“Miracle City Koza” World Premiere at the Hawaii International Film Festival

https://miraclecitykoza.com

This is amazing. Ahead of its Okinawa premiere on 1/21 and even its Japan premiere on 2/4, the Hawaii International Film Festival “HIFF” holds the prize of presenting the world premiere of “Miracle City Koza” on 11/7! What’s even better is that in addition to a one-day in-person screening, the film will also be available online to audiences in the USA from 11/10 to 11/28 with English subtitles. Tickets can be purchased from hiff.org on 10/15 (HIFF Ohana members) and from 10/18 for the general public.

Read our previous post introducing the film and view the trailer below.

“Miracle City Koza” Trailer

The last film from Okinawa to screen at HIFF was “Okinawan Blue” (Kokoro Odoru) in 2019.

Miracle City Koza (Film)

Taira Kazuhiro’s “Miracle City Koza”

Director Taira Kazuhiro’s upcoming 2022 film “Miracle City Koza” has a poster, trailer, and an announcement that its first screening will be on January 21st at Uchinaa theaters! From there, the film will be shown in Japanese theaters from February 4th. The film looks to be a lot of fun and stars Kiritani Kenta (his Uchinaa connection is the artist behind the ultra-popular “Umi no Koe” song) and will feature the legendary Uchinaa rock bands Murasaki and Condition Green.

Film Trailer for “Miracle City Koza”

Let’s hope overseas film fans will have a chance to see this in the festival circuit.

HY’s “AM11:00” Becomes a Movie

“AM11:00” Short Film

To be streamed on July 31st (Uchinaa time) is a short film inspired by HY’s hit song “AM11:00” with the band members joining the stream. The film is directed by musician Yamashita Ayumu and stars actor Izumisawa Yuuki and actress Miyagi Karin (who you may recognize from “Eisaa Don Don” and her collaborations with Nanaironote’s YouTube videos). The other song (with the sanshin) that’s featured in the movie’s trailer is HY’s “Street Story“. Unfortunately, the July 31st stream isn’t available for overseas audiences but we’re hoping the archive will be.

Okinawan Films Streaming on Filmdoo

Tweeted by actor/model Shogen, a 2019 film he stars in called “Okinawan Blue (Kokoro, Odoru)” — written and directed by Kishimoto Tsukasa (remember his name as he’s one to watch) — is available for streaming on Filmdoo.

Also streaming on Filmdoo is 2012’s “Karakara” a Canadian film written and directed by Claude Gagnon and one that I was able to watch at the Hawaii Film Festival. While not as Okinawan (lead actors are not Uchinanchu) as “Okinawan Blue”, at least the music is by one of my favorite musicians, Ara Yukito (Parsha Club).

You can also find other films (some of them are free!) from Okinawa that are (or aren’t yet) available on Filmdoo by creating a filter search on their website. Be sure to vote on the films you want to watch that aren’t yet available in your region!

HIFF Eat.Drink.Film 2021 Showcase Series

Shogen 尚玄

No, we’re not getting a film from Okinawa but we do have an actor from Okinawa who is starring in director Yoshida Kota’s Sexual Drive. Fashion model and actor Shogen stars in the film and many may recognize him as Raye Penber from the 2015 Death Note TV series. He has an impressive filmography and is currently in the Philippines to finish filming Gensan Punch.

A Japanese triptych about sex, aphrodisiac foods and secret desires.

via IFFR 2021
“Sexual Drive” trailer

Sexual Drive will be available for streaming from June 10-20. It’s not my kind of film but I’ll likely watch it for Shogen.

Tamashiro Tina to be in Hosoda Mamoru’s Belle

Model and actress Tamashiro Tina will have a voice actress role in Hosoda Mamoru’s 2021 anime feature film BELLE. She will perform the part of Watanabe Ruka, a classmate of the main heroine of the story Suzu (Belle). Below is a tweet from Studio Chizu featuring Tamashiro Tina introducing herself for the role.

I’ve watched every film from Hosoda so I’m really looking forward to this one and now there’s an added bonus with an Uchinanchuu in the cast!

Follow Tamashiro Tina on Twitter. Link to her official website.

