Giant Robot Store and GR2 News

  It’ll have a code that you need to enter in at the email address provided. Here’s more info: “This weekend a number of *very special* copies of Norwegian Wood will be hidden across Manhattan, giving you the chance to attend the New York Premiere with Rinko Kikuchi and Tran Anh Hung next Wednesday. Inside each of the books is a code and email address: just email the code and you’ll be entered into the competition. They’ll be placed at locations related to the film: a record shop, somewhere Beatles-y, a beautiful designer store… and will be easily identifiable by the Pick Me Up yellow sticker that is on the front.”
Continue reading

It wasn’t easy to pick the 10 winners of the tickets for two to see Norwegian Wood. There were 60+ entries for the ten spots. They were picked by me based on whatever criteria I felt at the moment. There isn’t a “if I write more, I have a better chance” system. It could be how I felt at that moment and your short poetic words caught me off guard, maybe that’s how I picked. If you didn’t get in, please try again during our next giveaway. Some of your words were too generic, in a “let me in” type of way, but if you offered just a little more, you were in the running. Here’s my picks. (I left the editing part out, some probably wrote from their smart phones and some carefully crafted their words)


The 100% Perfect Girl

I’m a huge Haruki Murakami fan. I have his more recent books but unfortunately haven’t read Norwegian Wood. I loved 1Q84. I just found out about this movie a week ago and was stoked. I’d love to attend and already know “the 100% perfect girl” who would be my date, as she’s a big fan too!
Greg Wong

-Greg, you are the dark horse, there are fans of all of his books, fans of the filmmaker, and fans of the actors who aren’t getting in, but this “100% perfect girl” is intriguing. If there’s such a thing for you and you know who she is, I’m picking you just on that merit, so hurry and ask her.



oh, let me count the ways…

it was the first murakami book i read almost 20 years ago. and i read it in a tiny, tiny city in southeastern japan, so that made it even more special. i lived a long time in japan, and his books kept me grand company as the still do today. in fact, i just re-read norwegian wood about a month ago and it’s still a lovely little tome to me.

i’m very excited to see this movie, especially because rinko kikuchi is in it.

flipping love her!

ALSO, i speak/read/write japanese, am a member of the Japan Society here in new york, and have always loved me some Giant Robot.

so in closing:

Jennifer Andrews

-Jennifer, Yes, we love her too. I doubt she loves us back the same. The GR plug, a great move. Have a great time.


Continue reading
New York Giant Robot readers and friends, Tran Anh Hung’s adaptation of Haruki Murakami’s Norwegian Wood is set to be released, but there’s a special screening. Send us just a bit of why you’d like to see this film to First 10 to qualify can go and see this movie. Wednesday, December 14, 2011. 7:00 pm Japan Society, 333 East 47th Street, New York City Followed by a Q&A with writer-Director Tran Anh Hung and Actress Rinko Kikuchi and a reception. Japan Society, Soda Pictures + Red Flag Releasing, and the Film Society of Lincoln Center, invite you and a guest to a screening of Norwegian Wood, the new film by Tran Anh Hung (Academy Award nominee for The Scent of Green Papaya and Golden Lion winner for CYCLO), based on the internationally acclaimed and bestselling novel by Haruki Murakami. Written and directed by Tran Anh Hung. Based on the novel by Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood. Starring Kenichi Matsuyama, Rinko Kikuchi, and Kiko Mizuhara. Cinematography by Mark Lee Ping Bin. Music score by Jonny Greenwood. Released by Soda Pictures + Red Flag Releasing   Norwegian Wood is a moving story of loss and sexuality set in Tokyo in the late 1960s against a time of global instability. Watanabe (Japanese star Kenichi Matsuyama, Death Note, Detroit Metal City) looks back on his days as a freshman university student living in Tokyo. Through his reminiscences, we see him develop relationships with two very different women, the beautiful yet emotionally troubled Naoko (Oscar nominee Rinko Kikuchi, Babel), and the outgoing, lively Midori (Japanese-Korean model-actress Kiko Mizuhara.) The film’s cinematography is by Mark Lee Ping Bin (In the Mood for Love, Devils on the Doorstep). Originally published in 1987, Murakami’s novel has since been translated into 33 languages and published in 36 countries. Vietnam-born and Paris-based writer-director Tran Anh Hung was nominated for an Academy Award for The Scent of the Green Papaya and won the Venice Film Festival’s Golden Lion for Cyclo. Norwegian Wood is his fifth feature. Norwegian Wood is scheduled to open in New York on Friday, January 6 followed by a national roll out.
Continue reading

The English publication of Haruki Murakami’s novel, 1Q84, is  beyond the horizon and the literary world is abuzz with excitement. As the name suggests, it takes place during 1984, a curious contemporary setting given that this was the same decade where Murakami’s career took flight. As many economic historians know, it’s also a period where Japan’s economic wealth was at its height before their economic bubble burst  and a recession stretched past the turn of the millennium. Writers and historians stress the monetary decadence of the 1980s, but there was more than just productional consumption at play. A closer look into the country’s “consumption of knowledge” reveals a lesser known account of Japan’s “intellectual” trends of the time and where Murakami fit into the picture.

Murakami wrote a collection with Shigesato Itoi titled Yume de Aimashou (Let’s Meet in a Dream) in 1981. Gamers are quick to recognize Itoi as the director of the Earthbound (Mother 2) video game. However, Itoi was renowned for neither work during his prime. It’s his position  as a copywriter that made Itoi a national celebrity–a Japanese Don Draper if you will–in the 1980s.  Itoi’s unlikely ascent to superstardom offers a greater insight towards Japanese commercial life during this decade and further aids us in understanding Murakami’s popularity–or what some have deemed the “Murakami Phenomenon.”

Continue reading
I stumbled on this the other day. It’s a cover Of Haruki Murakami on a Japanese magazine from 1983. Now graph out his bibliography and calculate its chronology in your head. At the time he only had a handful of short stories, two brief novellas, and A Wild Sheep Chase notched beneath his belt. This was well before Norwegian Wood. Before he made it big. It’s kind of surreal to see him this young.
Continue reading