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Archive for November, 2013

Orochi_the_Eight-Headed_Dragon

In the ancient kingdom of Yamato, two princes are born. The Emperor’s advisor, a dark sorcerer named Tsukinowa tells him that having twins is a bad omen and that one of them should be killed.  It is ordered that the youngest son Ousu is to die and he is taken by Tsukinowa to a very tall cliff and dropped. However, the goddess Amaterasu isn’t happy with this and sends her White Bird Of Heaven which catches the young baby as he is falling and flies him away to safety where Ousu is raised by his aunt with two men Seiryu and Genbu who will guard him at all times.  As Ousu turns 10, he receives a magical amulet that gives him tremendous power when he grows angry and he learns that his destiny is to become a warrior for the gods. When Ousu enters adulthood, his father the Emperor takes him  back into his court even though he is still suspicious of him. Tsukinowa tries again to kill Ousu but this time the power of the amulet protects him and he transforms into a wild man. He is later accused of murdering his brother and mother. Desperate to rid himself of Ousu, the Emperor orders him to go to the kingdom of Kumaso to kill the King, a rival of the Emperor. He is accompanied on his journey by Seiryu and Genbu and they meet the beautiful young priestess Oto Tachibana who joins them and has a talent for shooting fireballs from her hands. Meanwhile in outer space, a large ice crystal is heading towards the Earth. Inside the crystal lies the body of the dark God Tsukuyomi who was imprisoned in the structure and sent into deep space. Thousands of years previously Tsukuyomi assumed the form of Orochi, an eight headed dragon to try and destroy the Earth. He was foiled but now he is coming back and is after his dark sword which can give him his full powers back.  Back on Earth, Ousu manages to kill the King of Kumaso and is ordered by his aunt to retrieve Tsukuyomi’s dark sword. It is then that Ousu’s destiny is revealed and that his true mission is to save the planet and stop Tsukuyomi.

This is a very entertaining fantasy/kaiju movie by Toho Studios which reminded myself of some classic Ray Harryhausen productions.  Directed by Takao Okawara who helmed  a couple of the Heisei Godzilla movies, this movie has the same style as them and even features 3 kaiju as Ousu battles a monster made of molten iron which is really impressive, a huge tentacled creature and Orochi himself who looks like the bigger cousin of King Ghidorah (Orochi has 8 heads, 2 more than King Ghidorah). By the end of the movie, the plot veers from fantasy into tokusatsu territory as Ousu transforms into a giant robot complete with a lightsaber-like weapon to fight Orochi. The story is based on a mixture of ancient legends (including Arthurian and Greek) but is mostly on Japanese Shinto mythology as the first scene talks about how the gods gave birth to the islands of Japan.

Orochi screenshot

It’s got all the ingredients of a good fantasy movie but with a little bit extra thrown in. If you’re idea of a fun movie is about a handsome hero who turns into a beast when he’s mad and can shoot lasers from his eyes but who also has to battle various monsters with a dash of some HK wire work then this will be for you.  It’s got some cool special effects and it looks great visually – obviously a sizeable budget has been given as the production values are high. It looks better than many current movies which use awful CGI effects. The choreography for the fight sequences are good and exciting.

The acting I wouldn’t say it particularly strong but viewers with a sharp eye will notice a young Abe Hiroshi as the human incarnation of Orochi. He’s probably the best out of all the cast. There’s hardly any character development but not to worry as in this type of movie it’s hardly necessary.

This was supposed to be the first in a trilogy of movies but sadly it didn’t do as well as expected in Japan so the other 2 planned movies were scrapped. That’s a bit of a shame considering how much I enjoyed this movie as I would have liked to have seen further adventures with Ousu.

Those that enjoy classic fantasy tales such as Jason And The Argonauts will love this movie even if the boundaries of fantasy is blurred a little bit with tokusatsu. I found the movie on the whole to be very entertaining.

Sadako’s Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

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It is 1962 and 22 year old Kenichi Horie is bored by the rigidness of Japanese society. He longs for a challenge and an adventure so he concocts a plan to sail in his small boat The Mermaid from Nishonmiya Harbour, across the Pacific Ocean and hopefully arrive at San Francisco. His plan is fraught with difficulties to begin with as the Japanese government has banned any small boats from leaving the country so under the cover of darkness one evening and with his boat fully loaded with supplies, Kenichi sets off on his long voyage. Soon he has left Japanese waters and he discovers the fury of the Pacific when a big storm batters his small boat. The onset of cabin fever takes effect on the young man as things go wrong for him and he thinks about the struggles he had in trying to convince his parents to let him do the trip. As the days turn to weeks, Kenichi starts to lose his sanity as food and water supplies dwindle down. Will Kenichi manage to reach his goal of arriving in America?

