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Battlefield Baseball

4.1 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

Additional DVD options Edition Discs
New from Used from
(May 31, 2005)
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$64.50 $8.48
(Aug 19, 2008)
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Editorial Reviews

Battlefield Baseball (地獄甲子園 Jigoku Kōshien?, "Hell Stadium") is a 2003 Japanese film directed by Yūdai Yamaguchi. The film is written by Gatarō Man, based on his manga series of the same name, and stars Tak Sakaguchi, Atsushi Itō, and Hideo Sakaki. It was produced by Ryuhei Kitamura. The film is a combination of several genres, mixing martial arts action with the clichés of the sports film-particularly skewering baseball, one of Japan's most popular high school sports-and the violence and brutality of a horror film. The film's bizarre-sometimes almost incoherent-plot, blood and gore, and unique comedy have given it something of a "cult" popularity in the West. Though the film is ostensibly about high school baseball rivalries, the amount of actual baseball in the film is fairly light. There are many scenes involving bats and balls, however.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Tak Sakaguchi, Atsushi Itô, Hideo Sakaki, Shôichirô Masumoto, Akiko Mishiro
  • Directors: Yudai Yamaguchi
  • Writers: Yudai Yamaguchi, Gatarô Man, Isao Kiriyama, Ryuichi Takatsu
  • Producers: Hidemi Satani, Itaru Fujimoto, Ryûhei Kitamura, Yoshinori Chiba
  • Format: AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Special Edition, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Subversive Cinema
  • DVD Release Date: May 31, 2005
  • Run Time: 87 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0009E326G
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #126,300 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Battlefield Baseball" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
This low-budget baseball zombie comedy is arguably a mixed bag, but one likely to develop a sizable cult following. While it successfully pokes fun at the cliches inherent in most sports movies, particularly those `moments' where people spontaneously applaud the main characters actions (similarly mocked in NOT ANOTHER TEEN MOVIE), it doesn't deliver on the action and gore quotient promised by the concept. And yet, as a budget-conscious live-action adaptation of a Shonen Jump manga, it plants tongue hard in cheek and certainly feels faithful to the source material, never for a minute taking itself seriously and gleefully indulging in the most eye-rollingly obvious visual gags. Desperate to make it to the big leagues, the Seido High School baseball team must face their much more successful rivals at Gedo High, a team made up entirely of well-armed zombies. Their ace in the hole may well be transfer student `Jubeh The Baseball' (Tak Sakaguchi), who's signature fastball killed his own father, a tragedy which prevents him from helping the team. Directed by the writer of VERSUS (Yudai Yamiguchi), produced by that film's director (Ryuhei Kitamura) and starring that film's lead (Tak Sakaguchi), BATTLEFIELD shares that film's low-budget ingenuity, but wisely knows when to take up stakes and call it a day around the 90 minute mark. The Japanese R2 DVD has English subs and includes a hilariously inventive short film called Ramen Baka Ichidai, about a kid who hunts down the perfect Ramen noodles for his dying grandfather. Primo stuff.
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Format: DVD
If you try to make this a serious study in filmmaking or content, you're missing the entire point. This film was meant for sheer escapism, harkening back to when movies were just *fun*. There were many tips of the hat -so it seemed- to past movies, most notably Shaolin Soccer and God of Cookery. (Can never fault a person for acknowledging Chow Sing, can we?)

Versus is a fun movie, but the pacing leaves something to be desired and I LIKE the slower pacing of Japanese movies. Battlefield Baseball is much faster moving and atsui Tak actually gets to act -or at least make an expression- in this one. Though I kept wanting to tell him to stand up straight. Posture, honey!

This movie could be described accurately as Shaolin Soccer, but Japanese and about baseball... with zombies and without the deeper character content. I hate comparing movies, but come ON folks... tell me I didn't just nail it right on the head.

There are out-and-out hilarious moments, a random musical or two, some complete silliness and a lot of overacting in this feature... I approve of it ALL entirely! HIGH-LARIOUS! Certainly, those who expect a 'real' movie or try to take this without a good sense of humor will not be happy. For those of us blessed with funny bones that don't quit, this is right up our alley. Highly recommended! Have fun!

(This review does not include the highlights of the extra features, except that it's pretty darn neat that they translated the commentary by Tak for us English speakers.)
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Format: DVD
Dismembered bodies. Zombies. Tornado pitches. Cherry blossoms. Random naked guys. Cyborgs. Chainsaws. And a form of baseball where no rules apply -- and only one team comes out alive.

Now imagine all of that, crammed into a sports spoof with a Monty Pythonesque sense of humor. "Battlefield Baseball" has not a single moment of genuine plot or character development -- instead, Yudai Yamaguchi fills it with ludicrous twists, delightfully sick action, and a deeply irreverent attitude towards all sports movies.

Seido High School has a very real chance of getting to Koshien Stadium, courtesy of Matsui Gorilla and a bunch of other talented players. Then Principcal Kocho learns who their opponent is -- Gedo High, a savage bunch of green-skinned mutant zombie types who dismember opposing teams.

Fortunately the new transfer student Jubeh (Tak Sakaguchi) has incredible baseball skills -- but he refuses, unwilling to play because of a tragic accident. Four Eyes (Atsushi Ito) convinces him to join the team -- but Jubeh is mysteriously missing when Gedo shows up for the game, resulting in a mass slaughter of the remaining baseball players.

But after a near-death experience and a scuffle with Four Eyes' mom, Jubeh is raring to take revenge on the team that slaughtered the Seido players -- if he can remember how to do his most lethal pitch. But even with that pitch and a very odd new team, Jubeh must still contend with the psychopathic Coach from Gedo High -- and the deadly Poison Bat!

There is literally not a single serious moment in all of "Battlefield Baseball." Really. This is absurdity on a Monty Python level, only with more applauding audiences appearing at dramatic moments.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This movie was my first foray into ridiculous Japanese culture (Well, live action at least) and it won't be my last.

As a baseball movie, its terrible. Really though, it isn't about baseball. It is about a family...I think. I don't know. The ending was pretty funny though and zombie teams coach kept reminding me of that blue Jay Leno looking dude from Beetleborgs.

The movie was over the top in every aspect. The one downfall it has was its lack of action. After reading reviews and previews and watching trailers I expected a little bit more action than was presented.

It's still worth buying though if only to see it and try to explain it to others.
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