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- 05/20/13--17:30: _Miyuu Sawai on Box ...
- 05/20/13--19:00: _It’s Miyuu Sawai vs...
- 05/20/13--20:30: _Chain: Rensa Jusats...
- 05/20/13--20:45: _Here’s another vers...
- 05/21/13--19:44: _i was going to chec...
- 05/22/13--07:00: _modelxcat: Ray 2...
- 05/22/13--08:30: _modelxcat: Ray 201...
- 05/22/13--09:44: _tatoe-donna-ni: R...
- 05/22/13--11:30: _Rika Izumi is the n...
- 05/22/13--13:01: _Rika Izumi for La B...
- 05/22/13--14:30: _Rika Izumi giving m...
- 05/22/13--16:00: _Rika Izumi, darling...
- 05/22/13--17:30: _Rika Izumi ruining ...
- 05/22/13--18:56: _Rika Izumi, Miyu, a...
- 05/22/13--20:30: _More of Rika Izumi ...
- 05/23/13--08:22: _ Young Kitagawa Keiko
- 05/23/13--11:19: _sisters-of-pluto: ...
- 05/24/13--07:00: _Some new images of ...
- 05/24/13--11:30: _ Nazotoki wa Dinne...
- 05/24/13--13:01: _no-nam-grease: A ...
- 05/20/13--17:30: Miyuu Sawai on Box TV, a promotional vehicle for Box Corporation...
- 05/20/13--19:00: It’s Miyuu Sawai vs. the Balance Test for Box TV, 2013.
- 05/20/13--20:30: Chain: Rensa Jusatsu Is a Bloody Mess
- 05/20/13--20:45: Here’s another version of the poster/DVD cover for Chain:...
- 05/22/13--07:00: modelxcat: Ray 2013_3
- 05/22/13--08:30: modelxcat: Ray 2013_4
- 05/22/13--09:44: tatoe-donna-ni: Ray 2013.04
- 05/22/13--11:30: Rika Izumi is the new face for fashion line La Bala! Here she...
- 05/22/13--13:01: Rika Izumi for La Bala, 2013.
- 05/22/13--14:30: Rika Izumi giving me some serious hair and coat envy for La...
- 05/22/13--16:00: Rika Izumi, darlingest of darlings, for la Bala, 2013.
- 05/22/13--17:30: Rika Izumi ruining my life for la Bala, 2013.
- 05/22/13--18:56: Rika Izumi, Miyu, and (I think) Miki Nanri for Ray, February...
- 05/22/13--20:30: More of Rika Izumi (and Miyu) for Ray, February 2013.
- 05/23/13--08:22: Young Kitagawa Keiko
- 05/23/13--11:19: sisters-of-pluto: Ami’s face. She’s like “bitch shut up and do...
- 05/24/13--07:00: Some new images of Keiko Kitagawa and Ryo Nishikido in...
- 05/24/13--11:30: Nazotoki wa Dinner no Ate de (Movie Trailer)
- 05/24/13--13:01: no-nam-grease: A young college girl starts dating a basketball...
Miyuu Sawai on Box TV, a promotional vehicle for Box Corporation talent.
It’s Miyuu Sawai vs. the Balance Test for Box TV, 2013.
Okay, that was the weirdest thing I’ve ever watched for a PGSM Girl.
This is not a spoiler-free review! Also discussion of rape, violence, gore, suicide.
Summary: Yoriko (Mirai Sagara) receives a text message with a story about a girl being brutally murdered. The murder victim’s best friend launched a crusade to try about find the killers, but conventional methods didn’t work. The next logical step of course is to send a cursed text message. The idea is that if you don’t forward the message, you’re obviously the killer. 12 hours pass: you die.
Yoriko’s weirded out, but her friends, Saki (Miyuu Sawai), Asami (Aoi Miura), and Chika (Miwako Wagatsuma) convince her that it’s a stupid joke. So Yoriko deletes the message.
It should be of no surprise to you that she winds up dead 12 hours later.
Aaand this is about where I started deploying my ‘wtf?’ face every ten seconds or so. Well, no, I’d deployed it before now, but it got a lot more frequent after the first 20 minutes.
