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Shokuzai (original title)
1:36 | Trailer
The murder of Emili, a young girl, leaves the inhabitants of a small Japanese village in shock. The body of Emily is found by the four classmates with whom she was playing. The murder is ... See full summary »




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Series cast summary:
Kyôko Koizumi ...  Asako / ... 5 episodes, 2012
Hazuki Kimura Hazuki Kimura ...  Emili / ... 5 episodes, 2012
Manatsu Kimura Manatsu Kimura ...  Maki / ... 5 episodes, 2012
Kyôka Shibata ...  Yuka / ... 3 episodes, 2012
Asumi Kikuchi Asumi Kikuchi ...  Akiko / ... 3 episodes, 2012


The murder of Emili, a young girl, leaves the inhabitants of a small Japanese village in shock. The body of Emily is found by the four classmates with whom she was playing. The murder is never solved. Emili's mother Asako (Kyoko Koizumi) is torn by grief and puts a curse on the four girls when they claim that they don't remember the killer's face. Each of the girls, in their own way, will do their penance for their silence. Deeply struck by the words of Asako and burdened with her curse, the four girls are forced into adulthood which eventually triggers a tragic chain of events. Written by Gerben Hoetink

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


God may forgive you, but she never will.



Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

Official site [Japan]





Release Date:

8 January 2012 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Penance See more »

Filming Locations:

Tokyo, Japan


Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

Production Co:

Django Film, WOWOW See more »
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Technical Specs




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Did You Know?


The series was edited into two feature films (respectively 1h56 and 2h24 in length) for festival presentation and theatrical release in certain countries (such as France where Part 1 was released on May 29 and Part 2 on June 5, 2013). See more »

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User Reviews

Incomprehensible mess
25 October 2014 | by inuimariSee all my reviews

I'm a huge Kiyoshi Kurosawa fan. I find that he and my other favorite director, John Carpenter, really know how to use well space and eerie tone to maximize the dread and atmosphere. This is clearly a low budget drama series and Kurosawa does what he can with the budget (and ample space!). There are definitely key scenes and overarching sense of dread that Kurosawa fans have grown accustomed to. I have no problem with the direction but the plot...!

I've read the book and really loved it. I was curious to see how the book got adapted into the film and let me tell you, it seriously doesn't make any sense! Of course, when adapting a novel, there will be many changes made to make it work on the screen. However, the changes they made are incomprehensible, especially the second story. The conclusion to that story was simply unnecessary and seeing characters take abuse for no reason makes viewers feel annoyed. The plot leaves out so many details that were in the book that it seriously doesn't make any sense whatsoever. For example, the first story doesn't even bother why they had French dolls decorated in the house. Therefore, it was bizarre when the protagonist of that story suddenly says that they had a French doll displayed in the house. The ending came out of nowhere and didn't make sense; it doesn't not fit with the theme of "penance". The series doesn't really do a great job explaining how much the even that took place 15 years ago affected these girls. Asako's character was changed greatly to the point that it wouldn't fit the big revelation. I guess it won't be much of a spoiler since things changed but the book does make it clear that Asako is a selfish thoughtless woman and the entire event happened because of her. I felt a great catharsis when Yuka tells off Asako but that was lost in this series. The fact that Asako stopped being the selfish nightmare in this adaptation really made the final revelation not work and also shows how much the screenwriters didn't understand the original source.

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