The Man Who Changed Okinawa (Film)

“The Man Who Changed Okinawa (Okinawa wo Kaeta Otoko)”

We don’t get a lot of films from Okinawa so if you see on whether at a festival or on a streaming site, we must watch it! A film that’s currently available on Amazon Prime is The Man Who Changed Okinawa starring Garage Sale’s Gori who we recently featured on Karakui.

Here’s the synopsis via Geta Films:

This is based on a true story about a coach of a high school baseball team who’d like to change people’s mind in Okinawa through baseball. Hiroyoshi Sai is assigned as a coach to the baseball team at Ryukyu Fisheries high school. The baseball team members are welcome the arrival of the capable coach Sai, but he recruits skillful players for next freshmen from all over Okinawa.

His target is just to win the National High School Baseball Championship, called “Koshien” in up-coming couple of years. However, teachers and students around the school get suspicious about his way of coaching with an iron fist.

Nonetheless, his belief never shakes and his team grabs the right to participate in the championship with various difficulties.

https://www.getafilms.com/the-man-who-changed-okinawa

Directed by Kishimoto Tsukasa, the film was a hit in Okinawa if going by ticket sales, and garnered enough attention to be English-subtitled and streamed outside of Japan. It’s also one of the few films from Okinawa with an Okinawan director and main actor. If you are able to watch the entire film (you can search for reviews of the film in English and in Japanese to see why it may be difficult to do so), and you have an understanding of Ryukyu, how did it make you feel? Personally, I feel that the beginning of the film as well as the first scene in the bar pitting Gori agains the other teachers sums up the reality of being Okinawan and their desire to show their strong will despite the human costs. The title of the film itself is interesting because it leaves out whether Coach Sai changed Okinawa for the better or for the worse and leaves it to the viewer to decide.

Catching up on news from Tokyograph

I’m catching up on articles from the awesome website Tokyograph of mostly film and TV news. Click on the links to read the full articles on Tokyograph’s website.

The original show starred Ueto as rookie detective Sakuragi Izumi, who worked on difficult unsolved cases as part of a Special Investigations Office (based on an actual division established by Japan in 2009). This time takes place half a year later, after Sakuragi has been transferred to a different division that deals with current crimes.
Ueto Aya returns in ‘Zettai Reido’ sequel

The “Shinzanmono” drama series is getting a movie next year. Doi Nobuhiro is directing the film, which is tentatively titled “Kirin no Tsubasa: Gekijoban Shinzanmono.” Abe Hiroshi (46) will return in the starring role, along with Mizobata Junpei (21) and Kuroki Meisa (22).
‘Shinzanmono’ movie announced for 2012

“Zenkai Girl” is the first time that Aragaki is playing the main character in a television series, though she has previously had several roles as major secondary characters. In the series, she plays Wakaba, an ambitious international lawyer with dreams of rising to the top.
Aragaki Yui stars in Fuji TV’s next ‘Getsu 9’ with Nishikido Ryo

[…] Taira plays Iwami Saki, an office worker who hates conflict with other people, so she always ends up holding back her own opinions and ingratiating herself with others.
Hamada Gaku, Taira Airi lead suspense drama ‘Piece Vote’

Kuroki Meisa (23) and Tabe Mikako (22) are acting together for the first time, co-starring in a drama series this summer called “Jiu: Keishichou Tokushuhan Sousakei.” The two will play police detectives on the same special investigation team, though their differing personalities lead them to constantly clash with each other.
Kuroki Meisa, Tabe Mikako co-star in suspense series ‘Jiu’

Okinawa’s Tokusatsu Hero: Ryujin Mabuyer

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“Ryujin Mabuyer (琉神マブヤー)” is a Tokusatsu TV series made in Okinawa. The 13-episode series aired in 2008 from October 4th to December 27th. The series will be made into a movie titled, Ryuujin Mabuyaa THE MOVIE Nanatsu no Mabui (琉神マブヤー THE MOVIE 七つのマブイ),” and star Shintaro Yamada as Ryujin Mabuyer and ISSA (from DA PUMP) as Ryujin Ganasea (龍神ガナシー). It’s scheduled to be released in theaters this fall.

Continue reading “Okinawa’s Tokusatsu Hero: Ryujin Mabuyer”