Anime Reporter brings the word on Takashi Miike’s fairly bizarre action/horror(?)/comedy, Yakuza Apocalypse.
Brace yourselves. Things get a little chaotic here. Boss Kamuira is a Yakuza boss, well respected about town. His underlings know that they are never to hurt a civilian and that they should show respect to the people of their town. What they don’t know is that their boss is a vampire who’s managed to piss off an international crime organisation who wanted him to join their ranks. Kamuira is killed, but snags the chance to convert his most faithful follower, Kageyama, into a vampire in the hopes that Kageyama can avenge him.
Kageyama wouldn’t have been most people’s first choice for super vampire-killing machine. His skin is too sensitive for him to get one of the giant Yakuza tattoos that display membership of the crime family and he’s generally looked down upon as a result. Unfortunately, Kageyama wakes up and promptly starts feasting on the first warm bodies he stumbles across, turning them and indirectly causing the greater population of the town to become vampires determined to shake off the authority of the Yakuza. This is mixed in with the fact that the pesky international crime organisation has just called its number one assassin to town and Kageyama is going to have to tear through him in order to avenge his master.
This movie is weird. It might also be brilliant. But it is, definitely, weird. Vampires are the very least of what you get here, there’s also the appearance of a Kappa-goblin, something quite weird to do with milk and also a big frog… thing. The plot and portrayal are over the top, in the style that direct manga-adaptations often are, but the film seems to be wholly original. Action is well-delivered, if quite bizarre, and the special effects are inconsistent enough that at times it feels like they have to parodying something. The story itself is… well, it’s pretty much exactly what I summarised above. The latter half of the movie could be fairly well summarised with the words “chaos ensues”. It’s something different, teetering on the border between wholly confusing and wholly confused. Watch it, if you’re looking for something you haven’t seen before and you’re not actually too concerned about details like plot or characters. Don’t watch it if you want a Japanese answer to Bade with sexy action and style. This is not that film. If you’re prepared for madness, then this movie should be a delight.
Yakuza Apocalypse is making its way to DVD and Bluray courtesy of Manga Entertainment UK on May 2nd. Enjoy the madness!