Reiko, Psyche Resurrected (1991)
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Reiko, Psyche Resurrected (超少女REIKO is a Chōshōjo Reiko, lit. "Reiko, the Supergirl")1991 tokusatsu science fiction horror film written and directed by Takao Okawara in his directorial debut. Produced by Toho Pictures in cooperation with talent agency Burning Production, it stars Alisa Mizuki, Ken Osawa, Wakako Shimazaki, Hisako Yamada, Yukio Nagasawa, Yosuke Isozaki, Koichi Sato, Takashi Sugihara, Mami Inoue, Shiori Sakura, Kin Sugai, and Bsaku Sato. Toho released the film to Japanese theaters on November 16, 1991.
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- Main article: Reiko, Psyche Resurrected/Credits.
Staff role on the left, staff member's name on the right.
- Directed by Takao Okawara
- Written by Takao Okawara
- Executive producer Shogo Tomiyama
- Music by Tomoyuki Asakawa
- Theme song "In the Wind"
- Cinematography by Kenichi Yamada
- Edited by Chizuko Osada
- Production design by Yoshio Suzuki
- 1st assistant director Kunio Miyoshi
- Special effects advisor Eiichi Asada
- Visual effects team leader Yasuo Nishi
- Main article: Reiko, Psyche Resurrected/Credits.
Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.
- Alisa Mizuki as Reiko Kudo, psychic high school freshman
- Ken Osawa as Shiro Ogata, student council president
- Wakako Shimazaki as Yumi Naito, student council vice-president
- Hisako Yamada as Rika Manda, juvenile delinquent
- Yukio Nagasawa as Yuji Takashina, kendo team captain
- Yosuke Isozaki as Takafumi Shinjo, computer whiz
- Koichi Sato as Mr. Yamakawa, ESP Research Society advisor
- Takashi Sugihara as Joji Watanabe, charming transfer student
- Mami Inoue as Machiko Shimizu, spirit haunting school
- Shiori Sakura as Reiko Fukao, psychic high school senior
- Kin Sugai as Mitsurei Kudo, Reiko's spiritualist grandmother
- Bsaku Sato as Toshio Kudo, Reiko's father
- Michitaka Tsutsui as Asakura, drama club president
- Kyoko Koizumi as Ms. Fujisawa, teacher
- Yuki Sato as Emiko, girl who plays piano
- Keiko Hara as Mitsue, bespectacled schoolgirl
- Mari Saito as Yayoi, home economics student
- Mie Nagata as Yoko, home economics student
- Fumihiro Takakura as police officer
- Yu Tanaka as drama club member A
- Hidehiro Kawai as drama club member B
- Shinichiro Sugano as drama club member C
- Saburo Kadowaki as school nurse
Psychics and spirits
Weapons, vehicles, and organizations
- ESP Research Society
- Minerva-II (stock footage)
- Freight Ship (stock footage)
- Small Transmission Ship (stock footage)
Writer-director Takao Okawara had been employed at Toho as an assistant director since the early 1970s. Developing aspirations to direct his own movies, he began devising a strategy to get his name recognized among Toho's executives: writing a marketable screenplay which he could submit to a competition and win. Okawara anticipated that he would not be entrusted with a large budget as a first-time director, and so aimed for practicality with his script while still ensuring that it was packed with content. As such, he kept the changing of locations to a minimum, setting much of the the story in the same few places, like a school and a hospital. Okawara also looked to appeal to a teenage audience, breaking up the dramatic elements with a more fantastical one, in the form of extrasensory perception. The end result was Reiko, Psyche Resurrected which, as hoped, took home a prize at the Kido Awards in 1987 and convinced Toho to greenlight the project.
Despite Okawara receiving his prize in 1987, Reiko would not be produced until 1991. As he explained, "The reason for those four blank years was, in a nutshell, that it was difficult to find an actress to play the lead[.]" Actress Alisa Mizuki was finally discovered by producer Shogo Tomiyama. The start of production was announced at a press conference on July 10, 1991, with Okawara, Mizuki, and fellow cast members Ken Osawa, Wakako Shimazaki, Yukio Nagasawa, Hisako Yamada, and Koichi Sato in attendance. Mizuki commented, "Ever since I was a child, I've yearned to be a psychic. I hope to make a work that will remain in my heart."
Principal photography commenced on July 22, 1991 and concluded that September 25. The first scene that was shot was Alisa Mizuki's character's drama club audition in which she recites Hamlet.
