Minami TakahashiKaori IshiharaKaiju GirlsHiyori Nitta
Kaiju Girls Black
Also known as: Kaijuu Girls Kuro
Medium: film
Year: 2018
Director: Yasutaka Yamamoto
Writer: Kento Shimoyama
Actor: Hiyori Nitta, Yuki Yagi, Minami Takahashi, Kaori Ishihara
Keywords: Kaiju Girls, anime
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 57 minutes
Url: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaiju_Girls
Website category: Anime 2018
Review date: 17 June 2019
kaiju musume
I'd been watching Season 2 of the Kaijuu Girls anime. Obviously this means there's no hope for me, but halfway through I had the idea of watching the spin-off movie. (This tiny, throwaway, gag anime has a spin-off movie! Extraordinary.) I wasn't expecting it to be good, but I was hoping that it might at least give some context and/or meaning to its parent short-form series.
I'm pretty sure it doesn't, but fortunately it's funny.
It's a daft comedy spin-off of Ultraman Leo, which is the 1974-75 instalment of a Japanese superhero franchise that's been running since 1966. (They had a hiatus in the 1980s.) It's about the misadventures of four incompetent villain protagonists, all of whom are anthropomorphised kaijuu from Ultraman Leo. All they do every day is try to conquer the world, but they're also trying to avoid paying rent to their landlord and their plans for world conquest include "eat free food". They're so useless that their competence goes up when they kidnap and recruit a timid schoolgirl who's bad at saying "no" to people.
These kaijuus' original 1975 forms were hilarious, by the way. Do a google image search. You'd expect them to be walking onstage in a village pantomime, not fighting superheroes on live-action TV.
1. COMMANDER BLACK - in 1975 was an ordinary-looking bloke, if your idea of "ordinary" means "bearded supervillain in head-to-toe black". His 2018 equivalent is a gloating melagomaniac with a delusional ability to see the positive and a dress that shows 90% of her boobs. Her hypnotic powers can affect almost anyone, but she always hypnotises herself when trying to use them.
2. NOVA - in 1975 was a teru teru bouzu. They're little dolls you make out of fabric and hang up to ward off rain... and by "you", I mean "five-year-olds". It looked like that, but with tentacles. Its 2018 equivalent is an emotionless girl in a cape, who likes computer games. (She's kept the tentacles, though, and uses them to catch falling people or whack anyone who stands behind her.)
3. SILVER BLOOME - in 1975 was some kind of translucent pearl-coloured alien squid. In 2018, she's an easy-going, super-relaxed sadist who's friendly, happy and cheerful about absolutely everything. Since her friends are delusional idiots who always fail, it seems likely that she's just there to laugh at them. (Later we see her recording embarrassing images of Commander Black to upload to Instagram.) She's still lots of fun and you'd have a drink with her. "Nice troublemaking!"
4. SATSUKI HIRAGA - doesn't know she's a Kaijuu Girl. She just thinks she's a schoolgirl. Satsuki's the normal one and fully aware that she's teamed up with a bunch of losers, but she's also earnest and kind-hearted enough to try to do kaijuu research and give lessons in Not Being Useless. She's capable of being a doormat, to be honest, but in a well-meaning, Boy Scout sort of way.
This is not a deep film. This doesn't exist in the same universe as deep films. It's under an hour long and it would be generous to say that it has even an episode's worth of content. What it does have, though, is lots of comedy. Oh, no! An obstacle to our evil plans! We've got to stop and help an old lady across the road! The world would end if they ever conquered it, not because they're evil but because they're useless. They're barely capable of walking in a straight line, let alone of running a world government. They practice their kaijuu moves in the park as schoolgirls walk past and watch.
It's a laugh. It's no more than that, in any way whatsoever, but I found it funny. It did its job.