Release Date: October 29, 2011 Length: 89 minutes Director: Mari Asato
Airi Suzuki as Yuka Hidaka
Miyabi Natsuyaki as Hinako Kurohane
Tomoko Tsugunaga as Shiori Sonoda
Itsuki Sagara as Chiharu
.... also Chisato Okai, Arisa Komiya, Riko Matsumura, Karen Ishida and many more who made brief appearances, except for the three leads no one who you or I know.
Those screenshots aren't blurred as that's how the film opened and closed, it was to give it the style of a documentary. This could be another long review, the plot is much more interesting and detailed than you would think in this kind of movie. Plus I've been slowly getting better at explaining most of the details from a drama'film yet in a way that doesn't spoil it if you haven't seen it yet. Not an easy film to find, there is a version on YT but it's not subbed though there may be one on DM that is.
The three members of Buono have the lead roles in the film though by far Airi's is the biggest, she plays the heroine Yuka. Strange how the girls were referred to in the narration, some were called by their first name such as Yuka while others were always called by their given name .That was the case for the other two leads, Miyabi played Kurohane(last name) while Tomoko was Sonoda(last name). Also most of this film did have narration over it by Yuka and for one segment Kurohane, that style seemed to work out well.
The story begins in April of the trio's second of three high school years, it ends sometime in June of the following year and there's also many flashbacks for Kurohane's narration segment. Kurohane is an outcast at school and just by looking at her it's noticeable because of her dreary looks. But she is a very intelligent student as she had submitted a story to a writing contest which won first prize. Kurohane has also moved into the top spot for the school's grade rankings to the dismay of Sonoda who had once held that position. There was never a name given for the school nor what year it was but don't think either was important.
Yuka is also an aspiring writer though her story flopped in the contest. She's a bit jealous of Kurohane's talent, Yuka isn't friends with her but on occasion has tried starting a conversation but is usually rebuffed. Now that Kurohane has topped the school's rankings again it's time for Sonoda to spring into action. She tells the other students how unfair it is that Kurohane can study all the time as she doesn't have to take gym class due to her health and a few other various petty things she doesn't like about her.
Sonoda had given that speech in class with Kurohane present, she also added that the students should begin bullying Kurohane. Most of them didn't but Sonoda's little team would do childish things such as push her or throw her books to the ground, nothing too serious. But Sonoda has another plan up her sleeveless shirt and that's for Kurohane to show her writing talents to the school.
It's getting time for the school's Cultural Festival, Sonoda is their class organizer and has decided they will put on a play. She'll also be the director of it and has decided to make Kurohane write the script, deep down Yuka had desired to the writer. But Sonoda did it to embarrass Kurohane, she and her cohorts were going to make Kurohane write the script over and over as they would keep telling her what trash she wrote. Little did they know Kurohane wanted to keep writing a new script over and over, they were playing into her devilish plan.
First to experience the wrath of Kurohane was Miyauchi who was the play's assistant director and also all around class A jerk. She had gone to the Kurohane's desk to read what had been written so far, once she picked it up Miyauchi couldn't put it down as she was in a trance like state reading it. Finally the class teacher Yamashita was able to wrestle the script away from her but the damage had been done.
Shortly after Miyauchi was sitting quietly at her desk but wasn't in a calm state. All of a sudden she put her hands to her neck as she couldn't breath properly though she wasn't choking. Yamashita put a bag over her head as he thought she was hyperventilating, she wasn't but it did save the day for now. Miyauchi was whisked away to a hospital but it's the last her classmates will see of her as the next day at school it was announced that she had died.
Sure Kurohane wasn't too upset with the news, one down for her and the tally will continue to grow. After the incident Yamashita who was also the Literature Club's adviser had taken the script to his office. Naturally out of curiosity he read it but had hidden it in his desk after. Yuka had visited him at his office and wanted to read the writings of Kurohane but was refused by Yamashita. He knew that the words in the script were cursed, he had an inkling he was going to perish so he didn't want the curse spreading, shortly after he also met his demise.
Above is the body of Yamashita who had jumped from a roof, out of all the deaths to occur he was the only one to commit suicide. Perhaps it wasn't a true suicide, he was probably driven to his death by demons but we only saw the his body lying there. Quickly two down but don't know if Kurohane really wanted her teacher to die, she doesn't like the human race in general but don't feel as though she wants to see everyone die.
