Wanting to Roar, Even Though Much of Lion-Girl is Simply a Mew

Westernized live-action takes on the sentai genre can be a mixed bag, and Lion-Girl needs to distinguish herself if she’s to be wild and be that avenger if she’s to succeed!

Lion-Girl Movie PosterCleopatra Entertainment
VOD/Home Release Date: Nov 7, 2023

Kurando Mitsutake is no stranger to budget cinema. He’s carved himself a niche that’s more or less has the look of films made in the past century. While a lot of marketing says Lion-Girl is inspired by Go Nagai’s manga styling, I’m seeing more than just one creator’s influence and they forgot to say it’s inspired by many a sentai series.

Also, what this filmmaker made isn’t 100% Japanese. This talent set up shop in Los Angeles and I found the setting of Neo Japan very tough to believe–especially when I recognise the Sierra Nevada in the background. The use of American actors isn’t too much of distraction when considering the information prefaced in the movie trailer. However, what’s presented feels more like a cowboy sentai style western than anything else.

Also, I wondered which heroine led manga from this artist was the primary influence. The protagonist here isn’t like Cutie Honey or Kekko Kamen. The closest parallel might be with Cinderella Kishi, but I’d have to read this series to say for certain. While this film honours Nagai’s works, like Devilman with its nudity and Violence Jack for the off the wall blood, at least the full-frontal bits of genitalia does not differ from what’s depicted on paper. They tend to appear as though they are victims after being kidnapped by aliens rather than put into sexual situations.

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