Death Kappa (2010)

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Credits for Death Kappa (film)

Death Kappa
The Japanese poster for Death Kappa
Directed by Tomoo Haraguchi
Producer John Sirabella et al.
Written by
Music by Masako Ishii
effects by
Tomoo Haraguchi
effects by
Tetsuji Hayakawa
Funded by Fever Dreams
Production company Nikkatsu
Distributor InterfilmJP, Tokyo ShockUS
Running time 85 minutesJP
(1 hour, 25 minutes)
79 minutesUS
(1 hour, 19 minutes)
Aspect ratio 1.85:1
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King Kong is DEAD.
Godzilla is RETIRED.
a new MONSTER is in town.

— Tagline

Death Kappa (デスカッパ,   Desu Kappa) is a 2010 tokusatsu kaiju film directed and conceived by Tomoo Haraguchi and written by Masakazu Migita, with special effects by Haraguchi and visual effects by Tetsuji Hayakawa. Funded by Fever Dreams and produced by Nikkatsu, it was released first on DVD and Blu-ray in the United States by Tokyo Shock on July 27, 2010. Interfilm then brought it to Japanese theaters that November 27.


When military experiments go haywire and trigger an atomic bomb, the consequences are of epic proportions. A monster arrives in the midst of the nuclear fallout, and Japan's defenses are helpless against it. Mankind's only savior is an irradiated water goblin from Japanese folklore called the "Death Kappa." The two rival monsters must go head-to-head in the ultimate battle between good and evil!


Kanako returns to her home town in the wake of a failed career as an idol singer. As soon as she meets up with her grandmother Fujiko, a VW Beetle speeds down the road, hitting her grandmother and knocking a shrine containing a mummified kappa off a cliff and into the sea. With her dying breath, Kanako's grandmother begs her to "protect the kappa". Kanako takes over as the miko to her family's shrine. On a nearby beach, the joyriders who ran over Kanako's grandmother are attacked by strange creatures and men in black suits, the boys killed and the girls abducted.

One day, Kanako catches her brothers listening to her song only to hear a noise coming from outside their house. The three of them find a kappa dancing to Kanako's song. The siblings befriend Kappa and he soon becomes part of the family. One night while Kappa is dancing to Kanako’s song, he is attacked and netted by a group of men in black suits. Kanako tries to save Kappa using a bow and arrow, causing the men to turn their attention towards her and capture her. Her distraction allows Kappa to escape. With their main quarry gone, the leader of the assailants turns her attention to Kanako as one of her subordinates tazes her.

Kanako wakes up to find herself chained to a giant wooden "X", surrounded by strange fish men, in a room full of Imperial Japanese imagery, traditional samurai weapons, a banner that reads "Revive the Spirit of Japan", jars full of specimens, and a mummified corpse in a wheelchair. A woman named Yuriko identifies the fish men as Umihiko and the mummy in the wheelchair as her grandfather. The Umihiko are his creations, made from Kappa's skin cells and intended for use as super soldiers to turn the tide near the end of World War II. He was rejected by the Japanese army, who saw the Umihiko as a crime against nature, but spent the rest of his life continuing his experiments. Yuriko has finished what he started, working with a group of radicals called the State Guard who believe that the Japanese were defanged in the wake of World War II and plan to use the Umihiko to resurrect bushido and Japanese imperialism. Another soldier comes in, escorting the two girls they had abducted, who now have gills and sharp teeth. They are becoming the first female Umihiko, and Yuriko tells Kanako she is going to become the third.

As Yuriko begins the process, Kappa storms into the lab to rescue Kanako. The State Guards try to capture Kappa alive, but he proves too tough for them and frees Kanako. Yuriko activates the Umihiko and sics them on kappa, which prove to be more evenly matched. Kanako pulls a naginata off the wall and slices the control panel in half, paralyzing the Umihiko. Infuriated by the defeat of her grandfather's opus, Yuriko pulls out a machine gun and tries to kill Kanako, who jumps behind Kappa's shell for protection. The bullets bounce off Kappa's shell, killing the State Guard captain, crippling another member, and destroying her grandfather's mummy. After she runs out of bullets, Yuriko discovers the damage she caused to her grandfather’s remains and freaks out, unveiling an atomic bomb. Despite the State Guard member's protests, she sets it off. The radiation from the bomb fuses the Umihiko into a single gigantic, amphibious fish monster that proceeds to rampage through Yokohama.

