Zen Pictures’ Gravure Idol Overcoming Crises! – Code Name Minerva Neo: Scary Tsuriganeizuma

What a catchy title, huh?  This is a relatively recent release from Zen Pictures , the Japanese company that continues to dominate all others, in my opinion, in terms of technical/production qualities.  You won’t find better costumes, acting, editing, or special effects in any other types of superheroine films.  However, there are drawbacks, as the language barrier might prevent viewers from understanding what the hell is going on.  In any event, Gravure Idol Overcoming Crises! is a really enjoyable Japanese heroine film.  It didn’t really do anything special for me, but it does offer the usual terrific elements I’ve come to expect from Zen Pictures, including lots of action and sexy Asian heroines.

After an opening credits scene, the film begins with a heroine (Sho Nishino) in a Power Rangers style outfit fighting a bunch of evil thugs in red uniforms.  She defeats all of them and then changes from her street clothes into her costume.  On her way home, however, she encounters a wounded heroine walking alone in the street.  She comes to her aid and helps her.

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I would be lying if I said I understood (or cared about) the exposition that takes place in the following scene.  I’m guessing that the two heroines, now united, receive instructions to infiltrate the bad guys’ hideout to retrieve some important artifact or piece of information.  It seems to happen in every Zen film, so why not this one?

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Next, the newly-teamed heroines run into another group of thugs dressed in red.  This time, the bad guys are joined by a gigantic henchmen that looks like a 50’s sci-fi robot.  Nishino bravely tries to fight him, but because he’s made of solid metal, she ends up hurting her hands and feet.  She tries to run away, but the robot shoots her in the back with an energy beam.  Eventually, he fires the weapon point blank into her chest, disabling her.  Even when she’s on the ground, he continues torturing her, stepping her her stomach until she passes out.  (What an unfair fight…)  She and with her partner, played by Risika Yuu, are taken back to the back guys’ base.

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Nishino is chained to a chair.  The evil robot places a big metal jar/contraption over her head and pounds on it with a hammer repeatedly.  This might prove effective in real life as a torture method, but in this movie, it’s actually pretty boring.

Meanwhile, Yuu is tortued in the same way.  She’s dressed in a sexy white leotard and her hands are handcuffed behind her back.  This scene goes on forever, and while the acting is pretty good, the scene is just not very exciting.  I’m not sure why the filmmakers decided to go “all in” on having the bad guys whack a metal helmet with a hammer for several minutes in this video, but that’s clearly the intention here.

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Eventually, Nishino breaks free from her cell and changes into her outfit (which I like less than her “street clothes”).  She fights several bad guys on her way to rescue her partner who is still receiving the “loud noise” torture.  This scene goes on for several minutes even at this point, and is really starting to overstay its welcome.

Nishino finally makes her way to the robot, and they have a rematch, which goes really poorly for Nishino as she is beaten and (you guessed it), has the metal contraption placed over her head as the robot whacks it again and again with a hammer (just in case you haven’t gotten enough of that yet).  She breaks free and throws the metal bucket at the robot, knocking him down. The fight continues, and eventually, Nishino is victorious.

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However, two female villains appear behind her and zap her with some kind of magical energy.  She is weakened, and realizes that one of the villains is Yuu, who has apparently been brainwashed by all the loud metal clanging from before.  Just as the bad ladies are about to kill her, Nishino escapes.  I’m guessing this means there’s going to be a sequel, where Nishino attempts to rescue Yuu, but we’ll see.

As usual, I liked the acting, costumes, casting, fight choreography, editing, music, etc., from this Zen Pictures release.  I especially liked the two heroines in this video.  Very attractive and good at selling the action.  What I didn’t like was the eight or so minutes of the bad guys banging on giant metal helmets as a form of torture.  It was just boring to me.  Of course, I can understand that there’s probably a small subset of the population out there that has been clamoring for this torture method.  They’ve finally had their prayers answered, as this video features a ton of that.  For the rest of us, though, it’s a shame because it’s sort of a waste of two very sexy heroines in a well-produced video that could have been great.  We’ll have to wait and see what the sequel has in store.

Download Gravure Idol Overcoming Crises! – Code Name Minerva Neo: Scary Tsuriganeizuma at Zen Pictures!