Shokuzai (2012)

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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 306 users
Reviews: 1 users

15 years ago in a small village, an elementary school student named Emiri was kidnapped and killed by an unknown man. Her body was discovered by 4 of her friends. The man was never caught. Emiri's mother Asako blames the 4 friends who could not remember the murder's face. Years later, the 4 kids are now adults.
Based on a novel by Kanae Minato.

  • Native title:

  • Also Known as:

    Atonement; Penance;

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17 people found this review helpful
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May 10, 2012
  • Overall 9.0
  • Story 9.0
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 9.0
  • Rewatch Value 10
Positive thoughts:

-Kiyoshi Kurosawa's films have always had a wonderfully surreal and eerie pitch to them, and the same goes for this TV mini-series. If you didn't know, there'd be no way to tell this was a TV show rather than a film.

-The cast is excellent, no exceptions.

-The premise and format of Shokuzai is highly intriguing: Five grade-school girls are good friends. One is abducted and murdered. Each subsequent episode read more reveals how this event screwed up all of their lives in completely different ways.

-The plot-line is highly suspenseful and unpredictable. One never knows what exactly is happening with each individual storyline or the overarching plot until near the end of each episode.

Negative thoughts:

-The show goes a bit too far into twisted and disturbing territory towards the end. I do immensely enjoy tragic and disturbing stories, and Shokuzai succeeded in this aspect for most of its duration, but by the end of the show it feels like the show starts becoming as twisted and disturbing as possible merely for the sake of it.

-Nearly every male character is either deranged or evil.

Overall thoughts:

I've always been more partial to Korean dramas, but Shokuzai has launched me into the Japanese drama scene, particularly WOWOW's mini-series'. Great show, and I hope to find more like it.
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Make a Recommendation More recs (1)Recommendations

Both are collection of creepy, dark, inter-linked stories about traumatized, defected people. Both have a theme revolving around guilt.
Recommended by bossmama
Both show a mother looking to get revenge for her murdered daughter.
Recommended by mecchaumai

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Comments (8)

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    J-DRAMASROCK May 15, 2017

    A real psycho drama....but I loved it! <3

  • Reply
    bossmama Aug 7, 2016 - edited

    Kanae Minato's works fit well with surreal and eerie portrayal. Just like Confessions, this drama could easily turn to be a makjang fest if not for the directing choice. The ending can be a miss for some but for me it's a hit. It fits the show's theme really well. Oh, and Ando Sakura's acting here is AMAZING.

  • Reply
    bmore Oct 31, 2015
    Reveal Spoiler »
  • Reply
    SprinkledPink Sep 20, 2015

    What...a lame twist. lol

  • Reply
    Simplifica Apr 1, 2015

    IMHO, people must watch Shokuzai ep 1 ... That Aoi Yuu's episode is truly a masterpiece.

  • Reply
    Cheer Oct 30, 2014

    This drama had so much potential but I think the screenwriter handled the plot in the very wrong way. It was unbearably slow and the episodic pattern didn't help at all, actually it made things even worse. The final fact reveal ruined everything that the drama built in the first 4 episodes, that was so wrong. I also didn't feel that great revenge feel I usually get from similar dramas. However, it still remain as a watchable dark revenge tale for the lovers of the theme.

    Kurosawa Kiyoshi's directing style impressed me though. However, great actors like Koizumi, Aoi, Ikewaki and Ando didn't manage to shine as much as their talents allow them to.

  • Reply
    mecchaumai May 27, 2014

    I definitely need to rewatch this

  • Reply
    Juniko Mar 3, 2014

    It was shown as movie in a theater near my house, in 2 parts.

  • Reply
    Athena0 Feb 19, 2013

    what a superb drama....I can't believed I've watch it all in one day! dark with a totally unexpected twist...shows how revenge leaves a person more empty

  • Reply
    xnopex Dec 15, 2012

    just finished this. very good. i wish more wowow shows were subbed

  • Reply
    akyoku Oct 15, 2012

    I've really enjoyed the darkness of the story and the superb acting!

    But as interesting as every episode centering around the 4 girls was, as disappointing was the last episode. They put a reason where there wouldn't have to be one.

    Still, I liked how the mother is looking for closure all through the show.

  • Reply
    irisixora Jun 14, 2012

    this drama is way too slow....

  • Reply
    Mareina Feb 24, 2012

    Very dark, quiet and sometimes even slow, but full of suspense.


  • Country:

  • Type:

  • Episodes:

  • Aired:

    Jan 8, 2012 to Feb 5, 2012
  • Aired On:

  • Network:

  • Duration:

    55 min.


  • Score:

    7.5 (scored by 306 users)
  • Ranked:

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