A man named Gates heads a mysterious group called “Shinbunshi” who don newspaper masks and post internet videos informing the public of their crimes of justice against people they deem guilty of things not punishable by law. Meanwhile, Erika Yoshino, an elite inspector from the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department’s cyber crime division attempts to track down the members of Shinbunshi and put a stop to their crimes. However, the group gradually begins to win over the support of the public with their videos.
Based on the manga ‘Yokokuhan’ by Tsutsui Tetsuya.
Excerpted from: Mydramalist
Words from me:
It’s been awhile since I’ve watched a Japanese movie themed with crime investigation and psychological battles but that doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten to enjoy the genre. What I specifically liked about this film even with its lack or rather non-existent action scenes was how the main character came into being. I marvel at the main lead being an antagonist and protagonist at the same time. Movies like this should be appreciated for the scriptwriter’s wit, along with the actor’s perfect role execution. Have I mentioned that the main actor Ikuta Toma who acted as Gates is one of my favorite Japanese actors? Well, it’s not that relevant but the guy certainly knows how to act all kinds of character, from a depressed artist to being a stage comedian, he does his roles extremely well. I’m not saying this because he is my bias, but because this is how his portfolio and credentials say so.
Now that being said, I’m going to dive into more details about the film without the spoilers.
The whole storyline is about one unfortunate guy who tries to make a difference with the use of the World Wide Web and the perks of anonymity that comes with it. This guy remains anonymous because he wears a newspaper to cover his face while he stirs up the police, the government and most of all the netizens. The film will show some graphic and violent things done in the internet using live streaming and might be disturbing, but don’t let this get too much inside your head because this is not about the rated PG stuff, this is about something more, it is about a message being sent and interpreted by different people. Besides the icky stuff would only last for a couple of seconds in intermittent scenes. The film may seem slow and frustrating at times but the fact that you have to watch it until the end to appreciate whatever is currently happening, makes all 1 hour and 59 minutes of screen time worth it.
Music wise, it wasn’t as memorable to me since I was too engrossed with the story and what was happening for me to mind the background music much. Cinematography wise, there’s nothing much to be appreciated since most of the scenes took place in a room or being projected via the internet. Sub characters though are worth mentioning. I give my kudos to Toda Erika for being such a hard ass detective in this film even though she didn’t do much running or fighting, I still liked her. Heh. The fact that she’s still a tough nut in the middle of a male dominated environment, this did not deter her from doing her job. Then there are these other guys, the friends of the main character. I want to pinpoint my favorite among the three, but I can’t. I liked all guys equally because they had their own charm. Suzuki Ryohei as Kansai with his tall stocky looking body but with a heart of gold, while Arakawa Yoshiyoshi named Metabo is the fat bellied guy who seems too timid when it comes to authority figures but definitely can retaliate when needed and lastly Hamada Gaku as Nobita with his eye glasses and his dream to have girlfriend. I find that dream kind of cute and yet endearing making him the most vulnerable looking guy in the bunch. But overall, I think I liked each of them on the get go.
I recommend this film to those who would want to watch something with a more interesting story line.