More details will be coming up but we did learn around this time one of the reasons for Kurohane wanting to see people die. The bullying may have had something to do with it but also unknown to her classmates Kurohane was suffering from an incurable cancer, she has only a few months to live and is quite bitter. She had revealed that secret to Yuka who Kurohane had wanted to meet in private. Yuka had come to the conclusion that the deaths were no accident and that Kurohane had somehow cursed the script.
That's because one more student would bite the bullet and that was Fujita who was another crony of Sonoda's. She had read a re-written script but was unable to finish it as it was taken from her. As we learn later on you don't have to read the whole script or even words to be infected with the curse, just a glance should be sufficient. That's what Fujita had done, once again the curse works quickly as Fujita is now history and these three deaths all occurred in about ten minutes of screen time.
We learned almost everything there was to know about Kurohane in her meeting with Yuka. Kurohane seems to respect her a bit, Yuka was the only one to think the script was cursed(for now) plus on occasion she did try to strike up a conversation. Kurohane had told Yuka about her cancer and how she hated her mother even more once it was discovered. Kurohane's mother had been with her when the doctor had give them the tragic news, to the mother it seemed like a relief that her daughter would soon be gone.
Kurohane's parents can't stand the sight of her and give all of their attention to her sister Kane who is one year younger. Kane is far from being as intelligent as Kurohane is but is very popular at school and her parents spoil her to no end. After learning of her impending death Kurohane is seeking ways to take revenge on her family and the world for her life as she's become quite bitter. Kurohane came up with an idea to get back at the world but it seems as though it would have no chance of working.
That was by using words to kill people, if they read what Kurohane wrote then she had it planned for them to die. Seems like a fairy tale but there was something in the way Kurohane wrote that made her words cursed. At first her efforts were weak as it wouldn't work on adults but it did on younger people. Such as Kane and Kurohane made her sister the first in a long line of ones to die. She had written a short novel and asked Kane to read it, she did and couldn't put the novel down. That is until it fell out her hands as Kane had trouble breathing and was rushed to a hospital.
Checked many movie sites but none had a good cast listing, have no idea who played the minor characters such as Kane and would have liked to have found out, the info wasn't even on Japanese sites. Back to the story and as you can see the curse was weak at one time as it took a whole month to kill her sister, these days it's just a matter of hours if that. Kurohane explained to Yuka that she began using her blood to write words, seems impossible that you could get that much blood from yourself but she also began using different techniques of writing which made the curse stronger.
For those of you keeping track at home we're a little past the halfway point of the film which is 89 minutes once you take out the credits, second half of the review should be shorter. Kurohane has revealed many of her secrets to Yuka who is powerless to do anything, if she went to the police who there would believe her story? With her cronies out of the way it's time for Sonoda's payback who now has a strong inkling that Kurohane had something to do with her friends dying.
Sonoda had stopped coming to school because of her fear for Kurohane, her staying home means she wouldn't be able to read the new script. Kurohane though sends Sonoda a text message but signs it with Yuka's name. The message was written by Kurohane thus meaning it was cursed! After reading the text message Sonoda appeared at school in what would become the bloodiest scene of the movie. Can't say that this was a terrifying horror movie though there were a few eerie and gory events like this one.
Two more victims to add your growing list as Sonoda sneaks up behind Kurohane and stabs her, kind of have a feeling Kurohane was expecting it and wanted to die. Sonoda went absolutely bonkers as she couldn't stop stabbing her, by the time she finished Kurohane must have had a hundred holes in her body. Sonoda wasn't through with the killing as she turned the knife on herself and did what many of us wanted to do to her.
There's still over half an hour to go in the movie but 2/3 of Buono! is no longer with us. That above scene was actually quite good, hard to beat blood and guts that liven a film up. But it's not the last we'll be seeing of Kurohane as a few days later Yuka had been at home, school was cancelled because of the deaths. She had received a package from.... Yuka! She had sent it prior to her death, was right for a change as she knew she would be killed at the hands of Sonoda. In the package was a diary that Kurohane had begun keeping after learning of her cancer and kept it up until her death.
