films seen
14
average score
2.28*
nationality
Japan - 66 years old
status
Alive and kicking
more info

A fringe horror director. Don't expect straight-forward chills from this man, instead Kaneko seems to aim for more cult/niche audiences, most notably with his Kaiju and anime/pop-inspired films. Kaneko's oeuvre is fun, but rarely great.

Solid pieces

Gamera 3: The Awakening of Iris

by Shûsuke Kaneko
Also known as
Gamera 3: Iris Kakusei
Specifics
Japan [1999] - 108m
Genre
Sci-fi, Action
More info on
rating
3.5*/5.0*
Gamera 3: The Awakening of Iris poster

The inoffensive

Giant Monsters All-Out Attack

by Shûsuke Kaneko
Also known as
Gojira, Mosura, Kingu Gidorâ: Daikaijû Sôkôgeki
Specifics
Japan [2001] - 105m
Genre
Sci-fi, Action
More info on
rating
3.0*/5.0*
Giant Monsters All-Out Attack poster

Gamera 2: Advent of Legion

by Shûsuke Kaneko
Also known as
Gamera 2: Region Shurai
Specifics
Japan [1996] - 99m
Genre
Sci-fi, Action
More info on
rating
3.0*/5.0*
Gamera 2: Advent of Legion poster

Gamera: The Guardian of the Universe

by Shûsuke Kaneko
Also known as
Gamera Daikaijû Kuchu Kessen
Specifics
Japan [1995] - 96m
Genre
Sci-fi, Action
More info on
rating
3.0*/5.0*
Gamera: The Guardian of the Universe poster

Summer Vacation 1999

by Shûsuke Kaneko
Also known as
1999 - Nen no Natsu Yasumi
Specifics
Japan [1988] - 90m
Genre
Drama, Mystery
More info on
rating
3.0*/5.0*
Summer Vacation 1999 poster

An interesting early feature by Shûsuke Kaneko. He's a bit of a cult director who often takes on cheesy franchise projects, but Summer Vacation 1999 isn't as shlocky as most of his other films. It's a pretty moody and intriguing drama/mystery that proves he has more to offer than you'd wager at first glance.

The story begins with the suicide of Yu, a young boy attending a boarding school. Three classmates who bullied Yu remain at the school for the holidays and freak out when they meet the new kid: a boy who is the spitting image of Yu. The three believe Yu has come back to take revenge, but the boy has no idea what they're talking about.

The beginning is very atmospheric, with nice camera work, moody lighting and a solid soundtrack. Performances are pretty good too. The film loses some steam halfway through as it gets a bit too repetitive and the ending isn't as powerful as it could've been. Still, a worthy film from Kaneko that makes me curious about his older work.

Every Day is Summer Vacation

by Shûsuke Kaneko
Also known as
Mainichi ga Natsuyasumi
Specifics
Japan [1994] - 94m
Genre
Drama
More info on
rating
3.0*/5.0*
Every Day is Summer Vacation poster

Light drama from Shusuke Kaneko. The film starts off like a somewhat simple and predictable family drama, but the second half has quite a few poignant moments that added a bit more depth than I initially gave it credit for. It's certainly a very easy film to dream away to, which makes it true to its title.

The Rinkaiji family looks like your average happy, suburban family, but as is often the case, drama hides behind their happy front. When daughter Sugina meets her stepfather in the park while skipping school, they decide to forgo society's expectations, starting a little company of their own.

Performances are decent, the cinematography is pleasant and the tone is light. The first half is a little too meandering though, as there is no real urgency and no obvious point to the film. Kaneko corrects that during the second half and the film did leave me with a rather pleasant feeling. Hardly a masterpiece, but very agreeable filler.

Worthy but flawed

God's Left Hand, Devil's Right Hand

by Shûsuke Kaneko
Also known as
Kami no Hidarite Akuma no Migite
Specifics
Japan [2006] - 94m
Genre
Fantasy, Horror, Thriller
More info on
rating
2.5*/5.0*
God's Left Hand, Devil's Right Hand poster

Dubious filler

Danger Dolls

by Shûsuke Kaneko
Also known as
Shôjo wa Isekai de Tatakatta
Specifics
Japan, USA [2014] - 97m
Genre
Sci-fi, Action
More info on
rating
2.0*/5.0*
Danger Dolls poster

Death Note: The Last Name

by Shûsuke Kaneko
Also known as
Desu Nôto: The Last Name
Specifics
Japan, USA [2006] - 141m
Genre
Fantasy, Thriller
More info on
rating
2.0*/5.0*
Death Note: The Last Name poster

A direct sequel to Kaneko's first film. I've never been much of a fan of the Death Note franchise and this film didn't do much to change my mind. Too long, too serious and too many poor twists. Kaneko's direction is mostly functional, honouring the narrative but failing to bring much joy to this production. For fans only.

Necronomicon: Book of the Dead

by Christophe Gans, Shûsuke Kaneko, Brian Yuzna
Also known as
Necronomicon
Specifics
France, USA [1993] - 96m
Genre
Horror
More info on
rating
2.0*/5.0*
Necronomicon: Book of the Dead poster

No Worries on the Recruit Front

by Shûsuke Kaneko
Also known as
Shushoku Sensen Ijonashi
Specifics
Japan [1991] - 103m
Genre
Comedy, Drama
More info on
rating
2.0*/5.0*
No Worries on the Recruit Front poster

One of Shûsuke Kaneko's earlier films, where he started to move away from his pinku origins. Kaneko has had quite a varied career that spans several peculiar niches, No Worries on the Recruit Front is a more basic mix of drama and comedy that seems to target more commercially-minded audiences.

The premise feels a bit otherworldly by modern standards. The idea that college graduates need to fight off prospecting companies may be typical for the Japanese bubble era, but rings a bit hollow now, especially with Kaneko's slightly exaggerated approach. No doubt this had a bigger impact upon its original release.

Performances are decent but nothing special, Kaneko's direction feels a bit uninspired and the drama is too by the numbers. Some office troubles, romantic woes and the unavoidable baseball at night scene, there all in here, but they never manage to leave a solid or coherent impression. Not terrible, but also not a very remarkable film.

Plain forgettable

Azumi 2: Death or Love

by Shûsuke Kaneko
Specifics
Japan [2005] - 108m
Genre
Action
More info on
rating
1.5*/5.0*
Azumi 2: Death or Love poster

Big nopes

Death Note

by Shûsuke Kaneko
Also known as
Desu Nôto
Specifics
Japan [2006] - 126m
Genre
Horror, Mystery
More info on
rating
1.0*/5.0*
Death Note poster

Irritation overload

Cross Fire

by Shûsuke Kaneko
Also known as
Kurosufaia
Specifics
Japan [2000] - 115m
Genre
Horror, Thriller
More info on
rating
0.5*/5.0*
Cross Fire poster