I didn’t go into this movie expecting quality. Japan makes fantastic horror movies, but since this one was so hard to find, I figured this was not one of them. I was correct. But I made two incorrect assumptions: 1) it would be the standard ‘ghost of dead girl exacts revenge’ and 2) it would make any kind of sense. I was wrong on both counts. The former is good, but I was really counting on the latter to make me feel like I hadn’t wasted 70 minutes just staring at my screen with my ‘wtf?’ face.
I feel like doing a Television without Pity-esque review this time, so read the rest of this at your own risk.
There’s a really interesting opening sequence where the credits/titles role to silence except for the sound of people texting. It’s also interspersed with shots of people on a train texting. It’s pretty eerie and effective and momentarily made me get my hopes up. This was not very smart of me.
One of the passengers receives a text message asking her if she’s the criminal. She deploys her own ‘wtf?’ face, ignores it, and then starts to cross the street. Cue large truck, and the first body drops. Which really just goes to show the dangers of texting while walking.
Cut to our four “heroines” - I’ll call them the Fatal Four - who are hanging out waiting for another train after partying all night. They all look very fresh-faced btw, which is just unfair. While they’re waiting, they talk for a bit… via text message. In total silence. It makes no sense, but it’s effective in creeping me out.
Then they go to school. They’re late because of course they’re late, but Asami is briefly distracted by a girl sitting in the window. We will later find out she’s Rina Nagahama (Eriko Nakamura), resident class genius.
Luckily, they make it to class in time to hear a math lecture from their teacher (Hiroshi Yamamoto). He is really gross and creepy, though for now he just skeeves on Saki’s legs, which is a typical amount of gross and creepy.
Btw, they aren’t so much “listening” as they are “totally ignoring the lecture and texting each other.” Hilariously, Saki doesn’t even bother to hide her phone.
Later, the Fatal Four are on the roof, and they discuss the ridiculousness of chain letters. During their conversation, another girl, Midori (Ayaka Matsui) starts berating them for using their cell phones in class. Electromagnetic waves from phones are making everyone crazy! The noise prevents her from studying! She doesn’t have a phone so she has to make everyone suffer for it.
Well, Saki actually adds that last part.
Yoriko deletes the message, and Saki’s like, “Now that that ominous foreshadowing is done with, look at this hilarious picture I got from that guy I made out with last night!” They start laughing, prompting Midori to grab Saki’s phone and throw it on the ground. Which is a completely normal reaction to laughter.
Saki responds by punching Midori in the stomach. I’m a terrible person, so I find this hilarious.
Meanwhile, an obviously disturbed hospital patient is sending texts from her bed. It’s the chain letter! Her doctor (Hiromi Nakajima) comes in. You would think that the doctor would tell her it’s kind of not nice to send threatening chain letters to people. Instead she just smiles while the patient breathlessly says that they’re going to kill so many people. And then Doctor gropes her because the Psycho Lesbian trope will not die.
Oh, and it’s not clear if this relationship is at all consensual what with the patient being out of her gourd and all. Are you skeeved out? Because it’s only gonna get worse!
Everybody goes home, including Yoriko. At the 12-hour mark, she gets the same text message over and over again: “Are you the criminal?” Until of course the texter decides that Yoriko is DEFINITELY the criminal, so she’s DEFINITELY going to die - sincerely, Dead Girl.
Yoriko’s weirded out, there are standard ‘character is about to die!’ noises in the house, and she looks for an intruder. The kitchen faucet turned itself on and the wardrobe doors close by themselves, but whatever, everything’s fine.
Chika calls her asking what she’s going to wear out the next day. Yoriko says, “I’m not sure, but you know I got another weird text? It said I was going to die - oh there are bloody arms grabbing my ankles beneath my bed, that’s weird.”
No, she’s actually about that blase about it. It’s like she’s making a casual observation, but seriously bloody arms underneath the bed just grabbed you. Now might be a good time to freak out.
