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Amazing Lives of the Fast Food Grifters (2006)
"Tachiguishi retsuden" (original title)

6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 169 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 8 critic

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Cast

Credited cast:
Mako Hyôdô ...
Kitsunecroquette no Ogin
Yoshikazu Ishii ...
Thug
Mitsuhisa Ishikawa ...
Nageki no Inumaru
Kenji Kamiyama ...
Manager Kamiyama
Kenji Kawai ...
Hamburger no Tetsu
Shôji Kawamori ...
Indian
Toshio Suzuki
Katsuya Terada ...
Frankfurt no Tatsu
Kôichi Yamadera ...
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8 April 2006 (Japan)  »

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Amazing Lives of the Fast Food Grifters  »

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Gorgeous production but Truly Bizarre
17 February 2007 | by (NYC) – See all my reviews

All anime contains some material that doesn't translate well to other cultures but sometimes you find something that is so completely enmeshed in the home culture that only a miracle could make it understandable to a foreigner. An example sitting on the edge would be the limited anime series, "Fooly Coolly". Only by using the DVD extras can anyone outside Japan get a real understanding of the goings-on. Along comes Mamoru Oshii's new endeavor, you thought "Innocence: Ghost in the Shell 2" was tough?

A "biography" of the post-war noodle stand freeloader seen through the eyes of a mysterious scholar who ascribes a monk-like aura to the most notorious freeloaders. The freeloader comes in, orders a bowl of noodles, eats them and then insults the noodles expecting to get them for free. Much of the action (for lack of a better word) revolves around a single noodle house as different famous freeloaders come in over the decades trying to get a bowl of noodles. The film has almost non-stop narration as it parodies a documentary. Lots of talk, lots of still artwork.

The esoteric subject matter aside, the animation is done in a very unusual modified cut-out animation style as emulated thru CGI. Sometimes the characters are constructed as if they are cardboard stick puppets but it's all computer generated. Sometimes the camera swings around the scene and the characters briefly disappear as if you were looking at paper from the edge. The art is excellent overall but this experimental style seems better suited for a short instead of a feature length film. The story creates a distance from the characters and the animation style actually make the distance worse. Unfortunately, the available English subtitles don't help at all. Perhaps someone will undertake the effort to translate this film for English speakers but I'm afraid that this film will scare most distributors away.

An experiment for experimental viewers only.


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