Written by: Michael Den Boer on June 29th, 2010
Theatrical Release Date: Japan, July 11th, 1981
Director: Nobuhiko Obayashi
Writer: Taku Mayumura (Novel)
Cast: Hiroko Yakushimaru, Ryôichi Takayanagi, Miyoko Akaza, Fumi Dan, Hajime Hana, Tôru Minegishi
DVD released: August 3rd, 2007
Approximate running time: 90 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono Japanese
Subtitles: English, Chinese
DVD Release: IVL
Region Coding: Region 3 NTSC (Hong Kong)
Retail Price: $13.95
Synopsis: A young woman named Yuka uses her ESP powers. When a new student. A girl from the future. Plot’s to take over the high school.
The Aimed School was directed by Nobuhiko Obayashi, who’s other notable film’s include Hausu, The Little Girl Who Conquered Time, The Discarnates and Sada. The screenplay for The Aimed School was adapted from the Japanese juvenile Sci-Fi novel, Targeted Gakuen (Targeted School) that was written by Taku Mayumura. The cinematographer on The Aimed School was Yoshitaka Sakamoto a frequent collaborator of director’s Nobuhiko Obayashi and Masato Harada (Kamikaze Taxi, Bounce Ko Gals).
The film starts off very mundanely as we are introduced to two of the main players Yuka (a girl who discovers she has ESP powers) and Koji (the boy she is in love with).These early moments center around their everyday ‘normal’ lives at the high school they attend. As the story evolves and Yuka slowly begins to realize the extent of her powers. Things start to pick up slightly, momentum wise. The film hits its stride upon the arrival of a mysterious new student named shows up and she also has ESP powers. The main difference is that she uses her powers for more selfish and destructive reasons. She is not the only villain of this soap opera. Her Svengali is a diabolical character named Kyogoku. The latter half of the film deals with Yuka trying to expose Kyogoku’s sinister plot. This all leads up to the all to familiar good versus evil finale.
Content and tone wise, The Aimed School is very similar to The Little Girl Who Conquered Time. Also directed by Nobuhiko Obayashi. These film’s were geared towards a adolescent audience. Even though there are elements of Sci-Fi / Fantasy. The Aimed School is more rooted in melodrama. From a production standpoint, while the direction is very strong. The primitive looking special effects (a product of their time) are easily the weakest link in this film. Performance wise the entire cast are very good in their respective roles, especially Hiroko Yakushimaru (Never Give Up, Legend of the Eight Samurai, Story of the Detective). Another performance of note is Tôru Minegishi’s (The Fall of Ako Castle) bombastic performance in the role of Kyogoku, the Demon.
The Aimed School is presented in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film’s original aspect ratio. The source used for this transfer is in very good shape. Colors look nicely saturated and flesh tones look accurate. Even though black levels fare well. Most of the night time / darker scenes lack the crispness that is present for the majority of this transfer. There are no problems with compression. Edge enhancement while present it is never to excessive.
This release comes with one audio option, a Dolby Digital mono mix in Japanese and removable English subtitles have been included. There are no problems with background noise and dialog sounds clear.
Extras for this release are limited to a trailer for The Aimed School. Overall The Aimed School gets a audio /video presentation that is on par with IVL’s other Kadokawa Classic Series releases.