Good morning everyone,
Today, we’re looking at a Japanese short film about an alien giantess facing off against malevolent monsters. Specifically, this review covers Mighty Lady “New Episode” – マイティレディ ニューエピソード, a 30-minute film which was released in 2002. (NOTE: The DVD also includes the making of and previews.)
The first Mighty Lady movie was released in the 1980s. (NOTE: A snippet from the Mighty Lady pilot film, マイティレディ パイロットフィルム in Japanese, is available at this YouTube page.)
This film fits squarely within the realm of low-budget efforts inspired by more popular properties. In this particular situation, Mighty Lady takes strong inspiration from “Ultraman.” This is done in a similar manner to how low-budget American studio “The Asylum” makes so-called “mockbusters.” For example, Warner Brothers released “Pacific Rim” in July 2013, and The Asylum released “Atlantic Rim” that July. Mighty Lady is different enough that I don’t mind the parallels. However, it’s instructive to examine what initially inspired this production.
Ultraman first appeared as a live-action series on Japanese TV in 1966, and since then has appeared in animated form and in several movies. Ultraman dons a silver suit and grows to giant size to fight various monsters, first played by rubber-suited performers. His popularity can be seen with a walk through typical Japanese stores where Ultraman toys are readily available. Furthermore, Ultraman has inspired giantesses such as “UltraSonico (ウルトラソニコ),” and Papiko from the GIGANT manga mentioned in Volume 2 that she wanted to be Ultraman when she was young. Additionally, it appears that the adult film “Gramarian: Evil Giant Female Alien – 悪の巨大女宇宙人 グラマリア星人” took some cues.
Suffice to note that Mighty Lady follows that formula of a champion growing to giant size then fighting monsters.
I first learned about the Mighty Lady franchise awhile back, and have kept several of their films on my Amazon Japan wish list. One of them dipped in price recently so I snatched it up. That was Mighty Lady “New Episode,” which was first released in 2002. This serves as a reboot of the original series. Its story begins with a nerdy fellow wandering about the woods when an alien spaceship lands!
Mighty Lady beams down from her space ship and moves to introduce herself to Honda, the nerd with all the equipment. However, her initial appearance is startling:
To calm him down, Mighty Lady adopts a human form:
The sight of the beautiful lady causes Honda to faint.
I previously mentioned that this was a reboot of the original. That can be seen by in this YouTube clip, taken from 1984’s Mighty Lady:
The next scene moves to a local high school. Mighty Lady apparently drafted fake documentation off-screen to enroll herself in Honda’s class under the new identity of “Mai Murasaki”!
However, while Honda recognizes her voice, his glasses were misplaced when she first arrived, she had actually disguised herself:
It wasn’t clear WHY a disguise was needed. The only person who would recognize her, Honda, initially knew who she was just by hearing her voice. Although, he seemed to doubt himself with his glasses back on.
Some bullies then play a game of keep away with Honda’s video camera, but Mighty Lady tosses triangle rulers / set squares like throwing stars at them. Then she assumes the doll faced alien look and lays a smack down on the bullies. Traveling across the galaxy just to beat up punks trying to take someone’s camera seems like a lot of effort for minimal return, but whatever. (NOTE: Mighty Lady wipes their memories, but I’m not sure if that was completely necessary. How many bullies are gonna spread the news that one girl beat the snot out of three of them? 😉 )
However, it turns out she has a greater purpose!
We learn that Mighty Lady’s older brother, Kairu, was abducted by an evil woman named Hera who attacks Kairu with a giant monster.
Hera has been sucking the life out of young ladies (as one does…). Luckily, Mai is able to restore the fallen victims. These girls are lying comatose in various secluded areas; apparently, no one else has noticed their plight. However, helping each of them weakens Mai. Not to fear though, Honda’s love restores her vigor. (NOTE: I took physics in college and can confirm that the science behind this all checks out.) This is chaste love and you won’t see so much as an actual kiss.
Eventually, our heroes encounter the corrupted Kairu. He now has a tentacle to choke girls (as one does… actually scratch that, if any readers are endowed with tentacles then I implore you not to attack people!)
In time, Kairu transforms into the monster. He grows to gigantic proportions while Mai carries Honda to safety. Mai then matches his size and they engage in combat. (NOTE: The fight scenes weren’t great and would have benefited from more dramatic choreography.)
Hera also transforms into an giantess and enters the melee:
Hera and monster~fied Kairu quickly overcome our heroine:
(NOTE: Best not to pay too close attention to the monster costume as its rubber nature becomes apparent quickly.) Honda is unconscious during the struggle, but dreams of a battle between Hera and Mai. Honda helps Mai in his dreams and that causes Mai to receive a burst of energy in real life. (NOTE: Like I mention before, the science all checks out. It involves logarithms, and differential equations, and quantum physics, and lots of complicated technical stuff that I can’t go into right now, but totally understand.)
The burst of energy gives our heroine the wherewithal to restore Kairu to human form! He reappears in front of men’s bathroom which was very thoughtful as he might want to freshen up after being transformed into a hideous mutant.
Hera is temporarily defeated. Afterward, Mai wipes out Honda’s memories.
Afterward, Hera returns, but thankfully it becomes clear that Honda’s mind was not completely cleared and he helps Mai put Hera down for good. Now all that remains is for Mai to find her brother. (Psst! Mai, he’s over by the bathrooms!)
This was an independent production on a small budget, but several people contributed and it looks they tried hard to do a good job.
(NOTE: Folks can watch 3 minutes of New Episode at this YouTube page.)
That noted, this is only available with Japanese audio. To the very best of my knowledge, there are no versions dubbed into other languages. Furthermore, this movie does not have subtitles, not even in Japanese. (NOTE: This is an altogether separate topic, but it’s discouraging how many Japanese movies do not have subtitles. I cannot remember the last time I bought an American DVD without English subtitles, and I buy a fair amount of low-budget horror and sci-fi films with small distributions. Accordingly, deaf Americans can watch nearly every American movie. In contrast, deaf Japanese people have to contend with the fact that many Japanese movies do not have subtitles.)
Overall, I recommend Mighty Lady “New Episode” to folks who understand Japanese (or people willing to watch films in foreign languages) and are looking for a brief, but enjoyable giantess movie. Additionally, some of the previews looked intriguing. For instance:
That’s all for today folks. Enjoy the rest of your week and I’ll see you next Tuesday with another Japanese work, GIGANT Volume #7. Until then, keep growing!
This review is protected under Fair Use copyright law.
All Rights Reserved.