The murder of Emili, a young girl, leaves the inhabitants of a small Japanese village in shock. The raped body of Emily is found by the four classmates with whom she was playing. The murder is never solved. Emili's mother Asako (Kyoko Koizumi) is torn by grief and puts a curse on the four girls when they claim that they don't remember the killer's face. Each of the girls, in their own way, will do their penance for their silence. Deeply struck by the words of Asako and burdened with her curse, the four girls are forced into adulthood which eventually triggers a tragic chain of events. ~Based on a novel by Kanae Minato.
Cast & Credits
-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 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.
-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.
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.