6.3/10
192
6 user 4 critic

The Dark Maidens (2017)

Ankoku joshi (original title)
Members of a High School literature club discover there is more to the club members than their weekly meetings would lead them to believe.

Director:

Saiji Yakumo

Writers:

Rikako Akiyoshi (based on the novel by), Mari Okada (screenplay)
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Cast

Credited cast:
Fumika Shimizu ... Sayuri Sumikawa
Marie Iitoyo ... Itsumi Shiraishi
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Riria Baba Riria Baba ... Akane Kominami
Yûdai Chiba ... Hojo
Rinka Ichishima Rinka Ichishima ... Akane's friend
Nana Seino ... Shiyo Takaoka
Yûna Taira ... Mirei Nitani
Tina Tamashiro ... Diana Decheba / Emma Decheba
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Storyline

Sometimes there is more to a high school extracurricular activity than an activity. An undercurrent lurks and stirs when the girls of a Christian high school in Japan gather together in the exclusive building of their literature club to take part in its activities. There are books, records, delicious baked goods, friendships and - more. Watch for a whole lot more. Written by aghaemi

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Genres:

Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

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Parents Guide:

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User Reviews

 
A rare masterpiece
18 April 2019 | by SyoKennexSee all my reviews

The Dark Maidens is a film that I did not have the intention of watching at all. I hadn't seen a trailer for it, I had not come across its page on MDL or IMDB, nothing of the sort. I was clearing out my "watch later" list on my YouTube when I came across "Mystery 2017 School Japan Detective Eng Sub" and I decided since I had some time to kill I'd watch it and see why I had it saved in my to watch later.

I think I can safely say that is one of the best decisions I have done when it comes down to watching something because of random chance.

When I first began this, due to the name the uploader had set it as (The Dark Maidens), I believed this was going to be another high school set suicide blood fest horror film living up to many of Japan's horror tropes in their films. After the first twenty minutes or so, I had to pause to come and read the synopsis because I was confused. After reading it, I did think twice about watching it as I don't really go for the whole murder mystery genre; I find quite often Japan doesn't do it as well as they do their high school based horror. Shrugging it off, I decided why not because I'd already started it: and wow.

The Dark Maidens took me on a long, twisting, amazing journey of friendship and betrayal, of life and death. The first thing I picked up from this film was the utterly beautiful connections from well-known murder mysteries - such as Miss Marple and Agatha Christie, of whom are referenced in the film's prominent literature club. Although reminiscent, it still had its own originality that left me glued to my screen - something that is pretty rare for me. Usually, I have to pause quite a bit and rest my eyes due to poor eyesight and having to read subtitles, but I watched this almost entirely in its completeness. As the twists begin to unfold, the story becomes more and more convoluted with such a shocking twist and turn at the end that was nothing short of smart. I was confused for a short while in this film but the script writing sets it up utterly perfectly for its ending. The writing in this is absolutely nothing sort of genius and I haven't been left this gobsmacked by a twist in a film for a long, long time.

The cast in this was perfectly selected. Every single cast member played their roles perfectly, whilst also giving off such a feeling of ethereal beauty (along with a little help from the gorgeous editing), that made me feel like I was watching a twisted fairy tale rather than a murder mystery. Their acting in this was spot on and they took what they were given with the script and made it, simply, their own.

Every single thing about this film adds up to create something that I would say is nothing short of a masterpiece. There was nothing in this film I can even recall as a fault, nor can I think of anything I would have liked to see more or done better. This is one of those films I recommend everyone try if they can find the time to try it out and I am utterly grateful for whatever choices I made to sit and watch it when I did. This has definitely opened me up to the murder mystery genre; that's something I never thought would happen with how obvious and guessable many are in the genre.

I have seen comments and remarks that this is quite rushed for the film considering this is based off a book and frankly, I' thankful I watched the film first. I didn't know this franchise existed and I will definitely be reading the book later this year after watching this. I would say, having not read the book, if you want a full experience for the film to definitely watch the film first. I don't think if I had read the book first that I would have enjoyed this as much as I had done and although it spoils some of the book, from what I have seen, there is a lot more content in the book that is free game to discover brand new even after watching the film.


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Details

Official Sites:

Official Site [Japan]

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

1 April 2017 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

The Dark Maidens See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Robot Communications See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
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