Not only is this Tak's
directorial debut, he also wrote, choreographed, and starred in
Otokojuku" translates as "Samurai School!! Be A
Man." With Tak's creative hand all over this project, it
serves as a unique glimpse inside his head. The movie is based
on a manga by Akira Miyashita, a kind of satire of Japanese
ideas of manhood, and Tak brings it to life with his dramatic
quirkiness and comedic timing. It still amazes me how he can
deliver perfectly silly lines with a straight face. There's also
blood geysers! Lots
of blood geysers. The movie walks the fine line between
wholesome and brutal that characterizes classic shounen
was established in the Samurai Era. It is where countless heroes
and outstanding men have been nurtured.” In other words, it is
where boys go to become men.
And as any good school based on feudal customs, it also makes
use of ancient torture techniques such as the:
Bath: Otherwise known as the Hell Boat, it is “a special
torture designed to make ruthless criminals talk. Oil is poured
into a gold tub and a candle on a leaf boat is set afloat. If
the criminal in the tub moves, the unstable leaf boat will turn
over and the oil will be in flames. The horror and pain will
last until the candle burns out."
Solitary Cells: “Two
people are each confined in adjacent cells. If one stops pulling
the chains a rock, hanging in the next cell, falls and the one
in that cell dies. In Medieval times, when betrayal and
treachery were common, this was designed to nurture unseen
mutual trust and cooperation.”
Twin Solitary Cells was a punishment a student by the name of
had to undergo in his first year. Then, after he talked back to
his Drill Masters, he was expelled from Otokojuku for life. But
that didn't stop Omito. He founded his own school, the Kanto
Gogaku-Ren, and vowed to get his revenge on Otokojuku. He
also grew fond of donning full
samurai gear. That's right, Omito Date is played by none
other than Hideo
Sakaki, Tak's nemesis from Versus!
here plays Momotaro "Peach Boy" Tsurugi, a freshman
with exceptional skill in martial arts. When the second year
students decide to organize an "orientation"
for the first year students, complete with the traditional Bottle-Cup
ritual, the affair soon degenerates into an all out brawl.
to score a tie with the second year student Goji Akashi and his
Rock-Cutter blade, thus earning his welcome at Otokojuku.
movie progresses at a fast pace, and before you know it, the
Kanto Goku-Ren and Otokojuku are facing each other in the "Amazing
Triple Death Battles" for ownership of the school.
Three of the best fighters from each school pair off to duel in
various precarious situations... to the death!! I should
probably mention that the Kanto Goku-Ren
actually have a decent bishounen on their team: Hien.
Amazing Triple Death Battles climaxes in a showdown between Momotaro
and Omito! It's kinda like a Versus rematch... except less
cool. After hosing each other with blood, rain pours down from a
cloudless sky and they resort to a bare-handed fistfight...
which looks a lot like them stumbling
around in a field somewhere outside Mt. Fuji. I'll let you
guess who wins.
a $400,000 budget and 2 and a half weeks of shooting, Tak did a
damn good job! He also took his Zeros stunt team to new extremes
by actually having a guy get hit by
And then apologize
for it. Okay, so I doubt that actor is the one that took the
hit, but still! The man has people who will get hit by cars on
command!! Tak doesn't believe in CGI. ^_^;;