Chanbara Beauty (Oneechanbara: the Movie) Review

Movie: Chanbara Beauty (Oneechanbara: the Movie)
By: Kries Tyfus
Date: May 2, 2011

Sharp as a sword, sexy as hell

Some hot chick dressed in a bikini while wearing a hat and carrying a sword, ready to kick some zombie ass! Sounds like a wet dream for every horror fanatic. Well, let’s take a look.

Chanbara Beauty (or its original title Oneechanbara: the Movie) is based on a videogame called One Chanbara Bikini Samurai Squad. Thihi, those crazy Japanese folks and their silly titles always amaze me. The game was a big hit in Japan, but isn’t really well known by general European gamers. Now I have to admit, being a European gamer myself, I actually never played the videogame. But experience has taught me that in most cases you really don’t have to. For example, let’s go back to 1994 and take a look at the Street Fighter movie directed by Steven E. de Souza. Steven E. de Who? Exactly. Not to mention the whole shitlist of game adaptations Uwe Boll is responsible for. So this review is to grade a movie that stands by itself and I will not try to compare anything from the movie to the videogame. Simply because I can’t.


The movie kicks off with a short introduction of what happened to the world known today. Hordes of blood lusting zombies have taken over the world by some deranged fellow named Dr. Sugita, owner of the D3 Corporation. After that, the movie takes you to a barn where all the punks, outsiders and other low life scumbags gather around, about to have some fun. Drinking, sniffing coke and street fights are all part of their average night of happiness. Then suddenly some uninvited guests are crashing the party. These uninvited guests are not your typical next door neighbours, but they’re all hungry for blood and guts. Yes, they are zombies.

Then out of the blue Aya shows up, a half-naked chick, dressed in a bikini while wearing a hat and carrying a sword. Hooray for boobies, I hear you think. Well, don’t get your hopes up too high you dirty pig, cause there isn’t much cleavage for you to see, as Aya is wearing a bikini top with feathers on it. I have to say that Aya really kicks ass, played by Eri Otoguro, probably best known for her role as Keiko in Vampire Girl vs Frankenstein Girl. Aya is definitely not a girl to mess around with. I mean, she slays off every zombie one by one with just a sword. When things look too hard to handle, she gets the help of some other woman, named Reiko, who crashes into the barn with her motorcycle, wearing a tight leather suit and a cleavage that has to be a gift of God. Yes, boobies! There’s also a guy hiding out somewhere in the barn named Katsuji who came along with Aya. He’s not really a fighter and not really a smart guy either.


Aya is looking for her lost sister Saki and Dr. Sugita who is responsible for her father’s death, while Katsuji travels along with her to find his little sister named Asami. Aya and Saki are known for being part of the Imichi Clan, a family of warriors with “special powers” and therefore a lot stronger than the average human being. Reiko claims to know where Saki and Sugita are hiding out and from this point they decide to travel along all together. You’ll get see them travelling from one place to another, trying to finally reach the building where the D3 Corporation is established.


So is it any good? Well, I’ve seen a lot of zombie flicks. They always have been my favourite genre. I actually lost track of how many, but Chanbara Beauty is far away from being positioned into the top 10. As a b-movie fanatic myself, I found it really lame that every last blood spill is being (computer) animated and you have to know that the animations are bad. Really bad. So bad it’s not even funny. Although the fighting scenes aren’t really that bad, some fighting scenes even come with some sort of Matrix kind of style and are way over the top. Which is pretty cool of course, but it’s the animated blood that makes you go: WHY?! I mean when the area is turned into a bloodbath, blood is spilling everywhere. Even on the camera. But when they’re done, there’s not even one single stain of blood on the ground, walls or the characters themselves. It just makes you think: why the Hell did they do that? The entire movie you’ll be thinking what kind of ‘’special powers’’ Aya and Saki are having. You won’t get to see that until the last 20 minutes or something. But then again you’ll be disappointed by the fact that these powers are also poorly animated.


The acting isn’t really bad, but isn’t quite good either and the story runs a little slow sometimes. They tried to give a dramatic twist to the storyline on some occasions, like when Katsuji is facing his lost little sister Asami who turned into a zombie and he gets all emotional and stuff. But again, they failed. But the characters and they’re qualities are quite good enough to get you through the movie until the credits roll over your television screen. For example, Aya doesn’t talk much while Katsuji talks a little too much and it’s his stupidity and other characteristic qualities that makes this movie worth watching.

If you’re looking for a Japanese action-packed zombie flick of great quality, leave this one for what it is and keep on looking. But if you like over the top action including poorly animated stuff and sexy clothed chicks, this is your thing. It’s hard to say whether this movie takes itself all too serious or not. I personally got the impression that the people behind this movie really tried to make the best out of it, but failed.



Chanbara Beauty (Oneechanbara: the Movie)


Chanbara Beauty (Oneechanbara: the Movie)


Yôhei Fukuda






Eri Otoguro, Tomohiro Waki, Chise Nakamura, Manami Hashimoto, Tarô Suwa