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Love Ghost (2001) More at IMDbPro »Shibito no koiwazurai (original title)


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Release Date:
24 March 2001 (Japan) See more »
Teenager Midori's family moves back to the city where she lived as a child and is relieved to discover that her old friend Ryusuke still lives there... See more » | Add synopsis »
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An Interesting Perspective on the Genre, that Combines Teenage Angst and Romance, with Contemporary Japanese Horror See more (3 total) »


Kumiko Akiyoshi ... Kazuko
Mao Asami ... Satou Naoko (as Nao Asami)
Lisa Gotô ... Fukada Midori (as Risa Gotô)
Shuntaro Hani
Hirotarô Honda ... A doctor
Yuki Inomata ... Suzuki Tamayo
Miki Itô (as Miki Itou)
Yôsuke Kawamura
Kazusa Matsuda ... Yamada Sanae

Ryûhei Matsuda ... Shibayama Ryuuhei
Asumi Miwa ... Tanaka Suzue
Hitomi Miwa ... Enomoto Haruka
Yôichirô Saitô (as Chihiro Saitou)
Yôsuke Saitô ... A teacher (as Yousuke Saitou)
Takahashi Shinji ... Tejima Koutarou

Directed by
Kazuyuki Shibuya 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Junji Ito  comic
Naoyuki Tomomatsu 

Produced by
Jun'ichi Matsushita .... producer
Takayuki Yanagisawa .... producer
Film Editing by
Jun'ichi Kikuchi 

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Shibito no koiwazurai" - Japan (original title)
"Lovesick Dead" - International (English title)
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Japan:95 min


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An Interesting Perspective on the Genre, that Combines Teenage Angst and Romance, with Contemporary Japanese Horror, 16 June 2015
Author: Derek Childs (totalovrdose) from Melbourne, Victoria

Although a title like 'Love Ghost' may fool some viewers into thinking this is a romantically themed feature, in actuality it is anything but, traversing a fine line between drama, thriller, horror and romance. Although the film could hardly be described as 'scary', the scenes with blood will often be more intense than one could have imagined, ideas concerning suicide, obsession and desperation increasing the tense atmosphere. The soundtrack additionally provides the film with a deeper sense of mystery and intrigue, which fulfills the ghostly aspects of the plot, while the pleasant musical scores increase the film's light-hearted climates. Despite the feature's attempt to puzzle the audience on more than one occasion by pulling the wool over their eyes, the film retains a strong sense of predictability, that causes what were potentially meant to be surprises, to be relegated to confirmatory instances. However, these, miraculously, do not take away from the narrative, the few legitimate revelations, alongside the pleasantness of the more romantic and enjoyable scenes, making for a worth while viewing.

Midori (Risa Goto) and her mother return to the town they resided ten years earlier, their reason to leave relating towards Midori's absentee father, this back-story being explored as the film progresses. Arriving at school, Midori is pleased to find her childhood friend Ryusuke (Ryuhei Matsuda) is a member of her class, the two of them beginning to redevelop their connection as though she never left at all. The climate of the classroom has an almost family oriented appeal, many of the class members affiliating outside of school hours, this proximity scaffolding how deeply the class is affected when events begin spiraling out of control, while additional themes of jealousy help cement the feature in the stereotypical school environment.

Upon Midori's arrival, rumors begin to spread of a mysterious boy in black, who appears before anyone that visits a shrine for answers regarding the future of their romantic aspirations. This is accentuated by the romantic atmosphere in the classroom and the community, even one of the teachers promoting classroom romance. The film effectively shows the affects of unrequited love, while additionally conveying how others can spend their entire lives with blinders on to the fact that their close friends in fact want to be more, one particularly popular student being in the middle of what can only be described as a love triangle.

The schoolyard rumors however lead some of the desperate members of the class, who long to be with those they are infatuated with, to attend the shrine, the consequences of interacting with the mysterious spectral entity leading only to bewitchment and death. Finding herself in the middle of the peculiar mystery, Midori begins to investigate, only to discover that some things, are better left unknown.

The film touches upon ideas concerning how the lack or discovery of romance can change a person's state of mind, while additionally revealing how paramount love is in the lives of some, who risk their other beneficial qualities in order to secure its touch. Deliberate changes in the weather, alongside embedding deep shades of red into the atmosphere adds additional darker contexts to the themes, these fitting in smoothly with a feature that is largely easy to follow, while the use of blurring the environment together, especially when from the point-of-view of a character, visually provides the audience with their current perspectives. Though complaints about the speed, or lack-thereof, could be executed, nothing ever feels forced or out of place, the length of the feature appropriately fitting the narrative. Although the lead characters are each provided a thorough conclusion, the other members of the class appear to be forgotten towards the end of the film, a series of questions regarding their destinies remaining largely unanswered.

Love Ghost often employs the slow-paced, subtle climate that many similarly themed features from Japan possess, however at the same time, is also very different in contrast with other traditional horror films from the region. Although the film is not guaranteed to frighten its audience, attention is a requirement when viewing this thought provoking feature, that entertainingly shows both the beauty and the horror of true love.

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