Angel Guts: Nami (1979) from Tuna

Angel Guts: Nami (1979) is the third installment of the Nikkatsu Corporation's Angel Guts series based on the Manga series of Takashi Ishii. This series, and a brief history of Japanese soft-core porn is covered in the review of Red Porno.  Ishii again wrote the screenplay for this one

This is the first time in the series that the story revolves completely around the character of Nami, played this time by Eri Kanuma. Nami is a feature writer for a popular woman's magazine, and is doing a series on the aftermath of rape on victims. Not only is the public response positive, but her editors are impressed, as she interviews one rape victim after another. The only people not in love with the idea are the victims and Nami herself, who is beginning to be creeped out by the whole thing. However, her job makes her a very lucky, financially independent woman, not at all common in 1979 Japan, where most women lived at home until they married. As is usual in these films, the recurring characters of Nami and Tetsuro form a relationship and try to reach some sort of redemption. 

In the UK, these films had severe censorship problems due to the mix of sex and violence. Japanese censors have a completely different take on it, forbidding pubic hair and genitals, but permitting the graphic portrayal of any extreme combination of sex and violence. We see more rapes in this film than any other in the series, one of which includes an autopsy-like incision in a nurses stomach, as her rapist/doctor wants to "see her guts." This sounds very bizarre to the Western ear, but they ascribe to the guts what we ascribe to the heart. In Japanese figurative speech, all emotion and feelings are in the guts.

Reviewers see this plot as one of the easiest to follow in the series, and some of the imagery this time is lovely. It was directed by Noboru Tanaka, who started as a French major, and discovered that he liked writing poetry more than prose, because he could create many mental images from a few words chosen well. It then occurred to him that cinema would work the same way, but with pictures.



  • Available Subtitles: English
  • Available Audio Tracks: Japanese 
  • High School Co-ed, Red Classroom, Nami, Red Porno, Red Vertigo
  • Seven exclusive director's interviews
  • Five feature-length commentaries
  • Original sleeve art
  • Original trailers
  • Bios/filmographies


Breasts from Megu Kawashima, Tokuko Watanabe, Machike Ohtani, and an unidentified actress

The Critics Vote ...

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The People Vote ...

The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

Our own guideline:

  • A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre.
  • B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. In order to rate at least a B-, a film should be both a critical and commercial success. Exceptions: (1) We will occasionally rate a film B- with good popular acceptance and bad reviews, if we believe the critics have severely underrated a film. (2) We may also assign a B- or better to a well-reviewed film which did not do well at the box office if we feel that the fault lay in the marketing of the film, and that the film might have been a hit if people had known about it. (Like, for example, The Waterdance.)
  • C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by people who enjoy this kind of movie. If this is your kind of movie, a C+ and an A are indistinguishable to you.
  • C means it is competent, but uninspired genre fare. People who like this kind of movie will think it satisfactory. Others probably will not.
  • C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie, but genre addicts find it watchable. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film, but films with this rating should be approached with caution by mainstream audiences, who may find them incompetent or repulsive or both. If this is NOT your kind of movie, a C- and an E are indistinguishable to you.
  • D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-. Films rated below C- generally have both bad reviews and poor popular acceptance.
  • E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre.
  • F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.


Based on this description, this is a C. While I didn't like this one as much as Red Vertigo or Red Classroom, it is still a solid C.

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