Posts tagged "Ayaka Noda"

Tokyo Ballistic War Vol.2

Tokyo Ballistic War – Cyborg High School Girl VS. Cyborg Beautiful Athletes Vol.2

aka Tokyo Ballistic War Vol.2

2010
Written by Takashi Misumi
Directed by Eiji Kamikura


Tokyo Ballistic War Vol.2 is here to answer all the questions we had at the end of Tokyo Ballistic War Vol.1. Like “Huh?” and “What?” and “Stop talking to me about Tokyo Ballistic War Vol.1! I’m calling the cops, creepo!” Okay, maybe the last one is just what people around me say as they frantically back away and spray mace, but the story continues. Zen Pictures gets creative, breaking the narrative from the original, as it was about taking down overpowered cyborg athletes, it’s now about saving your friend from fates worse than death. And taking down overpowered cyborg athletes on the side.

All your favorite cyborg devices are back, along with a few new surprises. They clearly wanted the final battle between Ai and Megumi to pack an emotional punch alongside the CGI cyborgial punch. Though Zen Pictures does include all the Zen Pictures tropes, so you fan service and torture fans have your cake as well. But please eat it at a different spot, this is the cool kids table.

As interesting as these films are just for their existence in the middle of a cottage industry of specialized cheap films, they don’t possess enough individual specialness to shine outside of their little corner. But they do make good role models in their little world. If the Tokyo Ballistic War films do anything, I hope they inspire the other Zen Pictures films to aspire higher and better, perhaps paving the way for a true crossover film, or at least helping to build future great filmmakers.

Ai Asaoka (Ayaka Noda) – Schoolgirl with a name similar to Megumi Asoaka, they become fast friends and Ai was then mistakenly turned into a fighting cyborg. She had defeated two Athlete-roids, but has now been captured by the villainous Koumoto.
Megumi Asaoka (Arisa Taki) – Schoolgirl member of the Japanese Sports Association who is friends with Ai. She must now rescue her friend before it is too late.
Chairman Gondo (???) – Chairman of the Japanese Sports Association, he takes the JSA seriously and cannot allow cyborg enhancements to ruin the purity of the games. He lost an eye, but like Nick Fury, it is never explained why…
Koumoto (???) – Evil executive at Dainippon and main proponent of the Athlete-roid technology. Is arrogant enough in his creations to not worry about the JSA’s meddling. Is threatening to rebuild Ai in evil form.
Kozue Hara – DNJ-01 – (Yuka Inoue) – Dead.
Ami Adachi – DNJ-02 – (Moe Aizawa) – Dead
Kyoko Yamaguchi – DNJ-03 – (Serika Noda) – Member of the wrestling team and dominates her opponents on the mat. Has a special vest that allows domination, and can crush with her giant hand stompers.
Hitomi Oka – DNJ-04 – (Momo Kasuga) – Member of the tennis team who lobs bombs at her opponents. And I don’t mean tennis bombs! Or do I…? Momo Kasuga is an adult film star.


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1 comment - What do you think?
Posted by Tars Tarkas - October 11, 2012 at 10:06 pm

Categories: Movie Reviews, Ugly   Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Tokyo Ballistic War Vol.1

Tokyo Ballistic War – Cyborg High School Girl VS. Cyborg Beautiful Athletes Vol.1

aka Tokyo Ballistic War Vol.1

2009
Written by Takashi Misumi
Directed by Eiji Kamikura


When last we reviewed a Zen Pictures‘ flick (the battle-tastic Sukeban Fighter Misaki), we discovered a whole world of cheap films cranked out filled with costumed heroines who then fight each other and get tortured in long sequences. Zen Pictures hasn’t changed, but they do follow the mantra of trying something new now and again. The latest craze in Japanese cinema that makes waves in the US is the super gory films from Sushi Typhoon and their allies, so that is a fertile ground for Zen Pictures to sweep into. And they do so with the Tokyo Ballistic War films, and do so with the same tiny budgets their normal films have. I have no problems with small budgets, they can lead to great creativity and use of resources. There is a reason that art via adversity is often better, why people complain about directors selling out, why the Star Wars prequels and their milquetoast characters and uninspired digital effects are considered lazy filmmaking, especially when compared to the fly by your pants budget and real models and sets and alien costumes Original Trilogy.

