Too Cool for School

SCHOOL IN THE CROSSHAIRS isn’t about school shootings at all, it’s a lighthearted cosmic adventure story set at a Japanese high school, combining mythic good v. evil stuff with martial arts and teen romance. John Woo meets John Hughes? But NO, for this work springs from the delirious oeuvre of Nobuhiko Obayashi, the fellow who gave us the frankly mental HOUSE. I’m delving into his world for work…

Every Obayashi film has a piano in it.

Once you get over the high weirdness of Obayashi’s ADHD style, the content here is fairly Marvel comics, with young adult soap opera merging with superheroics. The particularly Japanese elements — kendo tournaments, a fascination with schoolgirl panties — do add to the peculiarity for this western viewer, though. But in a way, this movie kind of reminds us how strange OUR culture’s fantasy life is.

Abstract climax in a floaty void with lots of ALTERED STATES type imagery. Obayashi’s raison d’etre, in a way, is creating pop culture emanations which tick the necessary genre boxes but are still perceived as weird even in his own culture. Weird but good. Teaching kids to enjoy weirdness is important work.

I says so!

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