Naoyuki TomomatsuJapaneseMiho Wakabayashi
Sex and Onmyoji
Medium: film
Year: 2012
Director: Naoyuki Tomomatsu
Keywords: Onmyoji, fantasy, boobs
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Actor: Miho Wakabayashi, Mau Morikawa
Format: 74 minutes
Published: Rental DVD (KWX-898)
Website category: J-sleaze
Review date: 20 January 2015
I watched this hoping that it might be a sex parody of the Onmyoji films with Mansai Nomura from a decade earlier, which would have been amusing. It's not. It's light-hearted enough that you could almost call it fluffy, but I wasn't a fan of it anyway.
Firstly, the director. Naoyuki Tomomatsu's other films include Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl (masterpiece), Stacy: Attack of the Schoolgirl Zombies (rather good), Erotibot (just realised I still haven't seen that yet) and the Rape Zombie: Lust of the Dead series (five films so far). You should be getting an idea of his output. Anyway, Sex and Onmyoji is sillier and more lowbrow than those other films, being pretty much an outright pink flick. Yes, it is possible to go downmarket even when one's better-known output includes titles like Eating Schoolgirls: Osaka Telephone Club.
It's also the sixth movie in The KlockWorx's Nippon Splatterotics series. You'll be shocked to learn that it went straight to DVD.
To start with, it has a modern day setting. Disappointing. Abe no Seimei thus isn't here, although half the cast claim to be his descendants and are called Abe no something. However his nemesis, Ashiya Doman, is still alive a thousand years later, albeit as a body-hopping demon that makes his hosts talk like Linda Blair in The Exorcist while horns grow from their foreheads.
We begin with Miho Wakabayashi having sex with a gigolo called Ryuji. She's needy and clingy. He's a demon from hell. Could go better. Soon afterwards, Wakabayashi petitions an Onmjoyi for magical assistance in trying to get back "her Ryuji", which shows that some women really don't learn. This goes even more catastrophically than the previous encounter and includes a man getting turned to charcoal, demonic possession and a man getting raped to death by a woman. (At least it's not the other way around. It's supernatural demon rape, naturally.)
This puts a damper on the Abe no family's Onmyoji business, since dad's dead and his daughter (Mau Morikawa) is an unworldly miko (i.e. shrine maiden) who knows nothing about anything. This is where the story takes a disturbing turn, when dad's ghost tells Morikawa to become a prostitute.
To its credit, the film doesn't try to portray this with even a shred of reality. It's a silly plot development in a silly story, so you won't be worrying about real-world analogies or implications. Onmyoji sex techniques, for instance, use magic powers to send your customers into a state of religious enlightenment. Furthermore, the scene where the brothel madam teaches everything to Morikawa involve a comedy fat bloke for the sexual partner and he's got the jitters. The women are completely fine about what they're doing. Fatso? He's nervous as hell and worries, for instance, if they should be trying to make Morikawa's first time a bit more special by finding her a good-looking bloke.
What makes it a bit disturbing is the way it plays out as such a sad male fantasy. Morikawa doesn't even seem to know what sex is, despite having earlier seen her dad shagging a demon, but she knows that it's a noble calling and that there's no higher duty than the giving of pleasure. She leaps eagerly into every act, with a wholesome enthusiasm that makes the sequence feel like nothing but porn.
Later she becomes a sexual superwoman, with worshippers coming to visit her from all over Japan. You could call them "clients", "johns" or whatever, but they're basically comedy cultists. She can make terrorists see the light. They reminded me of the disciples from Monty Python's Life of Brian.
This is harmless nonsense (especially compared with certain other Japanese pink films) and sometimes even quite funny. I laughed at the bit where Morikawa's being likened to religious figures like Mark Hamill or Daniel Radcliffe. "Expecto Patronum!" Nonetheless there's something about it that was rubbing me up the wrong way (e.g. evangelically delivered exhortations like "embrace your lust!") and I was on the point of giving up when a demonic Miho Wakabayashi came back and Mount Fuji turned into a live volcano. No, really. Tokyo turns into a disaster zone. Only Mau Morikawa can save us from the apocalypse! How will she do this? Answer: orgasm combat.
Being possessed by Ashiya Doman gives you groin tentacles, by the way. You know, like the tentacle sex in Japanese hentai, but in live-action.
It's very silly. There's one plot twist that only a lunatic would see coming, but otherwise there's nothing remarkable about it. It has lots of nudity and fairly extensive sex scenes, albeit with no hardcore shots. (If that's what you're looking for, both Miho Wakabayashi and Mau Morikawa have also appeared in a wide variety of such videos.)
The film has one quirk I haven't yet mentioned, though. At regular intervals, the film turns into a documentary. A narrator talks us through Japan's history, from the Chinese origins and mystical basis of onmyodo through to the cultural differences between Western and Japanese attitudes towards sex. This is surprisingly detailed. They mention AV video mosaics, moe anime, gay prostitution and the differences between Christianity (puritanical) and Buddhism (less so). At one point, Morikawa is encouraged in her prostitution by being told "this isn't a desert in Israel." This is actually quite interesting and far more thoughtful than you'd expect.
If you find a copy of this film that claims to be 95 minutes, by the way, don't believe it. The extra running time is all trailers for other KlockWorx films.
Is this a good film? Hell, no. However it's harmless and even sometimes amusing. The acting's also better than I expected, with only Brothel Madam letting the side down and then only for occasional lines here and there. It just so happens that I wasn't a fan of the "Morikawa becomes a prostitute" middle act. Nice job recommendation there, dad. I also found the virgin blood licking a bit ewwww, by the way. There's lots of onmyoji stuff, which is good, and the film made me laugh here and there, but I couldn't recommend it.