Based on a true story, this is director Kon Ichikawa’s account of one young man’s journey to become the first Japanese man to sail solo across the Pacific using only wind-power and reach America. Ichikawa had direct access to Horie’s actual logbooks charting his journey so what we have is more or less an accurate representation barring some dramatic licence of what he experienced during the 90 days or so he was on the high seas. It’s a remarkable voyage for a young man and amateur sailor who was desperate to break free from the confines of Japanese society where you are expected to conform to certain standards. To a lot of Japanese boys in particular, their future has already been mapped out by their parents – do well in school, go to a good university and join the adult world as a salaryman. To Horie’s credit, that type of life didn’t appeal to him. Horie’s stubbornness to go ahead with the journey despite opposition from his family and friends may seem stupid especially since group harmony is very important in Japanese society and to upset that balance by going against the grain is something that is frowned upon. The movie shows the meticulous planning that Horie did before setting off from purchasing canned food, liquids and maintenance tools but nothing could prepare him for the loneliness he encounters from being all alone on the ocean waves, unforeseen accidents and sleep deprivation. Even Mother Nature throws everything she can at him during the trip. It didn’t help matters that Horie was a relatively inexperienced sailor so it was nice to see that despite everything that could go wrong (and does go wrong!) he does triumph as his ship emerges from sea mist at night and he can see the lights of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge in front of him.

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What you’ll find surprising is Horie’s achievement was rightly celebrated in America where he was eventually given the key to the city of San Francisco but over in Japan there was nothing at all. To the people there, he had broken a rule of not obtaining permission to go on his trip. What is strange is whilst the actual event at the time might not have captured the Japanese public’s imagination, when this movie was released they loved it…………….although there’s a theory that it could have been that way because the actor playing the lead role was very popular with men and women!

As this was a solo trip undertaken by Horie, director Kon Ichikawa had what would have been long periods of silence in the movie broken by Horie talking to himself so that he can keep the viewer informed about what on his mind. The story is also split between what is happening on the voyage and flashbacks before Horie’s trip when he butted heads with his family especially his father. Yujiro Ishihara gives a very good and convincing performance as Kenichi Horie who goes through the wringer in this tale from a confident adventurer in the beginning to a gibbering wreck who was losing his sanity.

Overall, I rather enjoyed this recreation of a dramatic true journey by a young man who found the freedom he desired on the ocean rather than in his homeland. Well worth watching.

Sadako’s Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

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Silmido (2003)

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The year is 1968 and a 31 member crack commando team from North Korea has covertly crossed the border over to the South to carry out a mission to assassinate the South Korean dictator President Park Chung-Hee but they are discovered and killed. The South decide to retaliate and carry out a mission of their own to kill the North Korean leader Kim Il-Sung. The 31 member team will comprise of criminals on death row who will be trained by the army on the secretive island of Silmido and have the code name of Unit 684. 2 years of intense hard training takes place on the island and the date on which the mission takes place is set but just as the men who are eager to put into practice what they’ve been learnt are ready to go the mission is scrapped as relations between the North and South get better. The government decides to abandon the project leaving the men effectively prisoners on the island. There are darker plans to kill all the men in Unit 684. Failure to do so would mean the deaths of all the training officers. The men revolt, kill their training officers and make their way to the South Korean mainland. Their plan is to try and talk with the President to air their grievances. They steal a bus full of passengers and head for Seoul but will they reach their objective of seeing the President?

This is a brilliant movie based on a real incident which has become a stain in South Korean history that would have otherwise been swept under the carpet and forgotten about had it not been for a prisoner who became intrigued by a fellow inmate’s story about Silmido. The prisoner dug a little more into the story and this eventually spiralled into a best-selling book about a top secret government project.  This movie is a story about the controversial project. Naturally it isn’t 100% historically accurate as the filmmakers have used some dramatic licence to make it more interesting. If this movie makes you think it’s a little bit like The Dirty Dozen you’d be right about that but this is so much more. It’s a historical story about what was going on in the Korean peninsula at the time. South Korea had a military regime in charge during the 60’s, 70’s and part of the 80’s. Their attitude was to try and destroy their communist neighbours at all costs without taking up arms and declaring war of course. These days South Korea is a successful democratic nation but the people still remember the dark days of the past.

