films seen
12
average score
3.29*
nationality
Japan - 54 years old
status
Alive and kicking
more info

A dedicated comedy director, somewhat of a rarity in Japan. Fukuda started out small, but worked his way up to become one of the prime comedy choices. His films tend to be goofy, daft and lowbrow, but also pretty hilarious and fun.

The good stuff

Hentai Kamen: The Abnormal Crisis

by Yuichi Fukuda
2016 / 119m - Japan
Comedy, Action
Hentai Kamen: The Abnormal Crisis poster

It all adds up to something quite weird and quite unique, but also quite specific and niche. Going in with a good understanding of how and what the film makes fun of is probably a prerequisite.

Solid pieces

Gintama 2: Rules Are Made to Be Broken

by Yuichi Fukuda
Gintama 2: Okite wa Yaburu Tame ni Koso Aru
2018 / 134m - Japan
Comedy, Action
3.5*/5.0*
Gintama 2: Rules Are Made to Be Broken poster

Weird and crazy. You don't necessarily need to be familiar with the Gintama manga, but you probably do need some understanding of Japanese comedy. There's are plenty of silly references and insane gags that make no sense unless you have a working knowledge of what makes the average otaku giggle. Fun, but very, very niche.

Gintama

by Yuichi Fukuda
2017 / 131m - Japan
Comedy, Sci-fi, Action, Adventure
3.5*/5.0*
Gintama poster

Psychic Kusuo

by Yuichi Fukuda
Saiki Kusuo no Sai-nan
2017 / 97m - Japan
Comedy
3.5*/5.0*
Psychic Kusuo poster

Weird and outlandish Japanese comedy, the kind Fukuda is good at. Strong manga influences, wacky characters and a combination of absurd comedy and dry delivery make this a very funny and pleasant watch. It doesn't make any sense and it looks a bit cheap at times, but lots of fun nonetheless.

HK: Forbidden Super Hero

by Yuichi Fukuda
HK: Hentai Kamen
2013 / 106m - Japan
Comedy
3.5*/5.0*
HK: Forbidden Super Hero poster

Superhero films are hot property these days, but what happens when you mix the superhero myths with some Japanese exploitation? Well, the result is not entirely what you might have expected. Hentai Kamen (which very roughly translates to perverted mask/disguise) is more comedy than it is exploitation, forgoing cheap female nudity and horrible plot lines (think Iguchi's Oira Sukeban) for ... well, cheap male nudity and horrible plot lines, but delivered with a great sense of humor. In a sense, Hentai Kamen is a loving parody on the Sushi Typhoon style of film making.

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The story of Hentai Kamen revolves around Kyosuke, a descendant of two of the biggest perverts ever to grace Japan. The problem is that Kyosuke seems to lack the family genes, until one day, completely by accident, he puts on a pair of used girl's underpants on his head. This triggers something inside Kyosuke, unleashing his true potential. Even after his transformation, Kyosuke doesn't consider himself a true perv though, so he uses his power to protect the nice people of Tokyo.

Now, where other directors would no doubt use this setup as an excuse for gratuitous nudity, Fukuda reverses expectations. Expect man butts, crotch attacks and lots of male nipple flicking. Kyosuke's tanned appearance (sporting stockings, girl panty masks and one of those horrible Borat-like swimsuits) is hilarious, but not exactly genre material. A great twist that makes the film a lot funnier.

HK Hentai Kamen never really escapes its low-budget background, with plenty of bad CG, bad acting and bored camera work to fill in the filler parts of the story, but all of that is quickly forgotten whenever Hentai Kamen appears, destroying the bad guys as he trots through Tokyo. It makes you wonder if this film is going to find a sizeable audience, though people with a little love for (and a little knowledge of) the Sushi Typhoon scene should be able to appreciate the clichés that are being demolished here.

I'll Give It My All ... Tomorrow

by Yuichi Fukuda
Ore Wa Mada Honki Dashite Nai Dake
2013 / 105m - Japan
Comedy
3.5*/5.0*
I'll Give It My All ... Tomorrow poster

Goofy and understated comedy about a 40 y/o guy who quits his job and vows to become a manga artist. Fukuda is a skilled comedy director and Tsutsumi hasn't lost much of his flair. It's not a real stand-out film, but there are some good laughs and the film never drags or gets boring. Very good filler indeed.

The inoffensive

From Today, It's My Turn: The Movie

by Yuichi Fukuda
Kyo Kara Ore Wa!
2020 / 114m - Japan
Comedy, Action
3.0*/5.0*
From Today, It's My Turn: The Movie poster

When Fukuda makes a comedy/parody of a Japanese high school brawler, I take notice. The thing is that the genre isn't very serious to begin with, so if you want to do a proper comedy it really needs to be extra. Fukuda is one of the few people who can actually pull that off, but here he dropped the ball a little.

