Strange Tale of Oyuki / Bokuto kitan (1992)

A middle-aged man with an umbrella walks down a crowded alley in the Tamanoi area during the thirties. As rain begins, a young woman asks for shelter under his umbrella. She invites him into her place to dry his clothes and offers him tea and then herself, for she is, like the other women in … Continue reading Strange Tale of Oyuki / Bokuto kitan (1992)

Heat Wave / Kagero (1991)

As the modern yakuza were returning to the big screen around 1990, the period yakuza also re-appeared in Kagero. Rin saw her gambler father murdered after he was caught cheating. She is adopted by the Kosugi family, who run a large “restaurant,” as the subtitles have it, and who have just given birth to a … Continue reading Heat Wave / Kagero (1991)

Bumpkin Soup / Excitement of the Do-Re-Mi-Fa Girl / Blood of the Do-Re-Me-Fa Girl Roars / Do-re-mi-fa musume no chi wa sawagu (1985)

The country girl Akiko appears at a university campus in search of Yoshioka, the boy she has determined to marry (apparently because he took her virginity) and wanders into not a world of study but of continuously weird behavior. As she says, it's more like a constant festival or circus than a school. Yoshioka hasn't … Continue reading Bumpkin Soup / Excitement of the Do-Re-Mi-Fa Girl / Blood of the Do-Re-Me-Fa Girl Roars / Do-re-mi-fa musume no chi wa sawagu (1985)

His Motorbike, Her Island / Kare no otobai kanojo no shima (1986)

His Motorbike, Her Island accomplishes the seemingly impossible. Combining a showcase for not one but two of Kadokawa’s girl “pop idols,” the introduction of a young male to potentially join them as a teen idol, a teen-romance story line, a Japanese ghost story, and a 90-minute ad for Kawasaki, Obayashi somehow also managed to make … Continue reading His Motorbike, Her Island / Kare no otobai kanojo no shima (1986)

Search for the Black Pearl / Underwear Inspection / Chikan densha: Shitagi kensatsu (1984)

One of the public problems in Japanese society for decades has been women being groped in the over-crowded subways and trains,* particularly in Tokyo, so it should come as no surprise that pinku films should take up the subject. The result was some 23 movies made by Shintoho Eiga, Nikkatsu’s principal competitor in the genre, … Continue reading Search for the Black Pearl / Underwear Inspection / Chikan densha: Shitagi kensatsu (1984)

Most Dangerous Game / Games of Maximum Risk / Mottomo kiken na yugi (1978)

In The Most Dangerous Game, the action movie is reduced to its pure essence – action with hardly a break except for our hero to get drunk while he recovers absurdly quickly from a gunshot wound. Barring that brief pause, we have beatings, gun battles, rape, lots of running, some more gun battles, the most … Continue reading Most Dangerous Game / Games of Maximum Risk / Mottomo kiken na yugi (1978)