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Ai Shitî

Ai Shitî (1986) Movie Poster
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Japan  •    •  86m  •    •  Directed by: Kôichi Mashimo.  •  Starring: Hirotaka Suzuoki, Miyuki Ueda, Yûji Ueda, Nachi Nozawa, Mami Koyama, Kiyoshi Kobayashi.  •  Music by: Shiro Sagisu.
    In a dystopic and futuristic Tokyo, humanity's genetic code has gone awry. At the forefront of the technology is Fraud, an organization conducting experiments on people such as Kei and Ai -' two escaped ''headmeters'' with hefty psychokinetic powers. The sinister Mr. Lee wants nothing more to retrieve Ai back to his clutches, as she seemingly holds the key to immense power; Kei wants simply to keep Ai safe; and the evil Lai Lo Ching has his own master plan. Along with the help of the amnesiac headmeter K2 and a trusty sidekick, Kei must fight to protect Ai from the evils of Mr. Lee, Lai Lo Ching, and the state of the world itself!

Review:

Image from: Ai Shitî (1986)
Image from: Ai Shitî (1986)
Image from: Ai Shitî (1986)
Image from: Ai Shitî (1986)
Image from: Ai Shitî (1986)
Image from: Ai Shitî (1986)
Image from: Ai Shitî (1986)
Image from: Ai Shitî (1986)
Image from: Ai Shitî (1986)
Image from: Ai Shitî (1986)
Not much to recommend this video-only release - thematically it's a forerunner to Akira, in that it deals with mutation as evolution and centres around a young child possessing trans-formative powers, but Ai City has dated badly. It tries to be dark and prophetic, but is often unintentionally hilarious, scored by bad 80s j-pop and featuring some truly silly dialogue - for example:

"Not to be presumptuous, sir, but Lai Lo Ching may be behind this."

"Lai Lo Ching?! Are you certain of this?"

"83% certain, sir."

The plot is real B-movie material. Without giving too much away, it involves a genetic engineering outfit called "Fraud" (the name's a bit of a giveaway) who send agents to capture Ai because she is 'real', whereas everything else is an imitation, and she holds some kind of trigger in her DNA with the potential to destroytransform the world. A rogue agent, called K, protects her with the help of a private eye and a Fraud agent called K2 (who K converts by wiping her memory).

The characters are shallow archetypes and also look pretty ridiculous - Lai Lo Ching is a tiny naked wizened old man, sitting in the helmet of an enormous power-suit. The characters called Headmeters have Casio-style digital displays in their foreheads that seem to give them psychic powers. The higher the 3-digit display the higher their power - like some kind of cephalic fruit machine. By today's standards, the visual style is clunky and dated, especially in its use of rudimentary paint tricks for special effects.

If you're a fan of B-Movies, want a bit of a laugh and have some time for old anime, then it may be worth a look, but don't expect a classic.


Review by WraithApe from the Internet Movie Database.