Shonben Raidâ
1983 / 118m - Japan
P. P. Rider poster


March 04, 2023


An early Somai that reminded me quite a bit of Obayashi's 80s work, though without the fantastical spins. It's a quirky little adventure film where a couple of kids are getting messed up in adult affairs. It's not the most exciting or challenging premise, but the film is light and easily digestible.

Three kids are fed up with the class bully. They make a pact and want to get back at the kid. But out of the blue, he is kidnapped. The police are stumped and aren't too eager to invest too much effort into the kidnapping, so they decide to save their bully, so they can hand him a proper punishment themselves.

Some kids taking on the Yakuza isn't the most believable of plotlines, then again, this film doesn't take itself all that seriously. The performances are decent, the mood is light and pleasant, and even though it's quite a long film, it never bored me. It doesn't really stand out too much, then again, it's hard to stand out next to Obayashi. Cute.