From acclaimed Japanese writer and director Sion Sono (Guilty of Romance, Why Don’t You Play In Hell?) comes this startling music and dance extravaganza, colourful, confusing and fabulous.
Set in a dystopian future in an alternative Tokyo, Tokyo Tribe tells the story of one night in this fractured city, where every area is run with an iron fist by its ruling gang.
The method of presentation is groundbreaking and done entirely in rap, but with an almost Shakespearean approach to narration, in this case provided by MC Show (Shōta Sometani – Wood Job!, Himizu) who introduces each of the gangs and appears occasionally throughout the film to guide us through the story.
On this night, with an earthquake approaching, there is danger in the air and peril lurks around every corner. An unmarked van pulls up and takes away several young girls and a boy with promises of a good time. But the real destination is straight into the clutches of Lord Buppa (Riki Takeuchi – Dead Or Alive), the evil and very strange owner of an establishment in the sex trade mecca of Tokyo, Bukuro.
This is not a happy place to be, as there are only really two options once you are there, work in Buppas brothel or be given to his son Nkoi (Yōsuke Kubozuka – Helter Skelter) to use as a piece of “furniture”, holding tortuous poses for his entertainment. However, the mysterious Sunmi (Nana Seino – Ouran High School Host Club Movie), one of the captives, seems to have a rather useful skill set, and shows rather less fear than might be expected, given her situation.
Elsewhere in the city, Kim from the happy go lucky Musashino Saru tribe who promote peace and love, decides to go to Bukuro, running the risk of an encounter with Mera (Ryohei Suzuki – HK: Forbidden Superhero), the leader of the Bukuro Wu-Ronz, who harbours a pathological dislike of Kai (Young Dais, a popular Japanese rap artist), another member of Musashino Saru and triggering a battle that will draw in all of the tribes, uniting some and destroying others.
Tokyo Tribe is an 18 certificate film and thoroughly deserving of it. There is gratuitous violence, overkill, nudity, sex and all manner of other disturbing but very entertaining stuff. There are some fabulous moments, not least the human beatbox (Mao Mita) who delivers Buppas tea and accompanies his every move. It is utterly crazy, high octane action from start to finish, set against a backdrop of rap and music. There has never been anything like this before and probably never will be again, so don’t miss out!
This is a must own for any fan of Japanese films, and let’s face it, who doesn’t need a Japanese Rap Opera in their collection.
Tokyo Tribe is showing in UK cinemas from 8th May 2015 and available to buy on DVD and Blu-ray from 15th June 2015.