ALWAYS- SUNSET ON THIRD STREET- 2
Cast and Crew Reunite for Sequel to the Acclaimed Film… and Godzilla Tags Along for the Ride
Source: NTV (Nippon Television Network)
Additional Material: Keith Aiken
Official Site: Always 2
Special Thanks to Poo-Monologue, Norman England, and Shinichi Wakasa
One of the most highly acclaimed Japanese films has come back to the big screen as a sequel! With the same main cast and staff, another heartwarming story takes us back to the lively ‘Third Street’.
The drama ALWAYS- SUNSET ON THIRD STREET (Always San-Chome no Yuhi) was released in Japan on November 5, 2005. Not only was it a big box office hit with 2,840,000 admissions; it won many awards including the Japan Academy Prizes. The film became so popular that it triggered a national fad of nostalgia for the “Showa Era” of Japan [1926-1989] and the movie itself became a social phenomenon. The movie is based on Ryohei Saigan’s manga Sunset on Third Street (San-Chome no Yuhi), which is serially published in Big Comic Original by Shogakukan. The manga has sold over 18 million copies and is one of the most popular comics in Japan.
ALWAYS- SUNSET ON THIRD STREET is set in 1958 Tokyo. Norifumi Suzuki (Shinichi Tsutsumi) owns a small auto body shop named “Suzuki Auto”, where he works and lives with his loving family. One day, he comes back home with a new employee, Mutsuko Hoshino (Maki Horikita), who moves in with the Suzuki family. However, Mutsuko had expected that Suzuki Auto would be a big company so she is disappointed to see how small the shop is.
Meanwhile, Ryunosuke Chagawa (Hidetaka Yoshioka) lives alone across the street from Suzuki Auto. Chagawa is a writer of pulp fiction stories who runs a candy shop to make ends meet. He is asked by Hiromi Ishizaki (Koyuki), the woman whom he secretly loves, to look after a boy called Junnosuke (Kenta Suga) who has no place to go. Chagawa doesn’t want to live with Junnosuke, but he agrees to do so for Hiromi.
After a while, the two new residents become part of the close knit community of Third Street, but the situation changes when Junnosuke’s wealthy father Yasunari Kawabuchi (Fumiyo Kohinata) shows up to take his son away from Chagawa, and Hiromi suddenly disappears…
ALWAYS- SUNSET ON THIRD STREET was officially invited to 16 International Film Festivals in 13 countries & territories such as the Tokyo International Film Festival, Hong Kong International Film Festival, Nippon Connection, Far East Film Festival, New York Asian Film Festival, Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival, Göteborg Film Festival, Newport Beach Film Festival, and the Fantasia Film Festival.
The film has won 33 awards domestically and internationally , including 13 wins at the Japan Academy Prize where it was awarded Picture of the Year, Director of the Year, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Supporting Actress. ALWAYS- SUNSET ON THIRD STREET also won at the 30th Hochi Film Award, the 27th Yokohama Film Festival, the 48th Blue Ribbon Awards, the 2006 Elan D’or Newcomer Award, and was awarded 2nd place for the Audience Award at the Far East Film Festival.
And now, in response to popular demand, ALWAYS returns to theaters with a new chapter: ALWAYS- SUNSET ON THIRD STREET- 2 (Always-Zoku San-Chome no Yuhi).
The same cast and crew return from the first film. Director, writer and director of special effects Takashi Yamazaki (RETURNER, JUVENILE, THE iDol) and actors Hidetaka Yoshioka (RHAPSODY IN AUGUST, THE HIDDEN BLADE, the Tora-san series), Shinichi Tsutsumi (LORELEI: THE WITCH OF THE PACIFIC OCEAN, SUMMER OF UBUME), Koyuki (PULSE, THE LAST SAMURAI, BLOOD: THE LAST VAMPIRE), Maki Horikita (SHIBUYA GHOST STORY, HINOKIO, ONE MISSED CALL: FINAL), Masako Motai (MY BOSS MY HERO), Kenta Suga (GODZILLA: FINAL WARS), Tomokazu Miura (THE TASTE OF TEA, THE INCREDIBLES Japanese dub), and Hiroko Yakushimaru (GI SAMURAI, LEGEND OF THE EIGHT SAMURAI) are appearing again for the sequel, joined by a stellar new cast to depict a heartwarming story set in 1959 Tokyo. ALWAYS- SUNSET ON THIRD STREET-2 is a moving story of hope for all audiences.