She finally does when the arms pull her under the bed. We are then treated to a minute of screaming and gross squelching noises, with Chika in the background like, “Did my call get dropped? Or are you screaming in pain?”
The next day, Midori is on her way to school. She’s skipping and running and smiling, and it makes me like her less. Then Yoriko totally kills her buzz by showing up dead in a barrel drum with her wrists slashed. She looks fine - other than being dead - which doesn’t really match up with what seemed to be going on the night before.
Remarkably, school is not canceled. The Terminal Trio are sitting on a bench wondering why Yoriko killed herself. Chika rationalizes that Yoriko was kind of weird on the phone last night… so obviously she committed suicide?
Chika gets the text message dooming her to die, and she wonders if maybe it isn’t real and that’s why Yoriko died. Again, Saki and Asami tell her she’s being dumb, it’s not real, etc. Chika is still clearly freaked out, and rather than playing it safe and sending it on (which I would totally do because I am super paranoid), she ignores it.
Then they decide they’re still going to go out clubbing because they can’t let a thing like their friend dying get in the way of a good time.
The Terminal Trio are kind of shitty friends.
In some consistent characterization, Saki and Asami are later waiting for Chika, complaining about how she’s always late. She shows up, asks if she can run to the bathroom, and they’re all smiles… until she’s out of earshot. Then they’re back to bitching about her. Oh, high school. I’m so glad you’re over.
Chika’s finishing her make up - in a bathroom stall with a tin compact mirror instead of outside where there’s a bigger mirror and better lighting. She gets the “are you the criminal?” texts. Someone starts knocking on the door. THE HORROR!
Chika and Mysterious Knocker knock at each other for two or three passes. Then Mysterious Knocker becomes Aggressive Knocker and pounds on the door. Chika automatically assumes it’s the dead girl, and receives confirmation via knocking. This ghost is all about knocking.
Chika decides she should just send the damn text message and sends 2 (out of 18) when the knocking stops. She comes out of the stall, convinced she’s saved herself, so she can go out partying as planned.
A DOOR OPENS BEHIND HER!
HER EAR GETS CUT OFF!
SHE LOSES AN IMPROBABLE AMOUNT OF BLOOD IN AN IMPROBABLE, SPURTY WAY!
Meanwhile, Saki and Asami are like, “Where the hell is that bitch?”
Later, a janitor goes into the bathroom and starts touching up her face in the mirror. Or she tries to. I imagine her inner monologue goes something like this. ”Huh, there’s all this red stuff in the way. I’ll have to clean that up later. Hey that doesn’t even look like me; this mirror really is dirty. Jeez, this red stuff is everywhere, one might say splattered, and - OH GOD DEAD BODY! REALLY REALLY GROSS DEAD BODY!”
In an incredible gore escalation, Chika’s face is taped to the bathroom mirror.
And they show us what she looks like sans face.
Asami and Saki, i.e. the Dead Duo, talk to the police and are still remarkably unperturbed by all of this. Even though two of their friends are dead, and did I mention Chika’s face was freaking cut off?
Asami and Saki then wonder if maybe someone’s targeting them specifically, because even if it’s not upsetting, two of them dying in as many days is probably related. Saki suddenly remembers that she, Chika, and Yuriko were friends with this girl, Aya, when they were younger. They had a fight and broke up. So obviously she’s killing them off as revenge, and the logical thing to do is go see her and… tell her to stop?
Only they can’t because Aya went nuts and killed her family 3 months earlier.
The Dead Duo are moping on a swing set. The moping increases when Asami gets the text message. And again: they discuss the possibility of sending the text, but decide not to because even if something’s hinky about all this dying, it definitely can’t be the text messages threatening to kill them. Saki then says something like, “But if you did die, I wouldn’t have anyone to eat lunch with.” That sounds callous, but it’s actually the only time I believe they actually like each other. It’s a nicely acted moment.
Saki has a nightmare where they show us Chika’s corpse again a few more times, because once wasn’t enough!
She’s woken up by her phone. It’s the remaining member of Dead Duo.
Asami: Heyyyy, so I chickened out and sent the text message. And I sent the last one to you.
Saki: BOO YOU WHORE.
