Anime enthusiasts and film buffs are in for a treat this coming November
“Once you overcome the one-inch tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films.” Prophetic to an extent, acclaimed South Korean director Bong Joon-ho (Parasite) seems to have been onto something, especially considering the vast amount of foreign films that have grasped the attention of the masses. K-dramas and Japanese anime, for example, are no longer niche interests reserved for the few. Instead, they are now mainstream releases on par with the best the dominant Western market has to offer.
And as the world of “amazing films” continues to grow and the “one-inch tall barrier of subtitles” becomes barely noticeable, here are six Japanese anime and live-action films coming your way this November.
The Tunnel to Summer, The Exit of Goodbyes
Winner of the highly coveted Paul Grimault Prize at the Annecy Festival (2023), “The Tunnel to Summer, The Exit of Goodbyes” is a sweet romantic young adult (YA) coming-of-age film that entwines two young high school students from different backgrounds with similar painful pasts.
The film leads two young people to Urashima Tunnel, a mysterious tunnel that can grant one’s fondest wish, but with a price. High school student Kaoru is plagued by a troubled past and fatefully teams up with Anzu, a girl who struggles to place obligations before her dreams. Destined to meet to unravel the mystery of the tunnel, Kaoru and Anzu learn about young love and bending time itself.
An Encore Film to be distributed by Warner Bros., “The Tunnel of Summer, The Exit of Goodbyes” will open on November 1 exclusively at SM Cinemas. The film is directed by Tomohisa Taguchi and the main characters in the movie are voiced by Ouji Suzuka and Marie Iitoyo.
The Boy and The Heron
From Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli, “The Boy and The Heron” follows a boy named Mahito (voiced by Soma Santoki) who enters a magical world with a talking grey heron after finding an abandoned tower in his new town. Yearning for his mother, Mahito ventures into a world shared by the living and the dead where death comes to an end and life finds a new beginning. “The Boy and The Heron” is a semi-autobiographical fantasy about life, death, and creation, and a tribute to friendship that can only come from the mind of Miyazaki.
The latest from Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli will open on November 29 in local cinemas nationwide.
City Hunter The Movie: Angel Dust
“City Hunter The Movie: Angel Dust” is the latest anime theatrical film produced by Aniplex and animated by Sunrise for City Hunter’s 35th anniversary. With the franchise’s main protagonist Ryo Saeba, the title involves an all-new drug named Angel Dust which is controlled by an underground organization that’s also covertly creating secret soldiers.
An SM Cinema exclusive on November 8, “City Hunter The Movie: Angel Dust” is directed by Kenji Kodama and features the voices of Akira Kamiya (Ryo) and Kazue Ikura as Kaori.
Tokyo MER: Mobile Emergency Room
“Tokyo MER: Mobile Emergency Room” is a live-action-packed film on the dangers that medical workers face as they set out to save 193 lives from a fire on the 70th floor of a Yokohama skyscraper. Based on the TV series of the same title, the movie adaptation deploys a team of emergency professionals on wheels formed by the Tokyo governor with one mission only: to prevent a single death.
“Tokyo MER: Mobile Emergency Room” hits Ayala Malls Cinemas on November 22.
Komada – A Whisky Family
In “Komada – A Whisky Family,” Kotaro (Kensho Ono), a novice editor for a web news publication, visits the Komada Distillery which is led by Rui (Saori Hayami) who recently took over the family business. The distillery works hard to reproduce its signature whisky, KOMA, which they had to stop making years ago. With the lack of financial support and the aftermath of an unforeseen disaster, backs are against the wall, and reviving the once-acclaimed whisky seems impossible. Rui, Kotaro, and the distillery supporters form an unlikely partnership to make an improbable dream come true.
“Komada – A Whisky Family” hits theaters in Japan on November 10. An international release is yet to be announced.
Godzilla Minus One
With various adaptations of the beloved yet feared kaiju sprouting left and right, with the likes of “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” and “Godzilla vs. Kong”—”Godzilla Minus One” is set to deliver a unique twist on a widely told story.
Takashi Yamazaki stands at the helm as the film’s writer, director, and project visual effects director. “Godzilla Minus One” takes place almost immediately after the nuclear tragedy in Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II. With the country vulnerable and on its knees, Godzilla appears not as a protector, but as a feral beast hell-bent on plunging the Land of the Rising Sun into further chaos.
“Godzilla Minus One” hits theaters in Japan on November 3 and is set for a U.S. release on December 1. An international screening is yet to be announced.