“Mid-Summer Orion Constellation is visible (in the night sky). Dear Orion : lead the way for your loved ones, so that they will not lose the way back home – Shizuko Arisawa”

contrary to joyous Tripperary Song sung-along in Das Boot 1981, a slender school teacher (played by actress Keiko Kitagawa) presents this melancholy song note – which sounds like a Japanese elementary school music, to an aspiring young submarine captain (played by handsome model-and-singer Hiroshi Tamaki) as a protection amulet “omamori” to save his life in the course of the war .. and it does ! with his whole crew intact – minus one early-on .


Asahi Broadcasting Corporation, Destiny, Hakuhodo DY Media Partners, Kinoshita Management, Nippon Shuppan Hanbai, Shogakukan, TV Asahi, Toho Company, Video Audio Project and Zazou produced this Japanese motion picture “Mid-Summer Orion” in Japanese released in 2009 and English “Last Operation Under the Orion” in DVD and Bluray .

towards the end of World War ii in the Pacific Theatre after the main Japanese Navy is destroyed and even remaining last-resort of submarines out-of-contact (thus probably sunk), a Japanese submarine with four “Kaiten” (manned-suicide torpedoes) attached, is hunted by an American destroyer . with another Japanese submarine already downed-deep dying the slow-death losing Oxygen in the back-drop : after the first American Destroyer-to-Japanese submarine attack, the Japanese try to fool the Americans as if they sunk – by letting-off his dead comrade to float, along with the above song-note in a bottle – which the American ship captain soon picks-up to read himself..


this sub is too eventually hits the bottom of the sea (reminding of another classic American sci-fi submarine TV series) with a single torpedo left (of initial 14 intended to sink American oil tankers), after a cat-and-mouse chase . having fixed the sub somewhat, the Japanese captain deploys a cunning ploy to let-off TWO Kaiten torpedoes – for the American ship’s sonar to take it as the actual submarine taking-off, which they soon chase . there-after : the Japanese submarine rise to attact the American Destroyer, where their lone torpedoe hits in its rear Port-Side but short-of sinking it . the Japanese submarine does NOT have any power to submerge-again, so is now at the mercy of being blown-out to pieces by the American Destroyer . here all the sailors come up aboard, but instead of jumping-into the water to save their lives, they stand in-line reminiscent of the German U-Boat in the WWii submarine movie Das Boot proudly leaving port .

* * * SPOILER ALERT ! * * *

just as the American guns turn towards the Japanese sub, the Japanese see American sailors blowing-horn and rejoicing, to soon-after receive wire themselves that Japan has surrendered and the War is over . just like there always are death-wished fanatics left at such helpless situation as in the recent American WWii tank movie Fury 2014 : Japanese suicide submarine/torpedoe Kaiten pilot holds a pistol onto his submarine Captain “the screws should still turn . please turn towards the enemy ship . Japan is now finished . the country will become a disaster . to fight until the end, and to strike as many enemies as possible, is the true status of a soldier . else, I cannot face my comrades gone before us .”


then the Americans send-off light signals onto the Japanese at-mercy, which reads exactly the note attached (by his girlfriend above) to the italian Song in the beginning of this Post – instead of the usual “surrender or else..” and much unexpected the word Love would come-out of a war-time military light-signal . it is narrated in the end of the movie : that this note saved them-all, as they wouldn’t have known what would have happened, having been informed suddenly of the Official surrender – and only the lyrics made all realize the enemy was human too, with loved ones .


although real soldiers and civilians in the mist of this dreadful conflict would not have had moments to intrigue in such drama.. this is an Ode to such peace-loving movies, much like Kingdom of Heaven 2005 looking-back at endless cultural Worldly wars and its vanity, as early-on you notice this is NOT a Banzai-attack from the captains tone towards Kaiten suicide squad pilots, often quoting “it is a waste” (on the act of putting young men in torpedoes to zero-in on its target ships) – so NO kamikaze torpedoes go-off in this movie .

but that’s the story, in the Glorifying Japanese almost Japanese TV drama, as special effects mostly depth-charges blowing is like laser-light shooting in children’s matinee television program : Captain Powers and the Soldiers of the Future material, compared with Hollywood production .

– Deep-Deep and Deeper, Korea Tech BLog


[ Post-Script ]

interesting to note, as during the Meiji transformation : Japan adopted Western technology including mighty battleships and insert samurai-warrior spirit into it . you hear English submarine command “Blow main tank” as “Men-tan-Bro-” here . impressive to see both sides in clean-uniform, the Japanese have (indian) curry for meal although this is doubtful during this time .