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8:42 pm - 10/17/2011

Renbutsu Misako stars in first movie adaptation of the "Akihabara Massacre" + netizen reactions


A scene from RIVER. Renbutsu Misako surveys the intersection where the actual "Akihabara Massacre" took place.

The "Akihabara Massacre" which took place in Tokyo's Akihabara district in June of 2008 and resulted in 17 casualties (7 dead, 10 injured) will be adapted into a movie.

With Renbutsu Misako (20) starring and Hiroki Ryuichi directing, "RIVER" will be releasing in March of next year as the first theatrical work to ever to deal with this incident. Playing the role of a girl who has lost her lover, Renbutsu speaks of a sense of growth with regards to the contents that reference the actual incident.

Renbutsu plays the role of a woman who lost her "Appliance Geek" lover in the incident. Though she has suffered a great shock, this movie depicts how she recovers through her relationships with other people. More so than the gruesome incident itself, it focuses on the heartbreak of losing a loved one.

Hiroki Ryuichi, who had directed Yomei Ikkagetsu no Hanayome (2009) among others, spoke of his intentions behind planning and even working with the script: "Even though it was such a shocking incident, there are fewer and fewer people talking about it as time passes. I wanted to eternalize it by turning it into a movie."

RIVER will make its premiere at TOKYO FILMeX 2011 (November 19~27), an annual film exhibition that showcases original Asian works. Toshie Nigishi (57) and Taguchi Tomorowo (53) will also be starring.


Reactions from netizens on 2ch and Twitter have been overwhelmingly negative, ranging mostly from shock to disgust, anger and derision. Some believe it's too soon for the incident to be used this way, others think it's crazy, still more are wondering why the massacre has to be used at all as the basis of this movie. For more information about the massacre, this is the original Reuters article. Kato was sentenced to death this March, and he filed for an appeal a week later.

Source, self-translated.

Sorry for the double post, but I figured I might as well share this anyway since I included some things not mentioned in the ANN article.
squeekzoid 18th-Oct-2011 03:38 am (UTC)
The netizens are entitled to their opinions, but the people the filmmaker should really listen to are the victims and their families. I remember when they started making 9/11 movies, most of the directors were very careful to include victims in the filmmaking process. I wonder if this director did that as well.
newsvsyamapi 18th-Oct-2011 09:12 pm (UTC)
+1
baka_tenshi 18th-Oct-2011 06:07 am (UTC)
no, thank you. D: i was worried that the movie would exploit what happened instead of taking this route.
_kataomoi_ 18th-Oct-2011 04:13 pm (UTC)
So crazy. I was a block down when I heard all the screaming. It's so weird to think those memories are going to be part of a movie. It gives you a weird feeling when filmmakers do something with a tragedy that happened to or in very close proximity to you...

/ramble
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