Silmido screenshot

This is a mostly male testosterone/patriotic movie with hardly any females featured. The first half of the movie brings the 31 criminals together and their harsh training on Silmido. We’re talking hard, intense, gruelling in-your-face stuff here where the weak don’t survive and this does happen when we see one of their members die (in fact 7 of the company eventually die).  The brutal training is all for the sake of creating the perfect soldier. Any ill-feeling that any of the members have with each other gradually disappear over time as they begin to bond and form a tight unit who are all united and are prepared to sacrifice themselves if necessary for the sake of their nation. The word “loyalty” gets spoken a lot throughout the movie. The team are shown improving their skills in all aspects such as being hopeless in shooting guns to becoming experts at hitting targets with deadly accuracy. They are now a highly polished killing-machine who are desperate to go on their mission more than their superiors so when it is scrapped all that training goes down the tubes. Discipline becomes ragged among them and it’s as if they don’t give a damn anymore and who can blame them. There’s a rather unsavoury scene as two of the soldiers disappear and rape a nurse which I think was a bit unnecessary and it’s made worse by the fact that one of the characters was rather likeable. The movie veers toward the dramatic in the second half as the unit break free from their imprisonment on Silmido island and head for Seoul. It ends in a shootout between government forces and the soldiers on a bus which is full of passengers. It was shameful that the soldiers had been pushed into this situation thanks to their own government who thought they could be gotten rid of easily as if they didn’t exist in the first place. Their attitude was eliminate them all and nobody will know anything about it and that’s what would have happened if it wasn’t for the book which exposed everything.

The acting from the cast is very good with the movie focusing on 2 individuals in the unit more than any of the others namely gang-leader Kang In-Chan and Han Seung-Pil. You will see some stock characters amongst the unit as well that you’ve probably seen in many war movies. I felt that it wasn’t the soldiers that stood out in the movie but the character of Choi Jae-Hyun, the head of the training officers in charge of shaping the soldiers . Don’t expect to see any character development taking place in the movie.

I thought this was a fantastic historical movie which was brilliantly directed by Kang Woo-Suk. The mix of drama and action works well. It’s a tragic tale set amidst the political machinations of South Korea during the late 60’s. This is high quality cinema and if you want to learn something about Korea’s sad past then go and check it out.

Sadako’s Rating: 4 stars out of 5

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Pandemic (2009)

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A young ER doctor at a hospital by the name of Matsuoka receives a male patient who seems to be displaying the classic symptoms of flu. However, the tests they do come back false. Soon enough the man begins to bleed from the eyes and nose before convulsing and finally dying. This is only the start as many people start to become infected with this deadly virus which is given the name BLAME by the newspapers. All the early signs point to a poultry farm where the chickens there have died in large numbers. A recent outbreak of bird flu has happened in the Phillipines and infected chickens from the country have been transported to the farm in Japan. The World Health Authority sends a team to tackle and isolate the virus led by female doctor Eiko Kobayashi . She asks Matsuoka to assist her team and though he is reluctant at first (as there is a past history between them) he relents in the end. A hospital is placed under quarantine as more patients start to die but the problem isn’t confined to one city as the virus spreads all over Japan. After rigorous tests, it is discovered that the virus may not be bird flu after all but something far more deadly that could bring mankind to it’s knees unless an antidote is found. Society falls to pieces in Japan. The race is on to find where this new virus has originated from and to find a vaccine that can stop it.

