47 Ronin Posters Baffle And Amuse People Online In Japan

Hollywood is doing a big budget version of the Forty-seven Ronin, a famous historic incident of samurai honour , loyalty, and revenge. The big screen version seems different.

While there really were forty-seven ronin that lived in the 18th century, the movie's set "in a world of witches and giants". According to Variety, it will mix "fantasy elements of the sort seen in The Lord of the Rings pics, with gritty battle scenes akin to those in films such as Gladiator." Oh. OK.

One redeeming factor is that the film's producers have signed on Japanese actors, such as Tadanobu Asano, Kou Shibasaki, Jin Akanishi, Hiroyuki Sanada, and Rinko Kikuchi.

That being said, when you say "Forty-seven Ronin", people probably think of something closer to the 1962 Toshiro Mifune film Chushingura, or what iconic filmmaker Kinji Fukasaku brought to life with his 1978 film Swords of Vengeance -- or the various kabuki performances, play, or depictions in art and popular culture.

It's impossible to understate how famous the Forty-seven Ronin story is in Japan. In the U.S., it would be the equivalent of something like the Alamo.

So, you can probably understand why these movie posters, which are certainly not traditionally Japanese, seem somewhat vexing for many. It would be like seeing James Bowie wield magic instead of his iconic knife, or having the Alamo populated with giants.

Above you can see three of the posters. There is another one directly below:

On 2ch, Japan's largest forum, many commenters seemed puzzled by the posters. Granted, these are just posters, and the film itself might be wonderful.

"What are these, new Tekken characters?" asked one 2ch commenter.

"This really doesn't evoke the Forty-seven Ronin," wrote another. "But whatever, they can do whatever they like." Others immediately wrote off the movie, while one commenter said, "It seems like it's mixed with The Avengers." Another chimed in, "I imagine the story is something like out of Predator."

"Japan is the place that can truly understand [this story], but it doesn't even seem to be aimed at Japan," chimed in another -- to which someone retorted that people in Japan probably wouldn't get it anyway, so they should do what they like. Others also said it was a movie, so it should be judged -- whether it's good or bad -- solely on its own merits.

"Actually, this is so different from the Forty-seven Ronin, that it actually seems like it will be fun," wrote one commenter. Others said that this was simply entertainment and didn't necessarily need historical facts.

"Looking at these posters, it seems like the court official they're going to kill will shoot lasers out of his eyes like the last boss in a video game," added a commenter. Let's hope so!

47 Ronin will be out this Christmas, complete with samurai, witches, and, uh, giants. No word on the lasers.

キアヌ主演の忠臣蔵「47 Ronin」 ポスター公開 なんの映画だよこれ [2ch]


Comments

    I mean, if its inspired by history, I see no problem. If it was a historical film with all American actors, or at least American actors playing the lead roles, then it would be weird and stupid, but the fact that its a fantasy and obviously not set in this world, it's a pretty cool idea.

    They probably shouldn't name it 47 Ronin though, maybe something similar to it? As it stands, it just looks like a weird pseudo-allegory for the original tale, which is pretty neat, but also enough to warrant it a different name, at least.

    What's the Alamo?

      i believe its an old old wooden ship.

      She's a Chinese girl who appears in the hilarious DigitalRev camera review videos on YouTube. No, wait, that's Alamby.

    For a GREAT Samurai movie... 13 Assassins just cannot... CANNOT be beat. It's purely amazing. I was in absolute awe of how good it was. Infact I think I'll just go watch it now.

    This might be ok. It'll be as historically accurate as Gumby, but might be fun.

      Gumby was fantastic I don't care what you say.

        lol when I was around 20, (35 now), in the days when we were experimenting, we ate some 'shrooms and put the TV on. It was around 5 or 6am at this point and Optusvision had only just come out (might have been 21...) anyhow point is Gumby was on. The shrooms started affecting us bigtime. We were *tripping balls*.

        The episode had Gumby turn into Gumbyzilla and try to destroy a town.

        Suddenly we 'got' it. It was LIFE MAN! IT WAS LIFE! IT WAS EVERYTHING! IT WAS PROFOUND! We sat there in stone silence. Our friend Tim had chosen not to take part, but filled us in later on how hilarious it was. He told me my mate started crying at the futility of Gumbies life, that I was screaming at how IT ALL MADE SENSE NOW!!!! and one of my other friends was laying there saying 'he was Pokey, Pokey was him, he was Pokey, Pokey was him'. lol

        Never eat 'shrooms and watch Gumby. That's bad shit man. Bad shit. lol

          That is a great story. Gumby is deeper than the sum of us.

      The 1970's Lone Wolf & Cub films come close to beating it. Awesome samurai movies, if you can get past the seriously fake (almost orange) blood that was popular in Japanese films of that period. Warning for the squeamish, there's an awful lot of it.

        Absolutely, I'd say they're on par if not equal. 13 Assassins just stunned me with its quality. It stems into the fantastical with the forest spirit samurai, he was quite funny, but overall, it was just so well done and relentless. By the end of the movie you literally felt exhausted.

          Agreed, that final battle went for what... 45 minutes? You rarely see such prolonged intensity like in that western films.

            Not to mention the young samurai played by the actor in the two CROWS: ZERO movies :D

    What's an Alamo?

      Everything you need to know about Alamo
      http://www.wowwiki.com/Alamo#Alamo_teechs_u_2_play_DURID.21

    Never heard of Jim Bowie referred to as James before. It seems weird.

    As for 47 Ronin, seriously disappointed in the trailer. It was way too much magic and Immortals style influence, not enough ronin.

    Considering that Japan made a halfway decent Semi-Fantasy/Steampunk/Mecha Anime of the Seven Samurai...

    I can't see a problem with the 'concept' of a fantasy version of the 47 Ronin.

    Though it *would* be more memorable with giants in it

    Just watched the preview and I gotta say its looking dam good. Samurai neo and effects laden, can't go wrong.

    lol is that Zombie Boy?

      Looks like it. Probably the only dude to ever make a living out of stupid full face tattoos. I wonder how many idiots will get more face tattoos on the basis of his success.

    I'm assuming they retooled it for western audiences because the original story (which is apparently true) is basically about Japanese honour codes and people committing seppuku.
    Yay we avenged our master and got caught... now we all have to kill ourselves. Top stuff for modern western movie goers.

    The trailer indicates to me that its practically a live action anime.

    Looks like another 300, or Clash of the titans or something. Waaaay over the top effects and fantasy stuff with little to no grounding. I'm not saying it has to be completely realistic, i'm also not saying 300 was bad, but just i'm getting really tired of this trend in hollywood just putting cgi shit in everything when it's completely unnecessary. The story itself is really cool (and very Japanese as @svenz0r said) but that doesn't mean just because it's a western version of an eastern story you have put bloody dragons and giants and fantasy shit in it to make it 'good' .

Join the discussion!