this movie is a dark psycho drama based on the manga "Rinjin 13-gou" by Inoue Santa. It tells the story of Juzou, how was tortured by his classmates in elemantary school. Years later, he finds himself working with one of his former bullies, a man named Akai, who has moved into the apartment above his. As time progresses and Juzo emotionally struggles to handle these unexpected developments, a mysterious and seemingly malicious hooded figure appears. It calls itself Number 13. Edit Translation
Cast & Credits
Overall the story is okay. The theme revolves around the damaging effects bullying can have on a person. You truly feel sympathy for young Juzou and the torture he suffers at Akai’s hands.
However, the movie could have been better if not for the ending. As a middle of the road movie viewer, I found I had to work really hard to understand the final twist. While I don’t like in your face endings, I also dislike obscure endings you have little hope of figuring out. Without spoiling the ending, it involves the viewer reconsidering what Juzou's reality actually is against what could have been.
On the plus side, there are a few artistic highlights that make the movie above average. First are the imaginary house scenes where Juzou struggles with his internal other self. Second, is a part where live action changes into animation. Finally, there are a number of graphic scenes I found utterly disturbing--but in a good way.
The acting was believable by the three leads – Oguri (Juzou), Arai (Akai) and Nakamura (No. 13). Oguri plays the damaged socially inept Juzou well. No offense to Nakamura, because he did a solid job of No. 13, but I would have liked to have seen Oguri play his own alter ego. Arai as Akai was also good—I hated him for being a jerk as a kid and even more so as an adult. That must be testimony to his acting skills.
Overall, a good watch if you’re into psychological thrillers and ready to wrap your brain around the final mystery that is Juzou and No. 13.