This movie gives us the frightening premise if a new deadly virus would begin to spread around the population and how unprepared we are should the unthinkable happen. Japan has tackled this genre before in the 80’s with the movie Virus but with the threat of new diseases such as SARS which has appeared in the last 15 years this was director Zeze Takahisa’s chance of giving a new slant on the genre. Part disaster movie, romance and thriller, it has an interesting story though hardly original with plenty of tension and suspense as the infection takes hold on Japan. It’s also quite believable too as what takes place in the story could actually happen. Usually in these kinds of movies the focus is more on the military declaring martial law and taking over operations but thankfully that doesn’t happen here. There is a military presence in the movie but it mostly focuses on the medical team trying to find a cure which makes it rather refreshing.  There’s a good balance in the story between dramatic set pieces and drama between the characters as they desperately search for anything that will narrow down the source of the disease. At times it seems like no cure will be found as each strand of investigation draws a blank until a trip to a small Asian island leads to a breakthrough. There’s a rather pointless romance sub-plot going on between Eiko and Matsuoka. He was her student at medical school some years ago and then they got involved with each other but as Eiko was ambitious she left Japan and left Matsuoka heartbroken hence the reason for his initial frostiness towards her. There are plenty of scenes showing the breakdown of society as more and more people start to die from the disease. A backlash even starts against the owner of the chicken farm Shosuke Kamimura by his neighbours where his entire stock has died. The poor man cannot handle the shame and stress. He is found dead having hanged himself in his barn by his own daughter even though the disease has nothing to do with his birds after all. The doomsday images of empty deserted city streets are very eerie and hospitals begin to overflow with sick and dying people. The doctors have to make a decision to only treat those who have a chance of survival and let the others die which is quite a scary scenario.

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The biggest gripe with this movie is there’s too much melodrama and crying going on and it runs a little bit too long at 2 and a quarter hours. I did groan at the miraculous sight of snow falling on the night the medical team find a cure for the disease. Thought that was a bit tacky to be honest. Satoshi Tsumabuki takes the leading role of Matsuoka and he gives a strong performance alongside Rei Dan as Eiko Kobayashi. They make for a good pairing together and handle the medical scenes very well. There’s even time in the story to see the background between the two of them in the past. The supporting cast are good but I did it find it rather strange how a hospital is filled with so many attractive staff!! Comparisons with the US movie Outbreak will of course be made and to be honest I do prefer that movie to this one. As this movie features scenes set inside a hospital, do expect to see some scenes with bloodletting. I’m just saying that in case some viewers out there don’t like the sight of blood.

Overall, Pandemic is a fairly standard disaster movie. The story is gripping, it never gets boring and the cast perform well in their roles but in the end it’s nothing that you haven’t seen before. It’s worth taking a look if you like this type of story.

Sadako’s Rating: 3 stars out of 5

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The Yellow Sea (2010)

The Yellow Sea (2010)

Gu-nam is an immigrant living in China with a job as a taxi driver but he spends all of his wages at a gambling den in order to pay off his debts that have built up since his pretty wife fled to South Korea. With his debt growing and with some hoodlums after him for not paying them back, a local crime boss Myun-ga offers Gu-nam a chance to settle everything but to do so he must travel to Seoul in South Korea to kill somebody on his behalf. He’s reluctant at first but seeing as this is an opportunity to track down his errant wife he takes up the offer. He has a number of days to carry out his task, find his wife and he must cut the person’s finger off as proof that he’s successfully completed the murder. Gu-nam once in Seoul checks out where his target is living and what time he goes off to bed before planning the murder carefully. On the night he hopes to kill the man, he finds a rival gang has already beaten him to it but still he goes ahead and cuts the man’s finger off before fleeing. The police after seeing some CCTV footage name him their prime suspect and hope to capture him but Gu-nam has another problem as well as the rival gang also want to track him down. With so many obstacles in his path, will Gu-nam be able to find his wife and manage to get back home to China safely?

Coming from Na Hong-jin who directed the brilliant The Chaser movie is this awesome and expertly crafted thriller. It’s good to see that he’s managed to maintain the high standards in that movie and woven another gripping storyline which is full of brutal hardcore violence involving knives. The movie is broken down into two parts: the first deals with the grimy and depressing background of Gu-nam and why he’s forced to take Myun-ga’s job. Gu-nam is a man you’re not sure which side of the fence he’s sitting on – is he a decent man or a nasty person? But even if the viewer questions his dodgy beliefs he’s still someone you root for in the movie especially when he is betrayed. Whilst the first part is important for us to know what kind of a man Gu-nam is and the circumstances for taking on the killing job, it’s after he travels to Seoul and sets on working out his plan to assassinate the man that the excitement and suspense for the viewer begins. It’s a movie that starts out slow enough but builds up very nicely to an incredible finale. The pacing is perfect and you will be left on the edge of your seat when Gu-nam’s well laid plans go awry through no fault of his own. It’s just that other people also have their eye on Gu-nam’s target and beat him to the punch.

