There have been many movies made that involve insects. We all remember the animated Disney favorite, “A Bug’s Life.” Or how about the live-action classic “Eight Legged Freaks.”  Then there was a little-known film that mixed live-action with traditional animation, and they did so in a pretty cool way!

If you live outside of Japan then you might not have heard of this movie. It was never released in theaters but saw a VHS release in the 1990s. In 2019 the movie found its way to DVD care of Streamline Pictures. We are talking about

Twilight Of The Cockroaches

Twilight of the Cockroaches VHS

Twilight Of The Cockroaches (from Amazon) is a 1987 film directed by Hiroaki Yoshida. The movie combines scenes of live-action footage with animation in a strange but seamless blend between bug and human characters sharing a bachelor pad in Japan.

The story of the movie revolves around a sloppy single man named Saito and the colony of cockroaches living in his apartment. Since Saito is messy, the apartment is perfect for the home for that cockroaches to raise their families.

Saito has no interest in driving out the cockroaches.

Ichiro and Naomi are two cockroaches planning to get married when another roach named Hans enters the picture. Hans shows up injured and Naomi falls in love with him. When Hans leaves after getting better, Naomi leaves with him and does not let Ichiro know.

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This Is A Love Story (With Cockroaches)

Naomi spends time with Hans, meanwhile Saito (the owner of the flat) finds a new love interest in the apartment complex (Momoko) and they start dating.

From there it is a whirlwind, when Naomi gets back to Ichiro by hiding in Momoko’s purse. Naomi pretends not to remember what happened when she disappeared and things continue like normal.

And now with Saito dating Momoko, hes decides it’s time to clean up his muddle of a life a bit and that includes the roach motel he has been living in.

There Will Be Blood

Unfortunately for the cockroach couple, this all happens during the wedding of Naomi and Ichiro, and a slaughter occurs. Many cockroaches are killed, but Hans comes back to and sacrifices himself while helping Naomi and Ichiro escape the range of the insecticide spray. 

Ichiro and Naomi along with their children end up not being affected by the insecticides used to kill the other roaches.

You can’t ignore all the romance in the movie. Saito let things get so bad because of the depression from his family leaving him. He started caring when he started dating Momoko. But the romance didn’t just happen between the humans in the movie.

As with most love stories, things can get complicated. Naomi and Ichiro were a couple of cockroaches that planned on getting married.

Naomi fell in love with Hans when she first met him and Naomi had relations with both males. In the end, Hans sacrificed himself to rescue Naomi and Ichiro.

There Is Also A More Serious Message

While this was a movie about cockroaches being displaced from their living space, there is a more serious underlying message about society in Japan. The cockroaches can easily be interpreted as certain groups of people that might be of a different race or celebrate a different culture and the hostility towards those people in Japan.

So if cockroach love sounds like your thing but you don’t speak Japanese, don’t worry. The movie was dubbed in English and aired on networks: TBS, TNT, and Cartoon Network before it was released on VHS. These odd love stories may be worth checking out.

Last update on 2024-04-04 at 01:36 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API