Lorelei: The Witch of the Pacific Ocean

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Lorelei: The Witch of the Pacific Ocean
Directed byShinji Higuchi
Produced byChihiro Kameyama
Written byHarutoshi Fukui
Satoshi Suzuki
Music byNaoki Sato
CinematographyAkira Sato
Distributed byToho
Fuji TV
Release date
  • March 5, 2005 (2005-03-05)
Running time
128 minutes

Lorelei: The Witch of the Pacific Ocean (ローレライ, Rōrerai) is a 2005 Japanese film directed by Shinji Higuchi. A fictional story of the Japanese military saving Tokyo from the third atomic bomb during the waning days of the Second World War, it was the highest-grossing film in Japan during the week of its release.[1]

The story of "Lorelei", based on a best-selling novel written by Harutoshi Fukui, is a departure from the last 50 years of Japanese cinema by weaving a tale using a "what if" fictional narrative with a tip of the hat to modern manga storylines and styles.


In the last months of the Second World War, the Empire of Japan receives a final gift from the collapsing Nazi Germany: the I-507, a highly advanced submarine equipped with experimental technology.[2]

The mission, as revealed by the grim Chief of Staff Asakura (Shinichi Tsutsumi) following the Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, is to intercept U.S. ships transporting a third nuclear weapon to Tinian Island, the principal base from which American B-29s are striking the Japanese home Islands. The man charged with the mission is Commander Masami (Yakusho Kōji) - a brilliant destroyer of enemy ships relieved of his command when he opposed the Navy's increasing reliance on suicide tactics. Given a last chance to redeem himself, he is burning with zeal, but is ignorant of the various secrets the I-507 carries on board.

Once at sea, Lt. Takasu (Ken Ishiguro), the owlish technician in charge of the imaging system, refuses to tell Masami what it is or how it works. Masami also discovers that two crew members belong to the "kaiten" suicide corps. He has no idea why they are there, and neither, for the moment, do they.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Navy is tracking the I-507 with more than usual interest. A teenaged girl (Yu Kashi) is part of the master plan and one of the minisub pilots (Satoshi Tsumabuki) becomes her protector.



Supporting Cast


  1. ^ Groves, Don (2005-03-13). "'Hitch' finds perfect pitch in Germany". Variety. Retrieved 2008-12-06.
  2. ^ This bears a strong resemblance to the French submarine Surcouf and is equipped with imaging technology that is far in advance of the era's primitive Sonar technology.