6.4/10
2,185
26 user 40 critic

The Great Yokai War (2005)

Yôkai daisensô (original title)
A young boy is chosen as the defender of good and must team up with Japan's ancient spirits and creatures of lore to destroy the forces of evil.

Director:

Takashi Miike

Writers:

Hiroshi Aramata (novel), Takashi Miike (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ryûnosuke Kamiki ... Tadashi Ino (as Ryuunosuke Kamiki)
Hiroyuki Miyasako Hiroyuki Miyasako ... Sata
Chiaki Kuriyama ... Agi
Bunta Sugawara ... Shuntaro Ino
Kaho Minami ... Youko Ino
Riko Narumi ... Tataru Ino
Etsushi Toyokawa ... Lord Yasunori Kato
Kiyoshirô Imawano Kiyoshirô Imawano ... General Nurarihyon
Seiko Iwaidô Seiko Iwaidô ... Kawahime, the River Princess (as Mai Takahashi)
Masaomi Kondô Masaomi Kondô ... Shojo, the Kirin Herald
Sadao Abe Sadao Abe ... Kawataro, the River Sprite
Takashi Okamura Takashi Okamura ... Azuki-Bean Washer
Naoto Takenaka ... Lamp-Oil
Ken'ichi Endô ... Ou Tengu
Renji Ishibashi ... Ou Kubi
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Storyline

This is the story of a young boy who moves to a small town after the divorce of his parents. At a local festival, he becomes an unlikely hero when he is chosen as the "Kirin Rider," a protector of all things good. And he must lead Japan's ancient Yokai spirits in their apocalyptic war against the evil bizarre-looking monsters. Written by Anthony Pereyra {hypersonic91@yahoo.com}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for fantasy violence and scary images | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

6 August 2005 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Spook Warfare See more »

Filming Locations:

Japan See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

JPY1,300,000,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$15,787,492
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital EX

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The film contains several direct references and homages to the work of Shigeru Mizuki, the manga artist who is generally credited with bringing the tradition of yokai tales into the modern day via the comic-book medium. The young hero researches yokai by traveling to Mizuki's birthplace of Sakaiminato and visiting the museum dedicated to his work there; the actual museum, and its bronze statues of his most famous characters, including GeGeGe no Kitaro, are shown in the film. Later in the plot, when the yokai Ittan Momen shows reluctance to fight, another scolds it by saying "You're always really brave in those comics with Kitaro!" See more »

Quotes

Kawahime, the River Princess: People live in ignorance. Constantly turning a blind eye. Those that let go of their past, have no future.
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Connections

References Gamera (1965) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

The Great Yokai War
17 July 2007 | by I_John_Barrymore_ISee all my reviews

One of director Miike Takashi's very best. It's so good it's difficult to put into words. At nearly fifteen years older than the target audience it thrilled me from beginning to end.

It recalls similar children's films from the 1980s in the sense that (unlike today) those films weren't afraid to scare - there's a lot of nasty detail here that I initially found jarring but soon realised it's nothing different to what I grew up on. The film is a compilation of '80s kid's films conventions. You name it, it's there: a young boy hero thrust from his own unhappy/dysfunctional world into another, inhabited by mythical and mystical goblins; a quest to save both worlds from an evil force; a beautiful heroine he has a crush on; a sadistic henchwoman (Go-Go Yubari from Kill Bill Vol. 1); a lead villain who draws his evil power from something everyone in the world can relate to. But all these genre conventions are given a fresh spin and added depth.

One of the IMDb reviews begins "Where was this film when I was a kid?" and it's a sentiment I agree with wholeheartedly. Even while watching it I lamented the fact that I hadn't grown up on it; that it wasn't a part of my childhood like Labyrinth, Masters Of The Universe and, to a much lesser extent, The Neverending Story. Those films, and others like The Goonies are recalled but never copied - Miike relentlessly offering us a new take on things.

Poor CGI is a staple of many of his films, sometimes due to budgetary limitations but just as frequently an artistic choice - a desire to present things in an outlandish way. Here the CGI is mostly average, solely due to budgetary limitations, but nevertheless he does a fantastic job of putting on a spectacle. The CG effects combine with traditional puppets, animatronics and truly extraordinary make-up to create a world filled with rich characters (and characterisation) that frequently borders on the visionary.

This ranks as one of the greatest children's films ever made. Not for younger or more sensitive kids though.

Just jaw-droppingly wonderful. See it for yourselves and if you think your kids can handle/appreciate it then show it to them. Let them grow up on The Great Yokai War as some small compensation for the fact you couldn't.


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