This is my V-Cinema review of Noise from back in 2017.
Release Date: March 01st, 2019
Running Time: 124 mins
Director: Yusaku Matsumoto
Writer: Yusaku Matsumoto (Screenplay),
Starring: Kokoro Shinozaki, Urana Anjo, Kohsuke Suzuki, Kentaro Kishi,
Noise is the heartfelt debut feature film from Yusaku Matsumoto. It’s set in Akihabara, the district of Tokyo where anime, idol, and game culture meet. The story finds its origins in the 2008 Akihabara Massacre. Matsumoto conducted research into the reasons people commit mass-killings. He concluded that a myriad of problems create killers and there are no simple answers, something he aims to show with Noise. Indeed, while shooting, he went even further with his line of investigation and worked with everyone on set to create a narrative made up of different ideas and emotions about the negative factors of life. The final result is a complex film which uses the lives of three young people drawn to Akihabara as a canvas to paint a picture of the problems with contemporary Japanese society, exploring issues such as the breakdown of the family unit, exploitation, debt, and violence. This approach leads to fractured narrative that manages to illustrate a comprehensive vision of the bleak reality for those caught at the bottom of society
The film is an ensemble piece that follows a group of characters over the course of a few days. The focus is mostly on budding blonde-haired idol Misa (portrayed by real-life idol Kokoro Shinozaki, Miss iD 2015 and formerly of idol group petit pas!). Misa’s connection with Akihabara is deep since her mother died in the massacre. The shockwaves of her senseless death shook Misa’s life apart and made worse her already bad relationship with her controlling and abusive father. With few people she connects with, she now seeks to be an idol with the group LUUKA to get closer to the spirit of her mother but an idol’s life is tough and work on the underground idol circuit doesn’t pay so she doubles up as a worker in a massage parlour. As her career ebbs and flows, her grief remains and she becomes disorientated from those around her who are also struggling with debt and grief.