|Angel Guts: Red Classroom (1979)|
|Starring:||Yūki Mizuhara, Keizo Kanie, and Jun Aki|
For those who don’t recognize the name, Takashi Ishii was the man responsible for the manga that the Angel Guts series was based upon. Many readers may also know him as an accomplished film director as well. He brought to life Evil Dead Trap, Freeze Me, and the highly underrated Gonin and Gonin 2. His manga work during the seventies apparently focused on authentic portrayals of real life human relationships, something uncommon during this era, and this sort of narrative inevitably transferred very well to film. Red Classroom, however, marks the first time that Ishii had any direct involvement within the world of cinema. Not only was his manga the source of inspiration for this film, but the script was directly overseen by Ishii. Not surprising, it is also considered to be the best features within this series. According to Jasper Sharp’s fantastic book Behind the Pink Curtain, the original manga was written in order to express the dynamic between men and women, especially the expectations that men have for women. Red Classroom personifies this theory as we watch as one man strives to fulfill his original expectations via a woman who has been damaged by the world. The film focuses on his disappointments, failures, and sulking acceptance of regular day life in correlation to his fantasy view of a woman he truly does not know. Although the movie borders on being distasteful at times, perhaps being too crude for some viewers, the narrative stays on point throughout and it becomes easy for audiences to casually slip into this brief sexual drama.