The World of Kanako

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The World of Kanako
The World of Kanako poster.jpeg
Poster
Directed byTetsuya Nakashima
Produced bySatomi Kotake
Yutaka Suzuki
Screenplay byTetsuya Nakashima
Nobuhiro Monma
Miako Tadano
Based onHateshinaki Kawaki
by Akio Fukamachi
StarringKōji Yakusho
Nana Komatsu
Music byGrand Funk Inc.
CinematographyShoichi Ato
Edited byYoshiyuki Koike
Production
company
Gaga Communications
Distributed byGaga Communications
Wild Bunch
Release date
  • June 27, 2014 (2014-06-27) (Premiere)
  • July 4, 2014 (2014-07-04) (original release)
  • Japan (Japan)
Running time
118 minutes
CountryJapan
LanguageJapanese
Box office¥750 million

The World of Kanako (渇き。, Kawaki., lit. "thirst.") is a 2014 Japanese suspense film directed by Tetsuya Nakashima, starring Kōji Yakusho and Nana Komatsu.[1] It was released on 4 July 2014,[2][3] and is based on the novel Hateshinaki Kawaki (果てしなき渇き, "Endless Thirst") by Akio Fukamachi.

Plot[edit]

Akikazu Fujishima (Kōji Yakusho) is a former detective who lost his job, marriage and daughter after having a violent reaction to his wife's infidelity. Since then, he has become a dysfunctional, unstable alcoholic. Many years later, his ex-wife (Asuka Kurosawa) contacts him to tell him that his daughter Kanako (Nana Komatsu) has gone missing. Akikazu begins investigating the disappearance, with police detective Asai (Satoshi Tsumabuki) ostensibly helping but in truth rarely involving himself in the search. Akikazu's methods involve harassing and intimidating those he speaks to, including Kanako's former classmates and teacher (Miki Nakatani), but none of them are forthcoming. Nonetheless, he discovers that she had become involved with drug users, and suspects that they made her into an addict.

Flashbacks to three years prior reveal how an unnamed student (Hiroya Shimizu) in Kanako's middle school had fallen in love with her, as she was the only kid who didn't bully or ostracize him. The student knowing Kanako had been in love with a former student named Ogata, wanted her to feel the same way for him. This desire eventually leads him to attend a party with her, where he is drugged and raped. The student then tracks down Kanako and contemplates killing her, but is unable to. She embraces him, before an unidentified figure stabs the student in the neck, killing him.

In the present, Akikazu is eventually captured by the Yakuza, who torture and kill Kanako's gang member friend Matsunaga (Mahiro Takasugi) in front of him. Matsunaga informs Akikazu as to how Ogata was a "weak boy with a cute face" so they kidnapped him and allowed old men to rape him, which caused him to commit suicide. Kanako having been in love with Ogata befriended the group in order to exact revenge. Due to Ogata's death or perhaps exacerbated by it Kanako is completely emotionless which easily allows her to become involved with the child prostitution ring, and manipulate other kids (along with the unnamed student) to use drugs and drink, thus allowing older men to rape them. Even knowing about Kanakos intentions and lack of feelings for anyone or anything, Matsunaga had fallen in love with Kanako and helped her to steal the photos. The Yakuza inform Akikazu that the police are also involved in the prostitution ring and that Detective Aikawa (Joe Odagiri) had killed several of Kanako's criminal friends in an attempt at a cover-up. They provide Akikazu with a gun and send him to Aikawa's home.

Akikazu rapes Aikawa's wife, then takes her and her son hostage to meet Aikawa. The two have a bloody fight, during which Aikawa kills his wife, but both men survive. The police, including Detective Asai, arrive on the scene, and kill Aikawa. Akikazu hits Asai with his car and escapes.

Akikazu returns to the teacher that he questioned much earlier, having realized that her daughter was one of the children being raped in Kanako's photos, and that she had killed Kanako in revenge. He forces her to dig up the grave that she buried Kanako in, but its location has been lost due to recent snowfall. While the teacher insists that his search for his daughter's body is futile and tries to escape, Akikazu continues to dig, refusing to acknowledge that his daughter is dead. The film ends as he vows to kill her himself.

Cast[edit]

  • Kōji Yakusho as Akikazu Fujishima
  • Nana Komatsu as Kanako Fujishima
  • Satoshi Tsumabuki as Detective Asai
  • Joe Odagiri as Detective Aikawa
  • Fumi Nikaidō as Nami Endo (Kanako's ex-middle school classmate, Apocalypse Group member)
  • Hiroya Shimizu as I (Kanako's ex-middle school friend)
  • Hiroki Nakajima as Shimatsu (Kanako's ex-middle school classmate,Bully)
  • Ai Hashimoto as Emi Morishita (Kanako's high school friend)
  • Asuka Kurosawa as Kiriko (Akikazu ex-wife, Kanako's mother)
  • Miki Nakatani as Rie Azuma (Kanako's ex-homeroom teacher at middle school)
  • Hitoshi Hoshino as Seiji Ogata (Kanako's ex-boyfriend from middle school)
  • Mahiro Takasugi as Yasuhiro Matsunaga (Kanako's ex-middle school classmate, leader of Apocalypse Group)
  • Jun Kunimura as Tsujimura (psychiatrist)
  • Munetaka Aoki as Sakiyama (underboss of Ishimaru Gang)
  • Aoi Morikawa as Tomoko Nagano (Kanako's high school friend)
  • Yasuo Koh as Cho (capitalist)
  • Megumi Hatachiya as Aikawa's Wife
  • Daichi Watanabe as Hiroshi Kawamoto (Store Staff)
  • Shouno Hayama as Blond Boy (Apocalypse Group member)

Music[edit]

Reception[edit]

The film earned $1.1 million during its opening weekend, and debuted at No. 4 at the Japanese box office.[5] It has grossed ¥377 million in Japan.[6]

Mark Schilling of The Japan Times gave the film 3 out of 5 stars.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Noh, Jean (6 February 2014). "Gaga launches sales on Tetsuya Nakashima's The World of Kanako". Screen International.
  2. ^ Kevin Ma (15 May 2014). "Hot Japanese Genre Films in Cannes". Film Business Asia. Archived from the original on 17 May 2014. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
  3. ^ 渇き。 (2014). allcinema.net (in Japanese). Stingray. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h 【曲リスト】中島哲也『渇き。』の選曲がぶっ飛んでいる. Qetic (in Japanese). 24 June 2014.
  5. ^ Schilling, Mark (July 4, 2014). "Ultra-Violence of 'World of Kanako' Stirs Japanese Box Office, Online Uproar". Vairety.
  6. ^ Kevin Ma (8 July 2014). "Maleficent dethrones Frozen in Japan". Film Business Asia. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 9 July 2014.
  7. ^ Schilling, Mark (26 June 2014). "'Kawaki' (The World of Kanako)". The Japan Times.

External links[edit]