[adrotate banner=”1″]Travelers: Jigen Keisatsu (トラベラーズ 次元警察) was released April 13th in Japan, but the sizzle reel from their website is now making rounds in the US. Because it’s very long and filled with all sorts of crazy action and girls in shorts beating each other up.
Ai is a Dimensional Police officer who jumps into “Retro World” to hunt down the criminal organization “Doubt”. There, she faces off against her former partner Yui, who now works for Doubt.
Both the stars and the director have extensive background in tokusatsu series. Nao Nagasawa(長澤 奈央) plays Ai, while Ayumi Kinoshita(木下 あゆ美) is Yui. You can also see Yuko Takayama running around in a gothic-lolita outfit, which is standard uniform for Dimensional Police officers, don’t you know?
Director Koichi Sakamoto is probably best known for his work in choreographing many seasons of Power Rangers. He has directed numerous other films, all either Ultraman or Kamen Rider related.
Travelers: Jigen Keisatsu looks ridiculous enough it should score a US import from someone. But hopefully not years and years later.
2008 Directed by Minoru Kawasaki
Written by Minoru Kawasaki and Masakazu Migita
Minoru Kawasaki makes some of the weirdest films to come out of Japan since the last weird film to come out of Japan, which was like last week or something. Okay, Japan has a LOT of weird films, but at least Minoru Kawasaki’s are entertaining. And usually not insane enough that you can talk about them with strangers and they won’t think you are insane. If you disagree with this, try explaining the plot of Tokyo Gore Police to the person sitting next to you on the bus and see if they start looking disturbed. Minoru Kawasaki specializes in films where animals do people’s jobs. Usually, the animals are human sized, but in this film the cats are cat sized, even if they are played by puppets. Besides the animal films, Minoru Kawasaki also directed The Monster X Strikes Back: Attack the G8 Summit.
Neko Ramen Taisho started life as a Flash anime series. Then it became a movie with puppets, thus being superior because puppets>anime any day of the week. The English subtitlers decided to call it Pussy Soup, which is clever, but as I learned all about it and eagerly awaited it as Neko Ramen Taisho, that’s what I call it and that means I will ignore the Pussy Soup jokes.
There are some famous Japanese cats in this film, so if you enjoy famous Japanese cats, this is a sure bet winner!
Jeff III (Toru Furuya) – William Thomas Jefferson III – will go by the name Master, aka Taisho, thus the title of the film. Amazing, huh? Jeff III was groomed to be a Cat Idol by his father, but Jeff III wanted none of it, and after being beaten around by his father runs off to find his lot in life. Eventually settling on running a ramen noodle shack, things change again when a rival cat ramen noodle shop opens down the street.
Jeff II (Seizo Kato) – William Thomas Jefferson II – will go by the name Shogun. He is a famous Supermodel Cat (aka Cat Idol) and demands his son follow his path. Is brutal in his disceplin to make his son a Cat Idol, so much that Jeff III runs away. Even when Jeff II is shamed and run out of the model industry, he follows his son to try to shame him further.
Tanaka (Kazuki Kato) – A regular customer in Jeff III’s ramen shop and probably Jeff III’s closest friend. Kazuki Kato is a J-pop star.
Mariko (Nao Nagasawa) – A woman who is friends with Tanaka and pseudogirlfriend. Not a big fan of ramen noodles, but supportive of her friend Tanaka even if she has completely different ideas. Nao Nagasawa is a singer and model that you can see more of in this gallery post as well as see her as a ninja in Geisha vs. Ninja.
Ramen chef (Toshio Kurosawa) – The Ramen chef who rehabilitates Jeff III from his depression, and infuses a love of crafting ramen noodles into Jeff III, giving him newfound purpose in life. Also helps his student during the challenge from his father.
Miki (???) – Miki is the girl with the cat who is the love interest for Jeff III.
Having read Memoirs of a Geisha years before it became a terrible film, I am an expert on the Geisha and their generational war with the ninja, and am glad a film finally sheds some light on this dark mark on Japanese culture. The geisha has been underrepresented in movie culture because of the firm grip of ninja clans in the film producing world. Ninja master Godfrey Ho has spammed countless video rental businesses with ninja propaganda, to the point where the geisha are all but forgotten. Only in recent years have they made a move on mass culture, and now the Geisha/Ninja war gets it due on the big screen. And by big screen I mean your DVD player.
Do you like ninjas fighting geishas? Then you will like the first twenty minutes or so. after that, the ninjas are no more and the film becomes Geisha vs. _______, with “_______” being each new opponent she faces. Instead of one big film, just view it as a bunch of fighting shorts tied together by a loose narrative. That does mean the Geisha vs. Ninja title is misleading, thus probably why it was changed by the American distributor. The film looks like it should be a cheaply produced junkpile with terrible fights, but the action sequences have a lot of work put into them and are entertaining. I was impressed. Geisha vs. Ninja certainly wasn’t highly financed, but they wisely threw all their money into the action choreography, and that saves the film.
Kotomi Yamabe (Minami Tsukui) – Saw her father murdered before her eyes when she was a young child, and now seeks revenge. Minami Tsukui is a newcomer to Japanese cinema, but she’ll probably show up in some more genre pictures at least.
Female ninja (Nao Nagasawa) – We shall add one of the ninjas in the Roll Call because it is Geisha vs. Ninja. Nao Nagasawa is an actress, singer and model. She was on some Sentai show so I’ll probably get lots of hits from Power Ranger fans. Since she poses for billions of pictures we collected a bunch of them in a gallery. Hey, that stuff gets us ad revenue!
Ainu woman (Kaori Sakai) – So many other random enemies could be here, but let’s continue with the hot chick theme. Oddly enough, there is little information about this hot chick. Google searching for “Japanese Pocahontas” produces a surprising amount of porn, so I can’t even make a good joke.
Katagiri Hyo-e (???)- The samurai guy who killed Kotomi’s father in front of her and who she pursues. Has a bunch of lackeys he sends after her one by one. Also, there is a twist. It is twisty. I don’t know who played him.
Shugoro Yamabe (???) – Kotomi’s father who was killed in front of her by Katagiri Hyo-e. Very concerned over who will inherit the Yamabe Sword. Maybe you should have had a boy, dude. Not what he appears. I don’t know who played him.
[adrotate banner=”2″]Nao Nagasaw is a Japanese actress, singer and model. She is member of the pop groups girl’sBOX and Kingyo
She also plays Nanami Nono/Hurricane Blue of the Hurricangers, which was another of the long running Super Sentai groups (known in America as the Power Rangers). She was born in 1984 in Tokyo and her hobbies include bowling, digital photography, making sweets, table tennis, and watching movies. You can see her rocking out at a ninja in Geisha vs. Ninja.
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