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(aka " kessen kktai" )


directed by Kosaku Yamashita
Japan 1974


The plot for Father of the Kamikaze revolves around Takijiro Onishi, a Vice Admiral in Japans Navy during World War 2. He is most remembered for being the driving force behind using "special attack forces" aka suicide bombers as a weapons against the Allied forces who at the time the film begins where challenging Japan's ability to occupy the Philippines.

The film never strays too far away the more historical aspects of the story at hand. With the real back bone of this film in the way in which the film examines the Takijiro Onishi character's struggle with the decision to use "special attack forces". Koji Tsuruta (Sympathy for the Underdog), is cast in the role of the Takijiro Onishi. He gives a pitch perfect performance which anchors an extraordinary cast which includes Bunta Sugawara (Battles Without Honor and Humanity), Ryo Ikebe (The Executioner), Tsunehiko Watase (Legend of Dinosaurs and Monster Birds), Toshio Kurosawa (Evil of Dracula) and Hiroki Matsukata (Blackmail Is My Life). Pacing wise there are many peaks and valleys along the way. At a three hour plus running time some may find this film a daunting experience. Visually director Kosaku Yamashita (Tattooed Hit Man), does a good balancing the more action oriented moments with the more melodramatic moments.

Michael Den Boer


Theatrical Release: 1974

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DVD Review: AnimEigo - Region 1 - NTSC

Big thanks to Michael Den Boer for the Review!

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Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 3:17:36

2.35:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio Japanese (Dolby Digital 2.0 mono)
Subtitles English
Features Release Information:
Studio: AnimEigo

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.35:1

Edition Details:
• Father of the Kamikaze: trailer one (16:9; 3:30), Father of the Kamikaze: trailer two (16:9; 4:26)
• Trailers for Japan's Longest Day 16:9; 2:46), Battle of Okinawa 16:9; 2:36)
• Interactive Map
• Image gallery - color images (6), black & white images (20) and the film's original poster art
• Text related extras - Koji Tsuruta bio, Japanese Military Personnel, Program Notes
• The Legacy of the Kamikaze: Modern Suicide Attacks in the New American Century
• Profile and Motivation: Pathology, Idealism and Religion, Japanese Credits

DVD Release Date: January 13th, 2009

Chapters 45



Father of the Kamikaze is given a clean looking progressive flagged transfer. Colors and flesh tones fare well. Black levels range from average to good. The film incorporates "stock" footage with newly shot material and of course the "stock" footage is in much rougher sharp than the rest of the film. It should be noted that there are a few moments where the newly shot material does not look as good as the bulk of the transfer does. The image look generally crisp throughout and edge enhancement is kept in check.

This release comes with one audio option, the film's original Japanese language and removable English subtitles have been provided. This release provides several subtitles options like caption only subtitles, dialog only subtitles and a full subtitle option which not only covers dialog and captions, it also goes into detail about each character and about Japanese historical information. Also there is an option of choosing white or yellow colored subtitles. The audio mix sounds clear and balanced throughout.

Extras include two trailers for the film and trailers for Japan's Longest Day and Battle of Okinawa. Other extras include an interactive map, a image gallery and several text related extras.

 - Michael Den Boer


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