Kokoro Terada, Takao Osawa, Hana Sugisaki, Sakura Ando
Like many children his age, Kei learns to control his fears and constantly quarrels with his little brother Dai. One night, a strange creature comes to visit him, then a mysterious portal opens in his room. He is transported to the magical world of the Yokai, the gentle Japanese demons, each with an unusual shape and unique character traits. They tell him that a terrible war threatening their world will devastate downtown Tokyo in the form of the colossal Yokaiju. Worse, the emergency meeting of the great international council of Yokai, where Dracula, the mermaid, what looks like a Trumpist, and their cronies have abandoned them, has designated Kei and Dai as their only hopes, as they are the last descendants of a legendary fighter. Frightened, Kei refuses. When he returns, Dai has disappeared. Kei must find the courage to fulfill his destiny in order to save his brother, the Yokai, and Tokyo.
Fifteen years ago, THE GREAT YOKAI WAR amazed audiences at the opening of Fantasia 2006. When it was announced that a second opus would be released and that the great Takashi Miike (AUDITION, 13 ASSASSINS) would return to the director’s chair, anticipation was at its peak. The result transcended all expectations. THE GREAT YOKAI WAR - GUARDIANS plunges us into the fairy-tale world of these friendly Japanese demons thanks to an overflowing creativity, somewhere between the imagination of Jim Henson (LABYRINTH) and that of Guillermo del Toro (PAN'S LABYRINTH), and to majestic special effects. The quest and values of GUARDIANS are obviously aimed at a family audience, but you can count on Miike to inject a subtext and many touches of eminently adult humour. With its kaiju references, unifying story, festive atmosphere, love of popular culture and spectacular direction from Fantasia's favourite filmmaker, GUARDIANS is the perfect candidate to close out this 25th anniversary! – Translation: Rupert Bottenberg