A man is stabbed to death in Tokyo's Nihonbashi area. The victim staggers with the knife still in the wound for eight minutes before collapsing under the winged statues of two Kirin on the ... See full summary »
An adaptation of Higashino Keigo's sixth novel in the popular Galileo series. Professor Yukawa Manabu must solve the mysteries of seemingly accidental death of another guest at the countryside motel he was spending his vacation in.
A solitary middle-aged station manager is haunted by troubling memories of his past when he learns the line his station is on will be decommissioned for lack of profitability. He is visited... See full summary »
Michiko came to Tokyo to visit Hiromi, but is instead found murdered. The renter of Michiko's place is missing. The police is having a hard time finding clues and solving the case. There ... See full summary »
A whimsical cross between "The X-Files" and classic weepy family dorama fare
"Himitsu" stars the Waseda-educated Hirosue Ryoko ("Oyajii", "Long Vacation", "Wasabi") in a poignant paranormal family dorama wherein salaryman Sugita Heisuke (Kobayashi Kaoru) loses his wife Naoko in a ski bus accident that also injures his daughter. Strangely, however, his daughter Monami(Hirosue) has assumed the personality of his late wife - or rather the latter has assumed the physical embodiment of the former. At any rate, the main premise of the movie involves the sticky little "situations" that present themselves when your wife suddenly becomes your daughter (relatively speaking). For example, the one-time housewife must now come up to speed in her daughter's high school classes, including a sudden immersion into her daughter's social circles and a mild annoyance at seeing her math teacher (cameo by the lovely Ishida Yuriko) flirting with her dad/husband. Of course (much to the torment of the Ryo-chan fanboyz, no doubt), there is the issue of sleeping arrangements (!) at home. Just how far can a guy go now that this person who is essentially his wife has a twenty-something year facelift and is the frustrated dream date of more than half the Japanese male population? Okay, I've exaggerated, but the director seems to delight in making the audience wonder what the outcome will be. One of the most memorable scenes takes place when Heisuke intercepts his wife/daughter's phone calls from an interested sempai in the school sailing club who asks her out. Torn between protecting his daughter and defending his marriage, he confronts the young man in public, declaring that he cannot date his daughter because they are from outer space (see, X-Files?). An interesting yet convenient facet of the movie is the close relationship between mother and daughter that is implied early in the movie and reinforced later. Very little is presented about Monami per se, but it is indirectly through Naoko's eyes that we see what kind of a person she is, and how the close relationship with her mother makes it that much easier for Naoko to act the part of Monami when needed. Overall, the scene composition and musical score work very well together and what the movie lacks in special effects it more than makes up for in weepy sentimentality and the cathartic ending. The "TBS"-esque feel so prevalent in the countless TBS trendy dramas is quite apparent, and this might not sit well with some viewers, but I didn't mind it. Hirosue Ryoko gives a rather satisfying performance in her dual roles as both carefree yet dutiful mother and semi-slacker daughter. My only complaint is that the movie left me feeling cheated out of a final scene with Ishida Yuriko, but I guess that wouldn't serve to advance the plot significantly.
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