Concerto


There will always be some historical characters who, whether by virtue of their achievements or notoriety, get more attention in any medium, and this is same for Oda Nobunaga, one of the most famous and pivotal figures in Japanese history. A good chunk of jidaigeki tend to feature Nobunaga in some form and last year’s offering, Nobunaga Concerto, was quite a hit, enough that a movie sequel is apparently in the works.

Saburo (Oguri Shun) is a high-school student who somehow manages to travel back in time to the Sengoku period of 1549. He bumps into Oda Nobunaga (also Oguri Shun), who is the son of a warlord and magistrate of the lower Owari Province. Nobunaga looks and sounds just like Saburo, but is physically weak and wants Saburo to take his place in this turbulent time. Saburo initially thinks it’s for a lark, but as he gets used to living in the Sengoku era, Saburo as Nobunaga sets out to unify Japan… Continue reading



Occasionally you come across a live-action adaptation where it is better not to have read the the source material in advance, so that the adaptation has a fighting chance of standing on its own. MW is one such film – it worked fine as a standalone action film, but once you factor in the source material (the manga MW by Tezuka Osamu) and how much was left out in the adaptation, the second watching renders the film more pedestrian, even disappointing. It has some merits and pretty decent acting, but even as a standalone, it does unfortunately leave much to be desired.

Fifteen years ago on a remote Japanese island called Okino Mafune, a deadly chemical weapon called MW was released, killing all the inhabitants bar two boys who managed to escape. However, the whole incident was covered up. Now adults, Yuki Michio (Tamaki Hiroshi) has become a banker while Garai Yutaro (Yamada Takayuki) is a Catholic priest. Yuki is actually a serial killer on the hunt for those responsible for the MW incident, and Garai, tied to Yuki by their shared past, has become his reluctant accomplice… Continue reading