An ambitious high school freshman recruits three girls from her region to create an “idol” group from scratch in “Trapezium.”
CULTURE / Film
May 9, 2024
‘Trapezium’: Being an idol isn’t always a dream come true
The anime adaptation of a book by Kazumi Takayama, a former member of Nogizaka46, offers an authentic look at the pressures of show business.
A skeptical reporter (Yukichi Tanaka, right) about the existence of extraterrestrials travels to a self-proclaimed UFO city for a story in “Alien’s Daydream.”
CULTURE / Film
May 9, 2024
'Alien’s Daydream': Micro budget film delivers fresh takes
Yoshiki Matsumoto’s debut feature is an ambitious, multilayered essay on the UFO phenomenon with tongue firmly in cheek.
Four girls congregate at an empty swimming pool at their high school and discuss their lives in “Swimming in a Sand Pool.”
CULTURE / Film
May 2, 2024
‘Swimming in a Sand Pool’ takes rare dive into gender issues
Nobuhiro Yamashita draws appealingly natural performances from his cast of newcomers in the film adaptation of an award-winning play.
Ryohei Suzuki is plays assassin and detective Ryo Saeba in a new live-action "City Hunter" remake from Netflix.
CULTURE / Film
Apr 25, 2024
'City Hunter' manga hero drops the sexism for new live-action film
Lead actor Ryohei Suzuki says production had to strike a balance between his character's reputation and modern sensibilities.
Private detective Ryo Saeba (Ryohei Suzuki) goes beyond the call of duty to protect a client at a cosplay convention in “City Hunter.”
CULTURE / Film
Apr 25, 2024
A star turn isn’t quite enough to make ‘City Hunter’ soar
Ryohei Suzuki is in peak form as a lecherous private detective in an otherwise middling Netflix live-action manga adaptation.
The inhabitants of a tranquil mountain village see their local environment threatened by Tokyoites with plans to build a glamping site in “Evil Does Not Exist.”
CULTURE / Film
Apr 25, 2024
‘Evil Does Not Exist’ builds its dramatic tension to perfection
Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s nuanced drama deftly meditates on humanity’s complex relationship with nature.
In “Evil Does Not Exist,” Hitoshi Omika plays a single father and village handyman who a Tokyo company tries to recruit as the caretaker of a new glamping site that threatens the area’s natural environment.
CULTURE / Film
Apr 19, 2024
Ryusuke Hamaguchi ponders the dangers of disrupting the rural idyll
"Evil Does Not Exist," which delves into humanity's relationship with nature, was directly inspired by a collaboration with musician Eiko Ishibashi.

Longform

Things may look perfect to the outside world, but today's mom is fine with some imperfection at home.
How 'Reiwa moms' are reshaping motherhood in Japan