GYO: Tokyo Fish Attack! (a J!-ENT Anime DVD Review)
July 10, 2013 by Dennis Amith
What if fish, sharks and sea creatures had the ability to walk on land and destroy humanity? “GYO: Tokyo Fish Attack” is crazy, bizarre and with a short storyline that will leave you craving for more!
Image courtesy of © Junji Ito, Shogakukan/Anime Bunko. All Rights Reserved.
DVD TITLE: GYO: Tokyo Fish Attack!
DURATION: 70 Minutes
DVD INFORMATION: 16:9 LB, Japanese Dolby Digital Stereo and 5.1 Surround, Subtitles: English
COMPANY: Aniplex of America
RATED: Suggested 16 and Up
Release Date: July 9, 2013
Based on the Original Manga by Junji Ito
Directed by Takayuki Hirao
Script by Akihiro Yoshida, Takayuki Hirao
Storyboard by Takayuki Hirao
Music by Go Shiina
Character Design by Takuro Takahashi
Art Direction by Kazuo Ebisawa, Satoru Kuwabara, Takamasa Nakakuki
Animation Director: Makoto Nakamura, Takuro Takahashi
3D Director: Kojiro Shishido
Anime Production: ufotable
Featuring the following voice talent:
Mirai Kataoka as Kaori
Ami Taniguchi as Erika
Hideki Abe as Shirakawa
Hiroshi Okazaki as Professor Koyanagi
Masami Saeki as Aki
Takuma Negishi as Tadashi
A devastating, disgusting “Death Stench” is spreading across Japan, creating deadly mutant fish as it covers the land!
The country is being invaded by ferocious fish with sharp metal legs, hell-bent on death and destruction! Amidst the carnage, Kaori embarks on a desperate quest to find her missing boyfriend before he is lost to the mayhem that is sweeping the land. Facing four-legged killer sharks, machine-driven squid, and the myriad dangers of Tokyo, now an urban war zone, Kaori must find the truth behind these mechanical monsters and face an evil greater than she ever could have imagined.
When it comes to horror manga, Junji Ito is well known for his works. From notable titles such as “Tomie” and “Uzumaki”, in Japan people have been spooked out by the “Tomi” horror film series (a total of nine films have been released in Japan) plus an Uzumaki film that scared viewers back in 2000.
But in 2001 and 2002, Ito wrote one of his most unusual stories yet titled “Gyo”. Released as two volumes and published by Shogakukan for the magazine “Big Comic Spirits”, an anime OVA adaptation of “Gyo” by Ufotable (“Fate/Zero”, “Coyote Ragtime Show”, “Mobile Suit Gundam SEED”, “Weis Kreuz Gluhen”) was released in Feb. 2012. It’s important to know that the anime version is loosely based on the manga version and a lot of details of certain characters have been changed considerably.
The OVA is directed by Takayuki Hirao (“Death note”, “Majocco Shimai no Yoyo to Nene”, “Futakoi Alternative”), a script co-written by Hirao and Akihiro Yoshida (“Fate/Zero”), character design by Takuro Takahashi (“Fate/Zero”, “The Garden of Sinners”) and music by Go Shiina (“Kyouogiga Dainidan”).
And now, “Gyo” under the title of “GYO: Tokyo Fish Attack!”, was released in the USA on DVD Courtesy of Aniplex in July 2013.
“GYO: Tokyo Fish Attack!” begins with a fishing freighter that discovers something unusual in the fish they have caught.
The film then switches to Kaori and her fiance Tadashi talking on the phone. Kaori has gone to Okinawa with her friends Erika (who is often flirting with men and wearing skimpy clothes) and Aki (shy and not as skinny as the other two) to stay at Tadashi’s uncle’s summer home near the beach and both are looking forward to getting married within six months.
As they walk to the summer home, the three start smelling a horrible stench but as the three young women head to the home, we see a fish eye looking at them from a distance.
As the three open the door to the house, a bad stench emanates from the house and they start hearing noises around the house. As an unknown thing starts running around the house, Kaori smashes it with a drawer but what shocks them is that they see a fish but with legs like a spider with spikes attached to it. Kaori takes the fish out to the garbage because of its horrible stench, but as she makes a call to Tadashi, the dead fish starts to balloon and escape from the garbage. But Kaori said the stench that she has been smelling is not of a fish but a dead corpse.
The following morning, Erika invites two local guys into the home, so she can have a threesome. While Erika is having fun with the two men and Kaori and Aki wondering why their friend can’t help herself, while the two guys and Erika are about to have some fun, a shark comes in and breaks into the house and starts attacking. The shark with the spider legs and spikes begins to attack everyone in the house.
