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Film / RoboGeisha

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"Geisha is... Japanese girl. Geisha is... beautiful. Geisha is... wild. Geisha is... ROBOT."
— The RoboGeisha trailer.

RoboGeisha is a Japanese splatter-horror/action/comedy film directed by Noboru Iguchi. It stars Aya Higuchi as Yoshie, Hitomi Hasebe as Kikuyakko, and Takumi Saito as Hikaru Kageno. Originally released in Japanese theatres in 2009, it was later licensed for distribution in English by Funimation. See James Rolfe review it here.

RoboGeisha is the story of two sisters: Kikuyakko "Kikue" Kagusa, a Geisha who is renowned for her beauty, and Yoshie Kagusa, who works as a servant in the same teahouse as Kikuyakko. Yoshie suffers near constant abuse at the hands of her elder sister, who derides her lack of grace and potential for becoming a Geisha at every opportunity. While Yoshie for the most part tries to take this treatment in stride, at times her rage boils over and manifests itself in almost-superhuman feats of strength.

Their lives change when the young heir of the Kageno Steel Manufacturing corporation notices one of these feats, and forces the sisters to become part of his private army of geisha assassins. Accepting their fate, the sisters quickly rise through the ranks of the geisha corps, constantly replacing their human flesh with ever more deadly and bizarre mechanical body-parts and weaponry, each hoping to out-do the other in their ongoing rivalry.

However, when Yoshie is given the order to eliminate the family members of the other girls that have been kidnapped and forced into servitude by the corporation, she has a change of heart. Vowing to bring down the company and its cadre of cybernetically enhanced assassins once and for all, she puts her nearly unmatched skills in the arts of death-dealing to use in an effort to avenge the lives the corporation has taken in its mad rise to power. This decision puts Yoshie on a path that will inevitably lead to a final confrontation with her now more-machine-than-human sister, and to uncovering the secrets of the men who have been pulling their strings all along.


  • Ass Shove: Shows up with the cybernetic AssSword, which is exactly what it sounds like. Considering the rest of the film, it's surprising when the girls point out that using a sword protruding from your ass is not only embarrassing, but also really awkward to use. It doesn't stop them from having a sword fight around a conveniently placed stripper pole.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Both played straight and subverted - the most damage Yoshie gets to her face is having the skin of her cheekbone torn off, revealing her cyborg implants, and it doesn't look too bad, but poor Kikue has the skin on her face removed from the bridge of her nose down as part of her full transformation.
  • Black Comedy: In a level that would make Troma jealous. Sometimes it doesn't even require blood, such as the interrogation where every time a man is hit, sinking his head into his torso, it reemerges covered in undigested food.
  • Blade Below the Shoulder: One of the many hidden weapons in Yoshie's arsenal are a pair of retractable katanas that emerge from her armpits.
  • CAMP: Oh dear boy. The costumes include garish bikinis with weird masks, the robot implements are over-the-top and implemented with poor CGI, all the cast is hamming it up while delivering ridiculous lines...
  • Comically Missing the Point: When confronted with a killer robot with a blade in its mouth, the victims aren't worried about getting killed, only about getting cut.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Hikaru Kageno and his father Kenyama kidnap and force young women into becoming their personal assassins, attempt to murder anyone and everyone who gets in their way, and they ultimately desire to destroy Japan to achieve their goals.
  • Evil Plan: The Kageno's true goal is to drop an atomic bomb into Mt. Fuji, which they believe will destroy Japan so that they can rebuild it in their own image.
  • Eye Scream: When one of Yoshie's targets gets too fresh with her during her performance as a geisha, she responds by gouging his eyes out with a pair of fried shrimp.
  • Facial Horror: Often, and usually, but not always, Played for Laughs. For instance, the very first scene has a man whose facial features are reduced to a twisted hole.
  • The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry: It started as one was a geisha, the other her beleaguered assistant. And then they were turned into cyborg assassins...
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: After getting caught up in a suicide bomb blast intended as a trap, Yoshie is seen crawling away from the wreckage, minus her lower half.
  • High-Pressure Blood: While this is present in nearly every battle (to exaggerated levels), perhaps the most bizarre example of this is when massive gouts of it can be seen erupting from damaged buildings.
  • Humongous Mecha: The final battle includes a giant castle robot that goes wrecking?
  • Robot Girl: The Kagusa sisters, as well as the deranged members of Kageno Steel's elite "Goblin Corps". Although they're not fully robotic, only implemented with as many lethal mechanical enhancements as possible.
  • Torpedo Tits:
    • Kikuyakko's first cybernetic upgrade is to have her right breast converted into a machine gun. Her left breast is turned into the trigger.
    • The Tengun fire acidic breast milk from their boobs.
  • Word Salad Lyrics: The song played over the closing credits has lyrics that, translated into English, include such lines as "the snow in our breasts" and "lungfuls of the last vestiges of light."
  • World of Ham: Not only the whole cast is overacting as hell, but all the imagery helps, between the weird costumes, gratuitous roboticization (ranging from implants such as anal shuriken shooters to a castle becoming a Megazord of sorts), and ridiculous violence.