Everybody get ready! It’s time to put on your ninjapants, get your streetfight on, and show off your best #mangamoves. Oxford Playhouse is playing host to Blue Boy Entertainment and their lost manga kung Fu masterpiece, The Five and the Prophecy of Prana.
In times of legend, five warriors freed the world from an evil emperor and split his power into five parts. A legacy of warriors, fighting down the ages kept the world safe, until treachery split their ranks. In modern Tokyo, the last of the final five (now a reeling drunken master) takes five young troublemakers under his wing, and into his Dojo. Can he set their inner warriors free before the evil comes to claim the world?
Graceful and steely, Jeffrey Felicisimo sets to work on his five delinquents with a series of stunning training montages, while Michele ‘Paleta’ Rhyner as arch-villainess Soo Lin plots, performs eye-popping contortions and assembles an exotic gang of henchpeople and minions. Manga backdrop video animation sets the scene in style and manages the flips between past and present, dreams and memories, and piles in on the action, throbbing with excitement during a thrilling mass choreographed barfight, taking the bigger fights into the sky and mountains.
The soundtrack is a hardass mixture of incidental kung fu backdrop soundtrack, hip hop , sampled punches and Garage drops, with overdubbed vocals for the rare occasions the narrative demands a few words. Mostly, the dance does the talking; fast cut fight sequences switching back and forth between bullet time, liquid punches and dramatic posing.
The dancers are all prize winners in a variety of street styles (popping, locking, krump, breaking and some truly unique hybrid styles) and they don’t stop impressing; highly recommended.