Cyberpunk Review » RoboGeisha

March 16, 2011


Movie Review By: Mr. Roboto

Year: 2009

Directed by: Noboru Iguchi

Written by: Noboru Iguchi

IMDB Reference

Degree of Cyberpunk Visuals: Low

Correlation to Cyberpunk Themes: High

Key Cast Members:

  • Yoshie Kasuga: Aya Kiguchi
  • Kikue Kasuga: Hitomi Hasebe
  • Hikaru Kageno: Takumi Saitô
  • Onna Tengu 1: Asami
  • Onna Tengu 2: Cay Izumi
  • Rating: 6 out of 10

    Ass-Katanas ready! (RoboGeisha)

    Official FAQ for RoboGeisha: It’s from Japan.
    That is all.

    Overview: Just when you thought Japanese cyberpunk couldn’t possibly get any stranger (or bloodier), evil genius Noboru Iguchi (Tokyo Gore Police) ups the ante… and bloodshed… with RoboGeisha.

    Actually most of the bloodshed is in the unrated version; It was added via CGI for the DVD releases since Iguchi was asked to tone down the violence. But that still doesn’t degrade the overall weirdness, even with a sibling-rivalry storyline the would have worked better as standard-issue melodrama.


    The Story: Yoshie (Aya Kiguchi) is a geisha’s attendant with dreams of becoming one herself. Her older sister, Kikue (Hitomi Hasebe), is the geisha who takes delight in keeping Yoshie’s dream unrealized. When the president of Kageno Steel Manufacturing discovers Yoshie’s hidden rage and fighting skills he wants to recruit her to join the Hidden Geishas, an army of cyberneticaly enhanced female assassins being trained to kill “corrupt” Japanese officials so the company can create its ideal world. But when Yoshie is given an assignment to kill a group of people whose family members have been kidnapped to become the Hidden Geishas, she soon discovers the company’s plans to destroy Japan.

    As if trying to save Japan wasn’t hard enough, Yoshie is always trying to earn Kikue’s respect since she wasn’t getting any while trying to be a geisha. Yoshie does give Kikue a taste of her own medicine when she was chosen for the Hidden Geishas, until Kikue showed a predilection for killing. The two sisters compete as each wants to destroy the other, even though they show respect and love for each other as the company pushes its agenda forward.


    1000 Ways to Die… Give or Take. When dealing with cyborgs and androids, you know someone is going to die. The main question is how? Iguchi manages to come up with some innovative ways…

    Tengu Milk Attack (RoboGeisha)

    USELESS FACT: About 70% of Japanese adults are lactose intolerant.

    Shitting Shurikens (RoboGeisha)

    When you see it, you’ll shit… shurikens?

    Fired shrimp attack! (RoboGeisha)

    “The fried shrimp! They do NOTHING! I STILL CAN’T UNSEE!!!


    Too much blood? Iguchi was asked to tone down the violence for RoboGeisha. He did for the theatrical release, but added it back for the DVDs. An interesting strategy, saving time on re-shoots and money on cleanups, but end result doesn’t really add much… other than blood (check this page that shows the comparison between theatrical and home releases). Even so, what was left in still looks cheesy, and even inappropriate at times, like when the giant shiro robot was stomping through town and stops to smash a couple of buildings that bleed.


    Can someone get this poor girl a fresh tampon?

    To compare to some other Japanese cyberpunk films, the violence in Tetsuo was more social commentary, while Tokyo Gore Police went for shock value. RoboGeisha’s violence tends to be more cartoonish, like Tom and Jerry with more splatter. Combine that with ass-katanas, lactating demon-cyborgs, and enough blood-cheese to rival Wisconsin and you’ll be ROFLMAO Zedong going ZOMGWTFKMFDMBBQ. That or you’ll just ask yourself…



    Conclusion: So far, Japan’s track record for TFWO cyberpunk fare remains intact. RoboGeisha may be the best place to start for those who can’t stomach the more brutal stuff. Definitely shows that cyberpunk can have a sense of humor… a dark, disturbing, sick, twisted sense of humor…

    Our thoughts and prayers go out to the people of Japan in the wake of the Sendai earthquake and tsunami and the Fukushima I nuclear plant accidents.


    March 16, 2011

    SSJKamui said:

    Good review. The Movie sounds interesting, but I haven’t seen it yet. I think it was a good idea to do a “quasi follow up” to my Tokyo Gore Police review. Are you also planning to review “The Machine Girl”?

    March 28, 2011

    Ch3n_Chung said:

    Wow, I totally did NOT need to see that second-to-last picture. Yuck! Definite pass.

    July 16, 2011

    mamc2501 said:

    obvious /b/tard is obvious

    July 17, 2011

    Ethereal Haunting said:

    I had been waiting for this to reach Australia on DVD since first seeing the trailer when you upped it here.

    With my viewing order starting with Machine Girl, then following with Vampire Girl vs Frankenstein Girl, Robogeisha seems quite tame in comparison (second last screenshot the main exception) and quite cartoonish (shoulder machineguns!) it is an enjoyable movie if you’re in the mood for some Japanese weirdness.

    And how can anyone not love buildings that seem to be filled with highly pressurised blood :D

    February 24, 2012

    dystopiate said:

    I have to say here, I think you missed the entire point of Robogeisha. It is not at any point meant to be taken seriously, the entire thing is the definition of parody. It is not meant to be taken as a “cyberpunk” film, it’s a parody of anime and live-action anime adaptations mixed with Iguchi’s trademark over-the-top gore. I’ve seen this movie more times than I can count (it’s one of my favorites because of how truly ridiculous it is) so I’ve had a lot of time to notice the little things; take for instance the ridiculous overacting / blatant explanation of plot points, and the way that whenever projectiles are fired at somebody, seemingly a thousand are fired while only a scant few end up showing on the victim (the butt shurikens in the opening scene are a perfect example). Or the way that every death scene is drawn out to the point of being completely ridiculous, like the girl whose face melts after being assaulted by breast milk (which is of course called out before it happens complete with cheesy attack name, in true anime fashion). I could go on and on, but I don’t want this to get too long. Essentially, if you view this movie with any sort of seriousness, it falls short in most if not all regards. But taken as what it truly is, an over-the-top parody of Japanese cinematography mixed with splatstick gore humor, it’s an easy 9/10 and succeeds in everything it tries to accomplish. Give it another shot with that in mind, and you may see your views change drastically.

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