JoJo no kimyô na bôken: Daiyamondo wa kudakenai – dai-isshô [JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond Is Unbreakable – Chapter 1] (2017)

JoJo no kimyô na bôken: Daiyamondo wa kudakenai – dai-isshô
Director: Takashi Miike
Writer: Itaru Era
Based on: Hirohiko Araki‘s manga series
Cast: Kento Yamazaki, Ryûnosuke KamikiNana KomatsuJun KunimuraYûsuke IseyaTakayuki YamadaMackenyuMasaki OkadaShinta NittaArisa Mizuki
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 23.9.2017
1-gif-review

Plot:
Koichi (Ryûnosuke Kamiki) just moved to a new town where he meets the mysterious JoJo (Kento Yamazaki). JoJo stands out due to his eccentric hair style, but when he’s teased about it, he shows that he has hereditary powers that go beyond excellent hairspray. But somebody seems to imbue normal people with Stands, the manifestations of supernatural powers, and JoJo needs to figure out what’s going on with Koichi’s help.

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure has some great ideas, but the execution didn’t really work for me. It has its moments, but it’s in desperate need of focus.

Continue reading

Mugen no jûnin [Blade of the Immortal] (2017)

Mugen no jûnin
Director: Takashi Miike
Writer: Tetsuya Oishi
Based on: Hiroaki Samura‘s manga series
Cast: Takuya KimuraHana SugisakiSôta FukushiHayato IchiharaErika TodaKazuki KitamuraChiaki KuriyamaShinnosuke MitsushimaKen KanekoYôko YamamotoEbizô IchikawaMin TanakaTsutomu Yamazaki
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 22.9.2017
1-gif-review

Plot:
Manji (Takuya Kimura) is a great samurai, but when he is unable to protect his sister, he is cursed with immortality. Hoping to regain his soul and mortality by fighting evil, he travels the lands until he encounters Rin (Hana Sugisaki) who looks a lot like his sister and needs help to avenge her parents. Manji promises to help and gets drawn deeply into the fight against Anotsu (Sôta Fukushi) and his master swordsmen.

It feels like Blade of the Immortal is one and the same scene repeated over and over again. It’s a good scene, but not that good that I wanted to see it that often and for that long.

Continue reading

Gokudou daisensou [Yakuza Apocalypse] (2015)

Gokudou daisensou
Director: Takashi Miike
Writer: Yoshitaka Yamaguchi
Cast: Hayato Ichihara, Lily Frankie, Yayan Ruhian, Riko Narumi, Reiko Takashima
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 26.9.2015
[Reviews by cornholio and Maynard.]

Plot:
Kamiura (Lily Frankie) is a revered yakuza boss and nobody admires him more than his right hand man Kageyama (Hayato Ichihara). But the a group of strange assassins are sent after Kamiura. When he refuses to bow to their demands, Kyoken (Yayan Ruhian) manages to kill him. Kageyama, unable to do anything, finds Kamiura dying. But before he passes, Kamiura reveals to Kageyama that he is a vampire. He bites Kageyama and dies. Kageyama decides to use his powers to avenge Kamiura. But vampire powers are not that easily handled.

Yakuza Apocalypse is an enchanting mix of weirdness but it becomes a little too strange for its own good. But as it falls apart there are still many things to love about it.

yakuza-apocalypse

[Slight SPOILERS]

Continue reading

Kuime [Over Your Dead Body] (2014)

Kuime
Director: Takashi Miike
Writer: Kikumi Yamagishi
Cast: Ko ShibasakiEbizô IchikawaHideaki ItôMiho Nakanishi
Part of: Viennale
[Review by cornholio.]

Plot:
Actress Miyuki (Ko Shibasaki) and her much less famous boyfriend Kosuke (Ebizô Ichikawa) star in a play based on the story of Yotsuya Kaidan. The possessive love story of the play translates to their lives as well and soon the lines between the two become blurry.

Unfortunately I don’t know the original play and without that knowledge, the film was only partly understandable. Not only that, it’s only mildly interesting. Maybe if I had known it, I would have discovered subtleties that remained elusive for me and that could have made the film more interesting. But as is, I just thought it was pretty shallow.

kuime

[SPOILERS]

Continue reading

Ai to makoto [For Love’s Sake] (2012)

Ai to makoto
Director: Takashi Miike
Writer: Takayuki Takuma
Based on: Ikki Kajiwara and Takumi Nagayasu’s manga
Cast: Satoshi Tsumabuki, Emi Takei, Tsuyoshi Ihara
Part of: Viennale

Plot:
When rich Ai (Emi Takei) was a little girl, her life was saved by the rough Makoto (Satoshi Tsumabuki). Years later, the two of them meet again. Makoto is still really rough and loves to spend his time in fights, while Ai is still the good and nice girl in school. But this time, Ai gets it into her head to save Makoto. So she pulls some strings to have him enroled in her school, despite Makoto’s lack of interest in getting a better life.

I thought that a musical by Takashi Miike should be a whole lot of fun, but unfortunately the movie is soooo very long. And I pretty much hated the gender dynamics in it. I just couldn’t get into it at all.

