Shanghai International Film Festival 2021
Minami Hamabe, Ryusei Fujii, Mahiro Takasugi, Aoi Morikawa
We're back at Hyakkaoh Academy, where the students engage in compulsive gambling in order to climb the academic ladder. Following the resounding victory of Yumeko Jabami (Minami Hamabe, AJIN: HALF-HUMAN), which paved the way for a revolution within the institution, the student council led by the Machiavellian Kirari (Elaiza Ikeda, NOT QUITE DEAD YET, also at Fantasia 2021) does everything in its power to provoke her. Gambling debts are viewed with aggression and there is a proliferation of "pets", those students unable to honour a bet, who are now consigned to forced labour. Worse still, Kirari makes a pact with the demonic Shikigami (Ryusei Fujii, seen in the Netflix series BLAZING TRANSFER STUDENTS), an academy alumnus suspended two years earlier. His comeback is a smashing success and his unfair methods force Yumeko to confront him in a one-sided match that she must ultimately lose to prevent Shikigami from blowing up her pals. Far from being satisfied, Shikigami plans to take over the title of president, and unusual alliances will be needed to stop him.
Hold on tight, because KAKEGURUI 2: ULTIMATE RUSSIAN ROULETTE by Tsutomu Hanabusa (PROJECT DREAMS) ups the ante dangerously in terms of suspense, and as the title suggests, the stakes are no longer limited to mone – it's now a matter of life and death. A veritable Joker type, Shikigami wreaks deadly havoc on the heroes who made their mark at Fantasia 2020 with the popular KAKEGURUI and are the delight of anime fans on Netflix. The sumptuous art direction, crazy costumes and the archetypal characters played with a supercharged dynamism immerse us in a strange universe where a reinvented poker game keeps us on the edge of our seat like a championship match. Go all-in on KAKEGURUI 2. You won't regret it! - translation: Rupert Bottenberg
Merging auteurism and gripping suspense, this award-winner follows two men caught up in the gears of organized crime in the Korean countryside.
A captivating political thriller tinged with cynicism, masterful in its writing, acting, and direction.
Two hearing-impaired women fall prey to a charismatic murderer in this breathtaking thriller with impeccable sound design.