Yuka read the diary and there was a narration we heard from Kurohane, the whole scene took over ten minutes but to be honest it was way too long and didn't add that much to the film. We did learn a few details of Kurohane's curse which you can see above, one other thing was about it was when a person was infected with the curse. It's not that they couldn't breathe but it was that they couldn't stop breathing, you become so conscious of it and then start panicking.
Besides that detail all that was shown in the flashback were events of Kurohane's life the last year. She truly hated her family, we saw that when the funeral was held for Kurohane as her parents walked away smiling. But she never did get back at her parents, killing Kane made them suffer but she did let them live but she could have allowed that to happen as they had to support her. Kurohane has been a creepy and depressing person for a long time, she even mentioned wanting to do a curse on someone when she was ten years old as she was even bullied back then.
That total Yuka is telling her classmates is a bit low, take a good look at the gals as half won't be around for too long. It's now a year later and Yuka is on the verge of graduating. She has a new group of friends as all of her older ones had died. Forgot about Chiharu until now, she had been Yuka's best friend a year ago. She had broken into Yamashita's desk to get the cursed script, she ended up reading it and of course the outcome was that she had died.
That group above hadn't believed the story of the script but they were soon to change their minds. Yuka had kept a text message from Kurohane on her phone but had never read it, that was simple to figure out as she's still alive. She had told the group about the message, before you knew it they had grabbed the phone and all began trying to read it. The message made no sense but that wasn't the point of it, Kurohane just wanted others to read her words.
As usual a huge mistake was made, why is the IQ level of people in horror movies so low? The curse is stronger than ever as the deaths begin happening rather quickly. In that group above Yuka has five new friends, before they realized what was going on three had perished after reading the cursed message. We never did get to see that much of the three that are no longer with us but their names in the order they died were Saki, Yui and Chikako.
Getting very close to the end and thought it was satisfying one but it was sort of a rip-off from the "Ring" movie, wonder if that's where the film's title came from? Yuka along her two friends Megumi and Mana try to solve the mystery of the curse as all three are also in line to meet their fate. There seemed to be no order in how they died as you can see in the screenshot right above, even if the order did matter how could they use it to their advantage?
The trio was at a cafe, soon Megumi started to panic as she thinks she can see Kurohane and the curse affects everyone in different ways. The trio also discovers that the gap between reading the cursed words and when you die are also different. After that panic attack Megumi is soon to join her friends in the morgue, undertakers in these films must make a fortune. There's one more friend of Yuka's who is still alive, that's Mana who is on the left in the above pic. Her death wasn't gruesome but kind of creepy when it happened which is the top screenshot here.
It's the final scene with about two minutes to go in the movie. Yuka is alone in her room and having difficulty breathing properly, unless she can discover how to reverse the curse it's curtains for her. She finally did figure out how to solve the curse or at least how to keep herself living. Like the 'Ring" movie if you send the curse to others then though you're still cursed so aren't so many other people. Yuka took the words that were in Kurohane's final text message, she wrote a novel for the internet and added those cursed words to her story.
Yuka sent published her story and soon enough thousands were infected with the curse. There's no order as mentioned above so #800 on the list could be killed before the fifth person, with so many people infected it should be a long life for Yuka. That brought us to the end of the film and you have to wonder if Yuka did something inhumane. If she had died she would have been the last one and the curse would have ended with her, now it could go on to the end of time.
After the credits there was a short behind the scenes segment, documentary style again. Miyabi was being interviewed when there was screaming from the back of of the studio from Airi, looks like the curse may not have ended with the movie....
Went in kind of cold as I didn't know many details about the film. Did skim through one review and that person didn't give it a high rating. I won't either but higher than the review I read, think a 7.7/10 is an okay number. If you're a fan of the gals or Idols in movies then would recommend the film, could have been better but all in all found it enjoyable. Not enough movies with Hello Project members left for me, have seen almost all of them but still have one that will be viewed soon.
Like C-ute Buono is no longer active but that doesn't mean they can't have a few posts here. I do enjoy their songs but admit don't know enough about them. It started out a side group but they became so popular as all of their singles hit the top ten, they do occasional concerts so wouldn't rule out seeing them again. They did the theme songs for the film, the closing tune was titled "Deep Mind" which is without one of the best songs that very few have heard. As a bonus then after the screenshots have the song's PV, you're only allowed to view it ten times an hour....