The year is 1590, the 18th year of the Tensho era.
After the demise of warlord ODA NOBUNAGA, Japan is about to be unified by TOYOTOMI HIDEYOSHI. However, one man in the Kanto region defies unification. That man calls himself TENMAOH (Mirai MORIYAMA) and leads the KANTO DOKURO-TO (Skull Clan), an armed group hiding in the pitch-black DOKURO-JO (Skull Castle), though he once worked for NOBUNAGA. SUTENOSUKE (Shun OGURI) happens to rescue SAGIRI, a woman who has been chased by the KANTO DOKURO-TO and their bloodthirsty leader, madman TENMAOH. To hide and shelter the woman, SUTENOSUKE meets MUKAIYA RANBE (Taichi SAOTOME) at a brothel district. Manipulated by magical fate, people congregate in the Kanto region. When the shared past between SUTENOSUKE and RANBE, and their relation to TENMAOH, come to light, the dark ambition of TENMAOH is revealed. Without regrets, SUTENOSUKE and his seven souls head for DOKURO-JO, though it is surrounded by 20,000 soldiers, to destroy it and stop TENMAOH's dark ambition.
Selection Committee Comments
“Of all the films we screened, this was our highest-ranked film -- and our unanimous choice to open the festival.”
“It’s like nothing we’ve ever seen in America. Japan has done it again! The producer calls it ‘geki x cine,’ or ‘“theatre ‘times’ cinema.’ It’s a multiplier effect that creates a whole new genre of film-making and takes both movies and live theater to new levels of possibility.”
“Spectacular. Breathtaking. It will blow your mind!”
“Incredible. They had 18 cameras in the theatre filming simultaneously, and they edited everything perfectly. You see the sweat on the actors’ faces. You hear them panting after the incredibly choreographed sword-fighting scenes, which are filmed in one take. You feel closer to the actors than you ever would in a theater, and it also makes it more alive and real than any movie you have ever seen.”
“It’s part Star Wars, part Seven Samurai, part Kabuki, part anime, part Taiga drama. It’s a great story where you cheer for the underdog – Americans will love it!”
“Toshiro Mifune’s ‘devil may care’ Yojimbo has been reborn as Shun Oguri’s Sutenosuke! Welcome to the 21st century!”
“This will appeal to theatre goers as well as film buffs alike. The sound effects, the lighting, the music, the editing, the story, the energy of the young actors. It’s all amazing. “
“I have watched this three times already, and I can’t get enough!!”
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