I was really keen to check out some of the homegrown offerings from Okinawan filmmakers while I was on the island, and this one in particular caught my eye, not least because it was directed by Gori (aka Teruya Toshiyuki), a member of popular comedy troupe, Garage Sale. Frustratingly, however, none of the five locally-produced films screened with English subtitles.
I braved Duty Cyborg Itoman regardless, and must admit that while it was more dialogue-heavy than I would have liked (and therefore harder to follow, being in a language I don’t understand), there was definite craftsmanship on screen that was impossible to ignore. While it might seem somewhat futile to review a film based solely on its aesthetics, there was no denying how beautifully this was shot, particularly when compared with other films I had seen in the Ultraman-esque superhero genre. In addition, the film was extremely well directed, with the pacing and execution of scenes beautifully staged. Physical and sight gags all hit home and even when others relied on dialogue I didn’t understand, the film still held my attention.