Japanese Film Festival 2022 - Online

Wikipedia? :slightly_smiling_face:


Yeah, it’s tricky to learn Shogi in the beginning. I mostly learned from Wikipedia, looking at how the pieces move and some rules, but it may have been easier for me because I was already experienced in chess and other variants.
There is also an introduction series on Youtube by a Japanese person, Hidetchi, though it’s probably a bit aged by now, being 13 years old:

He is a legendary Shogi Youtuber, probably the first to make popular videos about the game in English.
His commentaries on classic Shogi games (some years or decades old, some hundreds of years old) are still fantastic and legendary though. (I wonder if there are popular modern Shogi Youtubers)

There’s also a great game on the Nintendo Switch, Kishi Fujii Sota no Shogi Training (棋士・藤井聡太の将棋トレーニング), which has bite-sized lessons, puzzles and challenges from a pro player, and I think sort of a single player campaign / career mode. You can play online versus others as well. The only problem is you’ll have to get it from the Japanese eShop with a separate Japanese eShop-Account on your Switch. (or as an import from play-asia, mind customs)

There’s also a free online shogi playing site now, lishogi.org (also has a ‘Learn’ page) - it seems to be the sister site to lichess.org, which is very established as a fantastic completely free chess playing site, even the strongest players play there sometimes. But there are many online shogi sites, I used 81dojo when lishogi didn’t exist yet.
So much for Shogi ^^

I just finished watching Her Love Boils Bathwater and… I was not prepared.
There are many things going on in this movie. When you think you know how it’s gonna go, another layer gets peeled back (and another onion gets peeled). Definitely moving, and very good.
Advice: Keep some tissues ready


I watched the first 30 minutes of Until the Break of Dawn and it didn’t really pull me in so I stopped it. I then watched the first 30 minutes of しあわせのパン and it’s a slower film, but I might come back to it tomorrow. Just not feeling like another 90 minutes right now, especially as I didn’t get much reading time last night and I wanna read my book :sweat_smile: It’s a very light, cheery type of story though, with some cute cinematography. Language wise it’s not very hard. I can see a lot of people liking it so even though I haven’t finished it yet, I don’t feel bad recommending it if you enjoy bright and cherry slice-of-life stuff.

Not sure if I’ll watch any of the other films. A lot of them seem like they’d be too emotionally heavy and that’s just not what I need right now.


I guarantee it would take Japan a lot more than 13 years to even consider changing the rules of shogi. :stuck_out_tongue:

Indeed. So many layers. Like an ogre.

Also, that very final scene, whew. Turns out the title is literal.


I watched “The Floating Castle.” It’s a big fun Sengoku era action/battle movie. Although it’s a period drama, it’s not tragic, and focuses more on the ridiculous situation of this completely unbalanced battle (500 vs. 20,000) and the ingenuity of the defendants. The rice dance scene was hilarious and I danced along in my chair while watching.

I watched with English subtitles. It’s a historical drama and there is no way I’m following this without help.


Just to add a bit to the ongoing Shogi discussion: There is a manga called 3月のライオン which features a Shogi player, and of course we have a book club for it: 3月のライオン (March Comes in Like a Lion) Book Club🦁🤓 - plus there is an anime available (I think of the first ten or so manga volumes?). It’s not really about how to play the game in itself (although sometimes interesting game situations are depicted and there is a page of text-only explanations of various things around the game), but I found it nice anyways. It has quite a slice-of-life feel to it too.


The first movie I watched was Time of Eve but I didn’t like it.

Today I started watching Ito and I enjoy it much more. The scenery is awesome. It plays in Aomori perfecture which is famous for its apples. This is why you see apples in the movie all the time.

How I know that? There was an article about Aomori apples in my last japanese test. :joy:


Very funny indeed! :joy_cat:

Do you know the manga “Flying Witch” by the way? She goes to Aomori for a school exchange year. There is even a chapter where they go to help on an apple farm :blush:
(Admittedly, this only happens in one of the later volumes, so it wouldn’t be worth reading it just for that, but it’s a very nice manga anyways, very chill and slice-of-life and easy to read imho.)


I watched the God of Ramen and suffice to say, I was not prepared. Talk about depressing, I even cried a bit. Not what I was expecting from the title. The IMDB summary called it heartwarming, and I suppose that if you squint a little you can see some traces of it; but it was one of the most heartbreaking “success stories” I’ve ever watched. The language was pretty simple, though I did use subs.

Gonna try Mio’s Cookbook next!


