Nami (1979)

Rating: C-

Dir: Noboru Tanaka
Star: Eri Kanuma, Takeo Chii, Minako Mizushima, Kyoko Aoyama

There’s an unfortunate degree of predictability here; by this stage in the Angel Gutsseries, we were beginning to get a pretty good handle on what to expect. Hence, when this one begins to unfold, with journalist Nami (Kanuma) researching a series of stories on “Rape and its Consequences”, it was immediately clear that she was going to end up with first-hand experience of her subject matter. It’s kinda hard to feel much sympathy, since she’s a gutter journalist of the highest order, doorstepping interview subjects and harassing them to the point of tears, or even beyond, while the masturbatory shower sequences keep dragging us back to “reality”, where this is a soft-porn flick rather than social comment.

There are some interesting asides to be had here, including the good use of sketches (presumably from Ishii’s original manga), and Nami’s relationship with another journalist, who looks like a Japanese version of the late, great Hunter S. Thompson, in sunglasses and fishing cap. He, too, has an interest in rape that goes beyond the normal, with a dark secret or two in his past, which leads Nami into peril. As a result, her sanity is seriously rattled, and our heroine is all but reduced to a gibbering wreck, with the line between reality and her dubious fantasies almost non-existent. But we’re never given much reason to care for her, and the net result is that both her plight, and the film in general, leave us almost entirely unmoved.