The Great Yokai War (2005)
"Yôkai daisensô" (original title)

PG-13  |   |  Adventure, Family, Fantasy  |  6 August 2005 (Japan)
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 1,980 users   Metascore: 63/100
Reviews: 26 user | 38 critic | 5 from

A young boy is chosen as the defender of good and must team up with Japan's ancient spirits and creatures of lore to destroy the forces of evil.



(novel), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »


Cast overview, first billed only:
Ryûnosuke Kamiki ...
Tadashi Ino (as Ryuunosuke Kamiki)
Hiroyuki Miyasako ...
Bunta Sugawara ...
Shuntaro Ino
Kaho Minami ...
Youko Ino
Riko Narumi ...
Tataru Ino
Etsushi Toyokawa ...
Kiyoshirô Imawano ...
General Nurarihyon
Mai Takahashi ...
Kawahime, the River Princess
Masaomi Kondô ...
Shojo, the Kirin Herald
Sadao Abe ...
Kawataro, the River Sprite
Takashi Okamura ...
Azuki-Bean Washer
Ken'ichi Endô ...
Ou Tengu
Renji Ishibashi ...
Ou Kubi


This is the story of a young boy who moves to a small town after the divorce of his parents. At a local festival, he becomes an unlikely hero when he is chosen as the "Kirin Rider," a protector of all things good. And he must lead Japan's ancient Yokai spirits in their apocalyptic war against the evil bizarre-looking monsters. Written by Anthony Pereyra {}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for fantasy violence and scary images | See all certifications »


Official Sites:



Release Date:

6 August 2005 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Hobgoblins & the Great War  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


JPY 1,300,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


When a gigantic turtle-like yokai flies over the city, a man dismisses it by saying "it's only Gamera" - Daiei Studio's well-known daikaiju hero. See more »


Kawahime, the River Princess: People live in ignorance. Constantly turning a blind eye. Those that let go of their past, have no future.
See more »


References Daikaijû Gamera (1965) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Great Fantasy Movie from Japan
12 May 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The original concept of this story is based on 1968 movie that was created by comic artist Shigeru Mizuki who single handedly started the genre of Yokai (Japanese folk lore monsters) based stories. In this version, along with Mizuki, writers Miyuki Miyabe, Natsuhiko Kyogoku, and Hiroshi Aramata contributed their creative talent to the story.

Tadashi Ino (Ryunosuke Kamiki) is a wimp of a kid, but on the night of the town festival, he gets chosen to be the Kirin Rider. Kirin Rider has obligation to get the sword of Great Goblin from the mountain, and Tadashi embarks on a journey to the mountain where the Great Goblin resides. In the mountain Tadashi is met by Yokai monsters who were waiting for him. Covertly they chose him as Kirin Rider to battle the dark army of Yasunori Kato who is an embodiment of the grudge of ancient Japanese people. Together with Yokai, Tadashi faces the deadly army of Kato.

The movie was a big budget movie ( approx. 14M USD ) for a Japanese movie, and uses effective balance between CG and live performers that helps to maintain the realistic looks throughout the story. Ryunosuke Kamiki puts in a great performance as the main character despite his age (of 10). The cast reads like who's who of popular Japanese actors, and writers Mizuki, Kyogoku, Aramata, and Miyabe all makes cameo appearance in this movie.

This is probably the best movie Takashi Miike has directed, helped by solid script written by the aforementioned team of writers.

This is one of the best fantasy movie to come out of Asia, and is entertaining to both children and adults.

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