My introduction to Takashi Miike started off on the wrong foot. A classmate of mine lent me Audition, emphasizing just how talented the director was. Of course, Audition ended up being a gruesome horror film… from what I heard; I admittedly didn’t make it past the first 20 minutes due to the intensity of the film. My next encounter with the beloved director, Ichi the Killer, went way better (and if you haven’t seen Ichi the Killer, do it right now, this very second). Since then, Takashi Miike has had his American cult following grow even more with films like Sukiyaki Western: Django, 13 Assassins, and Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai.
With the trailer for his new film, Wara No Tate (Shield of Straw), Takashi takes his own spin on the vigilante genre. As the plot goes, Kunihide Kiyomaru (played by Battle Royale‘s Tatsuya Fujiwara) confesses to the murder of a 7-year old girl. In an act of revenge, the girl’s grandfather puts out a public message: 1 billion Yen for the murder of Kiyomaru. With the entire population thrown into a chaotic frenzy, the police must protect the alleged murderer from desperate vigilantes so he can face proper justice.
Outside of the cheesy J-Pop music, Wara No Tate is looking amazing. There’s no word on a US release date yet, but considering it’s already been released in Japan, I suspect a fall date should be within reason.