The JSDF is called in to deal with the monster, which has been designated Hangyolas. Their infantry is too terrified to open fire and quickly crushed. A joint attack by tanks and fighter jets stalls Hangyolas for a time, but he incinerates them with sheets of flame. As a last resort the JSDF send in the Gorgon Monster Death Ray, the most powerful laser in the world, but he endures it and returns fire. With all their countermeasures having failed, the JSDF resign themselves to the possibility that Hangyolas is invincible and a dark shadow falls over the minds of all of Japan. Suddenly, Kappa appears, having grown to gigantic size by the same radiation that created Hangyolas, his eyes glowing red. The two monsters do battle in the ruins of the city, with Kappa quickly pulling Hangyolas's tail off. Their fight comes to a head in an oil refinery, when Kappa picks up several Horton spheres and throws them at Hangyolas. The kaiju retaliates with his fire breath, only for Kappa to block the attack with his hands and push it back into Hangyolas, killing his enemy. The JSDF breathe a sigh of relief at the death of Hangyolas, but their victory is short-lived as Kappa goes on an even more destructive rampage. A kappa expert strolls into the JSDF meeting room and calls the giant kappa the consequence of humanity not believing in unconfirmed life forms. Declaring that Kappa will be humanity's doom, he rechristens him Death Kappa. The National Diet Building falls before his might, and he even targets Mount Fuji. The JSDF are at a loss: their entire military might was no match for Hangyolas and Death Kappa defeated him. Kanako comes to the top of a building with a bucket of water and a ladle, and starts singing. Death Kappa approaches her, suddenly calmed. Kanako uses the bucket and ladle to wet the dish on Death Kappa's head, returning his eyes to normal. The head of the JSDF committee states that Death Kappa should serve as a reminder of forgotten values. Death Kappa returns to the sea to the cheers of a grateful Japan, as Kanako quietly says goodbye to her friend.


Main article: Death Kappa (film)/Credits.

Staff role on the left, staff member's name on the right.

  • Directed by   Tomoo Haraguchi
  • Written by   Masakazu Migita
  • Based on a story by   Tomoo Haraguchi
  • Executive producer   John Sirabella
  • Chief producers   Yoko Hayama, Yoshinori Chiba
  • Produced by   Tomoo Fukatsu, Hidemasa Iwashita
  • Associate producer   Satoshi Nakamura
  • Line producer   Tetsuya Tsukada
  • Music by   Masako Ishii
  • Cinematography by   Yoshihito Takahashi
  • Edited by   Yoshitaka Honda
  • Production design by   Masaaki Sugiyama
  • First assistant director   Daiji Hattori
  • Director of special effects   Tomoo Haraguchi
  • Assistant director of special effects   Inuzo Nakamura
  • Visual effects supervisor   Tetsuji Hayakawa


Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.

  • Misato Hirata   as   Kanako Kawado
  • Mika Sakuraba   as   Yuriko
  • Daniel Aguilar Gutiérrez   as   Professor Tanaka
  • Hideaki Anno   as   Captain of the State Guard
  • Ryuki Kitaoka   as   State Guard member
  • Hiroko Sakurai   as   Fujiko Kawado
  • Mitsuko Hoshi   as   JSDF Officer
  • Shigeru Araki   as   Secretary-General
  • Shinji Higuchi   as   Omobe, reporter
  • Yakan Nabe
  • Takayuki Kanayama
  • Yukari Toyoshima
  • Wataru Ikeda
  • Mizuho Suzuki
  • Mitsunori Hattori
  • Yuka Koide
  • Katsuyuki Iseda
  • Toshio Miyake
  • Eiichi Furui
  • Yu Sato
  • Takenori Ito
  • Yoshinori Horimoto
  • Naohiro Ogura
  • Tamami Kaneko
  • Masaya Tagana
  • Kaichi Kaburagi
  • Ikuko Miyamoto
  • Akira Yamada
  • Hidekatsu Shibata
  • Kosuke Yanagawa
  • Kiyoshi Yoshida
  • Satoshi Sonehara
  • Yuki Sawada
  • Ryosuke Hirai
  • Toshiyuki Ando
  • Moritsugu Oya
  • Nozomu Kikugawa
  • Yuji Kimura
  • Yoshiyuki Koba
  • Shinjiro Gouda
  • Akihiro Watanabe
  • Asuka Ito
  • Natsuko Tohma
  • Rie Muratomi
  • Matt Alt, Hiroko Yoda, Kondo Yutaka, Naoki Karasawa, Yoshiko Karasawa   as   extras (uncredited)[1]
  • Kazunori Yokoo   as   Death Kappa
  • Toshio Miyake   as   Hangyolas