Asami: Well, I don’t know that many people! And anyway…
Saki: Asami, your mysterious silence is freaking me out.
Saki: Seriously, I’m trying to yell at you, and it’s a wasted effort if you’re not listening.
Saki: HOLY SHIT YOU’RE BEING ATTACKED. This would be a really good time to have magic powers and a talking cat or something. Too bad I just have a bicycle and an excellent bitchface.
She ends the call and sees she has the text message. She is not best pleased.
Saki pedals to Asami’s apartment complex to help her. She sees Asami. She’s alive, yay! Only then she turns around and her face and hands are all bloody and bruised. Not yay! Asami asks Saki to help her.
Saki runs away because she’s THE WORST.
In the microsecond Saki is looking away, someone grabs Asami, throws her into the back of a car, and drives away. Asami is freaking out in the backseat, and Saki has the grace to look guilty about how this played out.
The next day, for some reason, Saki goes to the math teacher for help. She doesn’t rethink this even when she finds him surfing a porn site. She explains the situation, and the teacher offers to figure out where the message originated from.
Provided Saki sleeps with him.
She’s appropriately pissed off (but sadly doesn’t punch him in the stomach) but agrees since her other option is apparently die. Apparently, Asami made her a believer. Even though she was still alive last time Saki saw her. And kidnapped in a car. And after she forwarded the chain.
But there I go, harping on continuity.
Teacher traces the signal back to a hospital via a Magical Computer. Teacher’s all jazzed for his coercive rape, but Saki says she has to make sure she’s not gonna die first.
So they head to the hospital and ask to see the original sender, Mita Izumi (Tomona Hirota), but she isn’t allowed any visitors. Ever. Saki is all, “Fuck that noise,” and she and Teacher head up to the girl’s room.
Which is locked.
Luckily, Teacher can pick locks. Alarming!
The patient is lying underneath the covers of her bed - head included. The only visible body part is her hand, which is furiously texting. Also alarming!
Saki does the perfectly logical thing and takes the phone away. This apparently causes Mita to have a psychotic break of some kind, because she starts screaming and then everyone’s screaming. The Doctor hustles Saki and Teacher out of the room… but not before Doctor gives Mita her phone back.
Saki is then totally cool with explaining the situation to Doctor. This seems like not a very smart thing to in front of someone who can commit you, but hey, Saki’s crazy and the Doctor’s evil anyway. Doctor then tells them Mita’s story.
Dead Girl in the texts is actually Mita, who obviously did not die. She was, however, raped, beaten, and mutilated. She was pregnant at the time, and the baby died. She healed physically, but her mind is permanently broken. The only thing that keeps her calm is sending out the texts.
Teacher looks very uncomfortable while this story is being told. At this point, I was kind of hoping he was the criminal and this was all an elaborate ruse to kill Teacher and get revenge on a gross rapist. That’s not what happens and I am disappointed, so I’ll probably watch Gone later.
Saki gets the text that asks her if she’s the criminal. Or possibly the one that tells her she’s going to die. I don’t know, there are a million of these, sue me. The point is, she’s running out of time, and Doctor helpfully (and randomly) points out that since Mita can’t leave the hospital, someone else might be following up on the whole “murder” thing. Teacher breaks out the Magic Computer again, and traces the signal of the newest text… to the hospital. Only this time he’s able to narrow it down to the basement, because his computer has become even more magical.
PS - the text is from Asami.
Though it’s obviously not from her actual number or Saki would have known this straight off. How does Teacher figure all this out? WHO KNOWS!
Teacher and Saki head down to the basement, where they naturally head down a creepy hallway, open a creepy door, wind up in a creepy room with a creepy coffin, and get locked in by Doctor. This leaves Saki no other option but to open to coffin because that’s how these movies work.
It’s Asami, and it looks like someone really did a number on her face.
But Asami is not dead!
She stabs the teacher in the forehead with a knife!
I may have cheered.
Okay, I definitely cheered.
Anyway, then Asami decides to kill Saki, and considering how bad a friend she is, I don’t really blame her. Saki tries to escape, but surprisingly, the door has not unlocked itself.
