Technical Difficulties

In case you missed my tweet, this is just a quick update to admit that I missed last week’s review slot because my internet connection has been down for days, which is a real problem when I write everything in Google Docs before cross-posting to WordPress! It’s now back, and the latest review, of Mamoru Oshii’s Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence, should be up this Friday.

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Anime x Kino 893

I’m sure there’s a huge crossover between fans of Japanese film and fans of anime – just as I’m sure there are anime fans who don’t care about live action movies, and film fans who don’t care about anime! I don’t think Kino 893 will ever focus on anime – that could be a whole different site and never run out of material – but every now and again there’s the option of looking at classics like Ghost in the Shell or new releases like Blame!

If you’re an anime fan, why not get in touch on MyAnimeList or Crunchyroll? You can find me on both as “Jiroemon”. I’m always open to suggestions on what to watch next, and it could end up in a future review!

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Batou, drinking San Miguel beer

Coming Attractions

I intend to release a new review every Friday for the rest of the year – and perhaps the foreseeable future, as it’s not as if there are only 52 Japanese films worth discussing! Here’s a quick peek at some upcoming films from my shelf. Some of these, like Kinji Fukasaku’s Battles Without Honour and Humanity and Battle Royale or Takashi Miike’s Audition13 Assassins, and Hara-Kiri, are films I’ve seen before but will be welcome additions to the blog. Others are films I’ve picked up in Arrow Video sales, on recommendations from friends and readers, or because I want to expand my library of a particular director or actor.

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Not pictured: Battles Without Honour and Humanity, which refuses to photograph well

I’m particularly excited about Lone Wolf and Cub, which recently got the Criterion Collection treatment, and Kagemusha, as I strive to watch the rest of Akira Kurosawa’s films. Of course, this doesn’t include movie rentals and the odd gem from YouTube, like Miike’s bizarre, slightly disappointing adaptation of SEGA’s Yakuza games.

So stay tuned, please do comment on and like reviews if you enjoy them, and follow if you want to stay up to date!

Corrections!

I’ve been reviewing Nikkatsu’s late-60s Outlaw VIP series here on Kino 893, and like every other film I look at, I like to include the director. Unfortunately, I’ve just realised that I’ve been crediting the wrong man for every instalment after the first! Toshio Masuda directed Outlaw Gangster VIP, but the first sequel was actually the directorial debut of Keiichi Ozawa. The third film, Heartless, was from Mio Ezaki, and then Ozawa returned for the last three. I must confess, I only realised my mistake while reading the booklet included in the Arrow Video release.

It’s surprisingly difficult to dig up information on some of these films, so all credit to Arrow and the supplementary material with their releases. I’ll have to keep a closer eye on the credits!

I’m aiming to post a new review every Friday, and coming up, I’ve got the last Outlaw VIP movies, Sion Sono’s Cold Fish, and the first Stray Cat Rock movie, Delinquent Girl Boss. If anyone has suggestions not already mentioned on the Archive page, let me know in the comments!

All Caught Up

With Outlaw: Heartless written up for the site, I’m now caught up on reviews for the films I’ve watched so far in 2017. I’ll be adding new articles as I watch new films, aiming to add at least one or two more every month – maybe more. You can jump over to the archive where I have links to all the reviews currently available, as well as those movies I have ready to go but haven’t reviewed yet. If you think there’s something I should definitely cover here then leave a comment or get hold of me on Twitter.

A Fresh Start

I kicked off 2017 with a string of vintage Japanese movies I’d never seen before. Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai and Throne of Blood, the Speed-like The Bullet Train, and a scattering of late ’60s B-movies. I started putting my thoughts on them together on my Facebook page at first, but after a while, people kept suggesting I start a blog instead (for the record, I’m pretty sure they just wanted me to stop clogging up their feeds with black-and-white stills from ’50s movies).

This isn’t intended to be a set of professional reviews. They’re my subjective opinions while working my way through seventy-odd years of Japanese cinema, but I hope to throw in some of the interesting facts I’m picking up along the way, and flesh out the reviews as I go on.

If there’s a particular movie you think I should see, leave a comment or get in touch through Twitter.