Spring, 1959… four months after the events of the first film. The Olympics in Tokyo has officially been announced, and Japan is about to take its first step into a period of high economic growth. Chagawa has been living with Junnosuke but is still unable to forget Hiromi, the love of his life who had left Third Street without a word. One day, Kawabuchi returns to take Junnosuke away. Chagawa is given permission to take care of Junnosuke on the condition that the child enjoys an ordinary standard of living. To prove himself to Kawabuchi and to show Hiromi that he has become a better man, Chagawa begins to write a literary piece to win the Akutagawa Prize, a dream that he had given up long ago.
Meanwhile, at Suzuki Auto, Mutsuko has learned her job and the company has been growing steadily. One day, a new member joins the Suzuki family. Because a cousin of Norifumi’s had gone bankrupt, the Suzukis agree to take in the relative’s daughter, Mika (Ayame Koike). Norifumi’s son, Ippei (Kazuki Koshimizu), is against the idea, but Norifumi, his wife Tomoe (Hiroko Yakushimaru) and Mutsuko welcome Mika warmly. However, Mika, who had been brought up in comfortable circumstances, cannot stand the Suzuki family’s modest lifestyle. She is bewildered by her new life without such neccessities as servants, a nanny, or a piano.
Also, the familiar faces such as Dr. Shiro Takuma (Tomokazu Miura) and Kin Ohta (Masako Motai) at the tobacco store are still around, joined by new members such as Mutsuko’s childhood friend Takeo Nakayama (Yosuke Asari) and others, and it appears that the Third Street neighborhood is still bustling with warm-hearted exchanges and lively activity.
One surprise in ALWAYS- SUNSET ON THIRD STREET-2 has generated a lot of excitement. Early in the film there a brief “imaginary sequence” in which Godzilla appears. The monster wipes out Third Street with one sweep of his massive tail and then destroys the newly-completed Tokyo Tower with his radioactive breath. Adding to the fun, Godzilla’s rampage is accompanied by composer Akira Ifukube’s classic “Godzilla Theme” (play Track One here for an audio sample).
For the first time in a Japanese feature film, the King of the Monsters was created completely via computer animation rather than the traditional suit techniques used in the Godzilla series. Godzilla’s appearance was a closely guarded secret that has delighted Japanese audiences, including Toho’s monster maker Shinichi Wakasa (the Millennium Godzilla series). “The opening Godzilla sequence in the movie is very, very well made,” Wakasa said. “That’s a great scene!!!”
ALWAYS- SUNSET ON THIRD STREET-2 premiered at the 20th Tokyo International Film Festival on October 22 and opened nationwide in Japan on November 3. The first US screenings took place at the 2007 American Film Market in Santa Monica, CA beginning on Friday, November 2.
ALWAYS- SUNSET ON THIRD STREET-2
2007 / 146 min / Color
Screen Size: 2.35:1
Japanese Theatrical Release: November 3rd, 2007
Original Story: San-Chome no Yuhi (Shogakukan Big Comic) by: Ryohei Saigan
Director and VFX: Takashi Yamazaki
Screenplay: Takashi Yamazaki・Ryota Kosawa
Music by: Naoki Sato
Theme Song: “Toys Factory” by Bump of Chicken
Executive Producers: Shuji Abe / Seiji Okuda
Production: Yoshinobu Kosugi / Osamu Kamei / Yoshinari Shimatani / Fumihiro Hirai / Yuji Shimamoto / Shinichiro Nishigaki / Noboru Osuki / Tatsuo Shimamura / Tsutomu Takano
Producers: Chikahiro Ando / Shinpei Yamagiwa / Nozomu Takahashi / Takaya Kurata
Co Producer: Keiichiro Moriya / Ayao Ueda / Masakazu Kubo
Associate Producers: Masaki Koide / Takashi Kamikura / Nobumasa Sawabe
Cinematography: Kozo Shibasaki
Lighting: Kenichi Mizuno
Sound Recording: Hitoshi Tsurumaki
Production Designer: Anri Jojo
Props: Tetsuji Tatsuta
VFX Director: Kiyoko Shibuya
Editor: Ryuji Miyajima
Sound FX Design: Kenji Shibasaki
Assistant Director: Naoki Kawamura
Production Manager: Kentaro Kaneko / Go Abe
Casting: Chiko Obata
VFX Production: Shirogumi
Planning & Production: ROBOT
Production Companies: ALWAYS –Sunset on Third Street- 2 Film Partners
NTV / ROBOT / ＳＨＯＧＡＫＵＫＡＮ / VAP / TOHO / DENTSU / YTV / THE YOMIURI SHIMBUN / SHIROGUMI / IMAGICA