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LORELEI

Directed by HIGUCHI Shinji

Release
Original Title:
ローレライ
© 2005 FUJI TELEVISION / TOHO / KANSAI TELECASTING CORPORATION / KING RECORDS © 2005 FUJI TELEVISION / TOHO / KANSAI TELECASTING CORPORATION / KING RECORDS

Story

World War II is coming to an end. Germany has surrendered and the attention of the Allies turns to Japan where, despite widespread retreat, the will to fight the final battle for the homeland, burns stronger than ever.
Japan’s military has one ace up its sleeve. The Germans nicknamed her “Lorelei” after the legendary power of a mythical witch said to live in the Rhine. She is a massive submarine; a masterpiece of Nazi engineering and technological advance which was spirited away from Germany before the surrender and has been delivered into the hands of the Imperial Japan Navy.
Chief of Staff, Captain R. Asakura, an enigmatic figure with an agenda of his own, selects Commander S. Masami to head the crew who will take this top-secret weapon out on its first and perhaps final mission. Their brief is to save Japan from atomic annihilation by sinking any ships that might carry the bombs from the US mainland to the B-29 base on Tinian Island.
Commander Masami is a man with a complex past. Having proved himself an exemplary leader, he was sidetracked for the latter course of the war for his failure to endorse the futile kamikaze policy of his seniors. Eager to prove himself a worthy son of the Empire, he is surprised to learn that his new ship has secrets of her own.
The I-507 submarine is outfitted with an ultra-secret weapons system that can pinpoint any nearby vessel and select it for complete destruction. Lieutenant Asakura, naval liaison to the army and technician in charge of the system refuses to share information about the device. Immediately an atmosphere of mistrust develops on board. This worsens when Captain Masami learns that his motley crew includes a couple of members of the ‘Kaiten’ human torpedo suicide corps; a direct challenge to his belief in pragmatic strategy.
They are outnumbered, undermanned and the ship itself is entirely new to them. Nevertheless, Captain Masami is just the man to maintain the crew’s morale as the mission gets underway.
It soon becomes apparent however that the American military has more than a normal interest in their ship and countless times they are nearly caught in offensive cordons. What is it that the Americans know that they don’t? What are the bitter struggles taking place among the top brass at Japanese naval command? What is Asakura’s agenda for the future of Japan and is their mission as straightforward as it would seem?
As the situation gets more desperate and the second atomic bomb drops on Nagasaki, Captain Masami must use all his skill to keep his crew intact. As depth charges pound his ship, furious arguments about the future of the Japanese Motherland lead to full-blown mutiny.
Meanwhile the third atomic bomb is being loaded onto a B-29 Superfortress. This time the target is Tokyo and the stakes represent the very existence of the nation itself. An untold chapter in the history of the War is about to unfold…

Cast

YAKUSHO Koji

Captain MASAMI

TSUMABUKI Satoshi

ORIGASA

YANAGIBA Toshiro

KIZAKI

KASHII Yu

Paula Atsuko Ebner

TSUTSUMI Shinichi

ASAKURA

Data

Director
HIGUCHI Shinji
Original Story
FUKUI Harutoshi
Producer
KAMEYAMA Chihiro
Screenplay
SUZUKI Satoshi
Music
SATO Naoki
Cinematography
SAKO Akira
Japan Release Date
2005.03.05
Running time
128min