English dub

  • Cristina Vee   as   Kanako Kawado
  • Karen Strassman   as   Yuriko
  • Spike Spencer   as   Fukudome
  • Erin Fitzgerald   as   Aki
  • Lauren Landa   as   Yayoi
  • Michelle Ann Dunphry   as   reporter
  • Louise Chamis   as   Mifune
  • Jason Wishnov   as   Kouji
  • David Lodge   as   Omobe
  • Tony Oliver   as   Kenta
  • Luke Ralph   as   Mitsuo
  • Sonja S. Fox   as   Habaki
  • Kirk Thornton   as   Hatoyama
  • James Serrano   as   Captain Yoyogi



Weapons, vehicles, and races


Main article: Death Kappa (film)/Gallery.

Theatrical releases

Japanese release

At 85 minutes, the Japanese version of Death Kappa is six minutes longer than the 79-minute version Media Blasters released in the United States, and includes an alternate ending in which a kaiju-sized Kanako, dressed like one of the Shobijin, soothes Death Kappa with her song.[2]

Video releases

Tokyo Shock DVD / Blu-ray + DVD (2010/2020)

  • Region: 1 (DVD) or A/1 (Blu-ray)
  • Discs: 1 (DVD) or 2 (Blu-ray + DVD)
  • Audio: English (DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 and 5.1), Japanese (DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 and 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Special features: "The Making of Death Kappa" featurette (11 minutes), extended version of the film's music video (5 minutes), pre-production promo films (5 minutes), still gallery (8 minutes), trailers for Death Kappa and other Fever Dreams films
  • Notes: Both the DVD release and the two Blu-ray + DVD combo releases include all of the listed special features. Contains only the edited 79-minute American version of the film. The second release of the Blu-ray + DVD combo edition of the film is subtitled on the cover sleeve Tenth Anniversary Attack!

Happynet DVD (2011)

  • Region: 2
  • Discs: 2
  • Audio: Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Special features: Three audio commentaries (staff, Misato Hirata and Mitsuko Hoshi, and audience reactions from a screening in Spain), the American ending, trailers, and featurette on a Death Kappa screening in Spain; other special features unknown


Japanese Death Kappa trailer


  • The Kappa suit was originally built for the 2004 film Kibakichi, also directed by Tomoo Haraguchi.[2]
  • Hangyolas destroys a billboard containing a link to lead actress Misato Hirata's Ameba blog.
  • Hiroko Sakurai's character is named Fujiko, a nod to her famous role in Ultraman.
  • The Gorgon Monster Death Ray is patterned on the Type 66 Maser Cannon.
  • The making of Death Kappa was featured on an episode of the 2010 show Nat Geo Amazing!. Translator Matt Alt, who played an extra in the JSDF command center, wrote and served as a field producer for the segment.[3]

External links


This is a list of references for Death Kappa (film). These citations are used to identify the reliable sources on which this article is based. These references appear inside articles in the form of superscript numbers, which look like this: [1]

  1. AltJapan: Death by Kappa
  2. 2.0 2.1 Derendorf, Kevin (2018). Kaiju For Hipsters: 101 "Alternative" Giant Monsters Movies. Maser Press. p. 322-324. ISBN 9781983293771.
  3. AltJapan: Tokyo Monsters Attack!


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