Yamakawa Yoshiki | Japan, 2008 | 120 min | Rated R | BD | Japanese with English subtitles
Thursday November 15, 2012 – 9:00pm
On her first day of school, a hyper young high school student notices that there’s something a bit odd about her school and her classmates. That’s what happens when one lands in hell – a predicament she ends up in when she got hit by a car while trying to save a kitty. What’s worse, she may not really be dead – she bleeds, she can get hurt, and she has no powers in a world where she gets caught up in a deadly feud between two brothers, and each denizen she meets is rougher than the last.
First appearing in 2009 at the Tokyo International Film Festival, HELLS (also known as HELL’S ANGELS) is a kinetically-charged film that was buried by rights issues, disappearing from public view for four years. It is a unique piece of work unlike most anime in recent years; the closest kin is Koike’s REDLINE, which is also from the same animation studio Madhouse. The film is a breath of fresh air, and full of creative innovation helmed by top talent. It shows. The director Yamakawa was entrusted with the manga version of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi; creature design was by Nirazawa Yasushi, who also did creature design for HELLBOY; and character design was entrusted to Nakagawa Kazita, who worked with Watanabe Shinichiro on SAMURAI CHAMPLOO.
All rights reserved (c) 2008, HIROMOTO-Sin-ichi * Nirasawa Yasushi/Shueisha/HELLS Partners