IMDb > K-20: The Fiend with Twenty Faces (2008)
K-20: Kaijin nijû mensô den
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K-20: The Fiend with Twenty Faces (2008) More at IMDbPro »K-20: Kaijin nijû mensô den (original title)

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Down 16% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Shimako Sato (screenplay)
So Kitamura (novels)
View company contact information for K-20: The Fiend with Twenty Faces on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
20 December 2008 (Japan) See more »
Set in a fictional Japanese city in 1949, a master criminal hones in on his latest victim. | Full synopsis »
1 win See more »
User Reviews:
A Nutshell Review: K-20: Legend of the Mask See more (19 total) »


  (in credits order)

Takeshi Kaneshiro ... Heikichi Endo

Takako Matsu ... Yoko Hashiba
Tôru Nakamura ... Kogoro Akechi
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ryôhei Abe

Kanata Hongô ... Yoshio Kobayashi
Yuki Imai ... Shinsuke
Takeshi Kaga ... Mysterious Gentleman
Jun Kaname
Hana Kino
Fumiyo Kohinata

Jun Kunimura ... Genji
Kazuyoshi Kushida
Tôru Masuoka ... Inspector Namikoshi
Yutaka Matsushige
Ayumu Saitô
Kyûsaku Shimada
Reiko Takashima ... Kikuko
Ryûtarô Yamasaki
Hideji Ôtaki
Edward L. Papazian ... Scientist (uncredited)

Directed by
Shimako Sato  (as Shimako Satô)
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
So Kitamura  novels "Kaijin Nijû Mensô Den" and "Kaijin Nijû Mensô Den: Seidô no Majin" (as Sô Kitamura)
Shimako Sato  screenplay (as Shimako Satô)

Produced by
Shuji Abe .... executive producer (as Shûji Abe)
Chikahiro Ando .... producer
Fannie Dai Hong .... line producer: Shanghai
Masaki Koide .... associate producer
Seiji Okuda .... executive producer
Yoshishige Shimatani .... chief executive producer
Original Music by
Naoki Satô 
Cinematography by
Kôzô Shibasaki 
Film Editing by
Ryûji Miyajima 
Production Design by
Anri Johjo  (as Anri Jôjô)
Anri Kamijô 
Art Direction by
Shinsuke Kojima 
Makeup Department
Kakusei Fujiwara .... special makeup effects artist
Production Management
Gô Abe .... production manager
Sound Department
Kenji Shibasaki .... sound effects
Hitoshi Tsurumaki .... sound recordist
Visual Effects by
Kiyoko Shibuya .... visual effects supervisor
Takashi Yamazaki .... special thanks: visual effects
Tatsuro Koike .... action director
Oleg Krasnyanskiy .... stunt coordinator
Other crew
Jason Gray .... translator
Harry Han Ying Zhu .... production coordinator: Shanghai

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"K-20: Kaijin nijû mensô den" - Japan (original title)
"K-20: Legend of the Mask" - International (English title) (festival title)
"K-20: Legend of the Mysterious Person Twenty Faces" - International (English title) (informal literal title)
See more »
137 min
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Anachronisms: It is 1947, but the special camera is defended by lasers. Not invented till 1960.See more »


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14 out of 22 people found the following review useful.
A Nutshell Review: K-20: Legend of the Mask, 21 February 2009
Author: DICK STEEL from Singapore

There's no stopping Takeshi Kaneshiro in charming the socks off everyone, especially since new fans were won over by his heartfelt performance as the Grim Reaper in Accuracy of Death last year, and following that with his Zhuge Liang in Red Cliff. This year in Singapore, he marquees a big budgeted action-mystery masked vigilante movie, and while his powers and abilities to hark back to the Batmans and Spidermans, K-20 turned out to be rather entertaining for its liberal use of special effects, comedy and some fantastic action sequences, set against at alternate Japanese universe.

Which is interesting because other than the unmistakable Tower, Tokyo now known as Teito, is quite unrecognizable, and plaguing the country is a huge class and income divide between the aristocrats, and everyone else, which reads the Poor and have nots. It's set after WWII which never happened since Japan signed a peace treaty with the US and the UK, and hence what we have is some strangely futuristic backdrop, and some peculiar background on everyone being conditioned for pre-determined jobs and not having the ability to switch careers. Doesn't make a difference actually to the story, but gives you the feeling that everything is centrally planned.

While the title points to K-20, the fiend with 20 faces, the story's actually focused on Heikichi Endo (Kaneshiro) as a poor circus acrobat. And if Bat-fans would see some similarities here, I'd say his character's more like Dick Grayson and with putting his abilities to fighting crime, it's almost exactly how a Nightwing would behave. But back to Japan, Heikichi gets set up by K-20 himself, and gets framed into allowing everyone to believe he's actually the masked villain himself. Breaking out of prison thanks to a merry bunch of thieves whom he soon allies himself with, Heikichi makes it his quest to flush out K-20 and to clear his name, with the help of a nifty grappling hook and rope device.

Not being sexist here, but I was pleasantly surprised to learn that K-20 is directed by a female - Shimako Sato, who also adapted the screenplay from a novel by So Kitamura. It's a fresh perspective having to watch an action movie directed by a female at the helm, and the focus here was of course on the characters. We have Takako Matsu as the Duchess Yoko Hashiba, who isn't your standard fare damsel-in-distress, and Toru Nakamura as the police inspector Akechi Kogoro, the arch-enemy of and resident expert on K-20.

It's a classic action mystery which like The Prestige has Russian scientist Teslar providing the object of tussle, a device capable of harnessing and transmitting vast electrical power across locations without the use of cables. K-20 wants it to rule the world, and it's up to our heroes to crack the mystery as to where the device is, and to stop the villain from achieving his goal. The plot's fairly simple, which includes an origin story for Heikichi including the antics of a hero in training, but what made it palatable was the excellent delivery by the cast, together with gorgeous sets and edge-of-your-seat action. A key element here too is the identity of K-20, having nobody actually seen the villain in the flesh except for Heikichi himself.

The story however does sag a little when it lingers on the more dramatic moments, and you'd know for sure when Kaneshiro gets replaced by stuntmen for most of the action shots not on closeup. But as far as big-budgeted movies like these go, K-20: Legend of the Mask still came across as pretty entertaining and all primed for sequels and a franchise should the box office prove to be successful.

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