Shinji Imaoka is one of the Seven Lucky Gods of Pink (the others are Toshiya Ueno, Mitsuru Meike, Yūji Tajiri, Yoshitaka Kamata, Toshirō Enomoto and Rei Sakamoto) who make some of the strangest and most interesting adult-oriented movies from Japan.
It probably has the best cinematography the adult genre ever has had — outside of the movies Gary Graver worked on — thanks to Christopher Doyle working on this movie. The Australian native has been part of some really famous films, such as Fruit Chan’s Dumplings, Gus Van Sant’s Psycho and several films with Wong Kar-Wai.
This entire movie was shot in five and a half days, all with only one take per scene.
Asuka works in a fish factory and is about to marry her boss when she meets a legendary river creature known as a kappa. She soon discovers that it is the reincarnation of her first love Aoki, who drowned when they were only seventeen. The film, while adult in nature, tries to explain the feelings of love and loss. And oh yeah, it’s also a musical.
Yes, this is probably the only movie where you can see not only singing and dancing, but also what a Japanese water demon’s genitals look like. It also has a soundtrack by the French/German duo Stereo Total.
I pride myself in finding strange films, but at no point in my movie-watching life did I say, “I wish that The Shape of Water showed the sex and oh yeah, that everyone occasionally had song and dance numbers.” But here we are.