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Cyberpunk Review » Extreme Japanese Cyberpunk
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Comments

April 17, 2006

Glam Creature said:

“Japanese Cyberpunk is a sub-genre in cyberpunk that was brought to prominance by Tetsuo - the Ironman.”
Hmm. I need to see Sogo Ishii’s “Burst City”(1982).
Reading reviews, it seems to be very influental to Tsukamoto and “Tetsuo” and absolutely punk. And even dystopic sci-fi punk. And maybe early japanese cyberpunk.

http://www.midnighteye.com/reviews/burstcit.shtml
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0083609/

SFAM said:

Wow, cool! :)

I haven’t heard of Burst City. I agree with you - it’s definitely worth a viewing. Better yet, it looks like it’s going to be published with English Subtitles this June!

April 18, 2006

masaki said:

this is masaki i come from cyber tokyo.
do you know the movie caled crazy thanderroad?
its before burstcity! same saga, but more violent punk movie!
chck it out sogo ishi earley films!!

SFAM said:

Hi Masaki, welcom to cyberpunkreview :)

Thanks for the reference for Kuruizaki sanda rod (Thunderroad) - I found the IMDB link for the movie you site: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0081019/

Any chance you’d know where I could get a DVD of this with English subtitles?

April 21, 2006

masaki said:

HEELo SFAM!
first, sorry my baby english..

thanks for writing back to me,,about DVD KURUIZAKI THANDERROAD,
it will be out 25/june. its first DVD for it.
I am not sure there are english subtitle or not,,
but i informe you if i found it.

many people said KURUIZAKi TAHNDER ROAD is SOGO ISHIIs best movie! i bet it! i also love this movie best! its made by 1979 maybe.. but the movie story like 1986,,
so its like near future sci-fi. i think TSUKAMOTO and SHOUJIN FUKUI are ex second or third directer in sogo ishi movie.
ive forgot which one they help. oh,,i have to said i also do you remenber TETSUOs first thrash scene? like high speed and sunrize down etc.. its SHOJIN take that part of film in TETSUO movie.
shojin really love that technic when he shootong film earier.

this web page really cool! great! talk to you later!

SFAM said:

Hi Masaki, I would be interested to learn which movie Tsukamoto and Fukui worked on of Ishii’s. And again, thanks for the references - I can’t wait to see it! :)

June 2, 2006

Glam Creature said:

Japanese cyberpunk movie “Death Powder” (”Desu Pawuda”, Shigeru Izumiya, 1986) seems also to be thing of interest .

Glam Creature said:

http://cgi.ebay.com/DEATH-POWDER-Rare-Japanese-VHS-Cyberpunk-Sogo-Ishii_
W0QQitemZ9141043910QQcategoryZ309QQcmdZViewItem

“Famous Japanese punk rocker Shigeru Izumiya turned to acting and directing
for this bizarre experimental film in 1986. Heavily inspired by Sogo Ishii’s
masterpiece BURST CITY (in which Izumiya also had an acting role),
DEATH POWDER unleashes a powerfully psychedelic assault on the senses!

The narrative concerns the creation of a new kind of cyborg which just so
happens to give off a mysterious powder which turns everyone who comes
into contact with it stark raving mad!”

SFAM said:

Hi Glam, I think this one gets released on June 27 as well, right?

Glam Creature said:

Maybe, I don’t know about new release of “Death Powder”. Where you found information about that?

June 4, 2006

tubesoda said:

Yes, Sogo Ishii absolutely pioneered the Japanese cyberpunk subgenre, which Tsukamoto later expanded upon with Tetsuo. Burst City and Electric Dragon are both getting a DVD release from Discotek on June 27th but I don’t know how to see his other early films. The Crazy Family is another great one but it’s more “punk” and less “cyber.”

As for additions to this list I would recommend Dead Leaves which contains all the characteristics of the subgenre taken to the extremes that only animation can allow (plus it includes at least a couple references to Tetsuo).
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0439533/

I also am eager to see Meatball Machine after reading the following outlandish claim: “Meatball Machine makes the early aggressive cyberpunk endeavors of directors Shinya Tsukamoto (Tetsuo: The Iron Man) and Sogo Ishii (Burst City) look like models of restraint and tranquility.” - Travis Crawford: Philadelphia Film Festival

June 7, 2006

Glam Creature said:

interesting thoughts on Japanese cyberpunk:

“SN: Of course, the idea of Armageddon goes also back to Hiroshima.There has always been a pattern of destruction and reconstruction in Japanese history eg. the Meiji Restoration was brought by the arrival of the “kurofune” (black ships): whatever we had built so far has been destroyed. This notion is omnipresent in people’s minds. In the eighties the image of Armageddon was popular in Manga etc. It came to be called Japanese Cyberpunk which is actually quite different from Cyberpunk in the States. It generated out of this vacuum, that we have been talking about before, hence it has a different symbolisism.

NA: If Cyberpunk is supposed to be a vision of the near future, the Japanese Cyperpunk is more of nostalgic reference to the past. I have always felt that Japanese Cyberpunk is more about the end of WWII.

SN: And there is a need to analyze that. Otherwise it would be superficially passed as another clichee of Japan.

NA: Even talking about Blade Runner, I have to say that for me those are images of the past; and in Tetsuo I saw reflections of the poverty after WWII. Blade Runner reminded me so much of Akihabara and the bombed Dome of Hiroshima. You know, the electronics section of Akihabara used to be barracks at the end of WWII. It was a temporary structure that later became a high-tech image for the West. In the same way Blade Runner wasn’t a story about the future for me, but reminisent of the past; bearing something very familiar and sympathetic. ”

http://www.t0.or.at/0ntext/tokyogas.htm

SFAM said:

Wow, Glam, that’s very interesting! The WWII thing makes a lot of sense. While I wouldn’t consider Blade Runner to have past visuals, it certainly is a Neo-Noir. Then again, I have no idea what the electronics section of Akihabara used to be barracks at the end of WWII looks like.

