Shogakukan Short Film

A very special CM, a true short film actually, was released on Monday August 8 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Shogakukan, a company with headquarters in Chiyoda (Tokyo) which is a world famous publisher much known for producing and distributing magazines, manga, picture books, light novels, educational and reference books in Japan, the USA and Europe.

The movie is 17 minutes long and was directed by Takahiro Miki whom we briefly see at the end of the story. Though voice actor Koichi Yamadera appears in the film the main cast is actress and model Komatsu Nana. This quality CM offers remarkable animated sequences in a unique voyage through time and publications.

see more: clip, screencaps

Hana Chérie

On March 23, 2017, Avex released the clip for Hana Chérie (花cherie) a new song by AAA singer Takahiro Nishijima aka Nissy. The following day a web movie based on the same song and themes became available. Both videos (3’45 and 10’30 for the longer version) featured actress Komatsu Nana and were directed by Takahiro Miki.

Story: a young magician falls for a beautiful girl he casually meets in a hospital ward. She’s handicapped and stuck to a wheelchair. With his magic she regains the use of her legs. They dance and have fun but miracles, like love, don’t last. Short-lived happiness, the lifespan of a flower…

See and watch more: clips, pics, book scans

My Tomorrow, Your Yesterday DVD

My Tomorrow, Your Yesterday (English title) aka Tomorrow I Will Date With Yesterday’s You (ぼくは明日, 昨日のきみとデートする) hit Japanese theaters on December 17, 2016. Director Takahiro Miki‘s 10th feature film got good reviews and a positive response from audiences well beyond Japan in the months that followed its release.

Sota Fukushi, Nana Komatsu in surprisingly profound romantic fantasy (…) My Tomorrow, Your Yesterday alludes to much larger themes of time, memory, love and loss, as well as the impermanence of existence and interactions with the world around us and its inhabitants. At its heart, the film also mourns our loss of innocence and the inexplicable heartbreaks that have scarred most people.” from South China Morning Post.

The Bluray and DVD Deluxe Editions offer over two hours of special features: teasers, trailer, TV spots, making of documentary, premiere, various events and reports. DVD Deluxe @ CD Japan. Below is a selection of video excerpts and screencaps.

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Memories on the slope

Takahiro Miki, a true master of youth movies, is a much underrated director outside Japan. The man has a special touch and more often than not he has the ability to change what could just be an average romantic story into something deep with elements of poetry, nostalgia and sometimes fantasy.

Kids on the slope/Sakamichi no Appollon is a bitter sweet tale of love and friendship set in the sixties in the lovely city of Sasebo, Nagasaki Prefecture. Those were the days when Western music, in this case Jazz, was hitting Japan.

Jazz Rehearsal

The two young male leads do an excellent job as Kaoru (Chinen) and Sentaro (Nakagawa) plus the supporting cast is great, especially Dean Fujioka, Erina Mano and Baijaku Nakamura. Nana Komatsu is Ritsuko and she is adorable on all counts, not just because of her pigtails and ponytails, she impersonates someone who is possibly her nicest on screen character so far.

Ritsuko is generous, considerate and loyal, a true gem of a girl, to the point you might wonder if people like that exist in real life. Nana Komatsu uttering her lines with the melodious intonations of the Kyushu accent is sheer delight.

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