When geishas get taken to the next level and are rebuilt as fully combat capable assassins that are more robot than anything else. Sexy robots.
What They Say
Kikuke is a geisha known for her glamour and grace. Yoshie is her abused sister, banished to the shadows. When a mysterious corporation transforms their soft bodies into murderous machines, the rival vixens rush toward an ultra-violent final confrontation.
The audio layout for this release gives us both the Japanese and English mixes encoded using the Dolby TrueHD codec. The Japanese is kept to its original stereo mix while the English gets the boost up to the 5.1 level. The feature has a pretty good mix with the stereo presentation as it has a rather amusingly good level of placement and directionality as the bullets fly everywhere and things come from either side depending on what's going on. The English mix takes it up several notches with more material going to the rear channels but it also goes up a fair bit in the volume level as well. Both tracks work well and convey the show well but I still can't bring myself to listen to live action material dubbed without finding the whole thing to be wrong.
Originally released in 2009, the transfer for this film is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.78:1 in 1080p using the AVC codec. The transfer here is pretty good overall and while it has a better than usual budget for a film of this nature, it still has a lot of its low budget roots here. When the feature goes to more of the indoor scenes and some of the more shadowed ones, the level of grain goes up several notches and is very visible, though it avoids any blocking. The darks in the film come across very well here and overall the quality here is pretty good outside of the heightened grain in some scenes. Of course, it does have a shlocky look at times because of its B movie nature, but that's separate from any transfer related issues.
Robogeisha has one of the best covers I think I've seen from FUNimation for their live action titles. With an appropriate framing of key Japanese elements such as Mt. Fuji, cherry trees and ocean waves, it mixes in the women of the film in all their slutty glory with skimpy outfits and a real look of bloodlust. The logo has a really good look to it with the metallic style piece for the Robo part and a great font for the geisha aspect. The back cover uses similar background elements to bring it all together. With a few shots along the side, it's mostly a soft look but one that has a good sense of humor about it through the text. They use the usual symbols for awards from festivals to put in amusing net-speak pieces and an appropriate tagline for the feature with "Robogeisha is an orgy of WTF..." The summary can't do the film justice but it gets the mood set right. The extras are clearly listed and the technical grid lays everything out, though it does it with white text on a very bad green which makes it pretty hard to read. While no show related inserts are included, the reverse side has a two panel spread of an action scene from the film that works well if you wanted to reverse it.
The menus for Robogeisha are kept rather simple as it's made up of clips from the film itself, something I'm not all that much of a fan of. The various action and sultry scenes are alright but I hate seeing much of it in advance of watching the movie itself so it proves to be more of a annoyance than anything else. Along the bottom is where the navigation itself is as it uses the reds and greens from the logo as its central design that allows you to move back and forth over each of the selections. It's a fairly straightforward piece overall and the navigation is very, very smooth and quick which makes for a very good experience. Everything loads fast and the feature defaults to the English language track instead of reading player presets.
Only one extra is included and it's amusing one. Running sixteen minutes, it's a little side movie called 'Geishacop' which deals with a look at inside the Kangeo company from an undercover who tries to find out what's really going on in there. It's pretty outlandish in the same way the main movie is and features a lot of what we've seen in there done with a look at how this kind of company would actually operate and how deadly it would be to work inside it.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Robogeisha. How can you not want to check a movie with a title like that. Coming from the man who brought out the legendary Tokyo Gore Police and Machine Girl, Robogeisha brings an amusing level of violence and sexuality to the screen as it deals with sibling rivalry gone wrong. With a film like this, everything is on the table and you can't tell where it's going to go when it gets rolling. And when it does get going, you can't be quite sure where it's going to go with the crazy visuals and action. Or just how sexualized it might all get.
The world of geishas is a tough one as we see here where Kikuyakko is one of the very attractive geishas in a particular house who is doing her best to woo the wealthy men. She's very confident in her abilities and looks and she spends her off time abusing and talking down to her younger sister Yoshie. Yoshie's the ugly duckling of the two, not that you could truly tell by looking at her, and her ways invariably get her in trouble. When Kikuyakko is in the midst of performing for the son of a very wealthy steel magnate, Yoshie causes a problem that has her crashing through the wall and spreading chaos in the room that serves only to embarrass her elder sister. When the son sees this play out afterward when Kikuyakko is abusing her sister, he gets the idea that Yoshie may have something more to her with the way she handles herself and her innate power.
A power that's then tested afterward as he believes she's something far more than human. Before she and her sister realize it, they've been brought into this secret organization that operates within the Kageno steel company where they train women to be high powered physical assassins. The two sisters are turned upon each other and Yoshie ends up outpacing her elder sister by a fair degree. At least until Kikuyakko discovers she can get physical upgrades, such as a machine gun replacing her breast and more. That sets them on a new competitive race as their positions change and they end up causing a whole lot of trouble as they do their best to curry favor.
Naturally, nothing good can come of this and it doesn't take long for Yoshie to realize there's more to life than this and she has to stop her sister. The film actually opens with the two of them facing off against each other and we see Kikuyakko with a saw blade coming out of her mouth that's pretty deadly and Yoshie shows off just how good with a sword she is. Much of the film is centered on the sibling rivalry and they're rather fun moments to watch as they compete, especially in the training sessions. But like any movie of this nature, it has to take things up several notches and that includes having a building that transforms into a robot, shurikens shooting out of the girls asses and even AssBlades. That alone is worth the price of admission as you get to see three women with their backsides up high, blades sticking out of the, fighting furiously against each other. That kind of ludicrous moment is what makes this B movie such a B movie and so much fun to watch if you're in the right mind for it.
You know full well what you're getting into with a film named Robogeisha. If you see the trailer and think that this is for you, then it pretty much will be. It takes a certain kind of sense of humor to enjoy a film like this where you have a woman whose legs turn into a high powered fast moving tank that carries her through the highways at blazing speeds. And AssBlades. Don't forget the AssBlades. Robogeisha is all about weird, twisted fun involving women who want to be something more than they are and compete hard to get it, transforming themselves repeatedly in order to become more powerful and rise in position. It has a number of very hysterical moments and gags that work great and leave you laughing and remembering the film for days afterward, if not longer. It's certainly not for everyone, but those that get it, they get it in spades.
Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0 Language, English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 Language, English Subtitles, Geishacop Spin-off
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.