A Whisker Away Review: Animated April

Back in 2020 “A Whisker Away” (Nakitai watashi wa neko o kaburu ) was meant to premier at the cinema in Japan and the USA but because of the Corona virus outbreak it was picked up by Netflix instead and premiered worldwide on Netflix. It was a blessing in disguise, as it allowed the film to be seen by a wider audience, and it’s a film that should be seen by as many people as possible for it’s charming, feel-good-factor and it’s rather attractive animation. It may not be the most visually impressive animated film to emerge out of Japan in the last five years, but there’s something about “A Whisker Away” that draws you in and keeps you invested in the narrative and the characters. Continue reading A Whisker Away Review: Animated April

Fantasia Festival Review: Tezuka’s Barbara

When this reviewer heard of the latest project “Tezuka’s Barbara” (2019) from filmmaker Makoto Tezuka, he was ecstatic. With such talents like star actress Fumi Nikaido, acclaimed cinematographer Christopher Doyle and film producer Adam Torel (best known for establishing Third Window Films), it sent this reviewer into hysterics. Continue reading Fantasia Festival Review: Tezuka’s Barbara

Fantasia Festival Review: Monster Seafood Wars

“Monster Seafood Wars” (2020) is directed by Japanese filmmaker Minoru Kawasaki; who is best known for making cult classics such as “Executive Koala”, a black comedy about a salaryman (who is also a koala) who faces an identity crisis and a murder charge when he is falsely accused for killing his wife; and two underdog sports films including “Calamari Wrestler” and “Crab Goalkeeper”. Continue reading Fantasia Festival Review: Monster Seafood Wars

Retrospective Review: Gaea Girls

If the term “women’s wrestling,” makes you think of the glitz and glamour of the Netfix show GLOW or even the women’s divisions of American promotions such as the WWE, then “Gaea Girls,” will be a shock to your preconceptions. Directed by Kim Longinotto and Jano Williams, this documentary exposes the brutal training regimes and initiations that young girls in Japan choose to face in order to earn their place performing in the hallowed ground of the squared circle. 

For decades in Japan, entire organisations have been dedicated to women’s wrestling, and drawing a rabid and predominantly female fanbase. Gaea Girls is built around one of the biggest names in the history of women’s wrestling, Chigusa Nagayo. Continue reading Retrospective Review: Gaea Girls