Takeshi Kaneshiro plays a Shinigami (God of Death) who comes down to Earth to pass judgement on a random person, whether they had fulfilled their destiny and then die or be passed over because of unfinished business.
The movie is told in three seemingly different stories but everything is connected ultimately at the end. Takeshi Kaneshiro is perfect as the Shinigami who always meets with rainy days when he gets to work and his ultimate love is music, which he labels as man’s greatest invention. Compared to other Shinigamis, he is perhaps a kind-hearted one which explains why he has a black dog as companion who check his every decision.
Takeshi’s Shinigami character has to pass judgement (proceed=death, suspend=live) on three people in this movie, a meek girl who has a sad life where everyone around her just passes away leaving her behind, a faithful follower to his mafia boss and an old hairdresser that lives in the countryside.
The first story is about Kazue Fujiki (Manami Konishi) who lives a sad life and even has to face a harassment call daily. She meets Mr. Chiba (Takeshi Kaneshiro) who goes into her life and tries to get her views about death. This was a straight judgement call leading to death for her until an unexpected event occurs to her. This was a pretty well put together story.
The second story isn’t as interesting as it’s seemingly totally detached from the first and the characters are boring. I nearly dozed off at this part because there was too much talk. But it’s an important element to the entire movie at the end.
We head into the third story and are greeted by the sight of a robot maid (about 20 odd years later) who serves as the companion to the 70 year old hairdresser. As Takeshi goes into her life asking for a haircut, she asks him in return, “You are a Shinigami right? I met someone like you in the past…”, leaving him shocked. At the end, he realises the truth and that his decision earlier has led to Kazue Fujiki living a somewhat fulfiling life.
The movie is beautifully shot against a backdrop of rainy days. Love the theme song “Sunny Day” which is a perfect fit for the movie and performed by Manami Konishi who plays the younger Kazue Fujiki in the movie.
Even though the movie revolves around death, it doesn’t fail in encouraging people to use every minute of their life to it’s fullest, without any regrets.
Have you ever thought about Death? Have you tried your best while living and even if you die now, will it be without any regrets?