Continue reading

Nintama Rantarô [Ninja Kids!!!] (2011)

Nintama Rantarô
Director: Takashi Miike
Writer: Yoshio Urasawa
Based on: Sōbē Amako’s manga
Cast: Seishirô Katô, Shidô Nakamura, Rei Dan, Susumu Terajima, Takahiro Miura
Part of: /slash Filmfestival

Plot:
Rantaro (Seishirô Katô) gets sent to ninja academy by his parents (Shidô Nakamura, Rei Dan) to finally elevate the family from low-ranking ninjas to somehing more prominent. But when Rantaro gets to school, things aren’t really that glamorous and he isn’t doing that well. But he fights his way through and quickly makes friends. But living in a ninja academy means more than just classes: one day, the academy gets involved when another ninja clan attacks a hairdresser.

Ninja Kids!!! is okay. It’s clearly made for kids and there’s nothing much an adult gets to hold on to. That’s nothing bad, of course, but it does means that I’m clearly not the target audience.

Continue reading

Gyakuten saiban [Ace Attorney] (2012)

Gyakuten saiban
Director: Takashi Miike
Writer: Takeharu Sakurai, Sachiko Ôguchi
Based on: the Ace Attorney games
Cast: Hiroki Narimiya, Mirei Kiritani, Takumi Saitô, Rei Dan, Shunsuke Daitô, Ryo Ishibashi
Part of: /slash Filmfestival

Plot:
Phoenix Wright (Hiroki Narimiya) is not a particularly apt attorney as he gets easily flustered. But his mentor Mia Fey (Rei Dan) believes in him. But then Mia dies under weird circumstances and her sister Maya (Mirei Kiritani) is implicated. And when Miles Edgeworth (Takumi Saitô), who is known for his questionable methods to get a win, takes up the prosecution, Phoenix knows that he has to take matters into his own hands to make sure that justice is actually served.

Ace Attorney was very, very funny, but then it got a little long. I think to really appreciate it, you need to know the games at least fleetingly, which I don’t, so I feel like I was missing something to really get everything out of the film.

Continue reading

Zeburâman: Zebura Shiti no gyakushû [Zebraman 2: Attack on Zebra City] (2010)

Zeburâman: Zebura Shiti no gyakushû
Director: Takashi Miike
Writer: Kankurô Kudô
Sequel to: Zebraman
Cast: Shô Aikawa, Riisa Naka, Masahiro Inoue, Tsuyoshi Abe
Part of: /slash Filmfestival

Plot:
15 years after the events in Zebraman, and Zebraman is missing – and has been for quite a while. Tokyo has been renamed Zebra City and has been taken over by a totalitarian regime that has established Zebra Time: twice a day for five minutes, the Zebra police can do pretty much anything they want and crime is pretty much legal. Then Zebraman (Shô Aikawa) returns, but without his memory. He is apalled by the general state of Tokyo, but he also feels a strange connection to Zebra Queen (Riisa Naka), a pop star and the daughter of the ruler of Tokyo.

More often than not, sequels are a disappointing affair. In this case, Zebraman 2 is by far the superior film. It’s comparatively darker than the first movie (though it’s still funny), has the better plot and villain.

Continue reading

Zeburâman [Zebraman] (2004)

Zebraman
Director: Takashi Miike
Writer: Kankurô Kudô
Cast: Shô Aikawa, Kyôka Suzuki, Naoki Yasukôchi, Atsurô Watabe
Part of: /slash Filmfestival

Plot:
Shin’ichi (Shô Aikawa) is a teacher with a rather sad life. He doesn’t like his job, his wife cheats on him, his kids ignore him. The only time he can escape the harsh reality is when he dresses up as Zebraman, a superhero from a short-lived TV show from the 7os. But when he meets Shinpei (Naoki Yasukôchi), a boy in a wheelchair who is as into Zebraman as Shin’ichi is, he wants to share his costume with him. But as soon as he hits the streets, something takes over Shin’ichi and actually turns him into Zebraman. And that is just in time, since an alien invasion is threatening earth.

Zebraman was incredibly campy, a little weird and a barrel full of fun, despite a few lengths in the middle.

Continue reading

Yattâman [Yatterman] (2009)

[/slash Filmfestival.]

Yattâman is the live-action adaptation of the anime. It was directed by Takashi Miike and stars Shô Sakurai, Saki Fukuda and Kyôko Fukada.

Plot:
Gan (Shô Sakurai) and his girlfriend Ai (Saki Fukuda) are Yatterman: a crime fighting duo, who are pretty crafty with toys, gadgets and robots – so called mechas. Mostly they fight Doronjo (Kyôko Fukukda) and her gang. But then the mysterious skull stone turns up in four pieces and the god of thieves Skullobey really, really wants those pieces. And he’s committed to getting them through Doronjo. But when all the pieces come together, something awful will happen.

Yatterman is silly, colorful and extremely entertaining. Will it make people stop to think about their lives? Probably not. Will it make you smile? Definitely.

Continue reading