Director: Takahisa Zeze (Dog Star 2002; The Dream Of Garuda 1994)
Producer: Shochiku / Culture Publishers / Wow Wow Inc.
Score: Goro Yasukawa
Writer: Gackt Camui / Kisyu Izuchi / Takahisa Zeze
Director of photography: Takahide Shibanushi
In the year 2014, Japan has collapsed economically, its people emigrated in large numbers. The multi-ethnic city of Maleppa, a hotbed of crime and drugs, attracts every type of people, including gangsters, murderous criminals and... vampires. A young 9-year-old street kid named Sho (Gackt) is saved by a man who could not die. Kei (Hyde) is a vampire with a heart. Losing his only friend, Kei enjoys the companionship the young Sho brings and nurtures him like his own kid brother. Over the years, Sho, thanks to the teachings of Kei, becomes a ruthless mobster who forms one of the strongest gangs Maleppa has ever known. Along with Son (Wang Leehom) and his mute younger sister, Yi-che (Zeny Kwok), they kill for sport and survival. As the aging Sho grows stronger by the day and Kei never showing a day of age, their bond is quickly questioned and is ultimately put to the test when Sho and Kei's old rivals turn up once again...
- The movie by ex-adult film (so-called pink films) director Takahisa Zeze features two of Japan's major pop idols in their first performance: Hyde (former frontman of the band L'Arc En Ciel , now solo) and Gackt (ex-singer of the band Cain's Feel and later for Malice Mizer , also now solo) - very similar to the Hong Kong offering The Twins Effect : both films have vampires, and the two leads are major pop idols in their native lands. - The most obvious inspiration was probably former Hong Kong director John Woo. The friends-who-become-enemies theme is classic Woo, and the film displays Woo's brand of ultra-violence and stylish romanticism.
click here for filmstills (pictures from the movie)
I was really surprised when I first watched MoonChild. Usually I am not too keen on watching Japanese movies (or Asian films in general), not because they are of poor quality ~ and hereby I am outing myself - most of the time I just don't get them. MoonChild tore all my prejudices to bits and pieces ~ it is a wonderful movie, with great actors who prove that they are not only able to sing but also to act, stunningly choreographed gun fights, and last but not least a profound plot. Admitted that the plot neither boasts any great new ideas nor does it have a different approach to Vampires that we haven't seen before a million times ~ but what we got works and is very, very well executed. The story about 2 friends passing through life, losing each other and finally meeting again to discover that they are forever bound together is timeless and spiced up with John Woo'ish gun fights that are just visually impressive. You just have to see yourself to believe! Trust me, they are that good! One element in the film that can be a little bit awkward is the humor. MoonChild does not only boast great fight scenes, it also has a lot of that weird-yet-funny Japanese slapstick humor. Sometimes the transition from serious, blood drenched gun fights to goofy humor is a little too fast for me - but that is just a tiny nitpick. Overall the movie is a great one to watch. Highly recommended.