It’s Friday! And after a long work week I’m intending to spend some quality time with a Japanese drama over the weekend. I apologize for not being able to chat it up in comments very much this past week but sadly overtime will do that =(.
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So for tonight’s Unzipped♥ we’ll be visiting the idol cinema once again, our idol of focus is Hashimoto Manami, and of course more on this gravure idol of the past in just a bit! ^^
~Warning! there are spoilers for this film ahead!
To begin with the very premise of this video game turned movie is quite a visual I think no matter if you’re a girl or a guy but what you may be expecting or hoping to see may have you at odds as the movie progresses. I mean if you ever imagined what it would be like if a video game were actually brought to “real life” in terms of having actors and actresses in a live setting, and what if all of the game like movements and effects were also along for the ride? It’d be pretty amusing right? I really enjoyed the movie and found it most entertaining but it may not be for everyone so let’s take a look at some of the aspects of the film in a simple breakdown as my wacky mind enjoys elaborating here =P:
Many of the elements that make up a good zombie movie are very present in this film, take for example…
~Zombies in Onechanbara~
First and foremost the disturbing make-up all of the undead are wearing. Very well done and even hip on some levels as these are “modern day” zombies and not the same ones that your parents watched on television on a late Saturday night. Most have all the “right moves” too~ as in the slightly clumsy stutter two-step which most boys learned early on whenever their girlfriend really accidentally stepped on his toes while wearing her heels. =O I swear it wasn’t me though, okay maybe just twice (。ーωー。). But zombies must and I mean must be able to quickly turn on the afterburners at any given moment right! And especially when the hero or heroine or any survivor is in dire straights of getting eaten alive!! Just as the camera has long added 1-3 pounds to your lips, I meant hips …(u_u*), the camera also likely adds speed and agility to once slow moving zombies whenever you’re very busy freaking out or outnumbered for that matter (゜Д゜;)！！！It’s so amusing how zombies always do that, walk slowly ever so slowly as they lull you into a false sense of security that they can’t catch you and then suddenly!!!! They’re all running after you at full speed!!! WT#??!! Pardon my hash-tag. =O
~Otoguro Eri in “Onechanbara”~
Also the landscape and most of the scenes should be shot in darkness which helps with the creepy factor where things go bump in the night and don’t zombies just look way more cool during the night than during the day? Although they do appear in both night and day light here and when one considers the masterful way in which “28 days later” was shot it really can work in both environments equally if done right, so consider this point completely optional although in horror movies the daytime always seems to last only a few minutes movie time while the night goes on for at least an hour and forty five minutes to two hours if the movie is long LOL =P.
~Crazy “doctor” guy in “Onechanbara”~
“Onechanbara” also incorporates in the much needed crazy doctor guy, you know he has one odd eye one good eye and only the most bad intentions as he generally wants to redefine mankind with some sort of sinister plot which he most likely thought up one late afternoon after he had hit his head somewhere (・д・`*)!
And the seven degrees of crazy doctor guy’s association chart does make an effort to create a storyline in “Onechanbara” by ways of the flashback scene, but not knowing a thing about the video game on which this movie is based I can only wonder if this is actually based on a story-line in the game or if the director wanted to further develop the characters themselves?
~Otoguro Eri in “Onechanbara”~
Enter in our main heroine “Aya” played by a most sexy and often times even *sultry* Otoguro Eri♥ who lops off zombie heads, legs, arms, etc. etc. first and asks questions later. =P And I so love her cowboy hat as it reminds me of Burst Angel Meg!! o(*´∀｀)o゛And while Aya isn’t sleeping or destroying all zombies in sight she’s looking for…..
~Crazy “doctor” guy in “Onechanbara”~
…the crazy “doctor” guy who began all of this mayhem in the first place with his syringe and bad bad judgement (+_+)…but wait there’s more!
~Saki meets Aya~
You see Aya’s sister “Saki” has developed a lifetime grudge against Aya and all humanity for that matter as she is responsible for killing their father as a result of jealousy brought upon by their father’s favoring of Aya when they both were little and still in swordsmanship training, .add to that Saki’s willingness to help that crazy “doctor” guy and you thought you had family issues (*≧m≦)! And the feeling is very mutual in Aya’s distaste of Saki for what she’s done of course. =/
~Hashimoto Manami in “Onechanbara”~
The finesse comes in with the entrance of “Reiko” played by Hashimoto Manami♥ (she’s tonight’s “Idols Unzipped” connection as aforementioned atop =D) and she really really appears like a model!! She’s so *beautiful*!! Reiko brings compassion and while the story-line may have been stretching the outer seams of our patience at times and in particular when a lone orphaned girl is found all alone and Reiko really takes to caring for her as a mother would and her gun play is not unlike that of a first person shooter, again with this movie’s real sense of video gaming aesthetics, literally as it’s all very video game like and that brings us to…..
~Aya vs. Saki!!~
..the fight choreography itself. It could not be any less video game like in the very nature that it was all shot.
