Talkback: Yamato Takeru (1994)

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Talkback: Yamato Takeru (1994)

Postby shinmattiathekaiju » Tue Dec 28, 2010 3:58 pm

Yamato Takeru [aka Orochi the Eight-Headed Dragon]

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People from each generations have their favorite fantasy movies,for example,people who grew up in the 1980's loves movies like Krull,Willow,Dragon Slayer and Conan.
The youngsters of today loves movies like the Lord Of The Rings trilogy or,god forgive them,Narnia and Eragon.
But one of my favorite fantasy flicks its pretty peculiar and pretty obscure to the gaijin's world.


My personal review
Warning:Contains Spoilers.




Twin princes are born in the ancient kingdom of Yamato. On the advice of his sinister advisor, Tsukinowa, the Emperor orders the younger of the two, Prince Ousu, executed. The goddess Amaterasu intervenes, and Ousu is whisked away to safety by the White Bird of Heaven. He is raised by his aunt, who is a priestess of Amaterasu. Two warriors, Seiryu and Genbu, are his guardians.

At the age of ten, Ousu receives an amulet that turns him into a wildman with incredible power when he is in danger. He also learns that he is destined to become a warrior of the gods. When he grows into a strong young man, the Emperor pardons him and he returns to the court of Yamato. His father remains suspicious, however. When Tsukinowa attempts to assassinate the prince, Ousu’s wild power protects him. Ousu is later blamed for the deaths of his mother and brother. Anxious to be rid of him, the Emperor sends him to kill the king of rival kingdom Kumaso.

Seiryu and Genbu accompany Ousu to Kumaso. Along the way he meets Oto Tachibana, a priestess and skilled warrior who is destined to share his life. With their help, Ousu kills Kumaso Takeru and earns the name Yamato Takeru. His aunt then requests that he bring her the mystical Sword of Dark Clouds. It is the sword of the dark god Tsukuyomi, who is returning to Earth. Thousands of years ago, Tsukuyomi assumed the form of an eight-headed dragon and tried to destroy the world. If he regains the sword, his full evil power will return to him. Yamato Takeru’s destiny is revealed: He was born on Earth, and trained by the gods, to defeat Tsukuyomi and save the world!

Orochi: The Eight-Headed Dragon is a period action fantasy based on Japanese mythology. It has the familiar look and feel of the Heisei Godzilla series. Godzilla series veterans Takao Okawara (director) and Koichi Kawakita (special effects director) were behind the camera. Familiar faces in front of the camera include Masahiro Takashima (Aoki from Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II) as Ousu, Yasuko Sawaguchi (Erica from Godzilla vs. Biollante) as Oto, and villainous Hiroshi Abe (Godzilla 2000) as Tsukuyomi. During the course of his travels, Ousu encounters such creatures as the God of Kumaso (a devil-like monster made of molten iron who forms weapons out of its own body) and a tentacled reptilian sea monster. For the climax, he is transformed into a giant armored warrior to battle the imposing Orochi on the surface of the moon.

This is an impressive, good-looking production. The action scenes are well staged, and thankfully don’t borrow from the overused Hong Kong-style of wire-fu. (Though Oto does have a couple of Crouching Tiger-like moves, they’re more effective for not being overdone.) The film could have benefited from a stronger musical score (it sounds like John Williams lite at times) and a sense of humor (like Ray Harryhausen’s fantasy movies). Some things seem oddly contemporary. The Bird of Heaven and the armored warrior are both very robotic. The warrior even has the arms and legs of Mechagodzilla ’93! Overall, this is a welcome addition to a genre that has been unfortunately neglected since Harryhausen’s heyday. Recommended for fantasy / mythology fans, and Heisei Godzilla fans.