Asami stalks Saki with a hammer that I mistook for a meat pounder. It may actually still be one. It did look like Teacher got stabbed with a steak knife.
Meanwhile, Doctor is heading upstairs, happy to have orchestrated two more deaths thanks to the chain letter.
She gets a text asking if she’s the criminal. For some reason, this does not alarm her. And she follows a shadow into an empty operating room.
Back in the basement, Asami reveals that her mutilated face is actually a mask. Why is she wearing a mask? Who cares. The more pertinent question: why is she making with the murder all of a sudden?
Asami: Well, obviously I have to kill all of you.
Saki: I notice you’re still not touching on WHY you have to kill me.
Asami: It’s simple. I wanted to hang out with Rina Nagahama.
Saki: …Nagahama? Seriously?
Asami: I wanted to eat with her.
Saki: Well, I guess that explains that meaningful look you exchanged the other day.
Asami: I wanted to play with her.
Saki: Ignoring the weirdness of that statement, it occurs to me that this is deeply ridiculous.
Asami: I wanted to study with her.
Saki: Jesus, I get it. SO WHY DIDN’T YOU?
Asami: Duh, Saki. I couldn’t as long as you were alive.
Saki: …Are you seriously telling me that you killed our friends because you didn’t want to have the ‘I want to break up’ conversation?
Asami: What, it’s a totally legit reason. Oh, and I’d like to get back to killing you now.
Asami chases Saki around a bit - and because this is the final chase sequence, Saki falls down and knocks shit over for no reason. Saki is backed into a corner. Asami is about to kill her.
Teacher lurches into frame and tries to stab Asami.
It really sucks that I can’t be happy about Miyuu not dying because Teacher is a gross rapist.
Anyway, Teacher keeps trying to stab Asami. Hilariously, Asami just keeps whacking him in the head with the hammer. She just stands there while he flails around saying he’s going to fuck her up, and she casually bludgeons him. It’s kind of awesome.
He falls, and this time he’s really dead. Not even the magic computer can save him. And I am happy once more.
Saki: Now that gross rapist is out of the way for real, can we get back to how deeply fucked up you are? You could have just left.
Asami: It wasn’t that easy.
Saki: No, actually, it’s very easy. You could have walked away and sat by Rina. BOOM - INSTANT FRIENDSHIP. AND NO ONE DIES.
Asami: Well, the doctor said I should kill you guys because murder is way less complicated than awkward conversations.
Saki: …wait. You mean weird doctor from before?
Asami: Yup. When Yoriko got the chain letter, we figured it’d be the perfect excuse to murder her since no one would investigate that kind of thing no matter how deeply random her “suicide” was.
This in no way explains the bloody arms and under the bed slice and dice shenanigans, but we have no time to explain bad continuity! There’s only 10 minutes left, and some characters are still alive!
So we cut back to the doctor, who I’ll remind you is in the abandoned operating room. Does no one else work in this hospital?
SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS FALL TO THE FLOOR!
DOCTOR GETS A TEXT!
‘YOU ARE DEFINITELY DEAD!’
BRIGHT OPERATING LIGHT BLINDS THE DOCTOR! - and the audience for that matter, that was annoying
THERE IS A SHADOW!
TEACHER TURNS AND HAS A CLASS ‘OH SHIT I’M ABOUT TO DIE’ FACE!
Back in the basement:
Saki: Okay, let me get this straight. The doctor is telling you to kill people?
Asami: Yeah, pretty much.
Saki: I cannot believe you killed Yoriko and Chika—
Asami: Oh, no I didn’t kill Chika.
Asami: Remember, dumbass, I was with you the whole time.
Saki: Hang on, let me flashback for a second.
Asami: God, could you hurry up? I’ve been trying to kill you for 15 minutes.
Saki: Surprisingly, I am not in a hurry for that to happen. Anyway, you were right. We were on the bench bitching about Chika while she was being brutally murdered. Rather than examine my feelings about this, if you didn’t kill her, who did? Was it the doctor or what?
Before Asami can answer, her phone rings.