I watched Ozland this evening. I enjoyed it a lot, but… some thoughts:

(a) I think I’m getting a bit tired of the ol’ wax-on-wax-off-style training trope. “Have the main character do menial tasks until they’re completely demoralised, then just before they quit, suddenly reveal that it’s imparted them with some vital skill”? No. You want her to familiarise herself with the park by picking up garbage? You tell her you want her to familiarise herself with the park by picking up garbage.
(b) I feel like the climax relied a bit on Ozuka making some fairly ridiculous decisions at precisely the right time…

But yeah, it was fun overall. Quite surprised to discover that the theme park featured in the movie is appearing under its actual real-world name - they usually call them by some Bland Name equivalent. It was also nice seeing Hashimoto Ai in something else as well - just finished watching her in Amachan. :slightly_smiling_face:


Thanks for mentioning it! There’s only discussion for the first 2 volumes, but I’d love to pick it back up anytime there’s interest. I’ve read all 16 of them (FYI, anime ends in roughly the 9th Volume), and I keep rewatching the anime because it’s very good and the main character speaks very clear, standard Japanese, so it’s great for subtitle-free watching.


I just watched Ito and I liked it a lot. Once again I was fooled by the movie poster - I only started watching because maid cafes are one of those Japanese oddities that I can’t quite wrap my head around, so I thought I’d learn something maybe. Turns out, the movie wasn’t about a maid cafe at all. Sure, the cafe is the catalyst for the developments in the story, but one could argue that it is more a movie about the shamisen, about interpersonal relationships, self-expression, tradition vs modernity, countryside town vs big city, dialect vs standard language. The characters were all well-rounded, interesting, and likeable.

As far as listening goes, it takes place in Aomori and the fact that the main character speaks in rather heavy dialect is even commented several times within the movie. Some students are even shown to be studying Tsugaru dialect, which was more or less as incomprehensible to them as it was to me. The English subtitles tried to reflect this use of dialect by deliberately misspelling some words, using “ye” instead of “you” a lot, and even keeping words untranslated. I was very confused at first before I caught on.

Anyone know what this snack is that the grandma keeps offering to people? Dried mochi maybe?


I watched Masked Ward and Ozland…both held my attention and were fun. I like the variety, I’ll try to watch them all! Sometimes cheesier the better too.

I like the layout better than last year’s where I missed the endings due to time limits (!). I’ve had issues running it through Apple TV (2nd gen) though so have to use an HDMI out of a laptop, I usually don’t have trouble like when I use for Vicki or Crunchyroll, anyone else?


Probably their recording protection. Someone else said they only got a black screen on a TV. My browser screenshots are black as well.


Heh. I was planning on not watching that one because of the maid cafe.

Last time I couldn’t watch on my computer at all - they insisted on using Edge, because Chromium-based browsers had some kind of issue at the time (don’t recall what), but I wasn’t about to do that. Fortunately, the issue has been fixed this time around.


This was my first reaction too. Then I thought, why not have a look, see what those cafes are all about after all. Then I ended up being pleasantly surprised and actually enjoying it. Don’t let the maid cafe stop you from watching it, the “maid” part is just incidental.

To answer my own question, yes, these seem to be 干し餅, a traditional preserved food of the Tsugaru region. It’s basically mochi cut in rectangular shapes, tied with straws and hung outside to dry.


I just watched しあわせのパン and I indeed feel very 癒やされた. The language was overall unproblematic, too, though I probably benefit from having read the book. (Even if it’s been a while.) The hardest part was, as expected, the old couple coming to visit in winter with their dialect.

I was wondering what to watch next, so I’ll be making good use of everyone’s reviews. :slight_smile:


Tried to start Mio’s cookbook and ReLife but I’ll probably not continue with either of them. Mio’s cookbook has very nice photography but other than that it hasn’t managed to intrigue me so far. And ReLife seems to be exactly the kind of silly romantic comedy that I can’t stand (I may be wrong, as I stopped only 15 minutes in, but I don’t see myself continuing watching to find out).

Anyone know what countries Awake is available in? It’s the only one so far that’s giving me a “not available in your country” message. (and I’ve tried “travelling” to several)


Ooooh, that’s amazing, totally forgot that you can choose the country! :blush: For AWAKE, I had good results with South Korea. (Although maybe they don’t make it available because the internet speed might be too bad? :thinking:)

EDIT: Oh, and it’s also being hosted in Italy, that would make more sense for me tbh…


It’s on the list here in Australia, and it’s got a “Watch” button, though I haven’t actually tried watching it.