Onechanbara has been a popular game in casa Spinneyhead, so when I found there was a movie based on the game it went straight onto the to-watch list.
The film differs on key plot points and makes a little bit more sense than the game, though that’s not saying much. It’s some time after 20XX, and the dead have risen. Sword wielding, bikini clad* Aya is wandering the wasteland with her comedy sidekick, looking for her evil little sister Saki and the mad scientist who caused the zombie apocalypse. Along the way they pick up Reiko, who wields a magical double barrelled shotgun with infinite bullets.
There’s a fair amount of cgi blood, mostly well deployed, and some neat gory prosthetics. Watch the making of documentary and you’ll see just how much the cutting and effects add to the fight scenes. Aya’s magic sword glows as the fighting gets more intense and she can throw some special moves I wish I knew the key combos for in the game. The ending also hinges on a power up that’s often fatal in the game. I wish I knew how to get out of it the way Aya does.
As movie adaptations of game franchises go, this one’s not so bad. It’s no masterpiece, but it is faithful to the (admittedly quite silly) source material. And it has hot chicks, swords, guns and zombies. Don’t expect too much and you’ll get a fun little film.
You can buy Chanbara Beauty from Amazon UK.
*No, the bikini is never explained, any more than her 21 year old sister’s schoolgirl fetish get-up is. It’s what they wear, because this film offers a lot of fanservice.