Nobuhiko Obayashi

Nobuhiko Obayashi – Tenkosei: Sayonara anata AKA Switching – Goodbye Me (2007)

A self-remake of multi-award winning 1982 film by director Obayashi Nobuhiko, “Tenkousei” is about two junior high student switching body. A very unique, experimental film. Read More »

Nobuhiko Obayashi – Seishun dendekedekedeke AKA The Rocking Horsemen (1992)

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“Seishun-den Deke-Deke-Deke (The Rocking Horsemen)” (1992): Nobuhiko Obayashi’s comedy tells the story of a teenage boy living in Kagawa Prefecture in 1965 who hears The Ventures’ “Pipeline” and decides to form a band. It’s one of Japanese cinema’s best coming-of-age stories, and captures the cultural flux of the era with wit and insight rather than mere nostalgia. Look for current screen star Tadanobu Asano as the band’s lead guitarist. He was 19 at the time, appearing in his third film. Read More »

Nobuhiko Ôbayashi – Haishi AKA The Deserted City (1984)

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After reading a newspaper article about a town being destroyed in a fire, Eguchi begins to recall the summer he spent there writing his thesis. It’s a beautiful canal town, the “Venice of Japan.” As he arrives, he is greeted by the daughter of the Kaibara household, Yasuko. The rest of her family seems mysteriously absent. On his first night, Eguchi hears the stifled sound of crying. He attempts to find the source, and is soon drawn into the conflict that is tearing the family apart. While he likens the town to a dream, some of the inhabitants do not share his feelings. There is a sense of being stuck in time, with ruin and death the only future. Read More »

Nobuhiko Ôbayashi – Tenkôsei AKA Exchange Students (1982)

This hilarious movie catapults two youngsters hitting puberty into the opposite sex after a fall from which they recover in each other’s bodies. The timid sensitive girl becomes the effeminate insecure boy, and the unredeeming prankster becomes the loud clumsy girl with a chip on her shoulder. Both lead actors do tremendous jobs portraying the opposite sex, and often do so delivering more than a laugh. It ends in a bittersweet tone, but it is a really cute movie with hilarious moments. Read More »

Nobuhiko Obayashi – Cute Devil AKA Kawaii Akuma (1982)

Cute Devil (Kawaii Akuma) is a two-hour TV movie directed by Nobuhiko Obayashi that aired on Nippon TV on 10 August 1982.

It was based on The Bad Seed and starts with a brutal murder that was fairly shocking for network TV at the time and could be easily compared with the first murder in Suspiria. The movie moves on to be the story of a woman who has been released from a mental institution and is to reside with the murderous little girl and her mother in a secluded house. More cruel deaths occur and the mentally ill woman must convince those around her that the child is a psychopath. A pedophile also turns up to keep the proceedings lively. Read More »

Nobuhiko Ôbayashi – Hyôryu kyôshitsu AKA The Drifting Classroom (1987)

Nobuhiko Obayashi’s sci-fi fantasy (from a manga by Kazuo Umezu) about a middle school that gets transported by an earthquake to a strange and otherworldly landscape. Read More »

Nobuhiko Ôbayashi – Kare no ootobai, kanojo no shima AKA His Motorbike, Her Island (1986)

After being threatened by his girlfriend’s brother, Ko (Riki Takeuchi) goes on a trip on his Kawasaki to contemplate his options. He meets Miiyo (Kiwako Harada) by chance, and the two stay in touch. He later receives an invitation to her island, where he begins to teach her how to ride, and quickly falls for her. Miiyo is an extremely quick study, and the two are a well-matched pair. However, her obsession with motorbikes seems to be leading her down a dangerous path. Read More »