Movies to watch August (part 1)

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This is the first part of the movies to watch of August. We hope the second part will arrive soon hereafter.

1) Attack on Titan/進撃の巨人 (Director: Shinji Higuchi; Release date: August 1, 2015)

After the successful anime that boosted the sales of the manga, Attack on Titan finally makes its way onto the big screen. Well, “finally”… . If one has followed the reactions following the release of this cinematographically re-imagining of a beloved anime, one can put that ‘finally’ finally in question: the film is dividing opinions. Even though it is very likely that Attack on Titan will become a box office hit, some people firmly believe the re-imaging destroyed everything that was great about Attack on Titan.

The fact that the movie is dividing opinions, is one of the reasons the movie made it to the ‘to watch list’ of August. It puts the following questions into play: does a live-action re-imagining of a manga/anime have to remain faithful to the source material? And what does the audience expect when seeing a live-action adaptation of an anime/manga? In what way does the experience of the narrative changes, if one hasn’t read or saw the manga/anime?

Nevertheless the main question, which answer will decide if the movie-adaption is a ‘good’ adaptation,  is if the core themes of the manga/anime are also underpinning the narrative of the cinematographical re-imagining. But a ‘good’ adaptation doesn’t equal a good cinematographical product per se. And likewise, a good cinematographical product isn’t necessary a ‘good’ adaptation.

The cast includes: Haruma Miura, Hiroki Hasegawa, Kiko Mizuhara, Kanata Hongo, Takahiro Miura, Nanami Sakuraba, Satoru Matsuo, Satomi Ishihara, Pierre Taki, Jun Kunimura, Rina Takeda, Shu Watanabe, and Ayame Misaki.

Official website: http://www.shingeki-seyo.com/index.html

2) Corpse Party/コープスパーティー (Director: Masafumi Yamada; Release date: August 1, 2015)

Like Attack on Titan, Corpse party is an adaptation. It’s not an adaptation of a manga/anime, but of a survival horror adventure dōjin soft video game series, which, to be complete, did spawn various manga’s and even some anime episodes.  The narrative begins when Ayumi Shinozaki (Nozomi Maeda), the horror buff class representative asks Naomi Nakashime (Rina Ikoma), Naomi’s childhood friend Satoshi Mochida (Ryosuke Ikeoka), and some other classmates to perform Sachiko Ever After together, so they would stay friends forever. Suddenly they find themselves at the haunted graduation ceremony of Heavenly Host Elementary School, a school which was forced to close after a series of gruesome murders. Is there a way out the haunted graduation ceremony?

The questions we posed in relation to Attack on Titan are thus also relevant concerning this cinematographic product. But another question should be posed: how can a cinematographical product overcome the fact that it can’t give the viewer the “active” position a game produces? Our answer is in a way predictable: the movie should be underpinned by the core themes of the source material and use the strengths of the medium to engender an active implication of the viewer. Is Corpse Party able to realize this or not?

Official website: http://cp-movie.jp/

Special mention

S: The Last Policeman: Recovery of Our Future/ S-最後の警官奪還 RECOVERY OF OUR FUTURE (Director: Shunichi Hirano; Release date: August 29, 2015).

Cast includes: Osamu Mukai, Gou Ayano, Yui Aragaki, Nao Omori,Hiroyuki Hirayama, Hiroyuki Ikeuchi, Tsutomu Takahashi, Kazue Fukiishi, Mayumi Asaka, Hirotaro Honda, Anna Tsuchiya, Masahiro Takashima, Masaomi Kondo, Daikichi Sugawara, Munetaka Aoki, Takuro Tatsumi, Joe Odagiri

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