The Fable: A Contract Killer Who Doesn’t Kill  ザ・ファブル 殺さない殺し屋 (2021) Director: Kan Eguchi [New York Asian Film Festival 2021]

The Fable: A Contract Killer Who Doesn’t Kill   The Fable A Contract Killer Who Doesn't Kill Film Poster

ザ・ファブル 殺さない殺し屋 The Fable: Korosanai Koroshiya

Release Date: June 18th 2021

Duration: 123 mins.

Director: Kan Eguchi

Writer: Kan Eguchi, Masahiro Yamaura (Script), Katsuhisa Minami (Original Manga)

Starring: Junichi Okada, Fumino Kimura, Shinichi Tsutsumi, Yurina Hirate, Masanobu Ando, Mizuki Yamamoto, Ken Yasuda, Jiro Sato, Daisuke Miyagawa, Manami Hashimoto,

Website IMDB

Films based on manga are quite ubiquitous in Japan but few have qualities that gain the traction to make it onto the radars of global audiences the way the Rurouni Kenshin live-action films have. The closest has arguably been 2019’s well-reviewed The Fable which featured a combination of eccentric characters, quirky comedy, and a pair of attention-grabbing action set-pieces (choreographed by the Jackie Chan stunt team) that bookended proceedings. For the sequel, The Fable: A Contract Killer Who Doesn’t Kill, it is a case of more of the same as the director and cast return in a film which has a similar structure and feel to the previous instalment. 

Once again we are in the company of Akira Sato (Junichi Okada) A.K.A, The Fable. Behind his innocuously naïve and spaced-out persona lies a killing machine who is a legend in the criminal underworld. In the first film, his body-count had become so outrageous, his boss ordered him to keep a low profile in Osaka with his handler Yoko (Fumino Kimura) with strict orders not to kill anyone or anything. Sato now works a part-time job at a design company where his colleagues and new-found friends remain unaware of his hidden life but maintaining this deception soon proves impossible when a former target from Sato’s murky past re-emerges.

Continue reading “The Fable: A Contract Killer Who Doesn’t Kill  ザ・ファブル 殺さない殺し屋 (2021) Director: Kan Eguchi [New York Asian Film Festival 2021]”

The Fable: A Contract Killer Who Doesn’t Kill  ザ・ファブル 殺さない殺し屋 (2021) Director: Kan Eguchi [New York Asian Film Festival 2021]

The Fable: A Contract Killer Who Doesn’t Kill   The Fable A Contract Killer Who Doesn't Kill Film Poster

ザ・ファブル 殺さない殺し屋 The Fable: Korosanai Koroshiya

Release Date: June 18th 2021

Duration: 123 mins.

Director: Kan Eguchi

Writer: Kan Eguchi, Masahiro Yamaura (Script), Katsuhisa Minami (Original Manga)

Starring: Junichi Okada, Fumino Kimura, Shinichi Tsutsumi, Yurina Hirate, Masanobu Ando, Mizuki Yamamoto, Ken Yasuda, Jiro Sato, Daisuke Miyagawa, Manami Hashimoto,

Website IMDB

Films based on manga are quite ubiquitous in Japan but few have qualities that gain the traction to make it onto the radars of global audiences the way the Rurouni Kenshin live-action films have. The closest has arguably been 2019’s well-reviewed The Fable which featured a combination of eccentric characters, quirky comedy, and a pair of attention-grabbing action set-pieces (choreographed by the Jackie Chan stunt team) that bookended proceedings. For the sequel, The Fable: A Contract Killer Who Doesn’t Kill, it is a case of more of the same as the director and cast return in a film which has a similar structure and feel to the previous instalment. 

Once again we are in the company of Akira Sato (Junichi Okada) A.K.A, The Fable. Behind his innocuously naïve and spaced-out persona lies a killing machine who is a legend in the criminal underworld. In the first film, his body-count had become so outrageous, his boss ordered him to keep a low profile in Osaka with his handler Yoko (Fumino Kimura) with strict orders not to kill anyone or anything. Sato now works a part-time job at a design company where his colleagues and new-found friends remain unaware of his hidden life but maintaining this deception soon proves impossible when a former target from Sato’s murky past re-emerges.

Continue reading “The Fable: A Contract Killer Who Doesn’t Kill  ザ・ファブル 殺さない殺し屋 (2021) Director: Kan Eguchi [New York Asian Film Festival 2021]”

The Fable ザ・ファブル Dir: Kan Eguchi (2019) [New York Asian Film Festival 2019]

The Fable    The Fable Film Poster

ザ・ファブル  Za Faburu

Release Date: June 21st, 2019

Duration: 123 mins.

Director: Kan Eguchi

Writer: Yusuke Watanabe (Screenplay), Katsuhisa Minami (Original Manga)

Starring: Junichi Okada, Fumino Kimura, Koichi Sato, Mizuki Yamamoto, Kai Inowaki, Jiro Sato, Sota Fukushi, Ken Mitsuishi, Yuya Yagira, Ken Yasuda,

Website IMDB

Katsuhisa Minami’s seinen manga The Fable has been serialised in Weekly Young Magazine since 2014 and it won the general category of the 41st Kodansha Manga Awards in 2017. Its straight shooting story of a hit-man’s travails is mostly down-to-earth in art style and narrative for a manga. Its hard-boiled nature is supported by characters drawn with natural proportions engaging in fisticuffs and gunfights, the seriousness subverted by dashes of satire thanks to unique personality traits harboured by different people. A movie version is a natural progression but to make it engaging it will need a cast and crew to capture the comedic and action parts of the story.

The Fable (Junichi Okada) is actually the name of a contract killer operating in the Tokyo underworld. His ability to kill is almost preternatural and it is shown with visual pizzazz in the bombastic opening where he takes out two gangs in a fancy sky-rise restaurant. Efficient shooting and movement, short and sharp physical strikes and an aura of something unstoppable is what defines him and overpowers his opponents. All tumble down before him in action scenes excitingly delivered by director Kan Eguchi who favours quick editing, kinetic camerawork and exploding sets to bolster the slick action choreography. Eguchi doubles-down on the style by showing the mental calculations Fable makes through cute on-screen text and illustrations that get shattered by the bullets the killer sends flying.

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