Romaji: Kami-sama no Iutoori
Release Date: November 15th, 2014 (Japan)
Running Time: 83 mins.
Director: Takashi Miike
Starring: Sota Fukushi, Hirona Yamazaki, Ryunosuke Kamiki, Mio Yuki, Shota Sometani, Nao Omori, Lily Franky
When Takashi Miike announced he was going back to making gory and funny films I couldn’t help but grin. When I saw this trailer I replayed it a dozen times and possibly (probably) cackled with glee at the comedy! This trailer is just fun!
Shun Takawata is a high school student who lives an ordinary life until he finds himself forced to participate in a series of children’s games which turn extremely deadly as is seen when his teacher’s head explodes! Shun has to play the games and win to survive otherwise he will die. It gets complicated because his friend Ichika Akimoto (Yamazaki) is also playing. Nobody knows who or what has caused this bizarre game but a fellow student named Takeru Amaya (Kamiki) is enjoying seeing his classmates die…
Kami-sama no Iu Toori translates as Just as God Said but the working title has commonly been translated into As the God’s Will. It is based on a horror-survival manga series written by Muneyuki Kaneshiro and illustrated by Akeji Fujimura and follows Shun Takahata and his classmates who are forced to play deadly games to avoid death. There are two arcs, the first in Bessatsu Shounen Magazine and that ran from 2011 to 2012. The current arc is in Weekly Shounen Magazine.
Death game/survival manga are a big genre that are becoming much more available in the west (my local library has at least two different titles, one being Judge, and multiple volumes). They are regularly made into movies because of the chance to shoehorn a bunch of idols into the lead roles and this seems to be part of the trend only it has Takashi Miike.
He is releasing two films this year, the first being Over Your Dead Body, a Ringu/Audition type horror film which is screened at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. Reviews have largely been positive although it seems to run along whether people are willing to accept that Miike is playing a slow-burn game. At the very least, J-horror fans shall love it. For those who want a more manic time, there is this which comes out in November and his more in tune with something like One Missed Call (2004) crossed with the colourful hyperactive For Loves Sake (2012). Seeing him turn games such as Daruma-san ga Koronda (the daruma doll fell over¹) into a massacre looks too funny to be missed as the trailer shows.
The people taking part in the horror show are an amazingly talented bunch with experienced actor Nao Omori, star of The Ravine of Goodbye (2013) and Lily Franky, a supporting actor and a hilarious one at that in Judge! (2014). They are providing support for a new generation of actors like Ryunosuke Kamiki, one of the standouts in the ensemble school drama, The Kirishima Thing (2012) and Hirona Yamazaki, one of the star of Lesson of Evil (2012), another Miike film which gets a release at the end of September courtesy of Third Window Films. The lead is Sota Fukushi who was bland in Library Wars (2013). The film gets a release in November and I cannot wait to see it!
Here’s an image gallery:
¹The game involves one person being it and saying ‘daruma-san ga koronda’ while others race around behind them. When “it” says “tomare!”, everybody must freeze and it tries to catch people who are still moving. I can see how this can be utilised to turn the story into a horror show.