Step aside, Roland Emmerich. The Japanese beat you to the punch with this doomsday adventure about 2012 – the year when a giant comet destroys Earth as we know it. Who will save the world? Bruce Willis? The Power Rangers? No, it’s a song that rescues humanity – a forgotten, obscure song written by a Japanese punk band that predated the Sex Pistols’ first album by a year. It’s called “Fish Story.”
Don’t believe it? Well, the film too is titled Fish Story, after all, which the dictionary defines as “an extravagant or incredible story.” But mark our words: director Yoshihiro Nakamura will make a believer out of you after you’re done with this incredible roller coaster of a film. Adapted from the acclaimed book by Kotaro Isaka, it mixes uncanny humour with unpredictable plot points and a rollicking soundtrack that will kick your ass. But perhaps the less said about Fish Story, the better, since it’s the zany surprises that make the film such a pure joy.
And nostalgia. There is something about watching the Super Sentai Series from the ’70s that tugs at the otaku (extreme fan of Japanese pop culture) heart. Or it’s the camaraderie of a struggling, pioneering band, whose only legacy unwittingly changes the course of history, even though it will never be accredited as such.
Did we mention the martial arts, the Japanese horror segment and, well, everything except for the kitchen sink? Trust us, it’s all in there, and more. Fish Story is one of the smartest, funniest films this year. It’s your loss if you miss out on this cult hit.
– Raymond Phathanavirangoon
Ito Atsushi, Kora Kengo, Tabe Mikako, Moriyana Mirai
Yoshihiro Nakamura, born in 1970 in Ibaraki prefecture, is a Japanese director and screenwriter. He is most well known for his 2005 Japanese horror The Booth (Bûsu).
Best Feature Film and Youth Award – Neuchâtek International Fantastic Film Festival
Special Award for Best Pop Culture Rush – New York Asian Film Festival