Japanese: トーキョー トライブ
Romaji: To-kyo- Toraibu
Release Date: August 30th, 2014 (Japan)
Running Time: 116 mins.
Director: Sion Sono
Writer: Sion Sono (Screenplay), Santa Inoue (Original Manga)
Starring: Ryohei Suzuki, Young Dais, Nana Seino, Ryuta Sato, Riki Takuechi, Denden, Shota Sometani, Shoko Nakagawa, Yosuke Kubozuka, Takuya Ishida, Shunsuke Daito, Yui Ichikawa, Mika Kano,
The film takes place in the future and five years have passed since the Shibuya riots and different clans called “Tribes” exist in Tokyo. Kai Deguchi is a member of the Musashino Saru tribe led by Tera. When Tera dies at the hands of Bukuro Wu-RONZ tribe leader Mera, Kai finds himself facing off against a former best friend.
Tokyo Tribes is based on a seinen manga created by Santa Inoue and serialise in the urban fashion magazine Boon from 1997 to 2005. There are 2.5 million copies of the original manga in print but only six of the twelve volumes were ever published in English¹. Animation studio Madhouse (Black Lagoon, Paranoia Agent) adapted the manga into a 13-episode anime in 2006.
I covered the film a lot last year with a post about the announcement of the project and the auditions which allowed actors to send audition videos to the directors via an upload on YouTube. A lot of the videos have been taken down now but some are still up. One of the guys who won a place was Young Dais who takes the lead as Kai. He’s a member of J-rap group North Coast Bad Boyz and you can see him in action below.
I consider him one of Japan’s leading auteurs and a person unafraid to tackle different subjects. Having built up a reputation with horror films such as Suicide Club (2002) and Strange Circus (2005) he has dabbled in drama and issue films with Noriko’s Dinner Table (2005), Himizu (2011) and Land of Hope (2012). He has also made a few films with gangsters like Hazard (2005) and last year’s incredible yakuza wars comedy film Why Don’t You Play in Hell?.
It is this last title which this looks similar to in tone with wild action – guys dual-wielding gold-plated pistols, girls performing flying kicks and tanks blowing stuff up. Tokyo also looks like a warzone when it isn’t some glamorous pleasure den. It looks like a entertainment film, alright!
Here’s a teaser showing the different gangs who will get caught up in the fighting:
Although there’s a new face taking the lead role in the form of Young Dais, he is supported be a variety of new and experienced actors. He will be acting alongside Ryohei Suzuki, still looking buff after playing the lead in HK: Forbidden Super Hero (2013). There is also Denden, Riki Takeuchi, Yui Ishikawa, and Shota Sometani, a regular name here and star of the forthcoming live-action adaptation of Parasyte which I will post a trailer for next week.
Here are some images from the film: