Fantasia Film Review: Too Young To Die!

(Source: Toho Company)

(Source: Toho Company)

Daisuke (Ryûnosuke Kamiki) can’t be in Hell. After all, the young student is in love with a girl! Someone has obviously made a mistake, right?

Director Kankuro Kudo gives us this irreverent comedy directly from the bowels of Hell. In Too Young To Die, Daisuke’s class was in a bus that fell off a cliff. Due to a clerical error, Daisuke has been judged a sinner but he should really be looking at the bright side. He gets a chance to join Hells, the rock and roll band formed by lead guitar and vocals demon Killer K (Tomoya Nagase), bass player Jako (Nana Seino) and on drums, Cozy (Kenta Kiritani). But all silly Daisuke wants is to get back to his beloved Hiromi (Aoi Morikawa) and finally declare his love.

To do that he’s got to join the Hell Agricultural High School and prove his worth to demon leader Principal Enma (Arata Furuta) so he can be considered for reincarnation. However, on each reincarnation he might just end up becoming a beast before he’s ever human again. Careful, Daisuke! After seven reincarnations he’ll become a demon and stay in Hell forever.

Yeah, you know what kind of movie you’re watching here. The surprise is how clever this movie is at suddenly double backing and revealing something we didn’t know about Daisuke or his classmates. The movie is rich in clever twists and over the top crazy characters. It’s a crowd pleaser with plenty of gags and some gore but relies more on irony and wit to deliver laughs than grossing you out. Surprisingly, the story has a heart as demons prove to be as human as the rest of us.

Highs: Plenty of laughs and clever storytelling that shows us there was more to the original story than just a teenager in love. Practical effects and rock and roll music galore. There’s not a dull moment in the entire movie’s length.

Lows: Some hard rock fans will notice some songs are more pop than rock and metal is never quite hardcore. It does trivialize tragedy for the sake of humour, but there’s some heartfelt moments late in the film.

Extremely recommended for plenty of laughs and irreverence. It might just be the ideal Fantasia movie, although gore fans might want more blood on it. Definitely a crowd-pleaser, so make sure you have company. Very clever storytelling tricks as we learn more about the characters make the time fly by.

Possibly coming up if I don’t change my mind:

That will do for now.

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