Reiko, Psyche Resurrected (1991)

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Reiko, Psyche Resurrected
The Japanese poster for Reiko, Psyche Resurrected
Alternate titles
Flagicon Japan.png Reiko, the Supergirl (1991)
See alternate titles
Directed by Takao Okawara
Producer Shogo Tomiyama
Written by Takao Okawara
Music by Tomoyuki Asakawa
Production company Toho Pictures
Distributor Toho
Rating G (streaming)
Running time 99 minutes[1]
(1 hour, 39 minutes)
Rate this film!
3.33
(3 votes)

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Reiko, Psyche Resurrected (超少女REIKO,   Chōshōjo Reiko, lit. "Reiko, the Supergirl") is a 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.[1]

Plot

X no sunglasses.PNG “I knew that『plot』wasn't up to much.”
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To be added.

Staff

Main article: Reiko, Psyche Resurrected/Credits.

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

Cast

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

Appearances

Psychics and spirits

Weapons, vehicles, and organizations

Development

Writer-director Takao Okawara had been employed at Toho as an assistant director since the early 1970s.[2][3] 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.[4] 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.[2] 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.[5] The end result was Reiko, Psyche Resurrected which, as hoped, took home a prize at the Kido Awards in 1987[6] and convinced Toho to greenlight the project.[7]

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.[2] 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."[8]

Production

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.[8]

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.[2][9] 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."[10] 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.[2]

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.[2]

Gallery

Main article: Reiko, Psyche Resurrected/Gallery.

Alternate titles

  • Reiko, the Supergirl (literal translation)[11]
    • Supergirl Reiko (alternate translation)[10]
    • Super Girl Reiko (alternate translation)[12]
    • Supernatural Power Girl REIKO (alternate translation)[13]
  • Reiko, the Psyche Resurrected (alternate title)[14]
  • Reiko (alternate title, used in U.S. copyright)[11]

U.S. release

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."[11] 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."[13]

Box office

Takao Okawara has commented that the film "was not very successful"[12] and "its returns were not very good."[15] Norman England of Fangoria reiterated this, calling it "a box-office dud" with ticket sales "below expectations."[16]

Awards

Takao Okawara submitted his initial screenplay for Reiko, Psyche Resurrected to the 13th Kido Awards in 1987, winning second prize out of 152 submissions.[6]

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.[17]

Award Category Recipient(s) Result
13th Kido Awards[6] Runner-Up Prize Takao Okawara Won
15th Japan Academy Film Prize[17] Newcomer of the Year Alisa Mizuki Won

Video releases

Toho Video VHS (September 1, 1992)

  • Tapes: 1
  • Audio: Japanese

Toho Video LaserDisc (October 1, 1992)

  • Discs: 1
  • Audio: Japanese

DVD 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

Main articles: Reiko, Psyche Resurrected (novelization), Reiko: Legend of the Supergirl.

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.

Videos

Japanese trailer

Trivia

  • 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.[18]
  • 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.[10][12] 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."[19] 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.

References

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: [1]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "超少女REIKO" [Reiko, Psyche Resurrected]. Toho Reference Room. Retrieved 17 November 2022.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Nakamura, Satoshi (2 February 2018). "第六回 監督 大河原孝夫氏(前編)" [#6: Takao Okawara, Director (Part 1)]. Godzilla Store.
  3. England 2000, p. 42.
  4. England 2000, p. 43: "[H]e found himself wanting to create his own stories and take the helm of his own films. 'During the time I was assistant director, I began to plot my career as a director,' Okawara explains. [...] 'I figured if I could write something good, enter it in a competition and it won, I might get a different reaction from the brass at Toho.'"
  5. England 2000, p. 43: "'I approached the problem of creating a sellable script by aiming the story at a teenage audience,' Okawara continues. 'I feel young people don't enjoy heavy drama, so I thought to include a fantasy element, in this case ESP.'"
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 "城戸賞 過去データ 受賞者・作品" [Kido Awards - Past Data: Award Winners and Works]. Motion Picture Producers Association of Japan, Inc. Retrieved 2 August 2023.
  7. England 2000, p. 43: "'[...] I wrote a story and submitted the scenario to the Kido Awards and, as hoped, it won, taking second place that year. Toho was so impressed, they asked me to direct it.'"
  8. 8.0 8.1 Studio Jump 1991.
  9. England 2000, p. 43: "Reiko is a fast-paced tale steeped in well-crafted and ingenious FX. For Okawara, it was baptism by fire, as the budget didn't allow for the hiring of a special FX director."
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 England 2000, p. 43
  11. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Milner, David (July 1994). "Takao Okawara Interview II". Kaiju Conversations. Archived from the original on 13 June 2021.
  12. 13.0 13.1 Galbraith IV 2008, p. 377
  13. "Reiko, the Psyche Resurrected". Toho Kingdom. Retrieved 29 July 2023.
  14. England 2000, p. 43: "'The Toho executives thought my experience was not enough to direct Godzilla,' Okawara says. 'All I had done was Reiko, and its returns were not very good.'"
  15. England 2000, p. 43: "Reiko failed to find an audience, turning out to be a box-office dud. [...] While ticket sales were below expectations, the studio was so impressed with Okawara's direction [...] that they were willing to give him another chance."
  16. 17.0 17.1 "第15回 日本アカデミー賞 優秀賞" [15th Japan Academy Film Prize Excellence Awards]. Japan Academy Film Prize. Retrieved 2 August 2023.
  17. "城戸賞 過去データ 映画化作品" [Kido Awards - Past Data: Works Adapted to Film]. Motion Picture Producers Association of Japan, Inc. Retrieved 2 August 2023.
  18. Milner, David (December 1993). "Takao Okawara Interview I". Kaiju Conversations. Archived from the original on 29 April 2021.

Bibliography

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