Japan | 1981
Directed by Atsushi Fujiura
Eri Anzai
Rima Aono
Maria Mari
Color | 69 Minutes | Not Rated
Format: DVD†(R1 - NTSC)
Impulse Pictures
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Review by
Doug Red

In American film and television, there is an undeniable allure for the gaze of the camera lens in the direction of beach scenery and a beautiful woman. Baywatch's Pam Anderson running in slow motion as gravity works its magic against her legendary figure. Statuesque Ursula Andress emerging from the sea as Honey Ryder like the Lady Colossus of Rhodes in Dr. No, as the raised-eyebrow James Bond looks on in swelling appreciation. Halle Berry's bikini-fueled romp forty years later similarly delighted another James Bond in 2002ís Die Another Day, showing how some things are timeless in the cultural sense. However, there is another international tradition from Japan of the Ama diver, beautiful free-diving women whose quest for pearls armed with only a knife and a loincloth has captivated Japanese erotic imagination for years. Taking advantage of this rich tradition of wet 'n' wild beauties is director Atsushi Fujiura's 1981 comic Roman porno Nympo Diver: G-String Festival.
    The storyline of Nympho Diver revolves around a clever plot hatched by a small town whose sole middle age Ama diver is not bringing in much tourist business into the town, and isn't doing much for anybody's libido either. The horn-dog town fathers send the mayorís son to recruit a new field of fetching young things to become a new group of Ama divers, whose presence will hopefully revitalize the tourist economy, and maybe even provide some fringe benefits to the aging male population. Sonny boy is able to recruit five young women who are up to the task. Negami Masago is a bespectacled Velma from Scooby Doo, a college student. Long drink of water Nishimoto Tomoko is part of the ground self-defense force. Cute Nakanishi Miki is an art photographer whose photography session will remind audiences of either Blow Up or Austin Powers, depending on their age. Older woman Oozawa Akemi is a massage parlor worker, experienced in the ways of love. The final recruit, and the cutest of all, is Nonaka Midori (Eri Anzai, with pixie cute features and a well-proportioned jiggly bosom), a stewardess, who is returning to her home town and the Ama diver gig with the promise that the mayor's son will marry her. Of course, the mayor's son is a lying dog who is two timing Midori-san with another local girl, and tripling-timing the both of them with another woman who indulges his secret forbidden fantasy too shocking to contemplate. The stage is thus set for a serious of comic interludes as the girls learn about how to be Ama divers as well as get into various romantic entanglements which include a soapy bubble body-bumping rendezvous, sex in cars, masked backdoor banditry, late night masturbation sessions trying not to wake everybody up, taking a turn with the pizza delivery guy after getting a sunburn lotion rubdown, and even a cat-fight in the mud with a little more slap than tickle.
    Nympo Diver: G-String Festival is one of the more joyful of the Nikkatsu erotic offerings, particularly the first three-fourths of the film. Sex isn't seen as obscene; merely something that everybody wants and is on the make to get. Things only turn a bit darker at the end when lovely Nonaka Midori realizes she was used, at least as far as her impending marriage goes. Even that part of the storyline comes out as being fairly humane and understandable, and it's the loss of love that is the most important to Midori. The rest of the film revels in fun sexuality and amusing situations, one of the best being the actual G-string festival that features the Ama girls piloting a float shaped remarkably like a woman's vagina through the streets of the town, as they seek to be reunited with the men's float that is shaped to look like a stubby erection. You've got cute girls, horny guys, and a fun situation that should put a smile on any audience as the gangs of men and women dance with their float, then lead to the inevitable Big Bang between their sexual totems. For a film about nympho divers though, the film was surprisingly light on actual Ama sequences of topless diving or underwater lovemaking, but maybe the rocky cost proved to be too much a barrier to shoot a quality sex scene there.

Firing another volley in their ongoing explosive multi-disc releases of the Nikkatsu Erotic Films Collection, Impluse Picture's remastered Nympho Diver: G-String Festival looks as good as when it was released. The 2.35:1 (16x9) print presents every luscious moment of exposed female flesh in optimum clarity for today's televisions. The Japanese 2.0 mono soundtrack is clear, and the newly translated removable English subtitles allows for a solid understanding of the story subtleties as the filmmakers intended (and a few funny turns of phrase like "they've got giggly asses"). Jasper Sharp again provides an informative essay (his longest yet by far) about the place of the Ama woman as film icon in Japan, including bon mots about the role they played in the first female nudity in Japanese film (the tame-by-modern-standards nude shots of the Russ Meyer-proportioned Michiko Maeda in Revenge of the Pearl Queen) and it's more modern derivations as a go-to for titillation. For such a well-realized piece, I was surprised he didn't mention the Ed Wood-penned, Japanese-filmed oddity Venus Flytrap (AKA The Revenge of Doctor X), which features an amazing topless Ama diver sequence in it. The other extra on the disc is the original theatrical trailer. 10/03/12