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The Great Yokai War (Double-Disc Special Edition)

4.1 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

A young boy becomes an unlikely hero when he is chosen as the "Kirin Rider" and must lead Japan’s ancient Yokai spirits in their apocalyptic war against the evil monsters. A lavish remake of the 1968 film "Yokai Daisenso" from acclaimed director Takashi Miike (ICHI THE KILLER, AUDITION).

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Ryûnosuke Kamiki, Hiroyuki Miyasako, Chiaki Kuriyama, Bunta Sugawara, Kaho Minami
  • Directors: Takashi Miike
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Tokyo Shock
  • DVD Release Date: September 12, 2006
  • Run Time: 124 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000F2CAJ2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #88,379 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Great Yokai War (Double-Disc Special Edition)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Kev on October 25, 2006
Format: DVD
Miike does it again! Just when you think you've got this guy figured out, he does something different and somehow makes it his own. THE GREAT YOKAI WAR is a fantasy movie in the same vein as NEVERENDING STORY, DARK CRYSTAL, ALICE IN WONDERLAND, LOTR, and LABYRINTH. However, by successfully integrating Japanese folklore and contemporary stylization, something new and fresh is created. While there is no overly didactic messages, elements of anti-consumerism and environmentalism are hinted at. Essentially the themes are as simple as believing in yourself and the magic of childhood.

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.
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By B. McDonald on January 6, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
i give this movie two thumbs up! It's a story about the creatures of Japan's folklore. (And it wasn't anything like the "Never Ending Story") The only way "it was like a kid's movie", or the Never Ending Story, is because the main character is a child... i believe this movie is for you if you take any interest in Japan's culture.
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Format: DVD
Kappa. Tengu. Yuki Onna, Kawa Hime. Chochin Obake. Kasa Obake. Japan's fantasy monsters, called Yokai in Japanese, are an unending list of bizarre creativity, from a culture that spawns goblins for almost every situation. Something of a national obsession, there are books and comics and movies dedicated to packing as many of them as possible.

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.
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Format: DVD
If you've gotten to this listing, chances are you're already familiar with the works of Takashi Miike. Doesn't the guy's versatility just astound you? From the hip-deep-in-gore classic "Ichi the Killer" to the unsettling "Gozu" and "Auditon", to his myriad gonzo Yakuza films, to his unclasiffiable movies ("Happiness of the Katakuris", "Bird People In China") - Miike can do anything. Having recently seen "Zebraman" and then hearing about this, I was eager to see how Miike would do once again in a more family-friendly vein. Once again, he makes something in a different genre that also manages to bear his distinctive stamp.
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?
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