A teenager called Noriko Shimabara runs away from her family in Tokoyama, to meet Kumiko, the leader of an Internet BBS, Haikyo.com. She becomes involved with Kumiko's "family circle", ... See full summary »
Members of a cult, modeled on Aum Shinrikyo, sabotage a city's water supply, then commit mass suicide near the shores of a lake. Family members of the perpetrators meet at the lake to observe the anniversary of their loved ones' deaths.
When eleven-year-old Wataru is told he can change his destiny by entering a magic gateway into another world, he jumps at the chance. But on his quest to find the Tower of Fortune and be granted any wish, he must conjure up all his bravery to battle a world of demons, his own friends and ultimately himself.
Most of us have probably seen enough serial killer movies by now and the various possible plot permutations in the genre have more or less been tested to destruction. Nevertheless, the non-linear storytelling in this film and its refusal to pander to the average intelligence level of a cinema audience makes for intriguing viewing on this occasion. Plus, it explores the psychological impact of having a loved one murdered in more depth and more convincingly than any other movie I can recall. The source material is a novel by the excellent Japanese crime writer Miyuki Miyabe (who in turn seems to have drawn on the famous Leopold and Loeb case for inspiration) and although the film is a vehicle for aging boy band singer Masahiro Nakai he copes well in a major role. The other performances are also impressive and I am surprised that this movie is not more widely known.
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