3.0 out of 5 stars So-so vanity film
Directing his first and only feature film, Japanese movie star Eiji Okuda made an unabashed vanity film. He cast himself as the ultimate man’s man, a former gangster, complete with full yakuza tattoo, who reformed and has become a small-town police officer. Of course, beneath his brusque exterior beats a heart of gold, shown by how he spends his free time taking care of a local teenage retarded boy. He is a man so completely dripping with sex-appeal that he can’t even return a missing dog without the happy owner insisting that he come in for a little afternoon delight. This poor guy is so tired out by refreshing the housewives that he tries to have a quiet rest and a beer in a local bar. Ah, but even it is too much for the ladies, as a cute 15-year-old jr. high school girl soon plops down at his table and introduces herself with the line “Hey Mister! You up for some sex?” Its a hard life indeed.
“Shoujyo – An Adolescent” is ostensibly based on a short story by Mikihiko Renjo, but it plays off as more of a soft-core “Lolita” clone. The story line is full of coincidences. Okuda soon begins a relationship with the 15-year old Yoko (played by 22-year old Mayu Ozawa), and finds that she is the brother of his little retarded pal. On top of that, Yoko’s grandfather is the one that gave him his tattoo many years ago. Yoko’s mother, of course, demands sex from Okuda when she uncovers the relationship with her daughter, and Okuda willingly sacrifices himself, soon bedding both mother and daughter. None of the characters are even slightly realistic, with Yoko being little more than a fanciful image of youthful beauty and a middle-aged man’s wish fulfillment.
The only redeeming feature of “Shoujyou” is that it is well-filmed. The story is shallow, but the pictures are pretty and so are the girls that Okuda trysts with. As a soft-core pink film with a lolita theme, there are certainly worse movies out there. Just don’t set your expectations too high.