Rating:3.5/5
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Re: Yamato Takeru-Orochi The Eight Headed Dragon review

Postby Tohosaurus » Sun Jan 09, 2011 4:08 pm

Can Americans buy it on DVD in English? I'd love to see it. Orochi is one of my favorite Toho monsters in looks.
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Re: Yamato Takeru-Orochi The Eight Headed Dragon review

Postby Goji » Mon Jan 10, 2011 11:29 am

Tyler wrote:
Tohosaurus wrote:Can Americans buy it on DVD in English? I'd love to see it. Orochi is one of my favorite Toho monsters in looks.


ADV released it.


Yeah, and it has a Japanese language track as well.
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Talkback Thread: Yamato Takeru (1994)

Postby Tohosaurus » Wed Oct 16, 2013 9:19 pm

It appears to be one of the less popular Heisei special effects films from Toho here on TK. But either way, this type of story seems to have potential for Toho. Although this one didn't do very well at the box office, someday a high-quality series that tells this story (and whatever would have been in its two unmade sequels) could be the foundation for a big budget Japanese adventure movie franchise.
Last edited by Tohosaurus on Thu Jun 05, 2014 6:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Talkback Thread: Yamato Takeru (1994)

Postby pikmintaro » Fri Oct 18, 2013 1:15 am

I enjoyed it, especially all the monsters and magic, I can't really remember the story too well though, but I don't have anything negative to say about it, although I'm sure most everyone else will since Americans seem to be very critical of everything nowadays, especially the Heisei era movies.
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Re: Talkback Thread: Yamato Takeru (1994)

Postby H-Man » Fri Oct 18, 2013 5:47 am

The monsters were really cool to look at; I thought Koichi Kawakita did a solid job with the special FX. My complaint echoes that of the Stomp Tokyo review from way-back-when: the characters take themselves far too seriously and suck the fun out of the non-monster sequences. The swordplay choreography also leaves a lot to be desired.

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Re: Talkback Thread: Yamato Takeru (1994)

Postby Tohosaurus » Fri Oct 18, 2013 12:40 pm

I just watched it, which is only the second time I've watched the film. Is it just me, or is there a lot of potential in doing a large scale movie series (two, three, or more) based around these legends? I think if they made good movies based around this, it could become a very successful film series, basically Japan's Lord of the Rings (more or less, obviously not in terms of budget or global appeal).

Firstly, there is some interesting talent involved in the film. Okawara is directing, who did my favorite 90s Toho special effects films (GvMGII, Destoroyah, and G2K) with Tanaka as one of the producers. And Kawakita, who was the special effects director for some of the best special effects in Toho films of the 80s, is present as special effects director.

On top of that, it's an entertaining story to tell. There are some fun action sequences and cool monsters, plus the flagship creature of the film, Orochi. There are no major problems with the movie, such as pacing, but it's more like the little things that take away from what could have been great. Hiroshi Abe brought an appropriate intensity to his role, but others seemed so determined (or something) that they evoked little emotion from, well, I'd say the audience but it was just me, lol. And despite superb work in movies such as Bye Bye Jupiter, Gunhed, and Godzilla vs Biollante, some of the larger monsters were rather stiff and took away from the sequences. If they could've made Orochi walk like Biollante it would've been awesome, and the Utsuno Ikusagami suit could've been more mobile to bring a better battle to the screen.

It's certainly not bad and I'd love to see Toho reboot these legends, but it does have some problems.
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Re: Talkback Thread: Yamato Takeru (1994)

Postby edgaguirus » Wed Oct 23, 2013 10:47 pm

I've only seen the climactic fight between Orochi and what's his name. The suits look good, but the borrowed lightsaber sound effect could be done without.
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Re: Talkback Thread: Yamato Takeru (1994)

Postby Arbok » Sun Dec 22, 2013 2:33 pm

Tohosaurus wrote:I just watched it, which is only the second time I've watched the film. Is it just me, or is there a lot of potential in doing a large scale movie series (two, three, or more) based around these legends? I think if they made good movies based around this, it could become a very successful film series, basically Japan's Lord of the Rings (more or less, obviously not in terms of budget or global appeal).


I would have liked to have seen a trilogy for this... only if they would have developed the lead cast a little more. Its like a great adventure film from which you don't really care or feel for any of the cast you are hanging around to have said adventure with. Really detracts from the enjoyment.