~Aya vs. Saki~!~!~
You really feel as if you’re watching for the most part a video game scene brought to life with the very movements and mechanics of the video game characters taking place on screen in real human form. Aya & Saki move like the wind darting every which way in precise attack, evade and defense movements which zig~zag across the screen in lightning if not slightly robotic like fashion at times. But some of the fight choreography does instill some realism to the screen but overall I found it to be really drowned out by the digital effects and character flash movements that the film opted for.
So it’ll really come down to a matter of personal taste and if the viewer likes/dislikes the way CGs are used throughout the film as…..
….zombie heads and limbs will literally fly! (・д・`*)……
..and all in a fury of mostly sped up superhuman attacks and slashes which blur across the screen in sometimes unconceivable ways…but yes in a video game way always =). But truly only some video game fighters are this way as “Onimusha” I thought was really well made in the sense of the realism the battle movements provided but then I was usually mostly thinking about how the character was modeled after Kaneshiro Takeshi♥ so YUM!~! .………(゜∀゜)………! MMMY!!
~Aya releases some stress! =O~
And while some zombies splatter and split by either Aya’s blade or Reiko’s gun, others tend to splish~splash and simply disintegrate on the spot which has also been done in other realms of horror films and while there’s really no authorative book on the way zombies go bye-bye I guess it’s rather imaginative to have them being disposed of in various ways throughout the film. =)
Just be sure to have tons of zombies on screen at any given moment!! I mean lots and lots of them just everywhere, oozing out of the walls, crawling on the ground, flying in from overhead, coming out of the ground when possible …just lots of zombies all the time!~! What am I talking about? (*´艸`)…
~Zombie Zombie Zombie….~
~Otoguro Eri in “Onechanbara”~
And unlike zombie movies of the past…
~*Power up* time~! ＼(^o^)／☆~
….”Onechanbara” also introduces the use of the *power up*! ＼(^o^)／☆ And wer’e talking light em’ up and blast them all away in a single strike of immense power!!
Perhaps a good analogy may be comparing Aya’s *power up* to that of FFVII’s “Cloud” where by building up your weopon you then get to unleash a single one time blast from a variety of possibilities if you’ve acquired them. I’m guessing that maybe there’s a zombie head count being considered here (・c_・;)？in order for Aya to unleash her ultimate strike but that may be anyone’s guess and especially mine as I’ve never actually viewed or played this video game as aforementioned..(._.;). Or perhaps it’s just based on pure anger as it appears in the film when Aya in particular is very ticked off at some very persistent and bad zombies. For me I *wish* it were based on PMS as then I could use it at least once a month within a particular time period but of course I’d only use it for good………………(。ーωー。)~♥!
So we’ve met our main heroine of this zombified story along with a most capable gunner in Reiko, but I know you’re just wondering so much, what of the teddy bear character from the great drama “Gokusen♥” on her right? Right??…
He’s “Katsuji” played by Waki Tomohiro and he’s usually in dire need of Aya’s help but he’s survived somehow, somehow this long as her partner in disposing of zombies although he’s usually hiding (・_・);
However what I find to be even more mysterious is how Katsuji is the only main character who appears to have not taken a shower for a few years or at least since the zombie invasion/spreading began σ(゜□゜;)! Aya, Reiko, Saki …the crazy “doctor” guy and even some of the zombies look much cleaner than poor Katsuji and for the most part simply immaculate! (;´□｀) How is this possible? LOL (・c_・;)？Maybe his acting is just that much more authentic, okay I’m kidding!…(^q^)!
And before I forget, there is the mysterious but very gratuitous bikini and what does it all mean? If going into deep zombie battle wouldn’t one want to be much more protected in their choice of wardrobe? Or maybe Aya was at the beach the very moment that the zombie outbreak occurred in her hometown leaving her with nothing else to wear. Hmm, Aya moves better and more freely this way instead of in armor or jeans & a cute♥ top? Or this could be a tactical idea gone awry~!….Aya was thinking, bikini♥ = male distraction = zombies going goo~♥ goo~♥ on her (￣▽￣)! But what of the female zombies who will be immune to the powers of the bikini♥?!!!…(^q^) LOL
The final showdown as you maybe had *wished* Σ(￣◇￣*)！is as surreal as visions may appear in one’s deep imagination. The meeting’s *climax* comes complete with seifuku♥, a large field, cowboy hat♥, bikini♥ and samurai swords♥..and just when you thought Aya may have defeated her sister Saki! ↓↓↓ or that…
…..this post was finally over (・д・`*) there’s just one more thing to mention, and for anyone who regularly plays fight games or RPGs♥ you know the feeling of just having triumphed over the final boss stage when suddenly he/she/it grows into something inevitably stronger, more powerful AND menacing and larger, maybe grows another head and wings ….adds on many tentacles and now has more hit points than you can fathom and is flying and laughing at you …(ノロ≦。)！….
..”Onechanbara” can do that too!
~The Final Showdown~
…I just thought I’d give you the *heads up*~.!
And lastly, here are three mini clips from “Onechanbara” ..enjoy! And do get the DVD if you LOVE your video games brought to life in a VERY video game~y type of way =)!
~”Onechanbara Bikini Samurai Squad” (clip 3)~
~”Onechanbara Bikini Samurai Squad” (clip 2)~
~”Onechanbara Bikini Samurai Squad” (clip 1)~