My first exposure to actress and idol, Asami, was her performance years ago as a vengeful mechanic teaming up with Minase Yashiro’s mech-infused one-armed avenger in Noboru Iguchi’s The Machine Girl; the heydays of Tokyo Shock and Fever Dreams were some of the best ever.
Films like RoboGeisha, Mutant Girls Squad, Dead Sushi and Kurando Mitsutake’s explosively sexy and violent Gun Woman and Karate Kill would follow suit – all of which now comes to a fold, it seems. Her latest film, Tunguska Butterfly, is now poised to be her final film following its recent festival screening in Hamburg, Germany.
Teaming up with director Akira Nobi and Karate Kill action director Keiya Tabuchi, Tunguska Butterfly centers on Saki, an ex-con whose unique, burgeoning friendship with a lonely 10-year old girl named Mari gets enveloped into a criminal conspiracy. When Mari becomes the target of retribution by the yakuza, it’s up to Saki to protect her at any cost.
Tunguska Butterfly will screen in limited capacity in Shibuya and Nagoya on December 14 and 21, respectively. A wider release and further acquisition updates remain pending, and for that, an otherwise festive, final bow for an amazing performer who has brought sheer, raw intent, grit and absolute fire to the screen. Cheers!