Tokyo Tribe (2014) poster


  • Movie: Tokyo Tribe
  • Country: Japan
  • Release Date: Aug 30, 2014
  • Duration: 1 hr. 57 min.
  • Genres: Music
  • Tags: Adapted From A Manga
  • Rating: Not Yet Rated


  • Score: 7.0 (scored by 191 users)
  • Ranked: #99999
  • Popularity: #5005
  • Watchers: 451

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17 people found this review helpful
Feb 16, 2015
Completed 1
Overall 8.5
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 8.5
Music 8.5
Rewatch Value 8.0
Tokyo Tribe is an imperfectly perfect chaos. It’s one heck of a crazy bizarre Japanese Musical. And that’s exactly where its charm lies in. I completely loved it.

I have a confession to make; I always had a serious love-hate relationship with Sion Sono. It’s not because of his over the top style. Takashi Miike‘s more sadistic but he’s still one of my top favourite directors. However, all of my feelings toward Sion’s filmmaking changed to the positive side after this. He definitely amazed me.

The story was unusually chaotic. Tokyo Tribe is a Hip-Hop musical and I don’t even like Hip-Hop but man did it sound completely right! The plot centre on Tokyo’s different gangs that are continually at war with each other until a trigger sets them all off. 95% of the dialogues were rapped out. Sion made almost all of his characters rap their parts in a charming street symphony.

I would agree with you if you said this film was over the top, entirely sexist, brutally violent and edgy. However, those facts don’t deny that Tokyo Tribe is one of the best finely made films of 2014. The action sequences and characters’ interactions were eye-catching and marvellously made.

Sion’s explosive style was fast-paced –as always– which gave the film extra entertaining value. I didn’t like the CGI and some fallen parts here and there but I was certainly impressed to know that he actually cast real-life street tattooed members for his picture. They were undeniably fit and perfect for their roles.

Other actors, namely the veteran Yakuza star Takeuchi Riki, Sometani Shota, Suzuki Ryohei, Young Dais and Kubozuka Yosuke were strongly fit for their roles. I certainly didn’t think I would come to love their characters like that. The solid portrayal of bizarre and weird personas isn’t an easy job to do and this film’s cast brought it to perfection.

Tokyo Tribe was a throughout pleasurable mess of comedy –even parodies– action and some lessons. It’s not up to everyone’s taste but those who appreciate Japan’s weird filmmaking are in for an exciting treat.

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9 people found this review helpful
Feb 15, 2015
Completed 0
Overall 9.0
Story 7.0
Acting/Cast 9.5
Music 10
Rewatch Value 9.0
Tokyo Tribe is, no doubt, one of the most bizarre films I've ever seen. I was kind of expecting that, considering the director is the wonderful and weird Sion Sono. This fil is just very weird.

The story itself is the weakest apsect of the film. The first half of the film was a bit slow, but once the Tribes war starts, it gets REALLY entertaining and fun. Sometimes the story it's a bit silly, and that's why I didn't like it as much as other things in the film.

I'm pretty sure that the cast had a blast making this film, because it clearly shows in their performances. Many of the actors aren't real actors, they are rappers, martial artists, models, etc, but they fit in perfectly, and their performances are great. To me, Ryohei Suzuki gives the best performance as Merra.

The music is SPECTACULAR. This is easily the best soundtrack I've heard in a long time, and I don't even like rap or hip hop music. A great part of the dialogues are said through rap, so if you hate rap, this film isn't for you. But if you don't hate it, you should give it a try, even if you don't like too much.

Another thing that definitily deserves mention is the production design. The sets are GORGEOUS. I was surprised when I found out the film was made on a low budget, because the sets look expensive. They are really beautiful and well done. And the lighting is gorgeous too.

To sum up, if you're looking for a fun but bizarre experience, Tokyo Tribe is the film for you, and it comes with good performances, fantastic music and gorgeous visuals.

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3 people found this review helpful
Jun 23, 2015
Completed 0
Overall 7.0
Story 6.0
Acting/Cast 6.0
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 7.0
This film is definitely bizarre and different. Do NOT expect a linear story to unfold. It's got constant rapping, a crazy story line but great fight scenes and omg the way this film was shot and the cinematography is amazing! Completely mental, very different but so enjoyable!
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Room 707
1 people found this review helpful
May 15, 2016
Completed 0
Overall 6.5
Story 5.5
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 5.0
Tokyo Tribe tells the story of a group of gangs in a dystopian Tokyo constantly fighting with each other, that is, until a bigger threat makes its way to the city. Being that this was a Sion Sono film, I was not surprised that this film was pretty much a visual masterpiece. The camera shots and cinematography were beautiful and the sets were colourful, fun and just breathtaking.

