Tebana Sankichi: Snot Rocket and Super Detective
Year: 1998~2005
Length: 83min
Tebana Sankichi,
Hajime Ikkaichi
Yudai Yamaguchi

Average: 4.2
Tebana Sankichi: Snot Rocket and Super Detective

This was directed by Yudai Yamaguchi, so I knew it was going to be weird. And since the title was "Snot Rocket," I knew it was going to be a whole new kind of weird. The story goes that Yudai was brainstorming plot ideas and had a runny nose, so he thought, "Viola! I shall make a movie about a guy who fights crime by blowing snot at people!!" And it was so.

The series of comedy skits for Tebana Sankichi (the "Snot Rocket") were shot over a period of 7 years: 1998, 1999, 2001, 2005. They started when Tak was 22 or 23 and have as much if not more history as Versus! This footage actually attracted Kitamura's attention to cast Tak into Versus. Definitely a must see. On the DVD is also a second movie short called "Super Detective," which was shot around the time of Versus.

Snot Rocket
I really don't want to give away any spoilers, but I feel that I must in order to prepare you for what you'd be getting into if you decide to watch this....

This is the story of a boy named Tebana Sankichi whose mother died in childbirth and his father blamed it on him ever since. He lashed his son for minor indiscretions and, to punish him further, he would sneak up on Sankichi while he was sleeping and give him oral sex. This made Sankichi depressed, and while he was crying in a park, he discovered his innate superhero power: he could shoot streams of snot at people! So, the first thing he did, was run home and test it out on his father... and promptly drowned him in a glob of mucus.

So yeah... Picture that...... Except funny!! And I swear, this movie is hilarious!! It doesn't go in any semblance of chronological order. If anything, it flows backwards. But, somehow, it all makes sense in the end! So lets try this again...

This is the story of a guy named Tebana Sankichi, who catches criminals by blowing snotty goo at them! This must be where the trend of Tak hitting women as comic relief started... and they still love him for it. ^_^;; He also has an incredibly ugly partner/apprentice named Shiro Twice (/Triple /Million /Half). They travel together, bathe together, even sleep together. It's pretty damn obvious they're gay for each other (even Tak once commented the movie is "too gay"). There's just one problem: Shiro keeps getting killed, and this makes Sankichi very sad.

Minoru Matsumoto, the wimpy Yakuza from Versus, played several derivatives of Shiro Twice in parts of the movie. In fact, the amulet that he carries around in Versus was the amulet Tak wore in the first two segments of Tebana Sankichi. It was burned during the filming of Versus, so they had to find a new amulet for the later half of Tebana Sankichi. Also in this movie is Takamasa Suga, the monk from Death Trance and protagonist of Cromartie High, as the guy who kills Shiro Twice... and Triple... and Million.

But anyways, the real treasure for Tak lovers here is how much time this movie spans! The first few skits were shot on very low budget (10,000 yen). The film is grainy. Nobody is wearing makeup so you can see everyone's pores and blemishes in all their unmasked glory! Any makeup that was worn (for scars, blood, etc) I think was drawn on by marker. ^_^; Also, the first few skits were shot before Tak was asked to lose those 25 pounds for Versus. It doesn't get more natural than this, folks! The later skits were shot on a bit more of a budget (50,000 yen), so you get clearer video and nicer lighting. Tak actually contracted some disease that made his eyes swell up in the last part of the movie, so they apparently tried to save his red eye for scenes where he was either crying or very angry. :P

The film is shot across many different locations, and with many different looks for Tak's character. I've never seen him change costumes so much in one movie. There's also a lot of shirtless Tak, and many gratuitous bathing scenes. It tracks a huge portion of Tak's career. By the time it came to do the last part of the movie, Tak discovered that his winks didn't look natural anymore compared to the first parts. "That's because I wasn't even an actor. The Innocent-looking wink performed by a guy who came out of Ishikawa prefecture has gotten drab after coming out to Tokyo. (Yudai: I can see that. I can see you getting corrupted.) I just became more mature and... (Yudai: he's a boaster now.) I'm not a boaster! Don't be ridiculous!"

Super Detective
So this is the second feature on the DVD. It had a bigger budget (70,000 yen), but I'll be honest and say it wasn't as good as Snot Rocket (you know, I never thought I'd ever hear myself say anything wasn't as good as something called "Snot Rocket," but there you go). That's not to say it was bad! It just shows how good Snot Rocket is!! XD

Super Detective is shot in black and white and looks more like a glorified photo shoot than a movie (again, not necessarily a bad thing). It's about a detective named Hajime Ikkaichi, who is a master of disguise (yes, that's Tak)! He solves a lot of crimes, but then again, there's a good chance those crimes wouldn't have happened if he wasn't at the scene. o.o;; But that's ok, 'cause Tak looks real clean-cut and shiny here! The film also stars Kenji Matsuda (crazy knife-wielding Yakuza from Versus), so that was cool.

Image Gallery for "Snot Rocket"
More Pictures
Image Gallery for "Super Detective"
More Pictures

DVD Extras

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DISCLAIMER: All images copyright Tak Sakaguchi, Ryuhei Kitamura, Yudai Yamaguchi, Yuji Shimomura, and all respective owners whose work, support, distribution, etc contributed to the making of the movies, interviews, documentaries, etc. I do not know Tak Sakaguchi and have nothing to do with him (yet?). I am just here to admire his work. No copyright infringement is intended.