As the shark nearly kills Erika, Aki is too scared to run begs Erika for help, but Erika ends up kicking Aki in the face. The shark ends up puncturing Erika with one of its spiked feet and while the shark tries to lunge at Kaori. Kaori manages to dodge the shark who goes out the second floor window and falls to the ground. When Kaori goes to check, she sees thousands of fish and sea animals with legs walking. In Okinawa, an infestation of fish creatures with legs have come from the beach and entered Okinawa.
The news broadcasts the infestation of walking fish creatures and show that regular gunfire will not kill them.
When Kaori calls her fiance, Tadashi tells her to not come to Tokyo. But when their call is disconnected, she becomes frightened that something bad may have happened, so Kaori makes a decision to go back to Tokyo, leaving Erika and Aki in Okinawa.
As Kaori leaves to Tokyo, she meets a freelance photojournalist named Tsuyoshi Shirakawa who is investigating the creatures and Professor Koyanagi, the only person who may know where these fish creatures are from. Shirakawa realizes that he had seen Kaori before and that she is the girlfriend of Tadashi, Professor Koyanagi’s assistant.
But when Kaori and Shirakawa arrive in Tokyo, they quickly realize that the city has been taken over by the walking fish creatures. Will Kaori be able to find Tadashi and will she and Shirakawa managed to get from the airport to Tokyo?
VIDEO & AUDIO:
“GYO: Tokyo Fish Attack!” is presented in 16:9 LB and Japanese Dolby Digital Stereo and Dolby Digital 5.1. It’s important to know that the OVA is default on stereo, so you need to go into setup to change to 5.1. Ufotable did a great job in recreating Okinawa and Tokyo for this OVA. Very good CG use from depicting thousands of fish swimming in the ocean or going through city streets. Character designs were good but not as detailed and no shading. If anything, it’s the environment that helps build upon the series. While I’m sure the OVA would look a lot better on Blu-ray, on DVD, picture quality is good.
As for the audio, via the Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, the sounds of fish or creatures scurrying around were very good, especially the more action intense sequences that result throughout the film. There is no English dub included on this DVD release.
Subtitles are presented in English..
“GYO: Tokyo Fish Attack!” comes with no special features.
In America, we have had our fair share of horror/science-fiction films that depict some alien or supernatural sentient alien terrorizing humans.
From blobs to zombies, we have seen it all. And the same goes for Japan, from manga, anime and video games, there have been many storylines that revolve around various types of infestation with the insect infestation featured in the video game series “Earth Defense Force” and how humanity is under the threat of large versions of insects.
For the concept of “GYO: Tokyo Fish Attack!”, what if fish, sharks and other creatures had the ability to walk on land and attack any living thing with a virus? If anything, the sound of attacking fish and sharks in Tokyo streets is so bizarre that I had to see it for myself.
And while bizarre and crazy, “GYO: Tokyo Fish Attack!” is entertaining because you wonder how the film’s protagonist, a young woman named Kaori will survive the onslaught of creatures and why is it, that after being punctured by one, she has not been taken over by the virus?
While intriguing, campy and fun, unfortunately, this is a film that has no closure. I’m not even sure there is a continuation of the OVA as the storyline for “GYO: Tokyo Fish Attack!” was changed considerably when compared to the original manga. For example, in the manga series, Tadashi is fighting against the creatures, trying to come up with a vaccine as he is the only person immune to the virus for some reason.
In the anime, Tadashi is nothing like that. The OVA focuses on Kaori, a woman who is immune to the virus (in the manga, she is infected). The situations between Tadashi and Kaori are reversed in the OVA.
Also, the OVA adds the character of freelance photographer Shirakawa, who aids Kaori during her return to Tokyo. The manga series features Dr. Koyanagi’s assistant Ms. Yoshiyama who is not in the OVA and the character Tadashi replaces Ms. Yoshiyama as the assistant.
But because the OVA ends with no true conclusion, I wonder if there are sequels planned to show humanity worldwide revolting and finding a way to destroy these monsters? I just felt that there should be more to the story and if anything, why the deviation from the original manga series?
As for the DVD, picture quality and its soundtrack are good. But there are no special features, so for the most part, this is a barebones anime DVD.
The DVD is suggested for 16 and up and while it is not horror that is too disgusting, you will see dead humans, humans who have been assimilated by the virus and seeing tubs up their butt and their mouths (as the gas radiating from their bodies allow them to walk). It’s creepy and crazy but I think most viewers will find “GYO: Tokyo Fish Attack!” to be fascinating rather than scary.
Overall, “GYO: Tokyo Fish Attack!” is a horror/sci-fi OVA anime series that may not be too scary, but for its bizarre antagonists and its fascinating storyline, I found the film quite entertaining. But I can only hope the story is continued by Ufotable and that viewers we’ll see a sequel to help tie-up some loose ends left by this first OVA.
“GYO: Tokyo Fish Attack” is crazy, bizarre and with a short storyline that will leave you craving for more!
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