aka シン・ゴジラ aka Godzilla Resurgence 2016 Written by Hideaki Anno
Directed by Hideaki Anno and Shinji Higuchi
New facial cleanses have gotten out of control!
Godzilla was on one of his occasional breaks after his Final War while the US developed their own Godzilla franchise. But after that monster hit, Godzilla reawoke in Japan to return with a spiritual successor to the original Gojira that is also one of the most successful films in Japan. Godzilla is back as a force of nature, the appearance and response directly referencing the Japanese Fukushima earthquake/nuclear disaster. Much of the film is spent in a West Wing style series of high level government meetings, in which entrenched minsters and officials do little of consequence in order to avoid looking bad if their actions don’t have the desired effect. While that sounds like it could be terrible, it’s actually really good, the scenes are cut quickly and innovatively to keep things moving briskly along while still giving you the feeling that the characters were in long unproductive meetings.
Hideaki Anno and Shinji Higuchi were given free reign to tell their story, the pair having collaborated on Evangelion, with Anno subsequently directing cult live action films such as Cutie Honey and Higuchi doing effects work on the Gamera trilogy and directing the Attack on Titan features. Their strong pedigree promised that we would get something unique and entertaining, and the pair delivered with a strong entry.
The effects are a bit mixed, the final form of Godzilla is well done, but the earlier forms look goofy and some effects with them seem more rushed. While most of the music is new, there is some nice Akira Ifukube put in at the right time, with tanks driving around and blasting away that helped made the scene come together, you won’t care that everything is now CG instead of models and a guy in a suit. It really is modern mixed with the past, besides the retro tank fight, we have unmanned drones attacking Big G at one point, and the final sequence has a bunch of industrial and civilian vehicles that make up the heart of Japan’s economic might being used to save Japan. Continue reading →
aka 春子超常現象研究所 aka Haruko Chojo Gensho Kenkyujo 2015 Written and directed by Lisa Takeba
Fun time Japanese films are a bread and butter of TarsTarkas.NET, so of course we’re gonna check out a film about a girl who marries her tv. As a bonus, we got a wonderful film with a lot to say about entertainment culture and consumerism, much of which is as relevant in the US as it is to the Japanese audience. Also there are UFOs, random commercials, sideshow entertainers battling it out, and random cosplayers to spice things up!
Haruko is a young Japanese lady who spends her days alone in her apartment depressed and wishing for something paranormal to happen. Her early life had her interested in adventures, but thanks to a trauma involving spying her teacher father kissing a schoolgirl while out trying to hunt UFOs, she has abandoned her passion for the paranormal and just works a dreary job, watches tv, and makes tea stain art that she tries to sell on the street.
All of this changes one day when her ancient tv transforms into a real person! Well, a real person with a tv for a head, because he is a television brought to life. So much so that he’s called Terebi instead of getting a real name, and Haruko is harassed into paying tv licensing fees for him. Terebi is a young stud, and soon he and Haruko are lovers, but soon Terebi becomes unsatisfied with a homebody life (thanks in part to some harassment by children) and sets out to get a job, eventually becoming a successful television personality. This new lifestyle causes some friction, along with suppressed memories of a former life, Haruko’s desperate housewife coworker, and a perverted neighbor. Continue reading →
Robogeisha is exactly what you would expect from a movie with that title. Needless to say, that means it gets approval here on TarsTarkas.NET. We got geisha, robots, robot geisha, dudes getting killed by geisha, women with various weapons built into their body, fake blood spraying everywhere, and women kicking butt.
Now, Robogeisha sounds like the kind of film that doesn’t have some sort of commentary on culture of Japan or the world, and you would be right to think so, except for the fact that you are wrong. The thing is, Robogeisha is unaware that is has such comments, so we’re really grasping at straws here. Giant, obvious straws.
The plot sort of follows the basic lines of Memoirs of a Geisha for a few minutes before veering off into insane territory. But we have the similarities with the sisters being rivals (substituting the Sayuri/Pumpkin rivalry) and the steel industry tycoon. I’m not saying Memoirs of a Geisha would have been a better film had it had robot geisha fighting a walking building, but it probably would have.
But first the cast…
Yoshie Kagusa (Aya Kiguchi) – Yoshie is just your average sister of a geisha who has supressed rage powers to kill kill kill. There seems to be a girl named Yoshie in almost every Noboru Iguchi film. Weird. Aya Kiguchi is a gravure model/actress, and we set up a gallery post as those are always popular.
