Japanese cinema

Belle – first-look review

By Hannah Strong

A teenage girl finds online fame in Mamoru Hosoda’s internet-age update of Beauty and the Beast.

Discover this postmodern, manga-inspired meditation on authorship

By Anton Bitel

Tezuka’s Barbara is a meta ode to the director’s late father, the ‘godfather’ of the Japanese graphic novel.

Anime Yasuke mixes African history with fantasy thrills

By Kambole Campbell

LeSean Thomas’ six-part animated series is an electrifying vision of a long-ignored legend.

Why Millennium Actress remains one of cinema’s greatest love letters

By Kambole Campbell

Media, memory and film history collide in Satoshi Kon’s time-bending story of a faded screen star.

Discover this early Samuel Fuller noir set in Tokyo’s criminal underworld

By Anton Bitel

House of Bamboo, one of the first American features to be shot in Japan, is as hard-boiled as they come.

The action-horror hybrid that took Asia Extreme to a whole new level

By James Balmont

Ryûhei Kitamura’s frenetic, crazily-ambitious cult favourite is low-brow filmmaking at its mind-boggling best.

How Mothra introduced a new breed of kaiju creature feature

By Anton Bitel

Godzilla creator Ishiro Honda’s globe-trotting adventure is a strangely sweet family adventure.

The story of Hayao Miyazaki’s forgotten Sherlock Holmes series

By Alistair Ryder

A copyright dispute around 1984’s ‘Sherlock Hound’ freed the Japanese animator to establish Studio Ghibli.

How Takeshi Kitano went from comedian to crime auteur

By James Balmont

With his yakuza thriller Boiling Point, “Beat” Takeshi staked his claim as a serious filmmaker.

Discover this era-spanning yakuza epic and its contemporary remake

By Anton Bitel

Kinji Fukasaku’s Graveyard of Honor and Takashi Miike’s 2002 update redefined the postwar Japanese gangster flick.

How V-Cinema sparked a Japanese filmmaking revolution

By James Balmont

The ’90s straight-to-video boom reinvigorated the industry and made stars of directors like Takashi Miike.

Watch: Yojimbo vs A Fistful of Dollars

By Leigh Singer

Our latest Remake/Remodel video essay analyses the impact of Akira Kurosawa’s samurai epic on Sergio Leone’s Spaghetti western.

Inside Satoshi Kon’s unfinished meta-nightmares

By Kambole Campbell

The anime master behind Paprika and Perfect Blue left behind several incomplete projects which could still be realised.

Whisper of the Heart remains Studio Ghibli’s most moving outlier

By Kambole Campbell

The first and only film from Miyazaki protégé Yoshifumi Kondo stands among the studio’s best works.

Discover this avant grade war drama 40 years in the making

By Kambole Campbell

Hausu director Nobuhiko Obayashi’s penultimate film, Hanagatami, is as surreal as it is moving.

The Japanese cult classic that paved the way for the modern female action hero

By James Balmont

In 1972’s Female Prisoner #701: Scorpion, Meiko Kaji emerged as a bona fide, badass star.

A new documentary revisits the Tokyo gas attack 25 years on

By Matt Turner

In Me and the Cult Leader, filmmaker and survivor Atsushi Sakahara confronts both his own trauma and that of a nation.

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Little White Lies was established in 2005 as a bi-monthly print magazine committed to championing great movies and the talented people who make them. Combining cutting-edge design, illustration and journalism, we’ve been described as being “at the vanguard of the independent publishing movement.” Our reviews feature a unique tripartite ranking system that captures the different aspects of the movie-going experience. We believe in Truth & Movies.

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