March 11, 2013

Gyo: Tokyo Fish Attack (Takayuki Hirao, 2012)

Although it's based on the work of one of Japan's most prominent horror manga authors, Gyo: Tokyo Fish Attack proves incapable of living up to expectations.

An adaptation of Junji Ito's manga, Gyo recounts the story of a modern-day Japan attacked by poisonous fish with mechanical legs, converting the population into organic masses excreting putrid gas, as they make their way inland.

Director Takayuki Hirao hopelessly tries to capture Ito's pathos and creep, a very difficult feat, to be sure, and rarely succeeds. The whole thing feels like it's trying too hard. At moments, Ito's visceral style bleeds through the thick narrative but those moments are few and far between.

The voice direction isn't at all impressive. The actors never seem to believe the incredible events happening around them, or at least believe that they're working in a movie worth the effort. The animation quality is laughable; 'dirty animation' would have enhanced Ito's work, but here the animation and CGI actually divert attention from the story.

Gyo: Tokyo Fish Attack drifts far from its original source. It is a cheap, unimaginative attempt at embodying Ito's storytelling in film. And, it just may be one of the worst films of 2012.

INFO: Gyo: Tokyo Fish Attack