Mai-Chan’s Daily Life is, honestly, one of the strangest films I’ve ever seen. It is based on a popular manga series that takes on a darkly humorous look at fetish violence. So if this is something you cannot stomach, you should probably move on. However, if you are able to stomach the content, then Kino Lorber’s Redemption series has got you covered.
The Movie (2.5/5)
Mai-Chan’s Daily Life: Bloody Carnal Residence follows a young woman named Miyako who has taken a job as a maid for a wealthy couple who, as it turns out, are more perverse and diabolical than they had first appeared.
Very quickly on, we learn that Miyako’s head maid, Mai-Chan, has a strange secret. She recovers from any injury (no matter how severe or lethal). While normally this power would be used for good or evil, instead we see this trait exploited by her dominant and perverse employers, who use her as a service sub to fulfill their wildest and goriest fantasies.
Throughout the film, we see Mai-Chan’s finger cut off and smashed, her eyeball ripped out, and other gory and twisted abuses leading up to dismemberment and cannibalism. The gore and violence is over the top and obviously fake, but the sadistic pleasure that those who inflict this pain on Mai-Chan display is without a doubt one of the most unsettling parts of the film.
The main plot of the story is how Miyako discovers her own pleasure in the granting of pain and torture to Mai-Chan. We watch as this innocent maid takes on the role of cannibal dominatrix. It’s pretty messed up, but hey, there’s something out there for everyone.
The movie definitely felt like an episode of a greater story, which is to say that it felt a bit simpler than a typical feature length film. It is also quite short, clocking in at 63 minutes. So it’s a quick watch, and you will be hard pressed to take your eyes away from the screen. The whole film permeates the feeling of a strange dream. The blood and gore are disgusting, as is the lack of remorse shown by the wealthy couple who take such pleasure in it.
However, the strangest part of this film is not the blood, the gore, or the torture. It is the sound effects used throughout the film (not just in the torture scenes) that left me with a queasy feeling in my stomach.
I’m not sure if this film was meant to use ASMR or not. ASMR, to those who haven’t heard of it (I have learned of this in the last year or so), is short for Autonomous sensory meridian response. Basically, it turns out that a portion of the population gets a physical response to auditory signals. Typically this results in a tingling sensation up one’s spine when they hear certain sounds. However, some people can experience a range of feelings up to and including orgasms based on what they hear.
I do not experience this myself, but I have heard some samples of audio that was supposedly ASMR oriented. In these videos, a focus on generally overlooked sound effects such as gentle whispering or a mundane task such as someone turning pages of a book repeatedly. I know it sounds crazy, but it definitely isn’t made up, and I think this movie tries to use it.
Throughout the entire movie, some sound effects that would generally be either really low volume or cut out entirely are actually turned up and called out drastically. The slurping of milk from a dish, the squishing, wet sound of blood spilling from Mai-Chan, even small movements such as quiet footsteps. All are louder and more pronounced than one would expect, which, to me, brought on an almost sickening feeling. I should note here though that these sounds also gave the film an unmistakable style that somehow fits the tone of the film perfectly.
All said and done, this movie is extremely strange and perverse, but also is somewhat satisfying in it’s delivery. If you are interested in fetish violence or gory, strange manga that has been brought to life, this is without a doubt up your alley.
The Picture 2.5/5
As I mentioned earlier, this film feels more like an episode of some brutal and disgusting series. So, it is fitting that the picture quality sort of feels reminiscent of a television show as well. Unfortunately, instead of top tier quality like HBO or Showtime, the type of TV I am referring to here is more like SyFy. Yes, that is S-Y-F-Y, the science fiction television series that adds an extraneous “Y” in the word science. That will tell you something, I hope.
While the quality isn’t the worst, it feels the pains from a low budget, and you will notice the difference too. But let’s be honest here, if you are interested in a film like this, then the content will be much more important than the cinematography in most cases.
The Sound 1.5/5
I have already gone into detail on my thoughts on the audio for this movie. The ASMR type feeling I hear, whether intended or not, is somewhat obnoxious to me, but your mileage may vary. The soundtrack sometimes seemed a bit too loud, but really, the same feeling that budget may have gotten in the way is present in the audio department as well.
The Features & Packaging 3/5
Kino Lorber’s Redemption lineup all deploys a matching and attractive layout, with the Redeption text displayed across the top and a solid red band with the film’s number in the series on the spine. The numbered series makes these films much more collectible, and it can become addicting filling in the whole set. This makes up for the lack of inner sleeve art and the mostly solid black and somewhat boring disc art, to me. Others may disagree, but I can forgive the lack of flashy packaging when a series remains consistent.
As far as special features are concerned, you get the Original Trailer (which I would love to know where this thing aired, this movie is incredibly niche) and a 31 minute two-part documentary called “Waita’s Daily Life” which follows the actresses of the film. This documentary felt almost like it almost had a voyeuristic aspect to it as well, as the actresses spent more time being cute in front of the camera instead of giving interesting production details.
The Verdict 2.5/5
Mai-Chan’s Daily Life is made for a very narrow audience, and you will know if you fall in that category or not. Interested in some torture porn? Like upskirt shots of Asian maids as they do all they can to please their masters? Well give this one a shot. If that isn’t your cup of tea, then move right along.
You can order your copy here.
Note: This Blu Ray was sent to us for review. This has not affected our judgement or editorial process in any way. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding this process.