Sometan Shota: Top 10 Project: #8 Strawberry Night and Lesson of the Evil

 It’s a tie….

Two films take the next spot. Two very different films where Sometani plays as a supporting cast member but is not forgotten. The first the suspense drama Strawberry Night (2013) and the second the blood-bath horror Lesson of the Evil (2012).

Strawberry Night (Movie)-p1.jpg

The Storyline

 Strawberry Night is the continuation film of the Fuji TV series “Strawberry Night” set after the events of the drama.

Detective Reiko Himekawa (Yuko Takeuchi) investigates the homicide of a notorious gang member. The police suspect its gang related. Then one day a mysterious stranger calls to claim that the murder is someone named Kento Yanai. A superior officer, however, informs Reiko not to pursue the lead or Kento Yanai. But Reiko soon becomes suspicious and investigates the man on her own. She then meets high-ranking gang member Isao Makita (Takao Osawa). They investigate the case together and become attracted to each other ….

Sometani’s role….

snight
Without fail

Sometani plays the expecting daddy and suspected murderer Kento Yanai. A college aged kid who lives alone with his sister Chie Yanai (Miyuki Yokoyama), before her untimely death. SPOILERS AHEAD.

"Have you ever seen hell?"

After walking in on his sister’s death, Kento vows revenge against the man who killed her. That man is gang member Mitsuru Kobayashi, who is found dead 10 days afterwards.As the story unfolds we learn about Chie being molested by her father, and even coming-on to Kento who tells her to run away. Chie then gets a boyfriend Kobayashi, and it’s because of this Kento stalks Kobayashi and ends up attacking him in the rain, only to be knocked down and kicked. Kobayashi then confesses that he killed her because she cheated on him with their father.

"My sister always cried, all that was left was a tear..."

Kento’s last resort is then to go to Mr. Makita, a gang leader from the Ryuzuki group and ask for Kobayashi to be killed, even offering information that could help kill Fujimoto a suspected traitor in the gang.  Makita is hesitant to allow the kill but as the story progresses Kento and Makita confront Kobayashi in his apartment with a knife.

Opinion

As far as detective drama’s go in Japan, Strawberry Night is one of the best in recent years. And Strawberry Night: the movie continues with the same fashion with likeable characters, solid acting performances and an interesting inter-twined storylines, with  Sometani holding his own as the youngest in the cast with such an older, more established cast. Although he’s only interaction is with Takao.

Two scenes you should watch out for are the ‘rain scene’ where Sometani plays a desperate brother hell-bent on vengeance after the death of his beloved sister, and loathed father. As well as, the ‘apartment scene’ where in contrast to the fight-to-kill mentality he had against Koyabashi at the start of the film, Kento is now resolved, questioning murder, crying about the decision. But when Kobayashi is killed, he then turns sinister with a sense achievement.

This would be a recommendation for anyone new to Sometani, but not ready for the intensity (or violence) of some of his other films, such as Himizu. This does however give a small preview of Sometani’s ‘dramatic’ acting. And the reason why he gets the ‘complicated’ characters roles.

3.5_out_of_5_stars

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Lesson of the Evil-p1.jpg

  • Movie: Lesson of the Evil
  • Romaji: Aku no Kyoten
  • Japanese: 悪の教典
  • Director: Takashi Miike
  • Release Date: November 10, 2012
  • Runtime: 129 min.
  • Genre: School / Suspense / Horror
  • Starring: Ito Hideaki, Yamada Takayuki, Hira Takehiro, Sometani Shota, Hayashi Kento, Nikaido Fumi, Kudo Asuko, Takeuchi Toshi, Mizuno Erina, Arai Atsushi, Nishii Yukito, Asaka Koudai, Natsui Runa, Fujiwara Kaoru, Nagase Tasuku, Ozeki Riku, and more….

 The Storyline

Seemingly normal high school teacher Seiji Hasumi (Ito Hideaki) is the most popular teacher in school. However, he holds a dark past. Seiji is a psychopath. And as the countdown to the school festival happens, Seiji starts to unravel with deadly consequences. Will anyone survive the massacre?

Sometani’s role….

lesson
At Kitahara

Third year senior Hayami Keisuke is an intelligent student destined to become someone in the future, however its his smartass attitude that ultimately is his downfall. SPOILERS BELOW

Watch your step

After a successful last year cheating on exams, Hayami offers the same service but with different results. Discovering that someone has installed a phone-signal interference jamming device, Hayami first suspects his home room teacher Tsurii. However, when Tsurii admits to not being involved the suspicion is shifted to new teacher Hasumi. What are these suicides that happened in a girls school? and how is Hasumi involved?

Soon Tsurii is educating Hayami on Hasumi and his peculiar back story that he’s investigated, that doesn’t add up.  What made him want to change careers and become a teacher? However, unbeknown to the pair Hasumi is listening to the conversations and Tsurii is soon afterwards found dead, bludgeoned on a train carriage. Hayami instantaneously knows the culprit. So while the school is assembled in the hall, he sprints to the classroom in hope of finding the listening device as evidence.

Stop this...I somehow have a feeling you're in danger

As he frantically searchers, Hasumi’s footsteps are heard from behind and Hayami quickly pulls a knife. Excellent. That night he is tormented with  a soldering iron, and coerced into admitting his part with the cheating ring as the leader then promptly killed.

 Opinion

Any one who has watched a Takashi Miike film knows his brilliance and title as one of Japan’s most prolific directors with a number of well-known, loved, movies to his name. However, Lesson of the Evil falls sort as anything spectacular, ending up as nothing more than a teeny-bopper film with a high death count. Ain’t nothing wrong with that, especially in Japan where these high school survival movies are a popular genre; thanks mostly to Battle Royale (Kings Game, Real Onigokko, Jinroh, The Dilemma Game, to name but a few) . But with a stellar cast of some the best young Japanese actors and actresses the audience could have expected more. The elements where all there but poorly executed. Nonetheless I did enjoy the film, skipping a few unnecessarily parts in the script (the middle), till you come to the climax where the blood bath begins. Then its just Hasumi shooting students like cattle. Fun times.

This is a film you watch once and maybe a few times afterwards, but not one you need to revisit that regularly.

535px-3_stars.svg

 The countdown continues….

#7 The Intermission 
#8 Strawberry Night and Lesson of the Evil
#9 Tokyo Koen 
#10 Love Sickness 
Prelude 
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5 Comments Add yours

  1. ryushota says:

    😥 hey its me RyuShota, can I ask you where to download Strawberry Night and Yuriko no Aroma?! I am now addicted to Someya!!!!!!!!

    1. fiibii says:

      Hey, I own both but I would check at AsianTorrents. If you can’t get access tell me, because I can probably invite you.

      1. ryushota says:

        woohoo thank you so much for your kindness fiibii \ ^ o ^ / i already have AT acc to access. I am downloading Strawberry Night but still cant find Yuriko no Aroma and A Liar and a Broken girl in AT… I’d like to watch all of his works. Someya-kun is so talented xD
        btw what is your AT’s nick?

      2. ryushota says:

        oh dear so much! you are so kind! i am downloading them ^__^ v how about The Intermission?!

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