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There’s no shortage of exciting and nail-biting chase sequences to keep the viewer on the edge of their seats. The director uses hand-held camcorders to put you right into the heart of the action. I don’t really mind this method if it works incredibly well and the results in this movie speak for themselves but I’ve read from other movie fans that hate this technique. I’ve mentioned above that there’s some violence in this movie and I suppose I’d better warn those who hate the sight of blood should be prepared to some major bloodletting. The knife/hatchet fights that take place is incredibly violent and it doesn’t shirk from showing it in all its visceral glory. This is a very long movie. The running time is just over 2 and a half hours but because the storyline is totally engrossing and hooks you in, I doubt you’ll even notice that so much time has passed from the start of the movie to the end credits. It’s credit to the fantastic script that’s been written and the first rate directing ability of Na Hong-jin for giving the viewer such an unforgettable and rewarding experience. There’s a bit of history to this story too as Gu-nam is a Joseonjok. They’re people of Korean descent who live in China and they suffer all kinds of abuse due to their feeling of not belonging and unwanted by Korean people. This ill feeling against the Joseonjok people by the Koreans is allegedly on the rise. And for those wishing to know about the title of the movie – it describes the stretch of ocean between Eastern China and the Western Korean peninsula that Gu-nam travels on to his mission.

The cast for the movie is excellent. If you’ve seen The Chaser you’ll see that two of its stars have reunited with the director for this movie although they’ve switched good guy/bad guy roles this time round. Ha Jung-woo is superb as Gu-nam who is rather a tragic figure. A man out of his depth as things go pear-shaped with the authorities and the villains out to get him so he has to use his ingenuity in order to survive. Kim Yun-seok also gives a wonderful performance as the larger than life crime boss Myun-ga who also knows how to survive against overwhelming odds.

The Yellow Sea is a masterpiece and close to being a perfect movie and it really does give the viewer a great example of the movies that have been coming out of South Korea during the past couple of years. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie and I would recommend it to anybody who likes gritty engaging thrillers. It’s well written and well acted. I look forward to seeing the next movie from Na Hong-jin. Don’t miss it.

Sadako’s Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

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The master of the kung-fu bullfrog school Ouyang Feng and his cousin have plans to take over China but in order to do that they must first capture the Third Princess and gain a magical manual called The Book Of Yin which is hidden inside a mountain so that they can take the throne. They enlist the help of a stupid Sorceress to aid them in their task. The Princess teams up with a martial artist Yaoshi to also get this manual. Yaoshi’s jealous lover Suqiu secretly trails the pair whilst getting some unwelcome attention from the King Of Beggars Hong Qi. Who will get to the magical manual first?

Although I’ve given the above as a basic outline of the plot, to be honest you could throw that out of the window as this wacky all-star HK comedy is one massive free-for-all which parodies classic wuxia movies. It’s got the same style you’d expect in a Stephen Chow movie. As this movie was shot the same time as ‘Ashes Of Time’, most of the cast of that movie appear in this one as well and Wong Kar Wai is even the producer. You couldn’t find two completely different movies in tone. I never expected this movie to be so crazy and in the end there was no point in even trying to follow the storyline. Some of the weirdness on display is Tong Leung Kar-Wai who plays a gay character where his disembodied head terrorises the entire cast. The head becomes a part of an insane football match between two characters set to a Chinese version of the Match Of The Day theme tune (for those that don’t know what Match Of The Day is, it’s a Saturday night TV programme in the UK showing the highlights of the English Premier League soccer games that have been played over the weekend). To hear that tune in a HK comedy movie was surreal to say the least! I’m just wondering if the programme was shown in HK at all during the 90’s – how else would they know about it? Other strange events happening in this movie includes 3 people running around in creature costumes (an eagle, a gorilla and a dinosaur) who try their best to distract the other characters from finding the manual and some centipedes crawling in people’s stomachs that cause pain whenever a small drum is beaten! The movie builds to a climax where everybody converges at an inn and a great big rumble occurs between them all. The comedy had been good until the final third but I’m afraid I did find it a little tiring by the time the end credits came along. I wouldn’t say this is a very good movie but seeing everybody having such a great time carries everything along and you’ll certainly have a smile on your face once the movie’s finished.

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One problem with this movie is there are far too many subplots happening – you could say the structure of the movie is it’s like a couple of sketches with a loose story linking them together. You’ve got love triangles, gender bending shenanigans, musical number etc. If there’s one movie that throws everything but the kitchen sink this is it!! Even though it’s primarily a comedy movie, there’s some solid action choreography courtesy of Sammo Hung. You expect some good stuff from him and he doesn’t let anybody down. He doesn’t make an appearance in the movie though. There’s a big all-star cast for the movie from Brigitte Lin, Jacky Cheung, Joey Wang, Leslie Cheung, Tony Leung Ka-Fai and Maggie Cheung who all seem to be having a ball and enjoying taking the mickey out of a genre in which they’ve all taken part in.