Kikue Kagusa (Hitomi Hasebe) – Yoshie’s older, graceful, prettier, spoiled sister. Because jealous when her sister is a better killer than her, so endeavors to once again be the best and get all the attention.
Hikaru Kageno (Takumi Saito) – The long haired Hikaru Kageno is the president of Kageno Steel along with his father, and is the object of desire of the two Kagusa sisters. He also works with his father in a horrible plan to kidnap and brainwash women into killers, and eventually blow up a volcano. Takumi Saito was also in Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl.
Onna Tengu 1 (Asami Sugiura as Asami) – One of the two masked Tengu henchwomen who do the bidding of the Kagenos. Onna Tengu 1 was previously a girl named Yasuko before she was brainwashed. Asami is an AV actress who also appears in a lot of ultragore films, such as The Machine Girl and Mutant Girls Squad.
Onna Tengu 2 (Cay Izumi) – Cay Izumi is a choreographer, model, actress, and pole dancer and the leader of the gothic lolita ensemble performance team Tokyo DOLORES. And yes, they figure out a way to get her on a pole briefly during a fight sequence. Cay Izumi pops up as well in Mutant Girls Squad, Tokyo Gore Police, and was a Ganguro Girl in Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl.
RoboCastle (???) – He’s a castle, he’s a robot! He’s both these things, and he keeps his samurai armor sensibility!
2009 Directed by Yoshihiro Nishimura and Naoyuki Tomomatsu
Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl (hereafter VGxFG due to our crippling laziness in both typing and copy/pasting the movie title) is from the same Japanese goremasters that brought us The Machine Girl, Tokyo Gore Police, and Hypertrophy Genitals Girl. That’s the movie where the girl has the giant genitals. It won six Oscars. Yoshihiro Nishimura is a special effects expert who has directed several of the gore flicks, while Naoyuki Tomomatsu is a director and writer who also produces a lot of gore flicks such as Stacy and Zombie Self-Defense Force . VGxFG is based on a manga I haven’t read because I only read scifi novels published around the time my mom was born I get from used book stores. I also read books about McBroom’s Farm, but there were never and Vampire Girls fighting Frankenstein Girls. Maybe some of his kids were vampires or Frankensteins, he had like a million of them and also ran a zoo at one point besides the farm where I bet the Silver-Tailed Teakettler fought the Sidehill Gouger.
If you like gore and splatter effects and CGI blood, then this movie has that stuff and you probably already at least know about it. But maybe you haven’t bothered to rent it from NetFlix yet and are deciding on if you should see it or requesting Goonies one more time. And that is where TarsTarkas.NET can help. First of all, go get Goonies from a used DVD store, you can probably get it for like $5 thanks the the economic apocalypse. Second, give us $5 as well. This doesn’t help you, but it helps us. Everyone wins! (Everyone at TarsTarkas.NET!)
VGxFG is much like the Twilight saga, in that there are two specially powered teenagers fighting over the heart of a normal teenagers. Sure, the sexes are reversed, and the werewolf is a Frankenstein monster now, but it is similar. And no one sits in a window for four months while some generic alt rock blares in the background about possibilities. Come to think of it, VGxFG is nothing like Twilight. Forget I said anything!
Let’s get the Roll Call out of the way before I devote another paragraph to how VGxFG is exactly like Lethal Weapon 3…
Monami Arukado/Vampire Girl (Yukie Kawamura) – A lonely vampire girl searching for love by tricking boys into eating her blood. Just like all other women… Yukie Kawamura is a gravure idol so check out her gallery we put together.
Keiko Furano/Frankenstein Girl (Eri Otoguro) – dresses in the gothic-lolita style tough girl with a squad of three gang members who bully Jyugon into being her boyfriend…until Monami comes along. Is eventually killed and rebuilt by her father as Frankenstein Girl ready for revenge.
Jyugon Mizushima (Takumi Saito) – The innocent cute boy trapped in a world where two super-powered girls battle over his heart without consulting him in the slightest. Isn’t love grand?
Kenji Furano (Kanji Tsuda) – Vice-Principal/science teacher and Keiko’s father. Also secretly a mad scientist who experiments on the students.
Midori (Sayaka Kametani) – The over-sexed school nurse Mizushima goes to see because he’s still freaking out. It turns out she is also the mad assistant to Kenji Furano for his crazed experiments in chopping up students.