Hibi Rock / 日々ロック
Yuu Irie, of Saitama Rapper fame, once again turns his eye to a bunch of musical losers – this time, a trio of punk rockers at the bottom of the food chain. With broad comedic swipes, Irie sends up the usual rock myths. Young Takuro Hibinuma (Shuhei Nomura) makes his pilgrimage to Tokyo’s Monster GOGO, a famous punk club. Here he lives in squalor, does menial labor, is abused by dreadlocked owner, Takeshi Matsumoto (Naoto Takenaka) and does the occasional gig. Along the way he meets up – and falls in love – with J-Pop idol Saki Utagawa (Fumi Nikaido). A bass ackwards sort of rags to rags story ensues. . Irie does some great parodies of Japanese rock tropes. The band, Inu Rape, is classic! Irie sets a few too many fight scenes and random acts of violence in the testosterone-fueled arena that is the world of rock. Another problem with Hibi Rock is Nomura’s 100% over the top performance. It’s great for the onstage scenes, but maddening for 90% of his screen time.
Originally published in EL Magazine, November 2014.