Screenplay by: Nakashima Kazuki
Directed by: Miike Takashi

"Dororo Changer!" (Not really.)

So, the big draw to this film, for me, was the guy playing God Lee - you can see him in the poster, to the right, with all the gold stuff? Do you know who played him? NinjaBlack from Ninja Sentai Kakuranger!

If only he'd brought his Super Sentai powers with him...

... maybe I wouldn't have fallen asleep.

Look, I'd had a long day, and I was seeing this back-to-back with Ansatsu Kyoushitsu: Graduation. I was very tired. I warned my friend I'd probably fall asleep, and I did.

That said, the film was pretty awesome. I think Toei could have done a better job - there's a lot of insect-based henshinning going on, and Toei basically invented that - but the CGI was great, the acting was totally appropriate to the plot and tone of the film (bad, but it would have been weird if the acting was good) and the story was fun as heck.

I now really want to watch the anime and read the manga.

The film's one real drawback was that Jim - the English-speaking kickboxer played by one of my favourite Japanese actors - wore too many clothes for the whole film.

I was quite annoyed with the people sitting around me frequently swearing and calling the film "shit". It was an amazing example of the type of film it was - what their issue really was was with the type of film. If that's the case, you shouldn't see it. There's a difference between something being "bad" and you not liking something (although they will often overlap for most people).

I found myself hoping that Tackle or Bee/Wasp Lady from Kamen Rider Stronger would turn up and say "Let's show these bitches how it's done.", but sadly, that didn't happen. It would have made this the best movie ever, though.

It's definitely one to watch more than once, just for the fun value. And in the meantime I can go watch Tomorrow's Joe to see Jim's actor boxing half-naked. :)
 

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Assassination Classroom: Graduation (2016) film posterScreenplay by: Kanazawa Tatsuya
Directed by: Hasumi Eiichiro

I was wary of seeing this, worried that because I hadn't seen the anime, the other film or read the manga, I'd feel completely lost. In the end, I only saw it because the former love of my life, Kazunari Ninomiya, was in it.

I thought it was great, and my concerns about not being able to follow it were unfounded.

The film does a great job of very simply and clearly explaining what has come before - and it does it in a very natural way. There are actual, sensible reasons for characters to describe what viewers who are new to the franchise may have missed.

Kazunari Ninomiya - as both the voice of Koro-sensei and as Koro-sensei's "human form" - does an excellent job; and, surprisingly, so does Suda Masaki. My only previous exposure to Masaki was as Phillip/Raito/Light in Kamen Rider W, and while he did very well there, I didn't expect him to be a good actor in general. His role here is completely different, and he does it really well.

Yamada Ryosuke was brilliant. I promptly Googled him to find out what else he was in, and Cain to Abel, a 2016 j-drama, easily made the list. He'll be amazing there, too.

One of my favourite things about the film was how some utterly absurd stuff is just taken in stride by the kids. There's a computer-schoolgirl named STAR who can just conjure gatling guns and blow places up, and they barely even notice. There's a sexy assassin (named "Miss Bitch") walking around, and they barely bat an eyelid when she strolls past in sexy clothes, wielding a huge gun. (My favourite bit of the film is her casually strolling through a chaotic battlefield with a rocket launcher.)

In the midst of the absurdity is a pretty good message about embracing different views and coming together for common goals. (And also just how being friends benefits everyone.)

I'm going to watch the first film, but I'm not sure I'm sold on the anime or manga just yet.
 

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