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Maybe it's because the film is part of a franchise, which may have limited Fukuda's potential, but From Today, It's My Turn offers little more than a basic story about a proper student who ends up in the wrong school and has to fend for himself while gangs fight it out around him.

Compare it to the Cromartie High film, or the more recent High & Low franchise, and this one simply falls short. The characters aren't crazy enough, the plot is just average and the gags are rather predictable. That's not to say there isn't some fun to be had with this one, it's just that Fukuda can do better, especially when handling this type of material.

New Interpretation Records of the Three Kingdoms

by Yuichi Fukuda
2020 / 113m - Japan
Comedy
3.0*/5.0*
New Interpretation Records of the Three Kingdoms poster

Fukuda used to be somewhat of a renegade comedy director, nowadays, he's part of the commercial establishment. His budgets are clearly higher, and he has access to bigger and more famous actors, but his comedies have also lost an edge. The very edge that made his earlier work stand out.

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As the title already explains, the film is a fictional (and obviously comedic) retelling of the Three Kingdoms story. While I'm somewhat familiar with the story through various films and games, I never actually read the source material, and I'm sketchy on chronology and characters, which is somewhat of a disadvantage as I'm quite certain I didn't get all the references and jokes.

The comedy is pretty typical for a Japanese film. Some hard to translate puns, lots of awkward pauses and odd reactions (the manzai roots are clearly there), funny reimaginings of established lore (like the Red Cliff battle) and some random weirdness (but not enough of the latter). It's a pretty amusing film, just a bit too long and not quite weird or edgy enough to be up there with the best.

Wotakoi: Love Is Hard for Otaku

by Yuichi Fukuda
Wotaku ni Koi wa Muzukashii
2020 / 114m - Japan
Romance, Musical
3.0*/5.0*
Wotakoi: Love Is Hard for Otaku poster

Fukuda's latest is a rather typical look at otaku love. Every so often one of these films pops up, delving into otaku culture and detailing the social awkwardness these people have to deal with on a daily basis. It rarely turns out to be great cinema, not even Fukuda can do anything to change that.

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It's not that he didn't give it a fair try, the pleasant mix of romance, musical and comedy shows a lot of promise, but that's par for the course. Quirky but loveable characters, fun (and surprisingly well done) musical interludes and a fair dosage of comedy give the film a perfect start.

Sadly, Fukuda can't quite keep it up. The romance is a little too basic and predictable, the comedy fades away during the second half and two hours is simply too long. Apart from cutting it a little shorter or turning it into a downright parody, there's not much Fukuda could've done I'm afraid. This niche simply doesn't allow for much leeway.

Saint Young Men

by Yuichi Fukuda
Saint Oniisan
2018 / 71m - Japan
Comedy, Fantasy
3.0*/5.0*
Saint Young Men poster

Live action adaptation of the manga. I loved the anime version of Saint Young Men, the translation to live action is clearly a bit trickier. It doesn't help that all the sketches play inside the same little flat, but at least the dry, good-natured and down-to-earth comedy is still very much intact. It's a pleasant film, just not as good as the anime version.

Jossy's

by Yuichi Fukuda
Joshîzu
2014 / 97m - Japan
Comedy, Fantasy
3.0*/5.0*
Jossy's poster

Silly and simple parody. If you're familiar with the Power Rangers-like franchises, you'll have no trouble following the jokes and puns here. Not everything is funny, but there are definitely more hits than misses and Fukuda is a capable director, especially for this kind of comedy. Not a great film, but pretty fun filler nonetheless.

Chasing My Girl

by Yuichi Fukuda
Ôarai Ni Mo Hoshi wa Furu Nari
2009 / 103m - Japan
Comedy
3.0*/5.0*
Chasing My Girl poster

A simple but fun comedy from Fukuda. I didn't read up about the film's origins, but I wouldn't be surprised if this turned out to be an adapted stage play. The single location, fixed set of characters and manic dialogues are all tailored for the stage. Not quite as mad or out there as it could've been, but it's a pleasant enough comedy.

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The people who worked together in a summer beach club all get the same letter from Eriko, telling them to meet her at the club. All the men turn up, hoping for a romantic adventure. When they realize they're all dreaming of the same thing, a tactical battle commences to decide who has the biggest claim to Erik's love.

The performances are decent (but quite over the top), the comedy is light and breezy (with some funny reveals halfway through) and the pacing is pleasant, even though the setup is simple, and the film doesn't really go beyond its premise. Fukuda has made better comedies, but that's not a knock on this film. Perfectly fine comedy filler.