JFF 2015 poster

The 18th Japanese Film Festival in Australia is launching in Sydney tonight and Melbourne soon after. The team at Hello Asia has come up with their list of ten movies from this year’s festival that you will have to see. From romantic comedies to stories of food and adaptations of popular manga, our list of movies from the Japanese Film Festival represents the best of contemporary Japanese cinema.


100 Yen Love

Ichiko is a 32-year-old woman who still lives with her parents and doesn’t have a real job. One of the few joys in her dreary life is watching Yuji train at a boxing gym close by. An encounter between the two sets a chain of events that leads to Ichiko’s metamorphosis. 100 Yen Love is an intriguing tale of an awkward woman and an awkward love affair.



Drawing manga can be the death of you. Moritaka Mashiro (Takeru Sato) is well aware of this, having witnessed his manga artist uncle work himself to death. He is determined to avoid the path his uncle walked, despite being a gifted illustrator, and spends his days drifting in mediocrity instead.


Flying Colors

Sayaka (Kasumi Arimura) was a loner in primary school, but finally makes friends when she enters middle school – since then, she has passed her days making up for lost time, cutting classes and going out with the girls.


Ghost In The Shell: The New Movie

Set after the events of Ghost in the Shell: Arise, the Prime Minister is assassinated in what is publicly described as the “greatest event since the war”. It is up to Public Security Section 9, lead by Major Motoko Kusanagi, to discover the true nature of the murder.


Initiation Love

It was love at first sight for university student Suzuki (Shota Matsuda) when he met Mayu (Atsuko Maeda) at a group date he wasn’t even meant to attend. Never popular with the girls, he was surprised when Mayu talks to him. The feeling seems mutual but Suzuki goes out of his way to win her over – from changing his clothes to drastically losing weight. After graduating, Suzuki takes up a job at a local office in Shizuoka. However, he gets relocated to the head office in Tokyo.


Midnight Diner

A small diner is located in a back alley of a shopping district. The diner opens up after midnight and its menu consists of only pork miso soup and sake. However, the mysterious proprietor of this establishment—known only by his title, “master”—can whip up just about anything at the specific request of his regular patrons.


Piece of Cake

Shino Umemiya (Mikako Tabe) is a young woman who is unable to keep a romantic relationship afloat, just like how she can never keep her houseplants alive. Leaving her violent boyfriend and another failed romantic affair behind, she moves to a new area to try and start afresh. One night, while admiring the garden next door, she meets the handsome man who lives there (Go Ayano). He’s friendly, good looking and has an easy smile — and she’s instantly infatuated. The stars seem to have aligned perfectly but things are rarely that simple…


Poison Berry In My Brain

30-year-old Ichiko Sakurai (Yoko Maki) has a chance encounter with Ryochi Saotome (Yuki Furukawa), a younger man she recently met at a party. She stands frozen, unable to decide whether or not to speak with him.


Princess Jellyfish

Tsukimi Kurashita (Rena Nounen) is a jellyfish otaku who has moved to Tokyo to become an illustrator. She lives in an old dormitory called Amamizu-kan with other otaku women who are all just as awkward as herself and have an aversion to pretty, trendy women.


When The Curtain Rises

Saori (Kanako Momota of Momoiro Clover Z) is a talented high school student who is stuck in a rut after having gone through another loss in a drama competition with her acting troupe. After the arrival of a talented and mysterious new teacher (award-winning actress Haru Kuroki) as an inspiration, she and her troupe are ecstatic to prepare as they again compete in another drama competition.

Catch the Japanese Film Festival in Adelaide October 30 – November 8, Sydney November 5 – 15 and Melbourne November 26 – December 6.

Visit Japanese Film Festival for more information and session times.