Fantasia 2020: Our Review of ‘Monster Seafood Wars’

Fantasia 2020: Our Review of ‘Monster Seafood Wars’

Monster Seafood Wars follows Yuta, a young master at the Tsukiji Fish Market. He accidentally drops his meal of mixed seafood into the Sumida River. Eventually, Tokyo finds themselves at the mercy of a giant mutated octopus, squid and crab. When the Japan Self-Defence Forces are unable to stop the beasts, the government forms the ‘Seafood Monster Attack Team’. However, when the battles leave portions of the monsters lying around the city, local cooks begin to realize that giant seafood pieces taste even better than expected.

Directed by Minoru Kawasaki, Monster Seafood Wars hilariously plays on kaiju movies of old. Using documentary footage and interviews, the film attempts to bring some reality into the over-the-top sequences. These feature special effects that feel as though they have been plucked from the B-movies of the 1970s.

While that may sound like a criticism, it is absolutely not.

Seafood Wars has such a heightened level of play to its script that never takes itself too seriously. Silly and fun, Seafood Wars feels like a movie that you could make with your friends at home. Special effects that range from simple video overlay to exploding toy cars delight the viewer, rather than frustrate. Scenes featuring chefs debating the merits of leftover monster meat are so absurd that they entertain.

In a weird way, the film also seems to serve as a metaphor for our culture’s obsession with what’s trendy, especially at the expense of larger world problems. Despite the constant threat of death and destruction, Tokyo residents seem more content to debate the merits of eating monster leftovers. However, the film is simply having too much fun to engage more deeply, focusing on kaiju battles instead of social commentary. Instead, Monster Seafood Wars charms in its mayhem, laughing at itself along the way.

This post was written by
Born at a very early age, Steve is a Toronto-based writer and podcaster who loves to listen to what matters to our culture on screen. When he first saw Indiana Jones steal the cross of Coronado, he knew his world would never be the same and, since then, he’s found more and more excuses to digest what’s in front of him onscreen. Also, having worked as a youth and community minister for almost 20 years, he learned that stories help everyone engage the world around them. He’s a proud hubby, father (x2) and believes that Citizen Kane, Batman Forever (yes, the Kilmer one), and The Social Network belong in the same conversation. You can hear his ramblings on ScreenFish Radio wherever podcasts are gettable or at his website, ScreenFish.net.
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