6.3/10
312
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The Magic Serpent (1966)

Kairyu daikessen (original title)
Not Rated | | Fantasy | 5 March 1966 (Japan)
In ancient Japan, a good lord is killed and his throne is taken by the trecherous Yuki Daijo and his wizard friend Oroki-maru. The young prince Ikazuki-maru is rescued from the jaws of ... See full summary »

Director:

Tetsuya Yamanouchi (as Tetsuya Yamauchi)

Writers:

Masaru Igami, Mokuami Kawatake (story)
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Cast

Credited cast:
Hiroki Matsukata Hiroki Matsukata ... Ikazuchi-Maru / Jiraiya
Tomoko Ogawa Tomoko Ogawa ... Sunate
Ryûtarô Ôtomo Ryûtarô Ôtomo ... Orochi-Maru
Bin Amatsu Bin Amatsu ... Daijô Yûki
Nobuo Kaneko ... Dôjin Hiki
Izumi Hara Izumi Hara ... Spider Woman (as Sen Hara)
Kensaku Hara Kensaku Hara ... Zenbei
Masataka Iwao Masataka Iwao ... Kido
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Seizô Fukumoto ... Ninja
Akira Shioji Akira Shioji
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Storyline

In ancient Japan, a good lord is killed and his throne is taken by the trecherous Yuki Daijo and his wizard friend Oroki-maru. The young prince Ikazuki-maru is rescued from the jaws of death by a magic bird sent by a wizard. Ten years later, Ikazuki-maru embarks on an adventure to avenge his parents and the wizard's death with his magic powers he learned from the wizard. He kills Yuki Daijo but then must battle Oroki-maru in a battle to the death. Written by Horror-Fan

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Fantasy

Certificate:

Not Rated
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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

5 March 1966 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Froggo and Droggo See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Toei Company See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jiraiya's giant toad was used in another ninja-themed production from Toei, the popular TV series Kamen no ninja Aka-Kage (1967), as a monster-of-the-week. See more »

Alternate Versions

For the US English versions, AIP-TV removed the film's opening and ending theme songs ("Kairyû Daikessen" and "Susume! Jiraiya"), and replaced them with standard instrumental tracks from the film. See more »

Connections

References Rodan (1956) See more »

Soundtracks

Susume! Jiraiya
("Forward, Jiraiya!")
Ending Theme (Japanese version only)
Music by Toshiaki Tsushima
Lyrics by Masaru Igami
Vocals by Yôko Maekawa & Young Fresh
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Great Dragon Battle
5 April 2004 | by dotdmanSee all my reviews

It's always sad to see how a film as fun as this was released once it was outside of Japan. The dubbing for the A.I.P. print is abysmal compared to some of their other treatments of similar titles of the time, and the pan and scan cropping of the film destroys much of the majesty of the film itself. If you'd like this version of the film, however, it's being released soon by Retromedia (if I'm not mistaken).

But, thankfully, all is not lost. Toei Co. Ltd., a studio known more for it's sentai than for anything else, saw to it that this title, along with several other films that are nearly impossible to find, was released to Laserdisc in 1993. While currently out of print, the laserdisc is not impossible to find. If you have a player and some extra cash (while not impossible to find, a copy runs anywhere from $45 to well over $100 these days) I highly recommend it.

Kairyu Daikessen tells the story of a prince who's kingdom is over-taken by an evil warlord sometime in medieval Japan. A hawk sent by a kind wizard saves the young prince from a group of ninjas and a giant dragon that has killed off the rest of the royal lineage. The boy grows up with the wizard as his surrogate father and mentor. Eventually the prince goes out on his own to take back the kingdom, facing ghosts, ninjas, and an evil wizard along the way. The conclusion is an all out battle between the good prince and the evil wizard, who have transformed themselves into (respectively) a giant frog and a dragon.

As the other two reviewers have noted, the influence of this film on Star Wars is fairly obvious, though the character genders are reversed (the Luke Skywalker of the story is female while the Princess Leia is male). The special effects sequences are very dated but were very well managed for the time. The action sequences are imaginative and plentiful. The monster suits for the ending of the film are based on traditional Japanese art renditions of dragons and frogs. Overall, this is a very fun film, though it is infinately more enjoyable if viewed in its original format. I'm still hoping for a fully restored Region 2 dvd of the title to be released.


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