However, I felt that those great visuals and the film's overall erratic execution kind of distracted from what the film lacked. Even with the hysterical ending (finding out what actually initiated the beef between Merra and Kai), the main plot was still pretty generic and calculable. Usually Sion Sono films, as outlandish as they are, have very conceptual plots with sometimes intense/insane curveballs thrown in, and typically have an underlying message that leaves you thinking. This film is definitely more straightforward than some of his other films (not that that's a bad thing). Ultimately, I also felt that the film lacked character motivation/characterisation, part of the reason why I didn't really connect with most of the characters. Sure, there were a lot of fun, cool, over-the-top characters but they felt pretty one-dimensional to me.

Back to the good things... Apart from the beautiful visuals, I also felt that the film's music was good. I mean, I'd bump this soundtrack in my car any day. And to be honest... this film was basically Japanese rapper porn for me lol. If you're a fan of Japanese rap/rappers, just know that you'll be seeing some pretty familiar faces throughout this film. For those who probably won't know who the Japanese rappers are when you watch the film, don't worry, they'll be pretty obvious. (They're the ones who had some of the dopest and more natural flows in the film.) The fighting throughout the film was great to watch and well choreographed, as well as the acting which I thought was also very good. Yes, some are very over-the-top, but it's very fitting with the film's atmosphere. This film is also littered with some pop culture references that had me fangirling or literally laughing out loud.

Overall, this film had plenty of hysterical moments and did grab my attention, but the writing was a bit lacking for me. However, this film is still a pretty exciting watch.

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1 people found this review helpful
Jun 26, 2016
Completed 0
Overall 8.0
Story 7.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 8.5
Rewatch Value 8.0
When I told my brother that I was going to watch Tokyo Tribe, he asked me what it was about. I hesitated and said, "tribes" and he said "Sounds good" which to me sounded sarcastic. So I added and said, "Well you see, the director likes to add weird and crazy stuff in his films and...yeah, I don't know."

So there you have it. Tokyo Tribe. Tribes. Crazy stuff. Music. Fighting. And chaos. Lots of it. But it's Sion Sono. As I said to my brother, Sono always manages to add insanity in his films and still manage to make it work. If you watch a Sono films, you're transported to his world, his rules, his creation, his everything. With a crazy yet satisfying 4-hour journey from Love Exposure to blood fountains that swept me off my feet in Why Don't You Play in Hell, Tokyo Tribe might have just taken Sono's style to the next level. Bursting energy and life and music and characters from start to finish, you'll be the one feeling exhausted (yet also satisfied) as the credits roll. In Sono's world, you got to keep up. You're also there in the film alright.

Tokyo Tribe is messy, chaotic, loads more to improve it but like others, it doesn't matter. It's not about following traditional storytelling or traditional film-making, it's about presenting something with creative freedom as much as you like. Sono embodies that, Tokyo Tribe embodies that. Mix that here, put that there, add more here, even if things don't make sense, whatever! It's entertainment, it's about having fun. It's filled with pleasure and enough to keep you at the edge of yourself -- if you're used to Sono's style.

It's a big big cast alright but having such a truckload of people in a film makes it all the more enjoyable, it makes it all the more fun. It's not character-focused, you're not suppose to give a shit about anyone, you're just suppose to sit there and watch and laugh and enjoy. That's what you're suppose to do. These actors aren't that great singers (although one of the leads, Kai is from a J-pop band, he's not an actor but who cares because it doesn't matter) but that too doesn't matter. This isn't about music. It's about having fun! Sono just adds music because it doesn't feel like it belongs there (so Sono like!) but that's what makes it stand out. He always manages to put the bizarre and weird and make it look good.

(To be honest, watching Sometani laugh made me crack up a lot. Still manages to keep his signature look that I love even as a rapper. He's definitely a chameleon, whatever role he takes and clearly Sono loves him -- with good reasons.)

As always though, my take on Sono films is that they tend to be misogynistic. Loads of (unnecessary) boob shots, underwear shots and all that (I mean Love Exposure is all about that!) but I feel like he tries to compensate for that by giving us badass/I-can-save-myself female characters. And here, we have female characters that can fight. So thank goodness.

There is so much colors, so much sound and just so much everything, you don't have time to think, no time to react as each scene continues to drive you crazy. Sono proves his mastery at creating films that are filled with whatever the heck he can think of and want at his will and still make them something worth watching -- a genius.

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