MAZE☆Bakunetsu Jikuu: Tenpen Kyoui no Giant (partially found limited-time anime film sequel to series; 1998)
Chousekitan Maze☆Bakunetsu Jikuu, simply known as MAZE, is a Japanese fantasy-adventure manga series written by Satoru Akahori which follows a girl named Maze on her life and adventures in another fantasy world and whom by night, has an oddity to change into the opposite sex.. The manga series later received a two-episode OVA series, followed by a TV adaptation with the same name spanning 25 episodes, produced by J.C. Staff in 1997.
Apart from the TV series, a theatrical film following up the events from the series was also produced and made by the same studio. It was then released in Japanese cinemas on April 25th, 1998. Unfortunately, the film never had any physical or home video release and has never been seen outside of the original limited theatrical run.
The theatrical film, "MAZE☆Bakunetsu Jikuu: Tenpen Kyoui no Giant", was originally released in cinemas on April 25th, 1998, that reportedly has a runtime of 42 minutes, which came from a blog post review of the film when it was originally being test screened.
A short synopsis for the film from various sites, goes as follows:
An erotic short film that revolves around an ancient titan who leads everything to destruction, depicting the activities of the Maze and the Light Magicians. The director is Iku Suzuki, who has been in charge of the "MAZE" TV series. The script was written by Satoru Akahori himself, who is also the original author. It was shot by Katsuyuki Otaki of "Slayers Gureeto". The voice cast includes Kotono Miishi from "Neon Genesis Evangelion Theatrical Version" and Tomokazu Seki from "Doraemon: Nobita's Nankai Great Adventure".
Most of the information for the plot of the film comes from the latter blog post of a review of the film during its test screening. The website, Maze of The Haze, an archived fan site dedicated and containing mostly news about the MAZE franchise, gives us a brief rundown of the plot of the film, taken from the latter review for the film:
Long time ago, there was peace until the giants decide to wake up after years and years of slumber. The three priestesses, "The Del sisters", who were guarding their shrine had to retreat to seek help and who better to ask Maze for help. Obviously, Maze and company investigate the whole incident and they find themselves fighting against the giants. With the help of the shrine maidens, they finally save the fantasy world. The end.
The film also reportedly contained a lot of scenes that feature heavily uncensored nudity among its female characters, which is evident in how it was promoted in magazines, trailers, and advertisements.
The film was directed by Iku Suzuki, who also had directed the anime series, and was written by the author himself, Satoru Akahori. The cast for the film has the same voice actors that starred in the anime series reprising themselves with the characters they had originally voiced.
- Kotono Mitsuishi as Maze (female)
- Tomokazu Seki as Maze (male)
- Sakura Tange as Princess Mill Varna
- Aya Hisakawa as Jan Del
- Miki Nagasawa as Yun Del
- Omi Minami as Yon Del
Having no home media or physical release, footage from the film is incredibly scarce and hard to find. As of 2022, there are only two known videos with footage from the film that are available online. One is the official trailer for the film, which was uploaded to NicoNico in 2009, and another one was found in a commercial compilation from 1998 that contained a 13-second promo spot for the film, with additional scenes that were not on the trailer, that was also uploaded to NicoNico in 2010.
A petition was made and signed by various users for an official physical release of the MAZE movie back in 2005, but the petition never went anywhere. Aside from the promotional posters and known footage for the film, some of the songs in the soundtrack used for the film are also available online.
There had been beliefs that the film's master tapes were destroyed and/or thrown away due to the film and franchise's poor sales, but these are rumors that have yet to be confirmed, and no source for the master tapes being destroyed is reliable.
- LMW Forums about the film.
- A Yahoo! Japan thread asking about the film.
- MAL Thread about the film.
- Archived website for Maze of The Haze
- AniDB page for the film.
- HomeGamer blog post about MAZE.
- "Big Fight" - The movie soundtrack's single.
- Japanese Wikipedia page about the MAZE movie.
- MAZE Movie OST
- ↑ MAL Page for the MAZE manga
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 MAL Page for the MAZE anime series.
- ↑ MAL Page for the movie.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 Maze of The Haze's page on the movie
- ↑ J.C. Staff's listing of the film
- ↑ An archived of J.C. Staff's catalog from the 2000, that displays the MAZE film, that confirms it was released in Spring 1998
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 March 3, 1998: A review of the film that contains numerous information, plot, and details about the film, by K. Hattori.
- ↑ Eiga.com's move listing on MAZE movie
- ↑ Jorudan.co's listing on MAZE movie
- ↑ Allcinema's listing on MAZE movie
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 A blogpost containing various advertising posters for how the film was promoted in magazines; and two known videos with footage from the film.[NSFW]
- ↑ Iku Suzuki's wiki
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 13.5 13.6 ANN Article on the cast.
- ↑ Archived petition for a home media release of the film
- ↑ Archived eSnips page for the soundtrack of the film
- ↑ Blogpost about the film's masters being destroyed hypothesized by a now-deleted YouTube video.