Starring: Akiko Yajima, Miyuki Sawashiro, Miki Narahashi
Director: Masakazu Hashimoto
Running Time: 103 mins
Crayon Shin-chan: Invasion!! Alien Shiriri is a Japanese film and the twenty-fifth in the Crayon Shin-chan series. After an alien crash lands on the Nohara family’s roof, Hiroshi and Misae are turned into children. In order to get back to normal and bring the alien home, the family must cross Japan to find the location of the alien’s father.
I had good fun with this film. It may not be as effortlessly hilarious as the original TV show, but as far as a light-hearted and fun-loving comedy goes, this wasn’t all that bad. With a really fun road trip story that works brilliantly for the most part, great voice performances, and an utterly juvenile sense of humour that’s actually quite entertaining throughout, there’s a lot to enjoy about this film.
Let’s start on the humour. The original Crayon Shin-chan TV series isn’t really a kids’ show, even though it may look like it and is in truth very popular with kids in Japan. However, the show often uses a lot of much darker humour than you’d expect in a kids’ show.
That isn’t quite the case with this movie. While there are still numerous darker and more adult jokes that you can get a kick out of, this is a lot more family-oriented than the original show. For the most part, the comedy consists of little more than bum jokes from start to finish.
Let me expand on that. The film follows an alien (whose name ‘Shiriri’ is a play on the Japanese word for bum), travelling across Japan seeking refuge in Shinnosuke’s pants, leaving him with a bloated behind throughout. Along with that, Shinnosuke is all too happy to show his bum even more than usual and at even more ridiculous opportunities, the aliens are designed to have bum-shaped heads, and the word bum is thrown about way more than you could ever imagine.
And yet, it’s not actually as annoying as you’d think. While it’s by no means an intelligent way to do comedy, and it doesn’t stand up against the original series’ wit, I have to say that I enjoyed the innocent nature of that line of humour throughout the movie. With its incredibly fun-loving atmosphere from start to finish, and its more family-friendly vibe, 100 minutes of bum jokes didn’t actually feel like much of a problem, and I smiled and grinned like a mad 4 year old right the way through because of just that.
Moving onto the story, which was another surprisingly impressive part of this movie. In effect, the alien is just there to add something a little different into the mix, and the main focus of this story is the road trip across Japan. From their hometown in Kasukabe to the very south of the country, it’s the combination of the Nohara family all together in a ridiculous situation that’s great fun to watch.
All of the characters work just as well as they do in the TV show, the voice performances are as fantastic as ever, and even when they’re not always on top comedic form, watching these characters in such an easy-going and fun-loving story was great fun for me, and it kept me hugely entertained for over an hour of this movie.
The big issue with this film comes in its final act, which is very poor in comparison to the opening two-thirds. Switching from the fun vibes of the road trip to a more generic sci-fi adventure finale, the film really loses its entertainment value in something a lot less interesting and a lot more stale. Whilst the first two-thirds showed development in the characters and their relationships, nothing really happens in the final act, and although it’s just as fun and silly a concept as the rest of the movie, it’s a very underwhelming finish to an otherwise very enjoyable movie, and that’s why I’m giving Crayon Shin-chan: Invasion!! Alien Shiriri a 7.3 overall.