Image from: Spin Serpent.
According to the official website, The Mystical Laws is a movie that predicts the future; it is “prophecy.” We are told that the events happen in the year “202X” which means any of these events could happen in that ten year span of time. Which is wonderful, because that gives them a ten-year leeway to work with. What do I mean? Well, I could create a prophecy and then say, “This will happen in the year 2XXX!” I just gave myself more than 900 years to work with (2014-2999). Awesome! This prophesy stuff is easy. This is, of course, assuming that any of the prophecy in this movie is ever going to happen.
Let’s go straight into it: none of what happens in this movie will ever happen, not in ten years, not in a hundred years, not in a million years. The movie begins with China being taken over by a man named Tathagata Killer (“Killer” is his last name!) with the help of someone named Leika Chan. Leika Chan is an alien that possesses technology 1,000 years ahead of humanity’s. Seeing as the creators claim this film is a prophecy, they are literally predicting that China will be taken over by aliens in 10 years. They actually believe this shit.
It gets even crazier. On the film’s official website, there is this little snippet,
One of the most evil events in the memory of the human race must be the ambitions of world domination by dictator Adolf Hitler. The Swastika-bearing devil’s ambitions were defeated many decades ago and the tyrant died too. Yet, the devil had not. What if the present central figure of China has been possessed by Hitler’s spirit…?
Words were bolded by me, everything else is exactly as present on the website. It is very strange that the website asks that question, when later on it says that the film is prophetic. Well, what is it? Is this a “what if” film or a prophetic film? Inconsistencies aside, the website claims that this film is prophetic. And, as you can clearly see, this film predicts that in ten years the leader of China is going to be possessed by Hitler’s spirit. Just… WHAT?
This is not a joke. If you think it is, it is not. This film is serious. The people that made this movie are serious. They seriously think that China is going to be taken over by a man possessed by Hitler’s spirit with the help of aliens. Within the next ten years.
What we have talked about so far does not even scratch the surface of how crazy this movie gets. What is the explanation, though? Who the hell made this, and for what purpose? The Mystical Laws is the product of IRH Press, a publishing company based in Tokyo. IRH Press is the publishing, broadcasting, and film portion of the religious organization “Happy Science.” What the hell is Happy Science, you ask? Get a load of this…
According to Happy Science’s official website, the religion of Happy Science is centered around a god named El Cantare. El Cantare is the “Lord, Buddha and Savior,” as the website puts it. It later goes on to say that El Cantare is the Lord of all people, which incidentally includes “Jesus Christ, Moses, Confucius and others, who are known as Angels, Archangels, Tathagatas, and Bodhisattvas.” You hear that? El Cantare is the Lord of Jesus Christ! In other words, El Cantare transcends and even rules Jesus Christ!
But it gets even better. Not only is El Cantare all-powerful and the rightful lord of all humans, El Cantare reveals himself through humans. “And who,” you ask, “has he revealed himself through in our modern times?” Well, that question is fucking easy! Obviously, El Cantare has revealed himself through the founder of Happy Science, Ryuho Okawa. Ryuho Okawa is actually a rather successful author, with an impressive over 500 books published. From my impression, they seem to be mostly spiritual self-help books. Luckily for us all, Happy Science has not yet reached Scientology levels of religious fervor and violence; they mostly preach love and tolerance. Which is fine.
But is that really what this movie is about? Not really. It does talk about love and tolerance, but after some research I get the feeling that Okawa does like not China and North Korea at all. In an article by David McNeill, he gives us a good overview of Happy Science. He also talks about the political views of Happy Science:
Offering what it calls a “third choice,” the Happies have an eye-catching manifesto: multiply Japan’s population by 2 1/2 to 300 million and make it the world’s No. 1 economic power, and rapidly rearm for conflict with North Korea and China. If elected, the party’s lawmakers will invite millions of foreigners to work here, inject religion into all areas of life, and fight to overcome Japan’s “colonial” mentality, which has “fettered” the nation’s true claim to global leadership.
The religion, and the movie itself, puts heavy emphasis on accepting others. Which is fine and everything, but when you consider their hostility towards China and North Korea and their desire to use immigration as a means to make Japan powerful, it reveals a new perspective. Is all of this mumbo jumbo super charged Japanese nationalism? Is the movie’s insistence that we accept others simply an attempt at making Japan the most powerful country on the world, through immigration? Considering that, I am convinced that this movie was aimed solely at a Japanese audience; that the Japanese should tolerate immigrants, because it will make Japan powerful. We’ll talk about this a little later, because there is a movie to talk about.
Let’s get back to the film. It basically follows a man named Sho Shishimaru, a doctor working for Earths Doctors, a cover-up for a secret organization named Hermes Wings. I do not exactly know what this organization does, but apparently they fight the Godom Empire. The Godom Empire is China ruled by ghost Hitler with the help of aliens. The Godom Empire is on a mission to conquer the world, and all nations (including the United States) are helpless to stop them.
Again, we have a political statement: the Americans cannot defend Japan. The film cites the decrease in military spending by the United States as the primary reason as to why the USA cannot fight back. This is an actual political position of the party, as stated in the article:
“We can’t keep depending on the U.S. and the rest of the world. We have to stand up for ourselves.”
So, because China is evil and wants to conquer the world, Japan gets conquered because those pesky Americans are helpless against alien technology!
But the implication is even greater. They profess love and tolerance not for its own sake, but so that Japan can go to war with China and North Korea without the aid of the USA. Going to war with China is a key policy of this political party. They want Japan to be rearmed. They want Japan to replace the USA as the world’s superpowers. Which is fine, but they sugar coat all of this under love of their fellow humans. It’s disgusting.
