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'Kingdom': An admirable try at Chinese history

Film / Reviews Apr 17, 2019

'Kingdom': An admirable try at Chinese history

by Mark Schilling

Why should Japanese kids care about a manga set in China's Warring States Period, (475-221 B.C.)? The players and power struggles are hard enough for professional historians (and this reviewer) to grasp, let alone 10-year-olds. Yasuhisa Hara found a winning answer in "Kingdom," a manga ...

'JK Rock': A rock 'n' roll battle of the sexes

Film / Reviews Apr 3, 2019

'JK Rock': A rock 'n' roll battle of the sexes

by Mark Schilling

There are many Japanese musical films about aspiring rock and pop stars (though not Hollywood-style musicals, which are seldom made here.) Among the best-loved is "Linda, Linda, Linda," Nobuhiro Yamashita's 2005 film about four teenage girls who hastily form a band and wow the ...

Kengo Kora and the perfect period drama sword fight

Film Mar 27, 2019

Kengo Kora and the perfect period drama sword fight

by Matthew Hernon

'Game of Thrones" star Sean Bean is well-known for dying in almost everything he stars in. If you had to find a Japanese equivalent, though, it would certainly be Kengo Kora. Since his 2006 big-screen debut, the Kumamoto native has featured in around 50 films, ...