Japanese Title: 伏 鉄砲娘の捕物帳
Romaji: Fuse Teppō Musume no Torimonochō
Release Date: October 20th, 2012 (Japan)
Running Time: 110 mins.
Director: Masayuki Miyaji
Writer: Ichiro Okouchi (Script), Kazuki Sakuraba (Original Writer),
Starring: Minako Kotobuki (Hamaji), Katsuyuki Konishi (Dousetsu), Mamoru Miyano (Shino), Hirofumi Nojima (Iesada Tokugawa), Hiroshi Kamiya (Makuwari), Kanako Miyamoto (Meido), Maaya Sakamoto (Funamushi)
I have been interested in this title for a while. How interested? I was reporting about the trailers constantly last year. I was excited at the prospect of this historical fantasy anime movie which reminded me of the Korean film Duelist. I have finally watched it and the comparison is pretty apt since this is a lovely slice of historical fantasy that is easy to watch and provided me with genuine pleasure.
Hamaji Ooyama (Kotobuki) is a young independent hunter.
Up until recently she was living with her grandfather Bokuhei Ooyama in a mountain until he was eaten by a bear. She is highly skilled at hunting with her rifle, but she now lives alone maintaining her lifestyle and knows little about the world outside.
Then she receives a letter from her brother Dousetsu (Konishi) who lives in in Edo, the capital of Japan, who has heard of Bokuhei’s death. He asks her to join him in the city so they can be together again. With little keeping her on the mountain and desperate to see her brother, Hamaji heads off to Edo with her rifle.
What she finds is a city that is bigger and far more bustling than she had ever imagined.
It is also full of intrigue because the streets are stalked by Fuse. They are half-human half-dog, werewolf-like people who devour souls. Eight recently showed up in Edo and they have been killing people. Hamaji has entered town as the sixth has just been hunted down.
Hamaji soon witnesses an attack by a Fuse named Shino (Miyano). This same creature saves her when she gets caught between him and hunters and leads her to her brother Dousetsu who introduces her to his world.
In their five years apart Dousetsu has been working as a Ronin. He lives in a beat up row-house by a river and scrapes by with friends and Funamushi (Sakamoto), a woman who sells food by boat and is romantically involved with him. As Funamushi says of existence in Edo, “those who don’t work, don’t eat,” but Dousetsu has a plan: hunt Fuse.
The Shogun, Tokugawa Iesada, has offered a massive reward to anybody who can bring in the head of a Fuse (because decapitation is the only thing that kills them). Hamaji joins her brother Dousetsu in hunting Fuse in the Yoshiwara district of Edo but can she bring herself to kill the one she has made a connection with, the mysterious Shino and are the Fuse really as villainous as the authorities make out?