Waking to prescient dreams of a Tokyo in ruins, young Tadashi (Ryunosuke Kamiki) finds himself swept up in a real life spirit war after being named “Kirin Rider” during a local matsuri. Befriending the mythical yokai of Japanese folklore, Tadashi and his newfound companions must confront the malevolent villain Yasunori Kato (Etsushi Toyokawa) who, in preparation for the impending war, has been twisting spirits into demonic machines. Escalating into a boisterous romp through the spiritual realm, The Great Yokai War features a phantasmagorical assortment of yokai (from Kasa-obake to Yuki-onna) as cult director Takashi Miike’s madcap flair for eye-popping visuals culminates into a special effects-laden spectacle for all ages.
“Miike’s goofy, gallant, action-packed fantasy deserves to become a classic family film.” —TV Guide
“Narrative coherence is perhaps not among the film’s virtues, but its loopy, cluttered story is part of the fun. And a clearer, simpler plot might have required the sacrifice of some delightful grace notes and visual marvels, like the elastic-necked geisha or the one-eyed ambulatory umbrella.” —The New York Times
Note: This feature is soft-subtitled. Please click on the “CC” button in the lower-right corner of the player to enable English subtitles
Streaming in the U.S. from February 5-25 as part of 21st Century Japan: Films from 2001-2020
In Japanese with English subtitles