Films produced by Fuji TV — one of Japan’s five national TV networks — have regularly hit the top of the box-office charts in the past decade. Fuji’s biggest franchise started in 1998 with “Odoru Daisosasen The Movie” (“Bayside Shakedown”), a thriller starring Yuji Oda as a rambunctious detective in the trendy Tokyo Bay area, who is constantly butting heads with the police bureaucracy. The sequel, released in 2003, raked in ¥17.35 billion — the highest total ever for a Japanese live-action movie.
Now, Fuji is celebrating its 50th anniversary with another film starring Oda and with executive producer Chihiro Kameyama at the helm. Kameyama is the head of the network’s film division and the mastermind behind “Odoru” and many other hits. Titled “Amalfi: Megami no Hoshu” (“Amalfi: Rewards of the Goddess”) and directed by TV drama veteran Hiroshi Nishitani, this big-budget thriller is not, like most networked-produced films, based on a popular TV show, best-selling manga or other pretested property. But it does include many elements of Kameyama’s past successes, while lacking those that Hollywood considers de rigeur.