You guessed it: Asami is definitely the criminal and she’s definitely going to die. Definitely.
This is pretty much all Asami can deal with because apparently Mita also tells her to kill people. They’re just an evil, lesbian trio trying to kill everyone, but everyone’s not supposed to include Asami!
Asami ultimately decides it can’t be helped, so she leaves the basement to the tune of her own freaky giggling. This is all so strange, Saki apparently forgets that she’s a killer, since she seems pretty concerned about Asami.
The door closes.
Saki reluctantly goes to the door because horror movie trope DEMANDS that she go to the door.
But before she can open it, blood starts pouring from underneath the door. Well, it’s supposed to be blood, but it looks like red Kool-Aid or something.
When she does finally walk outside, Asami’s headless body falls against her, and finally, Saki starts screaming her head off. She flees the hospital, and again, I am amazed at how there is literally no one else in the hospital.
Except of course for the doctor who is dead and dismembered in the operating room.
And Mita, who is happily texting away.
The next day, annoying Midori is again all smiling and skippy. She gets even happier when she sees the object of Asami’s crazy affections, Rina. Midori is so excited! She finally has a cell phone! She asks Rina for her number.
But Rina doesn’t have a cell phone.
Midori is the most annoying character ever, so she basically says, “Wow, what a weirdo that makes you. Whatever, I’m gonna go send messages to someone else!”
I find it completely implausible that anyone would be texting buddies with Midori.
Midori does her flouncy skip/jog thing away from Rina when she gets a text. Which is weird since she hasn’t given out her phone number yet. It’s actually not the chain letter: it’s just the text asking if she’s the criminal. The audience and Midori are both understandably confused.
Things are not resolved after the reveal that Rina totally DOES have a cell phone and a serial killer smile to boot. So Rina is definitely the criminal! And definitely— actually nothing else is definite. If she’s working with Mita, then she should have been buds with Asami already AND NONE OF THIS WOULD HAVE HAPPENED. THIS MOVIE IS FUCKING WITH MY BRAIN.
Saki isn’t much saner. She’s apparently been wandering around all night, and she’s got the “I’m gonna die!” giggles. And then finally, the last damn text message arrives at Saki’s phone. Saki finds this as rewarding as I do, as the “I’m gonna die!” giggles intensify. She starts to cross the street.
Enter truck, exit Saki.
THE WEIRDEST, WEIRDEST END
I don’t know. I read somewhere that this is actually something of a splatter satire, but that’s really unclear to me. The deaths are bad and ridiculous, but I’ve seen legit horror movies with deaths and gore on par. I can’t tell if the movie’s taking itself seriously or not. And even if it’s a satire, should the plot not at some point make sense? I would think a cohesive plot is even more important with satire.
Eh, maybe I just don’t get it.
Here’s another version of the poster/DVD cover for Chain: Rensa Jusatsu. Good graphic design if nothing else.
Also, I completely forgot to link to where you can watch the film! Sorry about that. You can stream it here.
i was going to check my tracked tags, as i am wont to do from time to time
and then i see literally the best thing ever
do you see it?
do you see the majesty?
do you see literally the most perfect preview icon in the universe
god i love tumblr
Rika Izumi is the new face for fashion line La Bala! Here she is modeling their 2013 Spring/Summer collection.
Rika Izumi for La Bala, 2013.
Rika Izumi giving me some serious hair and coat envy for La Bala, 2013.
Rika Izumi, darlingest of darlings, for la Bala, 2013.
Rika Izumi ruining my life for la Bala, 2013.
Rika Izumi, Miyu, and (I think) Miki Nanri for Ray, February 2013.
More of Rika Izumi (and Miyu) for Ray, February 2013.
Young Kitagawa Keiko
Ami’s face. She’s like “bitch shut up and do your homework”
Some new images of Keiko Kitagawa and Ryo Nishikido in Dakishimetai, 2013.
Nazotoki wa Dinner no Ate de (Movie Trailer)
A young college girl starts dating a basketball coach but falls in love with the coach’s student.
Yamapi & Keiko have so much chemistry! (And kiss scenes ;D)