'The Martian' has thrills for the sci-fi nerd in everyone

Feb 4, 2016

'The Martian' has thrills for the sci-fi nerd in everyone

‘The Martian” (released in Japan as “Odyssey”) is one of those movies where you kick yourself afterward for not having read the book first. Otherwise, you’ll be going into this unprepared for the blasts of wondrousness, which hit you right in the eyes and ...

Japan's epic samurai dramas are in a tight spot

Feb 3, 2016

Japan's epic samurai dramas are in a tight spot

Japanese can roughly be split into two camps: those equipped with an encyclopedic knowledge of history and those who have only a vague idea of who the samurai were or that a Shogun once lived in what is now the Imperial Palace. The history ...

Satoko Yokohama: The girl from Aomori taking on Japan's film industry

Jan 27, 2016

Satoko Yokohama: The girl from Aomori taking on Japan's film industry

The Japanese film industry is one of the most antiquated in the world. Well, that seems to be the general opinion among media pundits here. Those working in film are slaves, enduring terrifically long working hours; budgets are minuscule; old-fashioned apprenticeships still reign; and ...

'Paddington': Can the 'other bear' crack the Japanese market?

Jan 13, 2016

'Paddington': Can the 'other bear' crack the Japanese market?

‘I can’t pinpoint the exact reason, but Paddington remains a somewhat distant character for me.” So wrote teddy bear aficionado Satomi Terakawa in an email interview. Terakawa harbors a lifelong love for stuffed toy bears, and spent 15 years designing and making teddy bears ...

Brutal true story behind 'Moby Dick'

Jan 13, 2016

Brutal true story behind 'Moby Dick'

Finally we can start talking about something other than “the force” and how a guy in New York had his name legally changed to Darth Vader. “In the Heart of the Sea” is opening this weekend, and it’s an adventure story on a whole ...