Category Archives: MOVIES

6 Reasons to Visit the Tokyo International Film Festival

Source: Gaijin Pot

The Tokyo International Film Festival is Japan’s largest film festival, a prestigious event that takes place every year in the Roppongi Hills development and other venues around town. If you like movies and are going to be in the capital between Oct. 25 and Nov. 3, 2018, there are a number of cool incentives that might make this year’s iteration worth checking out.

Here are six reasons to visit the 2018 Tokyo International Film Festival (hereafter referred to as TIFF-JP to differentiate it from the other TIFF in Toronto).

1. It’s a chance to see famous faces in person

Photo: Joshua Meyer
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Meryl Streep, and other V.I.P.s at the 2016 festival.

As recently as last year, you could watch stars arrive on the red carpet at TIFF-JP. The ceremony on opening day at the Roppongi Hills Arena had a public viewing area, with free tickets available on a first-come, first-served basis.

This year, the festival has announced that the arena will be fully booked with TIFF-JP’s crowdfunding supporters. However, even from outside the arena, you still might catch sight of some celebrity heads bobbing along on the red carpet.

Anecdotally, that’s the experience I had in 2015 when I was passing by on my way out of an early screening and saw actress Hilary Swank arriving. Later, Dame Helen Mirren and director Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future, Forrest Gump) showed up.

Photo: Joshua Meyer
Al Gore closed the 2017 festival with his documentary An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power.

Even if you can’t get into the arena this year, there’s still an opportunity to hear directors and actors speak at stage greetings and Q&As. In 2016, Meryl Streep appeared at screenings on …continue reading


5 Truly Scary Japanese Horror Anime to Set the Mood for Halloween

Source: Gaijin Pot
5 Truly Scary Japanese Horror Anime to Set the Mood for Halloween

Japanese anime is a medium that has stellar titles in virtually every genre.

One genre, though, that I believe that is filled with too many low-quality titles in both anime, television and film is horror. I love horror stories, but when I say “horror” I mean tales that actually inspire fear. Whether it be films, books, TV or anime, true horror doesn’t always require excessive gore, jump scares or even gratuitous violence.

What it does need is to do is create a genuine, unsettling feeling of fear — and that is a difficult thing to do.

When people know they’re reading, watching or playing a work of fiction it’s hard to get them to forget that it’s make believe. Making the reader, viewer or gamer forget the real world for a moment and truly be terrified is the art of horror. Recently, one horror series that did just that — becoming a big hit with Western audiences in the process — is American Horror Story. But with its own terrifying films like The Ring and The Grudge, Japan has a lot of scary titles that can compete with American franchises in the horror industry.

Horror anime, however, are few and far between. So, if we’re going to compare Japanese shows with a current Western trend, then here are five rare anime titles that are just as scary as — if not, scarier — than American Horror Story or others of its ilk.

1. Corpse Party: Tortured Souls

Corpse Party: Tortured Souls

Based on the popular Japanese horror video game series, Corpse Party, this anime follows the story of the first game. Corpse Party: Tortured Souls is about a group of high school students who invoke a friendship charm they found on the internet in hopes of making their bond last forever.

However, as soon as they …continue reading


My Mental Choices are Completely Interfering with my School Romantic Comedy – Review


Kanade Amakusa – a boy cursed with the mental power who will turn any multiple-choice quiz he thinks about into a reality. However, one day in school, he is given another choice: a beautiful girl will fall before him or he will fall from the rooftop in female clothes. Although he chooses the first option and it comes true, he and his new-chosen love – Chocolat – are in for a hilarious multiple-choice adventure. This show is funny, cute, smart, and has a surprising amount of depth. I thought it was going to be a slice-of-life style show where there is no real overarching plot and the show would just focus on separate things that happen in the main characters life. This was not the case and the overarching story was interesting and drew me in. The show also had me laughing out loud multiple times. It was able to be serious too with good character development and an ending that, while typical for a harem anime, was still satisfying and set things up for a potential second season.

Interestingly, Kanade’s reactions to the first Mental Choice (yes its a pair of perverted choices) is a litmus test of sort for …continue reading


Fate/Kaleid Liner Prisma Illya: Complete Collection – Review


Illya (Illyasviel von Einzbern) is a typical young girl attending Homurabara Academy who just happens to have a slight crush on her brother-in-law. Then, one night, a magic wand called Magical Ruby falls from the sky into her bath and tricks her into signing a contract. At first it was looking like a typical magical show with just Fate characters added to the mix. However, later in the series the action scenes actually got me interested to finish through. When the announcement for second season was announced, I went ahead and read the manga from there and found out there was a deeper storyline and before I knew it I got hooked onto the series so I’m excited for what comes in second season. The series’ storyline after this season does resemble to me of Mahou Sensei Negima’s manga version by Ken Akamatsu, as well as a bit of Madoka Magica’s but rather Fate’s Dark side of their story.

On the surface you have yet another magical girl/comedy/parody of the genera that uses familiar characters from the fate franchise to pull in the audience. At the core you have a clever, interesting. very action packed and some times cynical anime that …continue reading