2018 Volume 100 Pages 92-111
The Japanese Nikkatsu film studio produced signature action films during the 1960s, which critics later termed New Action. The new decade, though, brought a watershed moment in 1971: Nikkatsu initiated the creation of soft-core pornographic films called Roman-Porno. While this new cinematic vehicle marked a transition in content, there was a sense of continuity between Nikkatsu New Action and Roman- Porno. This article focuses on the films of Hasebe Yasuharu, one of the defining New Action directors, who continued working at Nikkatsu to make Roman-Porno films. Regardless of narrative differences, Hasebe was able to incorporate New Action features in his films while the studio employed their previous tradition of production and distribution to produce hit films. The result of this business and creative model was successful to a degree and served to prolong the Japanese studio system, however, this strategy had limitations.