By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)
Screening online at Fantasia 2021
Tickets available to purchase here
Please check local film festivals for additional screenings when geo-locked.
Stylistically, The Great Yōkai War (妖怪大戦争) is a movie that only Takashi Miike can imagine. This filmmaker is better known for his ultra violent movies, but for this franchise, he switches gears for a 90s style family friendly product where the spiritual entities aren’t all that terrifying. They’re either muppets or Farscape races. I want to hug the cute ones. Well, mostly the girl who allies with Tadashi, the hero, and the hamster named Sunekosuri. The latter is a “pet” for part of the film. This lad gets tagged during a local festival to become the guardian and the rest of the story becomes something like 3×3 Eyes–but minus the Sanjiyan.
The film is serviceable, and the franchise world is one I’d love to be taken a bit more seriously. Studio Ghibli’s Pon Poko got the struggle right. The spectacular yokai parade was a feast for the senses.
Sixteen years later, we may finally have it. The Great Yōkai War: Guardians (妖怪大戦争 ガーディアンズ). Instead of seeing the previous hero all grown up and dealing with this new threat, we have a new boy wonder, Kei Watanabe (Kokoro Terada). He might be back, but he’ll be tough to recognize due to age. Kadokawa Pictures’ press release describes this film as an all new adventure. This time, the plot is about humanity vs nature. We can’t see the spirit world and they’ll have to protect us from a dire threat!
Continue reading “The Great Yōkai War: Guardians, Trailer and Closing out Fantasia 2021”