Borne out of SBS’s 2015 ‘Comedy Runway’ initiative to find emerging talent and financed by Screenwest, Screen Australia and SBS, Top Knot Detective is your favourite cult 90’s samurai TV series that you’ve never heard of.*
Created by Aaron McCann and Dominic Pearce, Top Knot Detective is a cheesy Japanese love letter to Japanese V-Cinema TV shows and films which were broadcast on SBS in the early 90s.
Top Knot Detective is a mockumentary that tells the story of Sheimasu Tantei, an Edo era police officer turned Ronin/private detective on a never-ending road to vengeance after being framed for the murder of his Master.
In the early 90s this little known Japanese Samurai drama became a cult hit on Australian TV screens, having its first ever international screening right here on SBS.**
The series was legendary in its home country as being a cultural train-wreck, led by its insane writer/director/producer/lead actor Takashi Takamoto. He couldn’t act. He couldn’t fight. He had no idea how to write a TV show. But through selling out and pushing products for Japanese conglomerate, Sutaffu, he had the money to make himself into a star – or so he thought.***
Back in Japan, this tongue-in-cheek action-packed revenge story was known by its original title: 'Ronin Suiri Tantei' (translation: Deductive Reasoning Ronin) but behind the scenes lay a darker story, less silly but equally as disturbing that all revolved around the show's original creator: Takashi Takamoto. An eccentric pop star-turned-writer/director/actor, Takashi would do anything to hold onto his celebrity status… including murder.
Co-Directors Aaron McCann and Dominic Pearce have been in development and production of their debut feature for over three years.
Produced by Lauren Brunswick (Winner of the 2015 WA Young Filmmaker of the Year Award, 2015 Screen Producers Australia Ones To Watch) this film was shot mostly in Western Australia, with elements of principal photography taking place in Japan and Sydney.
With special guests; Lee Lin Chin, Des Mangan, Dario Russo, Travis Johnson and of ‘Wild Zero’ fame – Guitar Wolf! The film also includes numerous Japanese-Australian cast members; Toshi Okuzaki, Masa Yamaguchi and Mayu Iwasaki in the lead roles.
* You’ve never heard of it because this cult series never existed until this movie.
** This series hasn’t screened on SBS as it’s all part of this hilarious movie’s fictional storyline.
*** Still fictional.