Due to budget constraints, a dedicated crew could not be formed to shoot the film's special effects, nor could an SFX director be hired. Okawara recalled, "I did both the human and effects scenes. [...] The good thing was, as sole director, I had complete control over everything," but lamented, "It was truly a difficult shoot. [...] I prefer doing both jobs, the downside being that a single director makes for too long a shoot." Despite this, Okawara did bring on special effects director Eiichi Asada, who he'd known since their time as assistant directors on Submersion of Japan, to work in an advisory capacity. Other specialty staff, like wire operator Satoshi Narumi, were also hired.
Partway through filming, Mizuki was struck with appendicitis and rushed to the hospital. The crew found it difficult to continue the shoot in her absence, but managed to press on.
- Main article: Reiko, Psyche Resurrected/Gallery.
- Reiko, the Supergirl (literal translation)
- Reiko, the Psyche Resurrected (alternate title)
- Reiko (alternate title, used in U.S. copyright)
Toho registered the film at the U.S. Copyright Office, under the title "Reiko," on August 10, 1993. A transcription of its Japanese title ("Choshojo Reiko") and the English translation Reiko, the Supergirl were included as alternate titles. The registration notes the film's language as being "in Japanese with some English subtitles." However, according to Stuart Galbraith IV in his 2008 book The Toho Studios Story, the "release [of a U.S. version], if any, is undetermined."
Takao Okawara has commented that the film "was not very successful" and "its returns were not very good." Norman England of Fangoria reiterated this, calling it "a box-office dud" with ticket sales "below expectations."
Alisa Mizuki went on to win a Newcomer of the Year award from the 15th Japan Academy Film Prize in 1992 for her portrayal of Reiko Kudo in the film.
|13th Kido Awards||Runner-Up Prize||Takao Okawara||Won|
|15th Japan Academy Film Prize||Newcomer of the Year||Alisa Mizuki||Won|
Toho VHS (September 1, 1992)
- Tapes: 1
- Audio: Japanese
Toho LaserDisc (October 1, 1992)
- Discs: 1
- Audio: Japanese
Toho DVD (March 25, 2005)
- Region: 2
- Discs: 1
- Audio: Japanese (Dolby Digital, Surround)
- Subtitles: Japanese
- Special features: Theatrical trailer, two teaser trailers, and an audio commentary by Alisa Mizuki and Takao Okawara.
- Notes: Re-released on November 8, 2013 in a limited edition and on August 19, 2015 as part of the Toho DVD Masterpiece Selection.
Though Reiko, Psyche Resurrected is not available on Blu-ray, an HD version can be rented or purchased on the Japanese version of Amazon Video.
Novelization and manga
A novelization of the movie written by Emiko Yoshida was published by Shueisha in November 1991. The following year, the company also published a manga adaptation, Reiko: Legend of the Supergirl, by Riko Miyagi.
- The film's Japanese title spells "REIKO" in English, leaving its meaning open to multiple interpretations. The main protagonist and antagonist are both named Reiko, but spelled using different kanji (玲子 for the former and 麗子 for the latter). By rendering it in English, it is not related to any one spelling, and can therefore refer to either character individually or both of them collectively. Despite this, the official translation "Reiko, the Supergirl" is decisively singular.
- During the Reikos' battle through the school, they interrupt a screening of Sakyo Komatsu's Bye-Bye Jupiter. Multiple spaceships can be seen, including Minerva-II and the Small Transmission Ship that kills Booker.
- Reiko, Psyche Resurrected was the seventh Kido Award-winning screenplay to be adapted into a film. The second, Orange Road Express, was written by Takao Okawara's future collaborator Kazuki Omori.
- This was the first film Takao Okawara directed and the only film for which he is credited as writer. Despite its subpar turnout, it was sufficient in proving Okawara's capabilities to Toho and, with the recommendation of producer Shogo Tomiyama, he was chosen to direct Godzilla vs. Mothra the following year. He would go on to direct five more movies for the studio, including Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II (1993), Godzilla vs. Destoroyah (1995), and Godzilla 2000: Millennium (1999).
- Mechagodzilla's artificial intelligence in Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II is named REIKO as a reference to this film. As Okawara recalled in 1993, "That wasn't my idea. [Masaaki] Tezuka, one of the second assistant directors, directed the sequence in which the name of the computer system is shown, and he is the one who came up with the idea." Garuda's AI in the film is also called ARISA, likely in reference to actress Alisa Mizuki (formerly styled as "Arisa"), who plays Reiko Kudo in this film.
This is a list of references for Reiko, Psyche Resurrected. 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: 
- England, Norman (August 2000). "Godfather of Godzilla". Fangoria. No. 195. Starlog Group, Inc.
- Galbraith IV, Stuart (2008). The Toho Studios Story: A History and Complete Filmography. Scarecrow Press, Inc. ISBN 978-0-8108-6004-9.
- Studio Jump, ed. (16 November 1991). Reiko, Psyche Resurrected (theater program). Toho.
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