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Shinjuku Swan (2015)

Shinjuku suwan (original title)
A down-and-out man finds a new job in Tokyo's red-light district as a scout who recruits women to work in the adult-entertainment business.


Sion Sono


Ken Wakui (manga), Mataichirô Yamamoto (screenplay) | 1 more credit »




Credited cast:
Erika Sawajiri ... Ageha
Takayuki Yamada ... Hideyoshi Minami
Yûsuke Iseya ... Matora
Erina Mano ... Eiko
Gô Ayano ... Tatsuhiko Shiratori
Yuki Sakurai
Jun Murakami ... Tokimasa
Nobuaki Kaneko Nobuaki Kaneko ... Yutaka Hayama
Ken Yasuda ... Matsukata
Kosuke Toyohara Kosuke Toyohara ... Kami Yamashiro
Motoki Fukami Motoki Fukami ... Gensuke Seki
Yû Yamada Yû Yamada ... Ryoko
Wataru Ichinose Wataru Ichinose ... Dokuyama
Manami Marutaka Manami Marutaka ... Riko
Ayaka Morita
Learn more

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Set in Kabukicho, an entertainment and red-light district in Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan. The main character Tatsuhiko doesn't have money or a job. One day, he meets a scout who recruits girls on the streets to work in the adult entertainment business. Tatsuhiko soon works as a scout too. Written by http://asianwiki.com/Shinjuku_Swan_(Japanese_Movie)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Did You Know?


Based on manga series "Shinjuku Swan Kabukicho Skauto Sabaibaru" by Ken Wakui (first published 2005 in Weekly Young Magazine). See more »


Followed by Shinjuku Swan II (2017) See more »

User Reviews

rare view into Tokyo's underbelly
10 March 2020 | by imagevultureSee all my reviews

Shinjuku Swan, 2015, directed by Sion Sono based on the manga Shinjuku Swan.

Shinjuku Swan set in the seedy Kabukicho red-light district of Tokyo's Shinjuku, is a gritty yet somewhat light-hearted drama with comedy elements. Visually and tonally it feels like a gritty American 70's movie, especially Scorsese (Mean Streets, Taxi Driver, After Hours, King of Comedy...) Greatly helped from key location scenes actually shot in Kabukicho, Shinjuku, but the story and characters often slip into cliché archetypes - not surprising since the source material is a manga. I am not familiar with the manga so I'm not in a position to compare the movie to the manga.

While there are more than a few movies set in the sex industry - prostitution, trafficking - Shinjuku Swan picks an oddball and probably little known niche to those outside Japan - the world of SCOUTS. Young men who as a job scout women on the street in Shinjuku to work in various levels of Tokyo's red-light industry. The protagonist is Tatsuhiko (Go Ayano) , a young man from the boonies with nothing to lose. He's a simple guy, good heart, hard head, lots of energy which he doesn't mind using to get into fights. Tatsuhiko is spotted by young but veteran scout, Mako (Yusuke Iseya) who takes him in and makes him his underling.

You think the movie will be Tatsuhiko story, maybe his internal conflict with his core morals conflicting his job but it quickly turns into a movie about "palace intrigue" as different Yakuza factions who control the scouts jockey for power. We are introduced to many characters and it becomes a Gangs of New York (but more cartoony) tapestry of Machevelliam characters and how everyone plays their cards.

The first half focuses mainly on the men in this world. The second half introduces female characters, classic tragic characters who become fodder in the Kabukicho meat market.

Probably because it is based on a manga it feels much more like an American TV pilot, setting up a big cast of characters with long story arcs than a self-contained feature film. There is a Shinjuku Swan 2 which I have not seen yet.

To be honest, even though Tatsuhiko (Go Ayano) is set-up as the movies protagonist I felt Mako (Yusuke Iseya) was a much more interesting character and much more fascinating actor. But all the actors fit their part and visually it feels "right" with plenty of fight scenes.

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Official Sites:

Official site [Japan]





Release Date:

30 May 2015 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Shinjuku Swan See more »


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