Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Welcome to Round One of Funimation's double-barrelled load of Yoshihiro Nishimura, Vampire Girl vs Frankenstein Girl, which is probably his most mainstream movie yet. Mind, that's an extremely relative term, as much of the humor involves self-mutilation and some truly grotesque blackface.
I actually don't have as much to say about this one as I'd have liked, it's basically a sappy/campy romance of the kind Andrew likes to rail against, only with occasional scenes of extreme(ly hilarious) gore. It has a fairly charming candy-colored pop aesthetic going on, but there's not that much happening underneath; calling it a parody would be giving the script more credit than it deserves. You can kind of tell this was based on a manga because the focal point of the love triangle is an annoyingly bland milquetoast, but then I guess that's why his name isn't in the title, he's just a toy for the eponymous duo to fight over.
The male lead's charisma vacuum is only a mild problem, the big one is that the movie is almost paced in reverse; the most effective/random sequences come up front and things sort of gently peter out as it goes on. A shaggy-dog twist at the end almost justifies the actual plot, but not quite.
After letting it sink in for a few days, I think VG vs FG dethrones Samurai Princess as the weakest Nishimura production I've seen, if only because it's the least audaciously weird (although I should repeat that we're grading on a pretty strong curve here, we do still have Kabuki Frankenstein running around). It's fun to see once, but nothing's really stuck with me. I still have high hopes for RoboGeisha, though!