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INTRODUCTION STORY PRODUCTION SUMMARY

An elementary school student hears of a creepy urban legend. A surreal game where your bodyfs spirit is transported to another place to find a dead girlfs 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 searchc you must never look back.
Six school friends decide to play gthe gameh just for fun. But when gthe gameh was over, one of them was missing.
Eight years pass and the five remaining members reunite to play gthe gameh one more time. Only this time, one by one, they are murderedc
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 wayc

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 Onigokkoh* at the age of 20, he has published a string of successful novels including gAsoko no Heyah, gX-Gameh and gA-Courseh.
His third novel, gVanishedh (Oyayubi Sagashi), on which this film is based, penetrates into the charactersf 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 gNeverlandh and gMarusa!!h, on stage in gGraduationh and hit variety program gIto-ke no Shokutakuh .

The heroine, Chie, is played by the young and accomplished actress, Ayumi Ito. Ito was praised for her poised performances in gSwallowtail Butterflyh, gAll About Lili Chou-Chouh, etc. Ito starred in gKaten Koruh which opened in October 2005. She is gaining popularity in Asia as well.

Fellow classmates who are also haunted by gthe gameh include:

Kenichi Matsuyama of gNanah, gYamatoh and gDeath Noteh,
Runa Nagai of gShissoh and
Hiroyuki Onoue of gShonen H, Seishun henh and gPacchigi!"

The adult cast includes veterans Shiro Sano and Satomi Tezuka.

Director Naoto Kumazawafs talent was showcased in his 2005 film debut gNiraikanai kara no Tegamih. 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.

STORY

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 havenft seen each other since graduation, at Takeshifs urging, they decide to play gthe gameh one more time | for Yumiko.

8 years ago, it was Yumiko who initiated gthe gameh. 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 gameh 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 Yumikofs scream from another room. As he tries to find her, someone taps him on the shoulder. A white handcwithout 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 gameh, but no one believes him and Yumikofs disappearance is filed away as a runaway case.
8 years later. The group hesitantly replays gthe gameh, each grappling with his own guilt over Yumikofs disappearance. They join hands just as they did 8 years ago and begin the ritual, but nothing happensc
Then, inexplicably, one by one, the classmates start to disappear. Takeshi and the remaining friends begin investigating the mysterious legend behind gthe gamehc

PRODUCTION SUMMARY

Based on:

  • gVanishedh (Oyayubi Sagashi) by Yusuke Yamada

Screenplay:

  • Naoto Kumazawa/ Yukiko Manabe/ Izumi Takahashi

Director :

  • Naoto Kumazawa

Cast :

  • 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
  • Xanadu

Production :

  • IMJ Entertainment
  • Twins Japan

Distribution :

  • Xanadu

Staff :

  • ProducerF Taro Nagamatsuya/ Kimio Hara
  • Line ProducerF Emiko Fujiwara
  • CinematographyF Koichi Saito, Dog Star, Tomoshibi, Aoi Kuruma
  • Visual EffectsF Manabu Sato, All About Lili Chou-Chou, Nirai kanai kara no Tegami,
  • LightingF Meicho Tomiyama, Kairo, Gaichu, The Grudge (Juon), Doppelganger, Kono mune ippai no ai wo
  • SoundF Akira Fukada,The Twilight Samurai (Tasogare Seibie), Vibrator, The Hidden Blade, 4TEEN, LOFT
  • ArtF Chie Matsumoto, Kairo, Gips (Gipusu), The Mars Canon (Kasei no Canon), Loft
  • MusicF Goro Yasukawa, Nude no Yoru, OUT, Moon Child, Fly, Daddy, Fly
  • VFX SupervisorF Shuji Asano, Yomigaeri, Akarui Mirai, DRAGON HEAD
  • EditingF Ryuji Miyajima, Uzumaki, Waterboys, Hotel Hibiscus, Swing Gilrs
  • ScripterF Masako Sugiyama, Radio no Jikan, Our House (Minna no Ie), Moon Child
  • StylistF Masae Miyamoto, Face (Kao), Blue Spring (Aoi Haru), hush!, Shining Boy and Little Randy (Hoshi ni natta Shonen)

Schedule :

  • Shooting from August to September 2005
  • Completed March 3, 2006
  • In theaters Summer 2006
(C)PONYCANYON