Its a shame as the design for the monsters, from Orochi to Kumasogami, is pretty damn good.
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Re: Talkback: Yamato Takeru (1994)

Postby GIGAN05 » Sun Dec 22, 2013 11:46 pm

This movie is a guilty pleasure for me.
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Re: Talkback: Yamato Takeru (1994)

Postby GIGAN05 » Sat Apr 19, 2014 3:13 pm

Behind the scenes feature, on YT of all places.
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Re: Talkback: Yamato Takeru (1994)

Postby SoleMan » Wed Jun 04, 2014 10:00 am

I watched this last night and I liked it. It was a really good Japanese fantasy film, with some call-backs to Godzilla. My cup of tea.

What I'm wondering is, what did the Japanese think of it? You say it wasn't a big box-office hit? Was this because they didn't the action/effects/acting or some other technical problem, or did they not relate to the story? I know it's based on a Japanese myth, but it seemed very westernized, at least from my perspective. Did the film accurately portray the source material? What did critics think of it?
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Re: Talkback: Yamato Takeru (1994)

Postby H-Man » Wed Jun 04, 2014 10:05 am

Well, the first review I ever read about it, which the Stomp Tokyo review, complained that the film took itself far too seriously for the type of movie it was. You can see that even in the dubbed version. There's an emotional distance to the characters that has defined Chinese martial arts/wuxia films ever since Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. I can see audiences not liking that.

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Re: Talkback: Yamato Takeru (1994)

Postby gzilla46 » Wed Jun 04, 2014 4:23 pm

The monster looks like King Ghidorah on steroids, judging from that cover.
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Re: Talkback: Yamato Takeru (1994)

Postby LegendZilla » Wed Jun 04, 2014 10:28 pm

I find this film underappreciated.
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Re: Talkback: Yamato Takeru (1994)

Postby Tohosaurus » Thu Jun 05, 2014 6:21 am

I'd like a HD widescreen release on Blu. Then I'd actually buy it again.
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Re: Talkback: Yamato Takeru (1994)

Postby GodzillaFreak99 » Thu Jun 05, 2014 6:57 am

I remember reading about this film on the main site back in the eighth grade, and being absolutly captivated by the story, then, I just forgot about the wholle thing until I saw the fight between the Orochi and the giant knight guy with the fancy glowy sword.
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Re: Talkback: Yamato Takeru (1994)

Postby Kaltes-Herzeleid » Fri Nov 13, 2015 9:53 pm

Not the best and not the worst. I found its downsides to be the pacing and the story was rushed in a lot of areas, characters didn't have that much development and sometimes it was a bit unintentionally silly and there are moments where the lasers and explosions feel put of place.

Though on the upside aspects I thought most of the action was awesome, specifically the sword fight between Ousu and the Barbarian Leader (can't remember his name if he had one) and of course the end fight with Orochi. The kaiju were unique (though I felt at times execution could've been better) and the environment/sets were great too, in my opinion.
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Re: Talkback: Yamato Takeru (1994)

Postby Tyrant_Lizard_King » Tue Nov 24, 2015 12:25 am

I was rather intrigued when I saw the initial trailer for the film but sadly the final product was very underwhelming. The monster designs were pretty great but the story felt way too rushed for its own good and the swordplay was stiff and lifeless. All the action scenes kinda sucked to be honest. The film was horribly disappointing. From a studio responsible for some of the best and most legendary samurai films of all time i still cant understand why the fights sucked so much. It wasn't terrible per say, it just wasn't very good. One of Toho's most boring genre offerings. I think the biggest problem was that it seemed marketed towards children way too much. Maybe that's why the fights seemed do watered down and lifeless. Seriously though a big budget trilogy would be interesting.
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Re: Talkback: Yamato Takeru (1994)

Postby GIGAN05 » Sat Nov 28, 2015 6:19 pm

Found a Telugu dub of this ...

Enough said.
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