It really depends on your taste in frenzied comedies if you’ll enjoy this or not. If you’re not used to this style of HK comedy it’s best to stay away from it. Those that have seen similar comedies from HK will love it. It’s hard not to crack a smile at the hilarious antics that takes place.

Sadako’s Rating: 3 stars out of 5

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The Abashiri Family are a criminal family living in an outlaw city called the Nippon Extra-Territory which is located at the foot of Mount Fuji. The family is headed by the patriarch Daemon and his 4 children (Goemon – G-Class Molester, Naojiro – Supervillain and Cyborg, Kichiza – A-Class Vile Child and the sexy daughter Kikunosuke. The Abashiri’s have been in a long-running feud with the Namakubi family. The family head is the ruler of Nippon Extra-Territory and he doesn’t have any qualms about executing anybody that doesn’t follow his rules. His evil daughter is the brains of the family. Unbeknownst to the Abashiris, they are captured (apart from Kichiza) and then released with a microchip implanted into the back of their necks which whenever any criminal thoughts enter their head disables them. Their father Daemon is kept locked inside a steel vat with a padlock stopping him from escaping in the Namakubi laboratory. The Namakubi hope to use this microchip to their advantage and get rid of the Abashiri’s once and for all. Will their plan succeed or not?

Based on a manga by Go Nagai and a early 90’s anime series, this live-action adaptation is a low budget horror which unlike its contemporaries is low on nudity, any sleazy stuff or pots of gore but to compensate for that they opt for more humour instead. This is quite surprising considering that Go Nagai’s work is often perverted! This is one of those movies that’s so bad it’s good but then again I wasn’t expecting a lot in the first place. The plot is threadbare and as for the cheapness of the special effects it’s laughable. I wouldn’t mind if the comedy was any good but it isn’t. The humour is silly, wacky and only mildly amusing. I’ve seen a lot of these kind of cheap Japanese movies over the years and although the stories might be poor at least the gore content would make things interesting but you don’t have even a lot of that in this movie and it really does bring it down when all you have to mostly rely on is the comedy. There’s hardly any character development apart from Kikunosuke who wants to have a normal life and stop killing people.She even has a close friend at her school (which seems to be lacking teachers) before she’s betrayed by this friend who reveals she’s the rival clan’s youngest daughter. The Abashiri family although they may look dysfunctional are quite a tight knit group even if Goemon the pervert keeps stealing his sister’s bras! The action scenes are OK, I wouldn’t call them special at all. The best fights revolve around the cyborg Naojiro. I really did think that this movie might have improved as time went on but it didn’t.

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The only bright spot in this movie more than anything is the cute and beautiful Erica Tomooka who plays Kikunosuke. Erica is a member of the group Idoling!!! and you can’t really take your eyes off her in this movie. She looks hot in her school uniform and she proves to be a bit of a bad ass with a katana sword slicing and dicing the bad guys. To be honest I think watching Erica is probably the only reason to see this movie!! Erica’s colleague from Idoling!!! in Mai Endo also turns up in this movie and they even go head to head against each other.  Comedian Ijiri Okada who plays Goemon the pervert looks like he’s imitating the character he portrays on Japanese TV variety shows. He’s appeared several times on AKB48’s show AKBingo in which he terrifies the girls by thrusting his tongue out back and forth like a snake. He’s the type of guy mothers would tell their daughters to steer well clear of if they saw him in the street! It’s quite odd seeing actor Yakan Nabe playing the schoolboy Kichiza. He must be in his 30’s and he looks ridiculous in his outfit. Jiro Sato in his role as the head of the criminal family who consider the Abashiris their enemies should perhaps try and get a role in a pantomime over here in the UK during Christmas such is the way he goes OTT in his performance. His overall look is cool though with his wild hair.

If you’re perfectly happy to see a movie that throws away the plot for some silliness then you’ll probably enjoy this movie. It’s quite a short movie at only 70 mins long so it doesn’t outstay it’s welcome. There’s a hint of a sequel right at the end but thankfully nothing has come to light yet. I don’t think I could stand another movie like this except if there was a lot of improvement. Might be worth a glance to those that like Go Nagai’s work.

Sadako’s Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5

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