It’s not everyday that your potential seafood meal gets mutated and turns into Kaiju monsters hellbent on destroying each other and everything in their path. In fact, it’s so rare that the premise of Monster Seafood Wars is framed as a documentary looking back on the one year anniversary of when that very thing happened. Director Minoru Kawasaki, whose previous credits include The Calamari Wrestler and Executive Koala, brings Monster Seafood Wars to life with vibrant colors and over the top actions sequences to deliver a truly delightful film.
The premise to Monster Seafood Wars is simple yet classic. Yuta Tanuma, played by Keisuke Ueda, is a young failed scientist who works as a delivery boy for his father. As a scientist he created a drug called Setap Z, but now it’s his job to deliver an offering of crab, squid, and octopus to a sacred shrine for a day of celebration. A villain emerges who attempts to steal his offering causing chaos in his wake. These events eventually caused the seafood offering to mutate into huge monsters set on destroying the city.
The film is instantly entertaining and engaging. Written by Kawasaki and Masakazu Migita, their writing partnership shows great chemistry and fondness towards their characters. While the overall premise of the movie is pretty fantastical, there are also other battles waged on land. Business people are taking advantage of the situation, while a love triangle and professional jealousies are unfolding during the monster attacks.
Monster Seafood Wars also features a great cast. Ueda’s performance is charismatic with excellent comedic timing. Yuta Tamus is an interesting character that finds it easier than to give up than to try and better himself. It’s his attraction to Nana, played by Ayano Yoshida Christie, the J-pop group of Nogizaka 46, which finally gets him to want to clear his name and find a professional place in the world.
In addition to the casting, Monster Seafood Wars is stylish and spectacular in its visuals. Kawasaki, who is a fan of the kigurumi tokusatsu (monster body suits), has some impressive looking monsters in Takolla the octopus, Ikalla the squid, Kanilla the crab. The fights are set against against a gorgeous scenery and shot from interesting angles to display their immensity.
Monster Seafood Wars is playing at the Fantasia Film Festival. It is silly, charming, and a lot of fun for viewers of all ages.