Japan Foundation

North American premiere
Selection 2022


Directed by Takashi Hirano



Takashi Hirano


Yuichi Tokunaga


Hideaki Ito, Moka Kamishiraishi, Daigo Nishihata, Koji Yamamoto, Yukiyoshi Ozawa

Japan 2022 118 mins OV Japanese Subtitles : English
Genre ComedyFantasy

In the 16th century, the French astrologer Nostradamus predicted that the world would end in July, 1999. According to him, cataclysms would transform the Earthinto a lawless place where evil would prevail. As the deadline approaches, little Kappei and several other children are isolated on a Japanese island to train in the mystical arts of Mukai Sappuken to save the planet. The problem is that Nostradamus has royally screwed up, so in the spring of 2022, their master sends them to live a “normal” life. Poor Kappei finds himself in Tokyo with shorts that are really too short, the attitude of a manga character, and the psychosocial baggage of a fossil. His quest for justice brings him his first friend, who introduces him to his first love. The apocalypse fighter has not been trained for this at all, and every emotion totally destabilizes him. However, he will have to adapt, as some of his less grounded comrades will soon force a confontation.

It’s often said that comedy is the most difficult genre to succeed in, but with his first feature film KAPPEI, the producer of KAMIKAZE GIRLS and ZEBRAMAN, Takashi Hirano, proves that it’s possible to make a work that’s riotous from the get-go, in which crazy gags are launched at a frantic pace. It must be said that the delirious script by Yuichi Tokunaga (FLY ME TO THE SAITAMA), adapted from the manga by Kiminori Wakasugi (DETROIT METAL CITY), could not offer a more solid basis for laughs. KAPPEI also proves to be a charming coming-of-age story with feelgood accents, in which a superpowered hero must adjust (far too intensely) to the reality of school, and counter the threats that menace the world. Actor Hideaki Ito (LESSON OF THE EVIL, TOKYO VICE) delivers a devilishly funny performance, so if you want to fight evil, start by giving your abs a workout while laughing at the hilarious oddity KAPPEI! – translation: Rupert Bottenberg