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Nympho Diver: G-String Festival

Review by: 
Sinferno
Release Date: 
1981
Studio: 
Impulse
Genre: 
Sexploitation
Format: 
DVD
Region: 
1 NTSC
Aspect Ratio: 
2.35:1
Directed by: 
Atsushi Fujiura
Cast: 
Eri Anzai
Rima Aono
Kazuyo Ezaki
Movie: 
3
Extras: 
2
Bottom Line: 
3

During the 1970’s while American cult film lovers were frequenting the Grindhouse and drive-in scenes, in Japan, Nikkatsu was making a name for itself with its “Roman Porno” erotic line. Between 1971 and 1989 the studio released over a thousand “Pink Cinema” films, and now thanks to Impulse pictures, those of us in America are finally going to get to see (at least 25 of) them for the first time.  Subtitled, chock full of half-naked Asian cuties and filled with all manner of bizarre Japanese fetishism, let us examine this collection in order of release and see if American audiences have a “yen” for this sort of thing?

The Japanese Sea Woman (or ama) is part of a rich Japanese islander heritage dating back 2000 years. Known for their ability to dive up to 25 meters and stay underwater for over two minutes at a time without modern equipment, they have long provided women with an ability to provide for their families by not only finding seaweed, shellfish, and sea urchin, but precious abalone sea snails whose shells are prized throughout the world. Yet it may not just be their lung capacity (at least not directly) that has made them a tourist attraction and contributed most to their local economies; The traditional garb for a Japanese diver girl is a fundoshi (loincloth), a Bandanna (tenugui) to bind their hair, and little else.  For years, this has made them the darlings of natural R-rated nudity and the stars of a certain dog eared National Geographic magazine I remember fondly when I was an impressionable young lad.  Of course, the use of modern diving suits in the 70s and modern conservation laws forever changed the allure and the affluence of the female sea diver, but there can be no doubt that it is an occupation both steeped in legend, tradition, and, more importantly for my purposes here today, much eroticism.

Volume 7 of Impulse's ongoing Nikkatsu series is entitled NYMPHO DIVER: G-STRING FESTIVAL, and it details the story of a small fishing village who needs more diving girls. The village's aged mayor sends his son off to acquire some from Tokyo, looking for women who can fit his detailed job description of having “nice, jiggly asses”. I laughed derisively at this sexist job description, but the joke was on me, for, in the next scene, five qualified recruits had already arrived on the island, which either says something about certain physical aspects of Asian women, or the shamelessness of Nikkatsu Pink Cinema flicks.  In my expert opinion, it's probably a little bit of both.

I want to say there is a plot here - the same touching “save the mill from foreclosure with sexy antics” story that is inherent in hundreds of American comedic sex romps - but, in the film's 69 minute running time, there are ten sex scenes, so any hope of a decent story is all but lost by the time you hear the third Japanese girl giggle impishly ( the only part of the movie that evades subtitling and yet warrants none). Not to say that there isn’t a plot, but it is steeped in madness. Nabuo has lured Midori, an attractive young diving girl, to the island under the guise of marriage. However, he has also promised his hand to Nao, the daughter of a “seemingly” stern traditionalist mother. If this seems complicated or cliché, it isn’t, because everyone in this film gets it on with everyone else in particularly bizarre impromptu circumstances disguised as sex scenes which tease the libido and yet hurt the head. 

I will go on record here and say that this is probably the kindest-hearted Nikkatsu “Pink Cinema” flick I have seen thus far, but it shouldn’t necessarily discourage sleaze bees.  I am merely saying that, for the first time in this series, there is no urination, coercion, or pervasive violence.  There is a "mild" rape scene (if one can call it such a thing), but two rival women form an unlikely bond to seek revenge on the perpetrator, providing the only moment of fulfillment in the film that doesn't resolve in a sudden close-up of a cute Asian woman’s "O" face.

I put O in quotes, because, as is the case with all films in this series, there is no actual full frontal nudity (which is illegal in Japan to this day), but, in  the case of this film, there is also no blur;  just a masterful litany of close-up camera angles that all but challenge you not to imagine what is being done. Remarkably, the biggest editing snafu in my opinion, had nothing to do with state sponsored censorship edicts, but simple logic.  I find it terribly ironic that a film which is all about the historical seafaring occupation of Ana contains no footage of “Sea Women” whatsoever. There is however, an incident involving “Sea Men” (at least when pronounced phonetically), but as usual, who can be certain with such carefully obstructive camera work during the final moments of a scene.

I am going to give Nymphodiver three skulls, because, for the first time in this series, we have a film that may actually appeal to the more moderate porn purveyors who think that seeing Asian women in various stages of undress and unrated caress is exotic enough without breaking the laws of an Unrated rating or suffering all manner of war crimes onscreen as defined by Amnesty International. 

Original Theatrical Trailer? Liner notes By Jasper Sharp? You betcha, it’s got em’.

NYMPHO DIVER: G-STRING FESTIVAL is released on September 11. Special Thanks to Impulse Pictures for the advance copy.

 
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