An elementary school student hears of a creepy urban legend. A surreal game where your bodyfs spirit is transported to another place to find a dead girlfs missing thumb. If you find it before the candle goes out, your wish will be granted. But if someone taps you on the shoulder during the searchc you must never look back.
Six school friends decide to play gthe gameh just for fun. But when gthe gameh was over, one of them was missing.
Eight years pass and the five remaining members reunite to play gthe gameh one more time. Only this time, one by one, they are murderedc
One member is shackled by the past, unable to come to terms with the disappearance of his friend. Another has buried the incident while never quite forgetting it. Each of them carries on with their lives and copes with their guilt in their own wayc
The original work was written by the popular novelist, Yusuke Yamada, who has developed a strong following of young adult fans who enjoy his edgy depictions of horror. Since his debut with gReal Onigokkoh* at the age of 20, he has published a string of successful novels including gAsoko no Heyah, gX-Gameh and gA-Courseh.
His third novel, gVanishedh (Oyayubi Sagashi), on which this film is based, penetrates into the charactersf hearts, exposing their anguish with painful sensitivity.
In his solo film debut, Ken Miyake in the lead role of Takeshi, portrays a fresh, unadulterated 20 year old. Miyake, who is a member of the popular singing group V6 which celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2005, has captivated fans of all ages with his performances in TV dramas gNeverlandh and gMarusa!!h, on stage in gGraduationh and hit variety program gIto-ke no Shokutakuh .
The heroine, Chie, is played by the young and accomplished actress, Ayumi Ito. Ito was praised for her poised performances in gSwallowtail Butterflyh, gAll About Lili Chou-Chouh, etc. Ito starred in gKaten Koruh which opened in October 2005. She is gaining popularity in Asia as well.
Fellow classmates who are also haunted by gthe gameh include:
Kenichi Matsuyama of gNanah, gYamatoh and gDeath Noteh,
Runa Nagai of gShissoh and
Hiroyuki Onoue of gShonen H, Seishun henh and gPacchigi!"
The adult cast includes veterans Shiro Sano and Satomi Tezuka.
Director Naoto Kumazawafs talent was showcased in his 2005 film debut gNiraikanai kara no Tegamih. Co-directors are Yukiko Manabe, who was awarded in the 2004 Hakodate Illumination Film Festival and Izumi Takahashi, who won the Grand Prix in the 2004 Pia Film Festival.
These fresh, new talents bring a whole new dimension to the story and the psychological turmoil of its characters.
On a hot summer day at an elementary school reunion, Takeshi finds himself seated at the same table with his old schoolmates Chie, Tomohiko, Aya and Nobuhisa. While they havenft seen each other since graduation, at Takeshifs urging, they decide to play gthe gameh one more time | for Yumiko.
8 years ago, it was Yumiko who initiated gthe gameh. With eyes closed, holding hands and forming a circle, they recite a chant that will transport their souls to another place | a room where they might find the missing thumb of a dead girl. Whoever found it would be granted their wish. But if someone tapped you on the shoulder, you must never look back or you would be trapped in the room forever.
The six classmates nervously begin the ritual, and just moments before gthe gameh begins, Yumiko asks Takeshi,
gWhat would you do if I disappeared?h
gI promise I would find you.h
Then Takeshi is transported to a room he has never seen before. He scrambles around in search of the missing thumb, but hears Yumikofs scream from another room. As he tries to find her, someone taps him on the shoulder. A white handcwithout a thumb. In a blind panic, Takeshi returns to the real world, leaving Yumiko behind.
Yumiko is never found. Takeshi insists to the police that Yumiko disappeared playing gthe gameh, but no one believes him and Yumikofs disappearance is filed away as a runaway case.
8 years later. The group hesitantly replays gthe gameh, each grappling with his own guilt over Yumikofs disappearance. They join hands just as they did 8 years ago and begin the ritual, but nothing happensc
Then, inexplicably, one by one, the classmates start to disappear. Takeshi and the remaining friends begin investigating the mysterious legend behind gthe gamehc
- gVanishedh (Oyayubi Sagashi) by Yusuke Yamada
- Naoto Kumazawa/ Yukiko Manabe/ Izumi Takahashi
- Ken Miyake
- Ayumi Ito
- Ken'ichi Matsuyama
- Runa Nagai
- Hiroyuki Onoue
- Toru Shinagawa
- Sihou Harumi
- Ayumu Saito
Produced by :
- IMJ Entertainment
- Avex Inc.
- Pony Canyon Enterprises
- J Storm
- Nihon Shuppan Hanbai
- Sky Perfect Well Think
- Twins Japan
- IMJ Entertainment
- Twins Japan
- ProducerF Taro Nagamatsuya/ Kimio Hara
- Line ProducerF Emiko Fujiwara
- CinematographyF Koichi Saito, Dog Star, Tomoshibi, Aoi Kuruma
- Visual EffectsF Manabu Sato, All About Lili Chou-Chou, Nirai kanai kara no Tegami,
- LightingF Meicho Tomiyama, Kairo, Gaichu, The Grudge (Juon), Doppelganger,
Kono mune ippai no ai wo
- SoundF Akira Fukada,The Twilight Samurai (Tasogare Seibie), Vibrator,
The Hidden Blade, 4TEEN, LOFT
- ArtF Chie Matsumoto,
Kairo, Gips (Gipusu),
The Mars Canon (Kasei no Canon), Loft
- MusicF Goro Yasukawa,
Nude no Yoru, OUT, Moon Child, Fly, Daddy, Fly
- VFX SupervisorF Shuji Asano,
Yomigaeri, Akarui Mirai, DRAGON HEAD
- EditingF Ryuji Miyajima,
Uzumaki, Waterboys, Hotel Hibiscus, Swing Gilrs
- ScripterF Masako Sugiyama,
Radio no Jikan, Our House (Minna no Ie), Moon Child
- StylistF Masae Miyamoto,
Face (Kao), Blue Spring (Aoi Haru), hush!,
Shining Boy and Little Randy (Hoshi ni natta Shonen)
- Shooting from August to September 2005
- Completed March 3, 2006
- In theaters Summer 2006