4. Tokyo Tribe (2014, Sion Sono): 8.0 - Maybe the biggest feat Sono pulls of in this is to keep the manic energy level extremely high from the first second to the last. He manages to do so by keeping the camera constantly moving, I think there is no steady still shot in the entire movie. Having to listen to 2 hours of mediocre (at best) Japanese rap keeps me from loving in this more.
5. Kaette kita onna hissatsu ken [The Return of the Sister Street Fighter] (1975, Kazuhiko Yamaguchi): 7.5 - As much fun as the previous two. The fights are better shot, cause Yamaguchi learned to keep his camera steady. Making this 3rd entry the 2nd best. The biggest flaws this has, beside rehashing the same formulaic plot, is that Etsuko Shihomi is almost not in the movie besides those fights. Instead most of the time is spent with the villains. Like the producers decided to shot enough material with them already, so that after the only had to shot some fights to fill it’s short running time.
6. Onna hissatsu godan ken [Sister Street Fighter: Fifth Level Fist] (1976, Shigehiro Ozawa): 6.5 - An unofficial sequel, that's only related to the other entries in that it stars Etsuko Shihomi as a female martial artist, plus that it is directed by Shigehiro Ozawa. who directed the original Street Fighter movies.Shihomi plays a different character than before. The other big difference is that this one spends much more time on plot and character development. Alas that does leave less to time for fights. When the ass kicking and gut punching finally does happen in a prolonged fight scene, it is the highlight of the movie and the best fight sequence in the series. But that’s after a hour in a 75 min movie. After this the movie ends at a weird abrupt moment. All with all this the best written, but also the least entertaining entry in the series. It groovy 70s score gives it some more 70s genre film credits.
P.S. sol just had a heart attack that they called the fourth entry Fifth Level Fist
7. Ai-naki mori de sakebe [The Forest of Love] (2019, Sion Sono): 8.2 - Described by many as an aggregation of all the usual Sono elements. The first half is a touching portrait of two girls affected by a tragedy. I think this half is stylistic the most interesting part of the movie. The second half (after Joe Murata takes over the film production) it conveys very well how it's to be trapped in an abusive relationship. Joe Murata is extremely repulsive, but like the characters I felt trapped by him. In many similar movies I often get agitated by the protagonist about why they don't step out of this relationship. But in this one I rationally I understood also that this would be the correct move, but emotionally felt as trapped by him.
Watching these three movies from Sono does make clear for me why I like and admire him as a director, but besides this hadn't favorited any yet: I think Sono is a much, much better director than a writer. In his best movies he's able to overcome the flaws in his plots by creating an emotional impact or an audiovisual experience, but in his lesser movies his weak writing skills do show.
1. Onna hissatsu ken [Sister Street Fighter] (1974, Kazuhiko Yamaguchi) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0073714/
2. Onna hissatsu ken: kiki ippatsu [Sister Street Fighter 2: Hanging By A Thread] (1974, Kazuhiko Yamaguchi) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0183704/
3. Kibô no kuni [The Land of Hope] (2012, Sion Sono) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2283017