Kamisama no Iutoori is definitely NOT a movie for everyone!!!
The rating in imdb is only 6.4 out 10 but for me, it’s 4 out 5. Yup!!! I rarely have same opinion with people in imdb 😉
When it comes to crazy imagination, beyond the world and unthinkable…I have to hand it to the Japanese, they always come up with out of the box story, one that Hollywood wouldn’t even think of making it.
Kamisama no Iutoori or As God’s Will is based on a Manga under the same title, 神さまの言うとおり written by Kaneshiro Muneyaki and Fujimura Akeji. The live action version is directed by the amazing Miike Takashi (13 Assassins).
The story is centered on Takahata Shun (Fukushi Sota) who thinks that his life is really boring. The movie begins with these quotes:
Takahata: “God, My life is boring”
Amaya: “You (refers to God)…For what purpose do we live?“
Soon after that, Takahata regrets his words and wishes for his boring life to return. Out of the blue, a talking and moving Daruma Doll shows up and blowing people up with its tiny red balls. One by one, his classmates die in horrible ways.
Takahata learns that Daruma is the first of a series of brutal death game. It kinda reminds me of Battle Royale because of its survival of the fittest theme but instead of students killing each other, Kamisama no Iutoori is more to how to survive in a death again against superios creatures. The only way to beat the creature is by following the rules.
The sudden death game appears around the world, we don’t know what kind of games happen in another country as the movie only reports that the game happens around the world. In Japan, the game is very traditional. Daruma, Maneki Neko, Kokeshi and Shiroi Kuma are all Japanese toys. All the students have to pass each game to survive.
What I like the most about the plot is the unpredictable chain of event…although it’s a benefit that belongs to people who haven’t read the manga yet. It probably has different effect to people who had read the manga as they tend to lost the element of surprise. I know that the plot is something that will never happen and unbelievable, so I highly advice you to watch this with open mind and ready for everything 😉
The movie is quite gory but it still has its level of fun as it keeps us wondering what is the next game and who will join the party. In some way, you can easily guess who will advance to next level but I am glad the ending is NOT how I think it would be. Throughout the movie I keep thinking how it’s going to end BUT I am soooo happy I was wrong!! I just love a good twist 🙂
As for the characters, I am a bit bias here because I don’t know (since I haven’t read the book) whether the characters are being properly acted or not. Takahata as the main character (acted by Fukushi Sota) is not really interesting, I can’t really understand his true-self. He looks like a confused boy who doesn’t know whether to be bored, naughty or nice…he is like a person who lost his identity, then again that’s how teenagers are. The most interesting characters are Amaya Takeru (Kamiki Ryunosuke) and Satake (Sometani Shota). Those two have great confident and being acted by two Japanese best young actors.
Since we are talking about actors, it’s really hard not to point out that Sometani with his short performance and Kamiki as the co-star totally outshine Fukushi as the leading actor. Fukushi isn’t that bad but to act with such talent as Kamiki and Sometani, he really has to improve his acting skill.
I am not the only one thinking that way. Jdorama Confession mentioned:
It’s amazing how Sometani with such short performance really stood out and very memorable. Somehow I wish he has more time. As for Kamiki…wow!! I love him even more now. For someone who is so nice (Satoh Takeru even mentioned that Kamiki has such pure heart and no evil in him) Kamiki is really evil here. He really reminds me of Cillian Murphy, someone who can act out of his real personality and does it perfectly.
As for Fukushi…I am sure he can improve more as time goes 🙂
Overall, I really like this movie and recommend it to people who like gore and unusual death game. There are still some flaws but still enjoyable. Not everyone’s cup of tea…that’s for sure, but even in such gore you can still find good morale and value (that’s the best part of Japanese cinema, IMO)…and the ending is open for a sequel. It’s from manga so I am sure the story is still far longer than the live action movie.