June 8, 2006

Glam Creature said:

O yeah, I coppied too much text. That part about “Blade Runner” and Akihabara barracks is unnecessary.

But I found interesting to think about links of WWII and Japanese cyberpunk.
If about Japanese cyberpunk and WWII/Japanese militarism/Hiroshima, I think it’s very seen in such movies as “Akira” and “Casshern”, and you realy have to have WWII in your mind to fully understand where from comes the ideas for those movies, but in my opinion, “Tetsuo” seems to be much more related to the movie’s own time. I’ve read that “Rubber’s Lover”
is interpretated as “jet-black satire on
corporate-sponsored scientific experimentation”, but together with “Guinea Pig: Android Of Notre Damme”, maybe it also has some echoes of inhuman experiments/war crimes done in laboratories during Second Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945) and World War II. see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unit_731

Glam Creature said:

Also there is interpretation of linking “Rubber’s Lover” with black market business after WWII in this interesting text:
http://www.nettime.org/Lists-Archives/nettime-l-9803/msg00097.html

September 23, 2006

Glam Creature said:

Just watched Tsukamoto’s 1987 film, “Denchu Kozo no boken” (”Adventures of Electric Rod Boy”). Very recomended. Low budget indie, interesting and creative, crazy and funny movie about cyborg kid Electric Rod Boy, who travels in time, to future, to save the world from evil vampires, who are creating Adam and Eve, cyborgs of new darkness era.

September 24, 2006

SFAM said:

Cool! I’ll check it out!

September 26, 2006

Glam Creature said:

nothing offensive, but it seems a bit strange, that you rate “Tetsuo” very high, and never put interest to see what are other movies by the same director…

September 27, 2006

SFAM said:

Hi Glam, I have a pretty large backlog of movies right now. That I haven’t reviewed a movie now does not indicate a lack of interest, but a lack of time. Incidentally, there are two of his movies reviewed here.

October 12, 2006

Zeonic Freak said:

Hey i have a new anime we should look at or im about to, Megazone 23.

And here is a good old wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Megazone_23

And tell me this bike aint cool:
http://www.action-hq.com/store/images/oth003379.jpg

Just for something to check into, if anyone of you can see all three ovas, that would be fantastic.

July 31, 2007

fisk0 said:

Yeah, I really recommend Sogo Ishii’s “Burst City”. Though more of a PUNK than CYBERPUNK movie, it certainly got a lot of dystopic feeling, with Akira style MC sequences, a lot of great punk music and the wonderful unforgettable scene where police forces stop an riot by shooting at the people with triple barreled rocket launchers and electrifying a lot of people. That scene is just fantastic.

There where several big japanese punk bands in the movie, most notably The Stalin, which have a pretty big role.

November 19, 2007

Mars said:

Yeah, Burst City is great! The Stalin were friggin’ awesome, too! ‘Stop Jap’ is a great no wave / punk record!

Meatball Machine?

Really? I’ve gotta see this…

January 31, 2008

Shawn said:

You really should check out “MeatBall Machine” a 2005 japanese cyberpunk in the direct line of “Tetsuo” but in color.
It is less surreal than tetsuo but still has a lot of human/machine blending in it.

March 12, 2008

Loli said:

I’m writing a paper on Japanese cyberpunk. I haven’t really decided what topics to explore in depth yet, but I was wondering if there was anything you could offer me on the topic, especially on the difference between Japanese cyberpunk and American in addition to what I read in the previous comments.

Thank you!

September 22, 2008

Anatolia said:

Okay, Bubblegum Crisis was left out (the movie),….and Sky Crawlers too….

March 4, 2009

Mewujz said:

I am also considering writing a paper on this topic. If you were given any resources (articles, etc.) is there any chance you could email them to me?

Mewujz said:

September 16, 2010

Lrak said:

It’s definitely worth a viewing..

July 1, 2011

Jolyn said:

Never would have thunk I would find this so indipsensalbe.

September 14, 2011

Pretty_Flamingo said:

OK, listen I have a .avi file of Burst City for the guy who does the movie reviews, what is a good website for file sharing?? you gotta see it, it’s a great cyberpunk-ish musicial thing, it’s amazing, anyway please help me out, I also need to know this so I can send it to friends etc. cause far too few people have seen this unique film.
Thanks

September 15, 2011

MarsHottentot said:

zip it and use http://mediafire.com or megaupload.com

I LOVE Burst City - The Stalin!! Please, hook me up!

June 6, 2012

chat said:

HEELo SFAM!
first, sorry my baby english..

thanks for writing back to me,,about DVD KURUIZAKI THANDERROAD,
it will be out 25/june. its first DVD for it.
I am not sure there are english subtitle or not,,
but i informe you if i found it.

many people said KURUIZAKi TAHNDER ROAD is SOGO ISHIIs best movie! i bet it! i also love this movie best! its made by 1979 maybe.. but the movie story like 1986,,
so its like near future sci-fi. i think TSUKAMOTO and SHOUJIN FUKUI are ex second or third directer in sogo ishi movie.
ive forgot which one they help. oh,,i have to said i also do you remenber TETSUOs first thrash scene? like high speed and sunrize down etc.. its SHOJIN take that part of film in TETSUO movie.
shojin really love that technic when he shootong film earier.

this web page really cool! great! talk to you later!

June 7, 2012

MarsHottentot said:

Thanks for the info, chat!

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