Justin’s Japan: Week One of JAPAN CUTS 2012 Serves Up ‘Love Strikes!’, Adult Anime

‘Love Strikes!’ has its U.S. premiere at New York’s Japan Society July 14. (© 2011 TOHO CO.,LTD. / TV TOKYO CORPORATION / DENTSU INC. / KODANSHA Ltd. / Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc. / Office Crescendo Inc. / PARCO CO., LTD. / Yahoo Japan Corporation / TV OSAKA CORPORATION / TV AICHI CORPORATION)

By JQ magazine editor Justin Tedaldi (CIR Kobe-shi, 2001-02) for Examiner.com. Visit his Japanese culture page here for related stories.

From July 12-28, Japan Society ushers in its sixth consecutive year of JAPAN CUTS: The New York Festival of Contemporary Japanese Cinema. Bigger than ever, JAPAN CUTS 2012 boasts the most feature films in the festival’s history: 37 full-length and 2 shorts, encompassing blockbusters, high-concept art house titles, mature anime, audacious documentaries, delirious rom-coms and a splatter of J-horror/gore genre busters. Running alongside the New York Asian Film Festival (June 29-July 15), which co-presents 12 films from July 12-15, JAPAN CUTS 2012’s selections sport the unyielding artistry and out-of-control eccentricity that define modern Japanese cinema.

“This year’s expanded and expansive edition of JAPAN CUTS reflects our (slightly maniacal) ambition to be the ultimate platform for Japanese cinema in North America—in the world perhaps?” says Japan Society’s chief film programmer and festival curator Samuel Jamier. “In this respect, the explosive, purposefully off-balance mix of dark-themed hard-core actioners, blockbusters, hit comedies, nano-budget indie titles and philosophical art house pieces emphasizes the wild diversity of the production in the archipelago, as well as its incredible resilience, despite the rise of its East Asian neighbors and the current severe economic conditions. We might not be solving the epistemological conundrum that is Japanese and world cinema (or event zombie apocalypse), but we’re giving it a good try.”

Upcoming events include the sold out Striking Love! JAPAN CUTS Opening Party following the July 14 screening of Love Strikes!, with an introduction and Q&A with star actress Masami Nagasawa (this year’s recipient of NYAFF’s Rising Star Asia Award) and an introduction and Q&A with Monsters Club director Toshiaki Toyoda for the July 15 screening.

For this week’s list of films, click here.