25 user 38 critic

Yôkai daisensô (2005)

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 »

On Disc

at Amazon

2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Tadashi Ino (as Ryuunosuke Kamiki)
Hiroyuki Miyasako ...
Bunta Sugawara ...
Shuntaro Ino
Youko Ino
Riko Narumi ...
Tataru Ino
Etsushi Toyokawa ...
Lord Yasunori Kato
Kiyoshirô Imawano ...
General Nurarihyon
Seiko Iwaidô ...
Kawahime, the River Princess (as Mai Takahashi)
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 {hypersonic91@yahoo.com}

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)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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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 »


Referenced in Movie Friends - Eine Videothek stellt sich vor (2013) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

The Great Yokai War
17 July 2007 | by See all my reviews

One of director Miike Takashi's very best. It's so good it's difficult to put into words. At nearly fifteen years older than the target audience it thrilled me from beginning to end.

It recalls similar children's films from the 1980s in the sense that (unlike today) those films weren't afraid to scare - there's a lot of nasty detail here that I initially found jarring but soon realised it's nothing different to what I grew up on. The film is a compilation of '80s kid's films conventions. You name it, it's there: a young boy hero thrust from his own unhappy/dysfunctional world into another, inhabited by mythical and mystical goblins; a quest to save both worlds from an evil force; a beautiful heroine he has a crush on; a sadistic henchwoman (Go-Go Yubari from Kill Bill Vol. 1); a lead villain who draws his evil power from something everyone in the world can relate to. But all these genre conventions are given a fresh spin and added depth.

One of the IMDb reviews begins "Where was this film when I was a kid?" and it's a sentiment I agree with wholeheartedly. Even while watching it I lamented the fact that I hadn't grown up on it; that it wasn't a part of my childhood like Labyrinth, Masters Of The Universe and, to a much lesser extent, The Neverending Story. Those films, and others like The Goonies are recalled but never copied - Miike relentlessly offering us a new take on things.

Poor CGI is a staple of many of his films, sometimes due to budgetary limitations but just as frequently an artistic choice - a desire to present things in an outlandish way. Here the CGI is mostly average, solely due to budgetary limitations, but nevertheless he does a fantastic job of putting on a spectacle. The CG effects combine with traditional puppets, animatronics and truly extraordinary make-up to create a world filled with rich characters (and characterisation) that frequently borders on the visionary.

This ranks as one of the greatest children's films ever made. Not for younger or more sensitive kids though.

Just jaw-droppingly wonderful. See it for yourselves and if you think your kids can handle/appreciate it then show it to them. Let them grow up on The Great Yokai War as some small compensation for the fact you couldn't.

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