Indonesia's Japanese Film Festival to Screen Mary and the Witch's Flower

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda

The Japanese Film Festival 2018 event in Indonesia announced on Thursday that it will screen Studio Ponoc and Hiromasa Yonebayashi's Mary and The Witch's Flower anime film, Science SARU and Masaaki Yuasa's Lu over the wall anime film, the third Chihayafuru live-action film, the live-action Perfect World film, and the live-action Laughing Under the Clouds film.

Yonebayashi, who directed Studio Ghibli's Arrietty and When Marnie Was There, directed Mary and the Witch's Flower, and also penned the script for the film alongside Riko Sakaguchi, who wrote the screenplay for Isao Takahata's The Tale of the Princess Kaguya. Takatsugu Muramatsu (When Marnie Was There) handled the music. Yoshiaki Nishimura was credited as producer. The staff page on the film's website further noted that many former staff from Studio Ghibli have joined Ponoc in the film's production. Sekai no Owari performed the film's theme song "RAIN."

The film is based on Mary Stewart's book The Little Broomstick. Studio Ponoc scouted locations in Shropshire, U.K., the setting of the original novel.

Lu over the wall was Yuasa's first anime film with an original story. The protagonist Kai moves with his father from Tokyo to the declining fishing town of Hinashi to live with his grandfather following his parents' divorce. Kai is unable to give words to his complex feelings about his parents, so he passes his middle school life gloomily. His one joy is uploading his musical compositions to the internet.

One day his classmates Kunio and Yūho invite him to join their band, and when he reluctantly accompanies them to practice on Mermaid Island, the three of them meet a mermaid named Lu. Through her cheerful singing and dancing, Kai is slowly able to open up about his feelings. However, calamity strikes and Kai must shout from the bottom of his heart in order to save the town.

Kanon Tani (your name.) and Shōta Shimoda starred in the film as Lu and Kai, respectively. Shinichi Shinohara played Lu's father and the comic duo Chidori played fishermen. Other cast members include Akira Emoto as a grandfather, Sōma Saitō as Kunio, and Minako Kotobuki as Yūho.

The film opened in Japan in May 2017.

Chihayafuru: Musubi (Chihayafuru: Conclusion), the third live-action film of Yuki Suetsugu's Chihayafuru manga, opened in Japan on March 17.

The film takes place two years after the first two films, and depicts Chihaya, Taichi, and Arata in their third year of high school.

The first film, Chihayafuru: Kami no Ku (Chihayafuru: Upper Phrase), opened in Japan in March 2016. The second film, Chihayafuru: Shimo no Ku (Chihayafuru: Lower Phrase), opened in Japan in April 2016. Norihiro Koizumi (Midnight Sun, Kanojo wa Uso o Ai Shisugiteru) directed both films.

Suetsugu launched the ongoing Chihayafuru manga in Kodansha's Be-Love magazine in December 2007. Kodansha published the 39th compiled volume on August 9, and will publish the 40th volume on Tuesday, November 13. Da Vinci magazine ranked it #7 on its "Book of the Year" list in 2016.

The manga has also inspired two 25-episode television anime series. A third anime season is slated for 2019.

The live-action film of Rie Aruga's Perfect World manga opened in Japan on October 5. Kenji Shibayama (Nagareboshi ga Kienai Uchi ni, Kimi no Suki na Uta) directed the film, and Keiko Kanome (Time Slip Megane, Chibi Maruko-chan) wrote the script. Takefumi Haketa is composing the film's music.

The film stars Sandaime J Soul Brothers and Exile member Takanori Iwata (live-action Crows Explode film) as Itsuki Ayukawa, and Hana Sugisaki (live-action Blade of the Immortal film) played Tsugumi Kawana. E-girls performs the film's theme song "Perfect World."

Other cast members include Kenta Suga, Sei Ashina, Maggy, Kazue Itou, Mantaro Koichi, and Naomi Zaizen.

Aruga launched the manga in Kiss magazine in February 2015. Kodansha published the manga's seventh compiled book volume on April 13. M&C! publishes the manga in Indonesia.

The live-action film of Kemuri Karakara's Laughing Under the Clouds (Donten ni Warau) manga opened in Japan on March 21.

Katsuyuki Motohiro (Psycho-Pass chief director) directed the film, and Yuuya Takahashi (Laughing Under the Clouds anime series, Tiger & Bunny, Lupin the Third) wrote the script. Rock band Sakanaction performed the theme song "Kagerō" (Heat Haze), as well as the opening song "Donten ni Warau -opening&ending‐with GOCOO."

The story of Laughing Under the Clouds takes place in the 11th year of the Meiji era. The number of people in Japan who feel dissatisfaction toward the government is increasing due to the increasing speed of Westernization and the ban on samurai. In order to curb the increased rate of crime, the government opens a new prison. The three brothers of the Kumo family are entrusted with the duty of transporting these criminals to the new prison, but adventures await them on the way.

Other films screening at the festival include Shoplifters, One Cut of the Dead, Yakiniku Dragon, Mixed Doubles, The Crimes that Bind, Color Me True, The 8-Year Engagement, The Man from the Sea, and Asian Three Fold Mirror: Journey.

The Japanese Film Festival 2018 event will have multiple screening locations, including at CGV Cinemas Daya Grand Square in Makassar on November 23 to 25; at the Jogja National Museum, Empire XXI, and Cinemaxx in Yogyakarta on November 27 to December 4; at the CGV Cinemas Grand Indonesia in Jakarta from December 7 to 16; and at the CGV Cinemas 23 Paskal Shopping Center in Bandung from November 23 to 25.

Source: Japanese Film Festival Facebook page via Kaori Nusantara

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