They ain’t afraid of no 32-year-old arrangements.
With roughly two weeks to go until its U.S. premiere, the Ghostbusters reboot remains a divisive film in the West, with most of its detractors citing casting differences from the 1984 original or stale comedy in the new film’s trailers as the reasons for their preemptive disappointment. Meanwhile, Japan is treating the new Ghostbusters much like any other, less polarizing summer blockbuster.
Maybe it’s because decades of seeing single-sex anime and video game combat teams make an all-female Ghostbusters corps less of a talking point in Japanese pop culture. Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd also don’t have anywhere near the level of popularity and recognition in Japan as they do in the West, and Japanese comedy tropes being different from American ones mean the jokes in the reboot’s previews probably don’t seem as tired as they do to some U.S. moviegoers.
In any case, the original Ghostbusters isn’t a sacred cinema cow in Japan. Nonetheless, four female Japanese comedians have come together to make a promotional music video for the reboot that’s pretty faithful to its original source material, since it uses the same arrangement for the Ghostbusters theme as the 1984 movie’s.
Starring, and singing, in the video are comedians Yukiko Tomochika, Naomi Watanabe, Oniyakko Tsubaki, and Shizuyo Yamasaki. While the official theme song for the 2016 film is a heavily reworked cover by rock band Fall Out Boy, the Japanese promotional video sticks with the brassy synth pop composed by Ray Parker Jr. that overran radio stations in 1984, albeit with a mix of English and Japanese lyrics on top of it.
▼ Fall Out Boy’s version
Old-school purists will be happy to see that the only paranormal weaponry used is the proton pack, with no pistols or punching gauntlets to be found, despite the fact that Yamasaki is a trained and licensed boxer.
▼ Another nod to the franchise’s roots is the readout of “1984” on the packs’ digital display.
Among those enjoying the Japanese cover: Ghostbusters reboot director Paul Feig, who recently tweeted about it.
I couldn't love this more. I had no idea they had even made this but I'm so happy they did. So much fun. twitter.com/gbnewsdotcom/s…—
Paul Feig (@paulfeig) June 28, 2016
As is so often the case with American movies, Japan is getting the new Ghostbusters later than the U.S., as it doesn’t open here until August 19. At least fans have something to watch (plus eat) while they wait, though.
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[ Read in Japanese ]