Does it say something about our culture that we seem to devour media that depicts teenagers killing each other? Well, if you’ve ever been to the mall, I suppose it’s understandable. Of course, the most famous and popular example is ‘The Hunger Games‘, Suzanne Collins’ best-selling YA novel series which has been adapted into a hugely successful film series, with the second movie ‘Catching Fire’ easily taking the number one spot at the box office upon its release last weekend.
‘The Hunger Games’ however came after the Japanese manga-turned-movie ‘Battle Royale’, a smash in its native country and a cult favorite here in the US. (Collins was not aware of either version before she wrote her novels.) Well, the Japanese are back at it! ‘As God Says’ is an even bloodier, more over-the-top entry into this sub-genre. The manga was written by Muneyuki Kanshiro with illustrations by Akeji Fujimura and ran from 2011-12.
Here is a summary of the story:
A high school boy named Takahata Shun (Sota Fukushi) who expects an ordinary day of schooling, but gets something much worse. After his teacher meets his untimely doom, Shun’s class is subjected to a series of games where the penalty is death. Without knowing who or what is behind it all, the students must fight for their safety by obeying the rules.
Now controversial director Takashi Miike is set to direct a film adaptation. In 2001, at the Toronto Film Festival, viewers of his ultra-violent film ‘Ichi the Killer’ were given barf bags emblazoned with the film’s logo, just in case the violence on screen became too much for them. The film featured such extremely gory scenes as a man being split in half and another’s face getting chopped off, flying and splattering against a wall, before sliding down it. The British Board of Film Classification refused to allow the full-length film to be released in the UK. Hong Kong also demanded cuts.
In 2005, his submission to Showtmes’ ‘Masters of Horror’ anthology, which featured short films from various famed horror directors was rejected by the network for being “too disturbing.”
I can’t even imagine how this movie is going to turn out. However, Miike does sound like the perfect choice to direct the adaptation. Regarding the announcement, Miike stated “They live, some heads role, they run, blood sprays, they cry, they laugh and then they die. In other words, a fun movie. ” You sir, have a very odd definition of “fun.”
I have a pretty weak constitution, so I’ll just stick with ‘The Hunger Games.’ What about you? Are you excited about Takasi Miike directing ‘As God Says’?