Poster - Saiyuki (Toei Doga, 1960)
Here's something I noticed about Saiyuki, and it's the same thought I had when watching Wanpaku no Orochi Taiiji/Little Prince and the Eight-Headed Dragon - These movies play out like video games. There's a hero on a quest, there's a definite level progression, with increasing abilities and super-powers, and there are ferocious boss fights. Heck, in Saiyuki, once Goku the Monkey King defeats a couple foes, they become his allies and fight alongside him. It's all very Castlevania, isn't it?
I wouldn't at all be surprised if Japanese video game designers were using old Toei Doga movies as reference points. It does make sense, when you think about it, and Japanese games always had an anime influence, while American video games were influenced by Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and sports, sports, sports!
Here's the movie poster for Saiyuki, Toei's third animated feature. Tell me this wouldn't make a great video game...that is, if the games business was still interested in making actual video games, and not 3D gimmicks or "interactive movies" - a dumping ground for failed filmmakers. Yuck. Of course, I'm probably betraying my age by making this argument. I have a Sega Genesis and Sega Saturn sitting on my desk, hooked up to the computer monitor. I'd much rather have a Gameboy Advance SP than Nintendo's new 3DS (the 3D hurts my eyes). And I think Saiyuki would make a pretty cool oldschool arcade game - in glorious 2D, of course.
There, I found something new to say about a movie poster. Like it?