Abe no Seimei (Kento Yamazaki), an apprentice at a school of mystic arts, gets wrapped up in a murder investigation in “The Yin Yang Master Zero.”
CULTURE / Film
Apr 4, 2024
‘The Yin Yang Master Zero’: Imaginative action film casts a dazzling spell
Shimako Sato’s VFX-heavy, big-budget fantasy about practitioners of mystic arts goes beyond the genre standard.
Both Godzilla and Kong have a rich screen history to draw on, but “Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire” feels like a desperate attempt for the crossover franchise to justify both its existence and its continuation.
CULTURE / Film
Apr 4, 2024
‘Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire’: Running out of steam
The latest in the Warner Bros. Monsterverse franchise shows signs of an anemic imagination.
A poster for "Oppenheimer" is displayed at a theater in Tokyo's Shinjuku Ward on Friday. The film's Japan debut came eight months after its global release.
CULTURE / Film
Mar 29, 2024
'Oppenheimer' opens in Japan eight months after global release
Japan screenings were delayed as the worldwide premiere was only weeks before the anniversary of the 1945 bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Joel Vaudreuil's "When Adam Changes" won the grand prix at this year's Niigata International Animation Film Festival, the largest festival devoted to feature-length animation in Asia.
CULTURE / Film / CULTURE SMASH
Mar 28, 2024
Niigata film festival showcases cutting-edge overseas talent
The six-day event dedicated to feature-length animation presented a lineup of stories that were psychologically rich and emotionally dark.
Takeru Satoh (right) and Masami Nagasawa play an engaged couple whose relationship is put to the test by memories of an earlier romance in Tomokazu Yamada’s “April, Come She Will.”
CULTURE / Film
Mar 28, 2024
‘April, Come She Will’ promises more than it delivers
Tomokazu Yamada’s ruminative romantic drama sets out to interrogate love story cliches, but ends up succumbing to them.
Ryuya Wakaba plays a man determined to kill the person who murdered his girlfriend, only to find he’s stuck reliving the same day over and over with his foe still alive in “Penalty Loop.”
CULTURE / Film
Mar 28, 2024
‘Penalty Loop’: Murder on repeat loses meaning
Shinji Araki’s dark comedy about two antagonists stuck in a time loop is intriguing, but lacks logic and satisfying answers.
Directed and co-written by Sunao Katabuchi, animated film “In This Corner of the World” depicts the beauty of nature and the horrors of war with equal potency.
CULTURE / Film
Mar 27, 2024
Films that give the Japanese perspective of the atomic bomb
Movies about the nation's darkest days — in genres such as dramas, fantasies and anime — offer another side to Christopher Nolan's 'Oppenheimer' story.

Longform

Yayoi Kusama’s “Pumpkin,” once the victim of high waves that dragged it into the sea, sits at the end of a pier on the south side of Naoshima.
Why is the most exciting art in Japan so hard to get to?