The Pandemic might have dampened the soul, but the Japanese BL industry is going strong churning up a slew of new movies focused on portraying the various embodiments of LGBTQ+ relationships. With the release of niche films like “His” and “Sei no Gekiyaku – 性の劇薬 (2020),” Japanese filmmakers are moving more into uncharted territories with more diverse subjects varying from interpersonal relationships to sexual delights (read BDSM). For someone who enjoys watching mature performances instead of run of the mill college sojourns, these upcoming Japanese movies have certainly piqued my interest. Here’s a list of forthcoming Japanese BL with various storylines and equally interesting star casts.
—Edited by TheFNGee
Restart After Come Back Home (リスタートはただいまのあとで)
The tagline of this live-in adaptation of Cocomi’s boys love manga Restart wa Tadaima no Ato de sure explains alot. The trailer for the movie is now streaming on YouTube, and it takes you on a journey with our two main protagonists Mitsuomi Kozuka and Yamato Kumai.
The story unfolds as Mitsuomi Kozuka quits his city job due to differences with his boss. He returns to his hometown for the first time in 10 years. There, Mitsuomi Kozuka meets Yamato Kumai, who is the stepson of old man Kumai. Kumai runs a farm near the home of Mitsuomi Kozuka’s parents. Mitsuomi Kozuka and Yamato Kumai soon become good friends, but, one night, Mitsuomi Kozuka kisses Yamato Kumai while he is sleeping. The movie showcases their relationship as it changes from friendship to one of deeper intimacy.
The movie stars Yuuki Furukawa (Naoki Irie in Itazurana Kiss -Love in TOKYO) as Mitsuomi Kozuka and Ryo Ryusei (Daigo Kiryu / Kyoryu Red in Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger) plays Yamato. Ryuta Inoue, who has been served as the producer for Shokubutsu Zukan (2016) and Perfect World (2018), makes his directorial debut on the screenplay by Kumiko Sato (Tsuribaka Nisshi series).
The film is slated for release in 35 theaters across Japan on September 5th, 2020. The trailer certainly looks promising as it showcases the warm relationship between the two main leads as they rediscover love and the beautiful locales of Chikuma City and Ueda City in Nagano Prefecture add a natural charm, which is surely bound to win our hearts.
The Cornered Mouse Dreams Of Cheese (窮鼠はチーズの夢を見る)
What happens when you unknowingly fall in love with someone whom you never deemed fit for a relationship. The upcoming live-action film adaptation of Setona Mizushiro’s BL manga series “Kyuusowa Cheese no Yume o Miru” announced the film’s release on September 11, 2020. The trailer for this poignant love story is streaming on YouTube, and it showcases the painful journey of main lead Imagase Wataru as he fights for the love of his old crush, Otomo Kyoichi.
When Otomo Kyoichi’s wife starts to suspect that her husband is cheating on her, she hires a private eye, Imagase Wataru to investigate him. However, not only does Imagase know Kyoichi from college, but he’s had a crush on the man for years. Imagase gives Kyoichi an ultimatum: if Kyoichi wants to keep his cheating ways under wraps, then he has to give Imagase something in return. Imagase’s demands start with a kiss, but as the two men become entangled in each other’s lives, it soon becomes clear that maybe Imagase’s feelings aren’t one-sided.
The movie stars Tadayoshi Okura (idol group Kanjani Eight member) and Ryo Narita (Katsuhiko Teshigawara in Your Name) in major roles as the two male protagonists Kyoichi Otomo and Wataru Imagase. The film was originally scheduled to hit theaters on June 5th but has been delayed due to the COVID-19 outbreak, like many others.
The official website has posted a message of joy from Director Isao Yukisada:
Since the decision was made to postpone the release in May, we have received many comments from people who are looking forward to this film! Finally, it’s set to be released! I am extremely glad. I believe that love stories have the power to move people’s emotions at any time and under any circumstances. Through this film, I learned about a love feeling that I had never felt before. The entire staff and cast members are already excited to hear your thoughts on this film. I greatly appreciate your continuous support
I like this film’s premise because it promises an unusual dynamics between the two main leads. From grudgingly accepting Imagase’s demands to eventually falling in love with him, Otomo Kyoichi will have to choose between his wife and the one person who truly understands him. Who will he choose becomes the centerpiece of this love saga?
Love Stage!! (ラブステージ)
I’m absolutely in love with this movie’s beautiful poster. The live-action film adaptation of EikiEiki’s BL yaoi manga series Love Stage!! (ラブステージ, Hepburn: RabuSutēji) officially announced the film is slated for release on October 2nd, 2020. Love Stage is an unusual love story between main leads Sena Izumi and Ichijou Ryouma. The trailer for the movie is streaming online, and it does a hilarious take on the confusion that Sena Izumi faces when he unknowingly falls for IchijouRyouma after a chance encounter in childhood.
With a father who’s a singer, a mother who’s a movie star, and an older brother Shougo who’s the lead vocalist for the super-popular band “The Crusherz,” Sena Izumi—an otaku college student—is the only dull one born into this super-famous and talented family. He loves “Magical Girl LalaLulu” and is working hard to become a mangaka, but one day he winds up appearing in a TV commercial he just can’t turn down. There, he’s reunited with Ichijou Ryouma, the super-popular young actor he costarred with on a project ten years prior.
The movie has a stellar cast like Nakada Hiroki (Arasa-chanMushusei) and Sugiyama Mahiro (Kamen Rider Zi-O) in the lead roles of Ichijou Ryouma and Sena Izumi. The chemistry between the two handsome stars is quite pliable as their characters fight through various stages of denial before accepting their rampant feelings for each other.
The Night Beyond The Tricornered Window (さんかく窓の外側は夜)
Possibly the most anticipated Japanese BL of this year and adapted from the manga by Yamashita Tomoko, The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window trailer has already created a mass mania for this upcoming supernatural BL themed movie franchise. The 30 seconds YouTube video showcases the shy Kosuke Mikado’s ability to see ghostly spirits and his first chance encounter with Rihito Hiyakawa, his possible love interest, and a powerful exorcist.
Shy bookstore clerk Kosuke Mikado has the ability to see ghosts and spirits, an ability he wishes he didn’t have, since what he sees usually terrifies him. Rihito Hiyakawa, an exorcist whose supernatural powers are as strong as his social graces are weak, don’t seem to fear anything, mortal or otherwise. When this odd couple gets together to solve the bizarre cases that come their way, their work methods may not be entirely safe for work.
The film stars Masaki Okada (live-action Gintama, Space Brothers, Future Diary) as Rihito Hiyakawa and Jun Shison (live-action anohana, Ressha Sentai Tokkyūger) as Kosuke Mikado. Joining the cast is Yurina Hirate (live-action Hibiki: Shōsetsukani NaruHōhō film’s HibikiAkui), who will play the character Erika Hiura in the film. A key character to the story, Hiura looks like a normal high school girl, but can actually inflict powerful curses on people.
What draws attention to this film is the supernatural angle, which is quite different from the stagnant college-themed romances that are bombarding the international BL scene. Another major point is the presence of award-winning actor Masaki Okada who makes his BL debut with this wholly flavourful movie that promises thriller as well as romance. The movie is slated for release on October 30th, 2020 across cinemas in Japan.
Keep watching this space for further updates as Psychomilk promises to bring you Exclusive reviews on these movies.