Tag Archives: japanese

The Masutatsu Oyama Trilogy (1977) Kazuhiko Yamaguchi, Shin’ichi Chiba, Action, Adventure, Drama

The Masutatsu Oyama Trilogy (1977)
This trilogy is comprised of Karate Bullfighter, Karate Bear Fighter, and Karate For Life, each one focusing on a different part of the life of Matsutatsu Oyama, a great practitioner and teacher of Kyokushin Karate. He’s played here by Sonny Chiba, himself a student of Oyama’s. Each of the films in question are worth a look, and this set offers a great deal for anyone who is interested in the particular charms of Japanese martial arts films.

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009-1: The End of the Beginning (2013) Koichi Sakamoto, Mayuko Iwasa, Minehiro Kinomoto, Nao Nagasawa, Action, Crime, Pinku, Drama, Sci-Fi

The End of the Beginning (2013)
In 20xx, the world is divided into two powers: the Western Block and the Eastern Block. Serving as a border zone between the two is “J-Country.” As such, it is used as a battleground for the two sides in their never-ending conflict. Mylene, an undercover agent from the western block, has been hiding out in J-Country. While investigating human trafficking, she meets a young man named Chris. Mylene finds herself attracted to Chris and after completing her mission and returning to headquarters she is unable to keep him out of her mind. “Recover Dr. Klein and see to her protection!” is the newest mission assigned to Mylene from the 00 agency. Abducted by the Eastern Block, Dr. Klein was in charge of the Faust Project and the technology that made Mylene into a cyborg. During the briefing for the mission she puzzles over a name that sparks memories buried within her cyborg mind. “Recover Dr. Klein and see to her protection!” is the newest mission assigned to Mylene from the 00 agency.Abducted by the Eastern Block, Dr. Klein was in charge of the Faust Project and the technology that made Mylene into a cyborg. During the briefing for the mission she puzzles over a name that sparks memories buried within her cyborg mind. Breaking into the laboratory where the doctor is being held, Mylene is surprised to find Chris being used as an experimental guinea pig. Distracted, she is unable to complete her mission and agents of the east take Dr. Klein away. Failing in her mission, Mylene has her license revoked by the agency. Spurred by the increasing flashes of memories locked away within her, she sets out on a mission of her own: to take back her memories and learn who she really is.

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Girl’s Blood / Aka x Pinku (2014) Koichi Sakamoto, Yuria Haga, Oshima Haruka, Sanae Hitomi, Action, Pinku, Erotic

Girl's Blood (2014)
“Girl power” takes on a new meaning in Girl’s Blood, the erotic action drama based on a light novel by award-winning writer Sakuraba Kazuki (My Man). Set in the seedy underbelly of Tokyo, the film by director-former action choreographer Sakamoto Koichi follows the lives of four women who join an underground MMA fight club in an abandoned elementary school. Every night, the women escape their mundane lives and troubled pasts by stepping into the ring under unique personas and take on brutal fights in front of a spectacle-hungry audience. However, the women face a real enemy when two of the fighters fall in love.

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True Story of a Woman in Jail: Continues / Zoku jitsuroku onna kanbetsusho (1975) Kôyû Ohara, Hitomi Kozue, Mihoko Arikawa, Kumi Natsuki, Drama, Pinku, Erotic

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This shocking sequel to TRUE STORY OF A WOMAN IN JAIL: SEX HELL, Mayumi (the tough inmate from the first film) emerges from solitary confinement to find an all-new gang of bullies picking on a meek, young female prisoner. Mayumi is now a much harder soul who takes no attitude from anyone, and she turns savage when the poor girl is enslaved by Yakuza! No one is safe as Mayumi takes down the entire jail in a sudden act of violent carnage.

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True Story of a Woman in Jail: Sex Hell / Jitsuroku onna kanbetsusho: sei-jigoku (1975) Kôyû Ohara, Hitomi Kozue, Meika Seri, Maya Hiromi, Drama, Pinku, Erotic

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A group of young women is thrown into a horrible juvenile hall, due to their illegal acts. They soon wish they were back on the outside, as a gang of inmates subjects this “fresh meat” to the horrors of being locked up. Mayumi, a new inmate with a mysterious past, stands up for herself and fights back! NO ONE is going to push her around, and she hatches an escape plan to seek revenge on the person who had her incarcerated.

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Strawberry Shortcakes (2006) Hitoshi Yazaki, Chizuru Ikewaki, Noriko Nakagoshi, Yûko Nakamura, Drama

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Based on the eponymous manga for girls by cartoonist Kiriko Nananan, the pic follows the ups and downs of four female friends in Tokyo looking for love and trying to cope with the responsibilities in their lives. The main characters, impeccably played by four powerful actresses, are modern, self-sufficient women and their stories are told with mild irony and a dash of melancholy. The result is a movie that is lighthearted at times, a little sad at others, crazy and sometimes serious, but always special, that investigates the psychology of its characters and offers an accurate depiction of urban Japan, thanks to its director’s know-how. While many overly ambitious directors struggle to tell even one fairly comprehensible story, Yazaki skillfully weaves a powerful depiction of not one, but four women, creating an indissoluble and moving whole that doesn’t succumb to sentimentalism.

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Unagi / The Eel (1997) Shôhei Imamura, Kôji Yakusho, Misa Shimizu, Mitsuko Baishô, Drama

Unagi (Shohei Imamura, 1997)
White-collar worker Yamashita finds out that his wife has a lover visiting her when he’s away, suddenly returns home and kills her. After eight years in prison, he returns to live in a small village, opens a barber shop (he was trained as a barber in prison) and talks almost to no-one except for the eel he “befriended” in prison. One day he finds the unconscious body of Keiko, who attempted suicide and reminds him of his wife. She starts to work at his shop, but he doesn’t let her become close to him.

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