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Big Man Japan

50 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

BIG MAN JAPAN is an outrageous portrayal of an original superhero. As Big Man Japan, Daisato inherited the role of defending Japan against a host of bizarre monsters. He receives high-voltage electroshocks which transform him into a stocky, stick-wielding giant several stories high.
However, where his predecessors were revered as national heroes, he is an outcast among the citizens he protects.

Special Features

  • Behind the Scenes
  • Deleted Scenes

Product Details

  • Actors: Riki Takeuchi
  • Directors: Hitoshi Matsumoto
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Japanese
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Magnolia Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: July 28, 2009
  • Run Time: 108 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0023BZ65S
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,788 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Big Man Japan" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Burgess Smith on June 27, 2009
Format: DVD
Saw this at Facets in Chicago last night, and it was amazing. It's one of those movies that I want to show to all my friends.

Fair warning, DON'T WATCH THE US TRAILER. They should fire whoever was responsible for that. This is a CGI action movie the same way "This is Spinal Tap" is a 90-minute live recorded performance by U2. That is to say, it's not. 90% of Big Man Japan is shot in a documentary style and it has a hilarious "slow burn" style of humor that is just not evident from the trailer. If you're expecting slapstick and big monster fights, you'll get some of that but it's not what the movie is all about. It's very Christopher-Guest-ish, so think "Waiting for Guffman" or "Best in Show" (or again, "This is Spinal Tap").

I probably laughed harder at the ending to this movie than I did at anything all year, and I feel sorry for the people who didn't "get" it. Do yourselves a favor and watch some old tokusatsu like Ultraman or Spectreman before you see this. That is the genre that this movie is spoofing, so you should at the very least have a LITTLE familiarity with it. Beyond that, you don't need to be a huge Japanophile to love this, as the humor is pretty universal. This movie definitely earned its spot in my top 25 favorite comedies.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Zack Davisson HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 28, 2009
Format: DVD
If you aren't fairly familiar with modern Japanese comedy then you are probably going to miss a lot of what "Big Man Japan" has to offer. For example, "Downtown" is not a name that is going to mean much to most Americans, but they are a phenomenal comedy-duo that are incredibly influential and whose style dominates much of modern Japanese comedy. Think Monty Python's Flying Circus, The Second City Theatre, or Saturday Night Live.

"Big Man Japan" (Japanese title "Dai-Nipponjin" or "Giant Japanese Person") is "Downtown" member Matsumoto Hitoshi's big screen debut as both a staring actor and a director. Much of the humor is in his trademark style, and he brought along plenty of famous friends for cameos, although noticeably missing is his "Downtown" partner Masatoshi Hamada.

The film is done in a mockumentary-style, following the life of slacker Daisatou Masaru who has inherited his power to grow to an enormous size from his father and his now-senile grandfather, both who previously served as "Big Man Japan." Masaru draws a government salary to protect Japan from the various Godzilla-like monsters that attack from time to time, but his heart isn't really in it. The public mocks him and complains about the property damage and environmental aspects of his battles. His manager sells advertising space on his giant body. Things just aren't going well.
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Format: DVD
As other reviewers here have stated, this is largely a satire on certain genres of Japanese film, and it helps to know those references. But even as one who's seen a pretty small amount of Japanese film (except Kurosawa, a true genius), I still found it slyly funny during the many slow character-driven parts, and incredibly stupidly hilarious during the fight scenes.

Even if you get bored with the satire of the superhero's daily life (it is indeed very dry wit and meant for those with enough intellect to not demand a new fight every two minues), simply fast forward to the half dozen fight scenes, which are among the most insanely goofy visual weirdness I've ever seen, and I've seen plenty. They mock the monster genre while simultaneously glorying in the splendid silliness of the whole concept. Plus, the monsters are some of the weirdest creatures you will ever see. Just looking at them is funny, but watching them fight the bored superhero is a whole new type of laugh.

This comedy turns all sorts of ideas on their heads and exposes the idiocy of not only fanboys and cultists but also the selfishness of modern people, whatever culture they're from.

Highly recommended for those with imagination, and those who can laugh at their own preconceptions.
And remember, even if you get bored, make sure to ff to the fight scenes. They get better and better as they go, and the ending is a cracker.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By D-Clems on September 18, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This movie is great, but I must admit it is VERY Japanese... which isn't a bad thing. There are a lot of cameos and Japanese references that I know I missed, but the film really is a work of art. I began watching with somewhat low expectations (watching mostly for a few laughs at Japanese culture) but what I got was no mere cheap-frills comedy.

The story starts off in a interview/mockumentary style, and much of the comedy in the first part of the movie is a little bit hard to catch. The character development seems almost a little dark, and you really feel bad for our main hero, Big Man Japan himself. You learn a lot about why he does what he does, and it's a real play on the human nature of sticking to what we know and fearing change.

It almost seems like a serious movie up until you see the first monster. This is where the movie gets GREAT!

All of the monsters are creative and hilarious. I won't spoil any of them for you, and I recommend you watch the movie without looking up any videos about it beforehand, as seeing the monsters in the context of the movie really adds to the humor of it. Any fans of Godzilla or Japanese media such as myself will know what these monsters are parodying. It's a nice laugh after seeing so many giant monsters being taken so seriously by other Japanese media. The monsters in this movie really make it worth the watch.

Unlike most Japanese monster flicks that I have seen, this movie uses CGI for its monsters. I am not a fan of CGI myself, a reason that I have always admired the modern Godzilla films that use latex and makeup, but this movie I forgive because the monsters are so well done.
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