The Great Yokai War (Double-Disc Special Edition)
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Tadashi Ino is an introspective kid living with his mother at his grandpa's house after his parents divorce. When he is bitten by a puppet dragon (a kirin) at a festival, he is told by the local kids that he is now the Kirin Rider. Takashi takes the duty seriously as it becomes more evident throughout the film that this folklore is true. Soon enough this kid (who's a very good actor, by the way) is up to his chin in monsters and adventure! He teams up with a motley crew of spooks and weirdos (including the rock star of yokai, the KAPPA), gets an awesome sword, fights robots, and saves Tokyo from the forces of evil.
One of the greatest things about the film is the inventiveness of the yokai costumes themselves. All kinds of masks, suits, makeup, puppets, prosthetics, and digital effects are used to create an epic rouges gallery of monsters. Miike always works with great physical effects artists and designers. Also, Miike taps his large pool of veteran actors like Kenichi Endo and Renji Ishibashi to play some of the yokai. He creates a sort of yokai theater that both children and adults can get lost in.Read more ›
Takashi Miike's "The Great Yokai War" ("Yokai Daisenso") is the latest flick to gather all the yokai together, sending all the kids of Japan running for their copies of Shigeru Mizuki's yokai encyclopedias to see if they can name that obscure creature that popped on the screen for a few seconds. While Miike is best known in the US for his controversial hard horror films like "Audition" and "Visitor Q", this is not his first jaunt into light-hearted kid's films, having previously made the superhero film "Zebraman." "The Great Yokai War" is a remake of a 1968 film of the same name, that was released as "Yokai Monsters: Spook Warfare" in the US.
All in all, it is lots of fun. The story is pretty typical of children's fantasy, with the young boy Tadashi Ino being a nobody at school, the target for bullies and abuse. Tadashi is one day chosen at a local festival to be the Kirin Rider, for which he receives a small flag and a special lunch. Although Tadashi doesn't think this actually means anything, he finds himself drawn in a yokai war, acting as the chosen human champion to help fight the evil Kato, who is merging yokai spirits into machine technology in order to create an army to take over the world. Tadashi gets some help along the way, with his fighting companions being a kappa, the red-faced Kirin Herald, and the childlike but seductive River Princess. Of course he has a magic sword.Read more ›
I knew nothing about Yokai before I saw this. Simply explained: imagine if many places, animals, and situations had a sprite or spirit attached to them - that's a Yokai. Although it does turn out I had some knowledge of them: the concept of kappas from "Kappa Mikey" and the character of Tengu from fighting him in the game "D.O.A. 2". Using them in a children's movie provides many instances for innovative and sometimes shocking creature makeups, using everything from CG to hand puppets. Make no mistake -everything in this is well done; this isn't "Godzilla vs Megalon". And that brings to mind the laugh I got from the Gamera joke near the end.
Now while some us might want to think we can just plop this movie down in front of our kids, it's not so easy. The machine demons (and often the yokai as well) could be scary to a child who wouldn't be ready fr it. And there are dark turns taken in the story, particularly in regards to the small furry Sukemosori.
And speaking of non-child fare, did anyone else notice the faint thread of sexuality running through this?Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I wuldn't know, really - this was a gift for a good friend who is addicted to Japanise ghost stories. Yes, she's a bit crazy.)Published 12 months ago by J. W. M. Erp
I've noticed that a great many Japanese plots stress morality lessons with their entertainment. (Once, America emphasized moral lessons in their films - the early 1900's - (Such... Read morePublished on October 15, 2013 by Roy Clark
This is a cute little Japanese film about a guy who becomes a hero even though at first he doesn't want to be. Read morePublished on June 25, 2013 by Tina Lynn Himelstein
This engaging and entertaining film never takes itself too seriously, and you will enjoy it if you adopt a similar approach. Green-headed monster men? Check. Read morePublished on April 24, 2013 by Jonathan
it's kinda hard to review the wrong product! When it's sent rather then the appropriate item, that being said. Read morePublished on February 10, 2013 by Kindle Customer
The movie is great, I've seen it before. I was drawn to this specific product because they advertised it as a double disk special edition. Read morePublished on December 31, 2012 by Daniel