JAPAN 2009 Directed & Written by: Noburo Iguchi Produced by: Naobumi Ashi, Akira Fujita, Kazunari Okuma, Yui Shibata Cinematography: Yasutaka Nagano Music: Yasuhiko Fukuda Cast: Naoto Takenaka, Asami, Suzuki Matsuo, Kentaro Shimazu, Yukihide Benny, Yuya Matsuura, Kentaro Kishi, Demo Tanaka, Shigeki Terao, Yoshihiro Nishimura, Cay Izumi
It would be easy to just say that ROBOGEISHA is written and directed by Noburo MACHINE GIRL Iguchi and basically end the review right there. MACHINE GIRL was fabricated to a fan audience and despite some marvelous scenes it was a lousy movie.
ROBOGEISHA now is quite a surprise as I expected another mindless, repetitive gorefest. The movie may still be a calculated work made to fit the fan market, however I found it being so much more a) humorous and b) entertaining. ROBOGEISHA is not taking itself too seriously and it turns out to be a very playful movie that is drawing inspiration from various sources.
In fact ROBOGEISHA is straying through many movie genres and styles, and if it wasn’t permanently aiming for our wallets it could have been an intelligent homage to the history of Japanese horror, ninja, science fiction ad sex cinema. Sure it’s still a B-movie, but so are many of the original films that ROBOGEISHA is quoting. It’s fun and funny nevertheless.
Different from MACHINE GIRL Iguchi’s ROBOGEISHA brings much more to the table: a twisty Frankenstein inspired story, paired with enough action and black humor that you’ll not forget you’re watching a party movie.
Along the way Iguchi is taking us through motifs of Pink Eigas and Romanporn flicks, lots of ninja assassinations, impossible love affairs, robotic super hero terrain, classic the-schoolgirl-isn’t-really-a-schoolgirl stuff and finally Japanese opera. That’s more than you need for a successful start into a movie night, but as ROBOGEISHA is still far away from being a great film make sure you’ll have something more sincere at hand.
The bottom line is that ROBOGEISHA is one of the best movies coming out of the recent nouvelle vague of Japanese B-splatter movies. Fans might want it to be more excessive; in my opinion ROBOGEISHA is courageous to trade-off splatter for more creativity and twinkle-in-the-eye and finally succeeds as it clearly achieves a higher artistic standard than most other films of this species.
If you could pick only one movie among all the latest cheap Japanese splatter movies you’d be well advised to decide for ROBOGEISHA.