As it turns out, Sho Shishimaru is the reincarnation of Siddhartha Gautama, according to these ancient scrolls that some Indian monks found. Well, as I learned through research, he is actually not only Buddha, but also the reincarnation of El Cantare. Buddha was also one of them, as was the Incan King Rient Arl Croud, Hermes, Ophealis, La Mu of the Mu continent, and Thoth of Atlantis.
Here we have a look at Japanese-centrism: the main character, Sho Shishimaru, is Japanese and the savior of civilization. The Indian monks claim that he’s going to save all of humanity (from the Chinese and Koreans), but really the movie only cares about him saving Japan. Most of the movie happens there, and it doesn’t help that he only speaks Japanese. Japanese-centrism, everyone.
This film seems to be aimed at someone that actually knows anything about Happy Science, because it is fucking confusing as hell and it does whatever it wants. Characters are revealed as aliens with little to no foreshadowing, things happen because the plot demands it, and nothing is ever really explained as to why certain things are the way they are. For instance, perhaps my favorite part of the movie is when an alien reveals to the main character that one of the ancient “gods of the Earth” was in fact an Incan King called Rient Arl Croud. What? An Incan King? Why? Just by watching the movie, you will never know why an Incan King was once the god of Earth. I actually learned why by researching about Happy Science. As it turns out, El Cantare had revealed himself to Rient Arl Croud over 7,000 years ago. They never say this in the film. This shit happens all the time in this movie.
Aliens play a pretty prominent role in this film as well. Numerous characters are revealed to be aliens, and as it turns out, the root cause of all this chaos was because of aliens. Aliens tried to migrate to the planet Earth during the time of Rient Arl Croud. He agreed to let them live on Earth, with conditions, but unfortunately these aliens brought with them destructive weapons. The Godom Empire possesses that weapon, by the way. What is that weapon called? Hilariously, it is called the “ultimate destructive weapon.” Well, that’s straight-forward! The aliens brought these with them, for whatever reason. Sho Shishimaru has to stop the Godom Empire from using this weapon and killing out all of humanity.
As the reincarnation of El Cantare, Sho Shishimaru also has visions of the future. This bit gets a little confusing, because the film establishes that he cannot change the future. Vision about Japan being invaded? Can’t change it! Visions about someone getting killed? Can’t change it! Visions about you being chased? Can’t… wait, did he just evade those guys? In one scene, he has a vision about being chased by pursuers. He successfully evades them. Why was he able to change that vision, but not the others?
This Sho Shishimaru guy is something else, though. He doesn’t really do anything in the movie. He listens. And meditates. And stares. And talks. And that’s it. Every single time he has tried to accomplish something, he’s failed. Tried to infiltrate the base? Oops, I failed! Try to save this one guy? Failed again! It’s a wonder why he is such a big deal. He talks about love and tolerance and all that shit. Does he actually defeat the Godom Empire? No. Servants do that for him. Does he stop the “ultimate destructive weapon” from killing all of humanity? No. Someone else does that for him. Other people save the day, then he takes the spotlight and preaches about love and tolerance and shit, and then everyone says that he is so great for whatever the fuck reason. Pisses me the fuck off. Goddamn fuckhead.
The Mystical Laws is just one long-ass two hour exposition dump. Every single fucking opportunity they get, they start explaining the beliefs of Happy Science. Eventually the movie just becomes an alternating pattern of plot twist, exposition, plot twist, exposition, and so on. It’s just so goddamn fucking tiring. EXPOSITION, EXPOSITION, EXPOSITION. YOU KNOW THAT GUY? HE’S AN ALIEN! EXPOSITION! OH WHO’S RIENT ARL CROUD! KING OF THE INCAS? EXPOSITION! OH YOU KNOW THAT GIRL? EXPOSITION! SHE’S AN ALIEN! EXPOSITION! OH WHY ARE THERE ALIENS? OH WAIT THAT GUY ALIEN IS AN ALIEN TOO! EXPOSITION! SPACE SHIPS!
FUCK THIS SHIT.
Sigh… let’s move on. Visually, well, the film is OK. The CGI is pretty bad, and it looks like something pulled out of a PS2 game. The action sequences are a snore fest, and they seem to be there just to lengthen the time of the movie. I will admit that it does look better than I would expect. I don’t know how they managed to get this film made, though. The Mystical Laws was directed by Isamu Imakake, which is surprising considering he has worked as a key animator for series such as Neon Genesis Evangelion and Cowboy Bebop. He has also directed another film written by Ryuho Okawa, called The Laws of Eternity. That makes me wonder what their relationship is like.
The music was done by Yuichi Mizusawa, who has mostly worked with Ryuho Okawa in the past. He has worked on The Final Judgment and The Golden Laws. I do not think I will ever watch those two movies. I did not notice the music at all in The Mystical Laws, so that says what I think about the music.
Art direction was provided by Masaaki Kawaguchi. Interestingly, he has worked on a few of the Doraemon films and Shin-chan. It is very strange to go from Doraemon to… this.
Is there anything good about this movie? I don’t even think so. I think even saying, “this film was animated,” is offensive. Even so, I think the only good thing to come out of this film was actually found on the website:
We believe that animation film has great power to send out important messages, and it is grand possibility of animation
Fuck you. This movie is a damn lie. “Love and tolerance” my ass! The real message is, “love and tolerate immigrants, so that Japan can go to war with China!” That’s the real fucking moral of this movie! They don’t give a shit about anyone else; these guys want Japan to rule the world. That’s the real goal. The savior of human civilization? Japanese! Love and tolerance? Come to our country and make it strong so we can wage war with our neighbors!
Is this movie really prophetic? This movie basically says to its (Japanese) audience, “If you don’t accept immigrants, Japan will be conquered by China!” Is that the true prophecy?
Warmongers have taken love and tolerance as their banner. This movie is not retarded; this movie is dangerous.