The Glamorous Life of Sachiko Hanai
(Hatsujo kateikyoshi: sensei no aijiru) (2003)
Directed by Mitsuru Meike

Artistic Value: * * ½
Entertainment Value: * * * *

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After servicing one client (and inspiring him to dowse her with a torrent of his ejaculate), Sachiko Hanai (Emi Kuroda), an attractive young prostitute who specializes in pretending to be a home tutor, goes to a cafe to meet a second client. Instead of doing so, she ends up being shot in the forehead by a North Korean agent when a deal he was making with another man goes wrong, though not before she finds a mysterious metal cylinder that had been dropped on the floor by the latter individual. Somehow, Sachiko survives the attack, stumbles out onto the street, and is picked up by a policeman, who takes the girl home and has sex with her. Once this protector of the public has ejaculated onto the semi-conscious Sachiko's face and left her, she staggers into the bathroom, looks in the mirror, and notices the gaping wound under her bangs. Naturally, she jabs a pencil into the hole, pushing the bullet lodged within deeper into her brain and so causing damage that transforms her into a nymphomaniac genius who is erotically stimulated by metaphysical speculations and the writings of Noam Chomsky. Having discovered her new intellectual prowess (while perusing a book being sold by a roadside vendor, in front of whom she squats as she reads, allowing him to ogle her white panties), Sachiko goes on to seduce and move in with a married college professor and to have sex with his son (while tutoring him). Meanwhile, the Korean agent who shot Sachiko realizes that she has the cylinder his erstwhile associate dropped and starts hunting for her. Before he can find her, however, she learns that this contains the cloned finger of George Bush, which can be used to launch America's nuclear arsenal and so start a world war, and resolves to thwart the wicked plans of those who desire to obtain the thing.

Whatever its shortcomings, Mitsuru Meike's The Glamorous Life of Sachiko Hanai is entertaining. It is weird, sleazy, goofy, and consistently fun to watch.


There are a great many bizarre elements in the film. In addition to being a spy thriller about a prostitute acquiring a cloned duplicate of George Bush's finger, it includes gun fights, chases, scenes of the heroine climaxing as a result of engaging in philosophical discussions, portrayals of her sometimes hallucinatory adventures, and other oddities besides these. The Glamorous Life of Sachiko Hanai is never boring.

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What is more, the director revels in his depictions of his heroine's physical charms and her sexual adventures. Her amorous escapades constitute a large part of the film's duration, and they are integral to what The Glamorous Life of Sachiko Hanai is, a naughty, but always softcore, peepshow. In different scenes, the viewer is shown Sachiko servicing several clients, wandering about naked, seducing a middle aged professor, a teenaged boy, and a North Korean agent, and being assaulted (and vaginally penetrated) by George Bush's cloned finger (while a television appears from nowhere and displays a man wearing a mask of the president, who proceeds to praise the "Bush technique").


In spite of its virtues, I will confess that The Glamorous Life of Sachiko Hanai is never really stunning. The narrative is silly, but it is not inspired, and the sex is fun, but it is rarely alive with a raw sensuality. Additionally, the movie is visually pedestrian throughout. Although it is not poorly filmed, it never provides the viewer with any gorgeous or memorable images.

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Lastly, I should add that while Emi Kuroda hardly shows herself to be a great actress, she does acquit herself well. She is physically attractive and proves to have real energy as a performer. Not only is she always sexy, and provides her character with a poignant sensuality, but she is silly enough to give her sexual presence a comedic quality. The character is simultaneously seductive and weird. She is, consequently, always entertaining to watch.


I will not claim that The Glamorous Life of Sachiko Hanai is a great film. It is not. Nor will I claim that is anything other than a loopy softcore adventure. It is. I will, however, say that it is pretty entertaining and sometimes fairly inventively realized.

Review by Keith Allen


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