As we mentioned before, Japan can be painfully slow when it comes to releasing overseas movies. Disney’s Frozen doesn’t release here until this Friday, and Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg’s The World’s End, released in most countries some nine months ago, won’t arrive until next month.

Another late release is Kiss Ass 2 (Kick Ass: Justice Forever in Japan), which although shown in the West last summer, only made its way to Japanese theatres two weeks ago. And if you happen to live in a more rural part of Japan, forget about it. For example, Tottori Prefecture often has to deal with so-called nationwide releases never showing up in their part of the nation.

Tired of being treated as second-class movie-goers, a movement was started to ask for the showing of the latest Kick Ass movie in their land. And for such a job they called in Tottori’s greatest hero: Negiman (Green Onion Man).


Actually we use the term “hero” loosely. Going by his YouTube videos, Negiman seems to spend most of his time destroying the city of Yonago and shooting the pleasant smell of grilled onion from his head. However, when the evil Matsue Castle from Shimane Prefecture attacks, the leeky giant intervenes and saves the people of Tottori.

As such Negiman was chosen to be the leader of the Yonago Chapter of Justice Forever.


Excellent question! Let’s back up a little bit.

Tottori and Shimane Prefecture are both situated in the Chugoku region of Japan. This area is famous for not having much in the way of popular franchises. Or people, for that matter.

Things many people take for granted in other parts of Japan like Pizza Hut or Krispy Kreme are few and far between around there. Partly because of this there is a lot of rivalry between Chugoku’s prefectures over getting national and international chains to open shop as illustrated in this popular penguin meme.

As we can see from this image, the baby penguin (representing Tottori Prefecture) has none of these restaurants. Tottori has a particular chip on its shoulder against neighboring Shimane Prefecture for getting several things before them, such as a 7-Eleven and Starbucks. It seems even despite their own feelings of inadequacy, Shimane residents have a lot to be proud of compared to Tottori. The latest is being able to watch Kick Ass 2 on its nationwide 22 February, 2014 release date… six months after its theatrical release in the US and two months after it came out on DVD and Blu-ray.

Those lucky ducks!

Justice Forever: Yanago Chapter

Based in an area Gainax Shop, an exhibition of Kick Ass merchandise and comics was held to locally stir up interest in the film. Panel discussions were also held. Then at the Gainax Theatre a pep rally was held titled Tottori wants to see too! Pray for Kick Ass: Justice Forver Screening Rally. The event featured screenings of local films including Negiman seen above. Also, much like in the movie where Kick-Ass joins a group known as Justice Forever, Yonago City has started their own Justice Forever chapter headed up by Negiman himself.

After all was said and done, the movement was able to generate 100 signatures on a petition to get the film shown in Tottori. Word got to someone at Toho-Towa, the Japanese distributor of Kick Ass 2, who was touched by the moxie of these movie fans.

They released a statement saying “I’m moved by everyone’s enthusiasm. Right now we are making some adjustments to our screening locations.” They also added, “It’s been three weeks since the official release and the circumstances are tight, but I will do my best to have some good news to bring you!”

Let this be a lesson to all of us: Don’t just sit around wondering why nice things never come your way. Get out there and make it happen like the good people of Tottori did… and while you’re at it, try to aim a little higher than watching a movie from last year.

Source: Gainax via Narinari (Japanese)
Video: YouTube – yonagofilm, moviecollectionjp
Japan map: Wikipedia

In case you’re curious, here’s the entire Negiman saga.

Kick Ass 2 Japanese Trailer