March Comes In Like A Lion is about the trials and tribulations of a young man of seventeen, Kiriyama Rei, played by Kamiki Ryunosuke. Based on the manga series "San gatsu no Lion" by Umino Chica, Rei copes with pangs of loneliness amidst a sea of humans in Tokyo while sharpening his skills to level up his rank as one of Japan's up and coming shogi masters.

March Comes in Like a Lion Part 1 - Movie Review

Orphaned at a young age, he was taken in by Koda Masachika (Toyokawa Etsushi), a friend of Rei's father and rival in shogi. He became his apprentice while earning the resentment and jealousy of Koda's daughter, Kyoko (Arimura Kasumi) and son. He left after completing middle school to live in a messy one-room apartment in Rokugatsu-chō (June town).

Based on the novel "Gukoroku" by Nukui Tokuro, the live-action adaptation (also entitled like the novel) is a clash of two acting giants in Japanese cinema - Tsumabuki Satoshi and Mitsushima Hikari, playing siblings. Acting extravaganza aside, it's also the debut full-length film of Ishikawa Kei, who took film directing in Poland under a scholarship from the Japanese government. No wonder it was both supported by Warner Bros. Japan and Office Kitano and debuted at the 2016 Venice International Film Festival. 

Gukoroku: Traces of Sin - Review

The film opens inside a public bus where Tanaka (Tsumabuki Satoshi) was forced to get out of his seat to accommodate an elderly by a fellow passenger. He fell down immediately after, looking ill with a pronounced limp as he left the bus. The passenger who made him leave his seat looked pained and guilty. However, it was only 'for show' as Tanaka walked normally.

Gintama is a popular shounen manga that features the adventures of Sakata Gintoki and his makeshift family (Shimura Shinpachi and Kagura). The story is set in a parallel universe, in the Edo period. After an alien race called the Amantos invaded earth, humans waged war with them before the Shogunate decided to make peace. Under the Shogunate, the Shinsengumi work to maintain civilian order, thereby also inevitably becoming involved in the various troubles and adventures that Gintoki and his team are embroiled in.

Gintama - Movie Review

The love-hate relationship between the Shinsengumi and Gintoki is due to Gintoki’s past (which is not covered much in this film) and Gintoki’s missions against criminals, though they tend to ally with him due to the nature of his jobs. Several characters who were involved in Gintoki’s past, such as Katsura Kotarou and Takasugi Shinsuke, also make an appearance, but while Katsura maintains friendly relations with Gintoki, Takasugi aims to destroy the Shogunate.

Little Forest: Winter & Spring is the final installment of Igarashi Daisuke's manga about a young woman named Ichiko, who left the big city to settle down in her small hometown up in the mountains. Written and directed by Mori Junichi, it stars Hashimoto Ai in the title role, with Matsuoka Mayu, Miura Takahiro, and Kirishima Karen portraying supporting characters. 

LIttle Forest - Winter and Spring - review

The tale of this young woman as she adjusts to the different seasons while preparing her own dishes is a delightful viewing experience. The 2-part movie features postcard-perfect scenes of nature in the Japanese countryside.

Shochiku's A Tale of Samurai Cooking from director Asahara Yuzo (ably assisted by Inoue Masanori) mixes the celebration of Japanese food with political intrigues during the Edo period within the Kaga domain. Ruled by the prosperous and powerful Maeda clan, the movie brings to life the Funaki family and their invaluable services by way of cooking.

Bushi no Kondate - review

The film's title in Japanese is 武士の献立 - literal translation puts it as Warrior's Menu and A Tale of True Love and the movie is both. Starring Ueto Aya as Haru and Kora Kengo as Yasunobu, they play a couple brought together by 'delicious circumstances'.