Shunji FujimuraYuki SaitoShigeru SaikiTokio Emoto
The Ancient Dogoo Girl Special Movie Edition
Also known as: Kyouretsu mouretsu! Kodai shoujo Dogu-chan matsuri! Special Movie Edition
Medium: film
Year: 2010
Director: Noboru Iguchi
Writer: Noboru Iguchi, Jun Tsugita, Ryuta Miyake
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Keywords: SF
Actor: Erika Yazawa, Masataka Kubota, Rina Kirishima, Tokio Emoto, Yumi Adachi, Asami, Shunji Fujimura, Noboru Iguchi, Honoka Ishibashi, Mako Ishino, Takaya Kamikawa, Jun Miho, Toshifumi Muramatsu, Manami Okano, Shigeru Saiki, Takumi Saitoh, Yuki Saito, Mayumi Sato, Sonim, Jtaro Sugisaku, Taro Suruga, Hiromasa Taguchi, Kazuya Takahashi, Hikari Takara, Naoto Takenaka, Kinuo Yamada
Format: 115 minutes
Url: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1612556
Website category: Japanese SF
Review date: 18 July 2019
It's a compilation film of a silly TV series, with a bonus episode that's not TV-friendly. I quite enjoyed it.
TV SERIES COMPILATION
The Ancient Dogoo Girl (TV) had two twelve-episode seasons in 2009-2010 and was created by ridiculous splatter sleazemeister Noboru Iguchi. Being for TV, though, it's got no blood or nudity. A hikikomori called Makoto Sugihara finds two mounds buried in the earth. They're boobs! Their owner is Dogu-chan, a youkai hunter who's been asleep for 10,000 years (since the Joumon period) and is played by bikini idol Erika Yazawa. (She's likeable and full of enthusiasm, but it's no surprise to learn that she hasn't since had much of an acting career.)
Together, Makoto and Dogu-chan will fight comedy tokusatsu freakazoids! (A girl in the bath turns into a walking goldfish. There's also a crab-man and, ultimately, a youkai that's impersonating Makoto's late mother.)
Is it good? No, I couldn't say that. There are some ridiculous reaction shots (e.g. Dogu-chan on finding some skeletons), albeit usually saved by the fact that the whole thing's so light and silly that you don't mind. Only one of them annoyed me, which is the one where Makoto's father comes home to find, apparently, his late wife waiting for him. You couldn't call this a show about emotional truth, but that scene took the mickey. (That said, though, the acting improves a lot later with Dead Mum scenes and the promised death of Dogu-chan. That actually had weight.)
The show is, though, amusing. Dogu-chan's so happy and bubbly that it's always fun to watch her adventures. On falling in love with Makoto, she does silly dancing. The ridiculousness is the point, e.g. Dogu-chan's sidekick Dokigoro, who's a historically accurate little earthen figurine except for: (a) the flapping puppet eyes and mouth, (b) the database-scanning computervision. Dogu-chan also has a nude transformation sequence into... well, basically the same outfit. (It's an armour-plated bikini that's surprisingly modest and puts nothing at risk even in fight scenes.) She has a youkai-eating boob beam attack. She's lovable. She also eats sticks.
There are also mock advertising breaks, with amusingly cheesy fake adverts for things like Crunchy Insect Pudding. The most eye-popping (in the Bonus Episode section) had a metal spike ear cleaner.
BONUS EPISODE (NOT TV-FRIENDLY)
Dogu-chan dies. I'm sure she gets better since this is before Season 2, but she does. That was startling, especially since the film still had another forty minutes to go. "What next?" I wondered. Answer: the BONUS EPISODE.
It's a movie reinvention of the same basic ideas. It's both funny and interesting just to see the effect of the changes, e.g. this Makoto's a whole lot older, being a man in his thirties who's still a hikikomori who lives with his father. It's startling to see how this transforms the character. Teen-Makoto was just a teenager, whereas this one's far more pathetic just for what he is. "What am I doing here?" On being offered nudity, he's uninterested and dismissively says "what's that?"
Makoto's dad gets beaten to death for no reason with flying CGI gore. ("I wonder if dad's okay?" asks Makoto later, which made me laugh.) There's a sleazy youkai dance and a demon with big dangly testicles behind his proboscis. There's funny recasting and a nude transformation sequence that's actually nude (unlike its TV equivalent).
Eventually, gloriously, there's Asami. I love Asami. She made me laugh just by being there. I'd be genuinely daunted if I ever had the opportunity to write a role for Asami, although obviously I'd be excited too. She can act (e.g. Gun Woman, if you've got the stomach for it), but she's better known for being completely unhinged. The woman knows no restraint. Look at her last shot in this film, for instance. How many actresses would pull a face that stupid? This is an Unhinged Asami appearance, obviously, with no significant acting required, but I'm delighted to have ticked off another Asami film from the list.
So there you have it. Two silly half-films, adding up to mega-silliness. I wouldn't recommend watching the Bonus Episode on its own, incidentally, because it won't be half as funny if you don't know what it's riffing off. I can't pretend I'm planning to watch the TV show, but I wouldn't be averse to the idea. If someone put me in front of an episode, I'd watch it.