MASUMI is waging a union war with an ancient sword
Magnolia Pictures & Magnet Releasing have released the official trailer for the Brazilian action thriller Princess Yakuza, with the American singer of Japanese origin MASUMI and Jonathan Rhys Meyers (The Tudors). The action-packed trailer explores the dangerous world of the Japanese Mafia. Rhys Meyers’ character, Shiro, teams up with a strange woman who wields a coveted katana sword. The official synopsis for the film can be read below.
“Located in the vast Japanese community of Sao Paulo in Brazil – the largest Japanese diaspora in the world – YAKUZA PRINCESS follows Akemi (MASUMI), an orphan who discovers she is the heir to half of the Yakuza crime syndicate. Forging a difficult alliance with an amnesiac stranger (Rhys Meyers) who believes that an ancient sword binds their two destinies, Akemi must start war against the other half of the union who wants him dead. “
The two-minute sequence of the trailer features Akemi as a woman who has the potential to be a great warrior if she can learn to be “one with her sword.” Meanwhile, Jonathan Rhys Meyers‘the character wakes up with no memory of the past but the many wounds on his body. Chance encounter between Akemi and Shiro binds their fate due to an ancient katana sword in their possession that the Japanese mafia covets
The action scenes are raw and gory, and clearly draw a lot from Japanese anime and gangster movies. There also appears to be a Kill Bill reference thrown at 1:20, when Akemi can be seen killing a woman in a yellow jumpsuit with her katana. The director of the film previously described Princess Yakuza like a revenge drama about a female swordsman coming of age, much like Kill Bill.
“In ‘Yakuza Princess’ we threw out the playbook and pushed the boundaries of the genre in a bloodthirsty action movie about coming of age and revenge of a Japanese girl. I waited to do a movie like this my whole life. “
A major theme that seems to run through the story of Princess Yakuza it’s learning to understand and deal with your past. In Shiro’s case, this theme is quite literal, as he has no memory of his past and is on a journey to fill in the gaps by kicking and punching.
For Akemi, the journey seems to be accepting his status as the offspring of a powerful Yakuza crime family without letting him dictate his future. It will be interesting to see how the film resolves these two conflicts and what role the old katana at the center of the plot has to play as a whole.
From the graphic novel Samurai Shiro by Danilo Beirut, Princess Yakuza is directed by Vicente Amorim, with a screenplay by Amorim, Fernando Toste, Kimi Lee and Tubaldini Shelling. This will be MASUMI’s first big screen. The film premiered at this year’s Fantasia Festival with screenings on August 18 and 20 before hitting theaters on September 3.