Japan Academy Prize 2015: The Eternal Zero wins Best Picture; Junichi Okada grabs Best Actor & Best Supporting Actor; Sosuke Ikematsu, Sota Fukushi, Nana Komatsu – Rookies!

The Eternal Zero wins Best Picture, while lead star – Junichi Okada – took home two awards for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor (for A Samurai Chronicle). Rie Miyazawa is Best Actress (beating out Sakura Ando, Mao Inoue, and Chizuru Ikewaki), while Haru Kuroki grabbed Best Supporting Actress!

The 38th Japan Academy Prize (第38回日本アカデミー賞) is the 38th edition of the Japan Academy Prize, an award presented by the Nippon Academy-Sho Association to award excellence in filmmaking. It awarded the best films of 2014, and it took place on February 27, 2015, at the Grand Prince Hotel New Takanawa in TokyoJapan

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Junichi Okada and Mao Inoue in The Eternal Zero, directed by Takashi Yamazaki, Toho, Copyright 2013, All Rights Reserved.

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Shota Sometani, Takahiro Miura, and supporting cast in The Eternal Zero, directed by Takashi Yamazaki, Toho, Copyright 2013, All Rights Reserved.

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Rena Nounen and Hiroomi Tosaka were given Rookies, and also Nana Komatsu (The World of Kanako), Sosuke Ikematsu (Paper Moon, Love’s Whirpool, Our Family) and Sota Fukushi (As the God’s Will, Say “I Love You) and finally Lady Maiko’s Mone Kamishiraishi.

Final Nominations for the 38th Japan Academy Prize has been announced! – For Best Picture, The Light Shines Only There – Japan’s entry for Best Foreign Film at the Oscars was not nominated, and Mipo O, the film’s director. The World of Kanako is also not nominated for the highest prize. 

I have no particular interest which movie will get the highest honor, but The Eternal Zero might get it. Just a hunch! 

The most exciting category has to be Best Actress, with Chizuru Ikewaki, Mao Inoue, Sakura Ando competing for the top prize. Fumi Nikaido one of the youngest to get the nomination also competes for her role in My Man, but her co-star Tadanobu Asano was snubbed. Veteran actress Sayuri Yoshinaga gets another nomination, while Rie Miyazawa, who figured prominently in recent awards gets the nod for Paper Moon.

I will be ecstatic if Chizuru Ikewaki takes the prize. Her performance in The Light Shines Only There is truly exceptional, but Mao Inoue is also impressive in Snow White Murder Case. Sakura Ando will be playing the dark horse as usual, while Fumi Nikaido has a longshot chance of winning. While these are simply my expectations, I would not be surprised if they give the award to Rie Miyazawa, since she’s the frontrunner at this moment.

Hot Road gets the spotlight with Rena Nounen and her co-star Hiroomi Tosaka both getting Rookies. Sosuke Ikematsu also gets a much-deserved Rookie of the Year. Sota Fukushi also gets his Rookie!

Here are the nominees and the winners (in red):

Best Picture of the Year
The Eternal Zero
Paper Moon
Little House
A Samurai’s Chronicle
Cape Nostalgia

Best Animation
When Marnie was There
Giovanni’s Island
Detective Conan
Stand by Me Doraemon
Buddha 2: Tezuka Osamu no Budda – Owarinaki Tabi

Best Director
Izuru Narushima – Cape Nostalgia
Daihachi Yoshida – Paper Moon
Takashi Yamazaki – The Eternal Zero
Takashi Koizumi – A Samurai’s Chronicle
Katsuhide Motoki – Samurai Hustle

Best Actor
Abe Hiroshi – Cape Nostalgia
Junichi Okada – The Eternal Zero
Kuranosuke Sasaki – Samurai Hustle
Koji Yakusho – A Samurai’s Chronicle
Kiichi Nakai – Snow On The Blades

Best Actress
Sakura Ando – 0.5mm
Chizuru Ikewaki – The Light Shines Only There
Mao Inoue – Snow White Murder Case
Fumi Nikaido – My Man
Rie Miyazawa – Paper Moon
Sayuri Yoshinaga – Cape Nostalgia

Best Supporting Actor
Abe Hiroshi – Snow on the Blades
Ito Hideaki – WOOD JOB!
Junichi Okada – A Samurai’s Chronicle
Shôfukutei Tsurube – Cape Nostalgia
Haruma Miura – The Eternal Zero

Best Supporting Actress
Yuko Oshima “Paper Moon “
Haru Kuroki ” the Little House “
Satomi Kobayashi “Paper Moon “
Yuko Takeuchi ” mysterious cape of the story .”
Sumiko Fuji ” Maiko is ready.”

Rookies of the Year (winners)
Mone Kamishiraishi – Lady Maiko
Nana Komatsu – The World of Kanako
Rena Nōnen – Hot Road
Sosuke Ikematsu – Paper Moon, Vortex of Love, Our Family
Hiroomi Tosaka – Hot Read
Sota Fukushi – In The Hero, As the God’s Will, Say “I Love You.” 

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Sites and blogs dedicated to award-watching in Japan may not be as popular as the Oscar-watchers (those who dedicate analysis, statistics and reporting on the Oscar Race) In fact, we maybe one of the few doing that. Last year, we made our first predictions focusing on the Best Picture and Best PerformancesFor 2014 (38th Japan Academy Prize, which will be announced in March 2015), we’ll begin by listing down potential Best Picture nominees.This year, a few Japanese movies garnered prestigious awards from international film festivals, and some acting awards too – notably the big win by Haru Kuroki at Berlin, where she distinguished herself as Best Actress, the 4th Japanese to win in said festival.

Earlier, The Vancouver Asahi (Yuya Ishii follow up to The Great Passage) won the Audience Award @Vancouver International Film Festival. At Montreal, the Japanese had good reasons to celebrate early on:

The movie “Fushigi Na Misaki No Monogatari” (“Cape Nostalgia”) starring veteran actress Sayuri Yoshinaga has won the Special Grand Prix at the Montreal World Film Festival. It is the first Japanese film to win the second-highest award at the festival since “Waga Haha no Ki” (“Chronicle of My Mother”) by director Masato Harada in 2011.

Japan’s Mipo O also won the best director award for “Sokonominite Hikari Kagayaku” (“The Light Shines Only There”). “Cape Nostalgia,” directed by Izuru Narushima, is Yoshinaga’s 118th film. [ source ]

On the local front – Seven Weeks from Nobuhiko Obayashi and Yuya Ishi’s Our Family won Best Picture, while Satoshi Tsumabuki, Yo Oizumi, Fumi Nikaido and Chizuru Ikewaki won major acting awards [ more details here ]

Let’s have a look at the ten potential nominees for Best Picture!

The above movies will be updated to include a short synopsis, cast and crew and a brief discussion on its chances of winning.

How about you? Have you seen any of the movies above? Which ones have impressed you the most? Let us know what you think!

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