Zen Pictures have upped their presence in the global cinema scene, increasing the amount of films available with English subtitles and an enlarged English section on their website. But the subtitles are a bit hacky, with the names of people or organizations changing between films or even between sentences. And these films will never be more than a niche brand, even if there are a few breakouts like Tokyo Ballistic War.

Tokyo Ballistic War follows the Sushi Typhoon framework faithfully, even aping the opening action sequence that’s taken from the middle of the film teasers of their inspiration. But they can’t escape being Zen Pictures flicks, so both parts of Tokyo Ballistic War feature the required fan service, costumes, kidnapping, torture, torture with phallic stand-ins, splitting of the film into multiple parts for more sales, masked goons, and warehouses used as sets. The effects are crude, with computer graphics that will embarrass those not used to low quality. But there is some creative blood effects, and the director is smart enough to realize he needs to spray people with geysers of blood. There is even a couple of scenes that are creative, particularly a battle of flying fists. This is an interesting hybrid picture. It will not be everyone’s cup of tea, in fact, it’s probably so demographically targeted you are born knowing if it appeals to you.

In an alternate world where the superpower United Republic of Great Japan controls the planet, Japanese high school girl athletes are suddenly breaking records with exceptional domination. The secretive and evil corporation Dainippon is involved, bad things are happening, and no goods have been upped to. Doping? Hardly, Lance Armstrong! It’s cyborg enhancement! Dainippon has created Athlete-roids, which their director Koumoto plans to sell to the army. But do not despair, the JSA – Japanese Sports Association – is on the case! The JSA cannot let this threat to the integrity of sports stand, and must now create their own cyborg schoolgirls to fight back. Thus, begun the Tokyo Ballistic Wars have!

Ai Asaoka (Ayaka Noda) – Schoolgirl with a name similar to Megumi Asoaka, they become fast friends and Ai is then mistakenly turned into a fighting cyborg. She must get used to her new identity and learn to destroy the athletes she once admired.
Megumi Asaoka (Arisa Taki) – Schoolgirl member of the Japanese Sports Association who has a sense of honor and does not like what the Athlete-roids are doing to sports. Has volunteered to become the JSA’s fighting cyborg, but fate has other plans…
Chairman Gondo (???) – Chairman of the Japanese Sports Association, he takes the JSA seriously and cannot allow cyborg enhancements to ruin the purity of the games. He lost an eye, but like Nick Fury, it is never explained why… My guess is a chess match just went too far!
Koumoto (???) – Evil executive at Dainippon and main proponent of the Athlete-roid technology. Is arrogant enough in his creations to not worry about the JSA’s meddling.
Kozue Hara – DNJ-01 – (Yuka Inoue) – National volleyball member of the Republic of the United Japan, and famous throughout the Japanese schoolgirl community because she’s so awesome. But she’s also evil. EVIL!!! Because she’s a robot.
Ami Adachi – DNJ-02 – (Moe Aizawa) – Member of the National Swimming Team and certified lunatic. She will mer-make you dead! Moe Aizawa is an adult film star.
Kyoko Yamaguchi – DNJ-03 – (Serika Noda) – Member of the wrestling team and dominates her opponents on the mat.
Hitomi Oka – DNJ-04 – (Momo Kasuga) – Member of the tennis team who lobs bombs at her opponents. And I don’t mean tennis bombs! Momo Kasuga is an adult film star.


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3 comments - What do you think?
Posted by Tars Tarkas - October 10, 2012 at 8:13 pm

Categories: Movie Reviews, Ugly   Tags: , , , , , , , ,