Ikigami: The Ultimate Limit
In an attempt to spur citizens into taking more productive roles in society, the Japanese government issues death messages, or "ikigami", informing them that they have only 24 hours left to live. The film follows a young man tasked with delivering these messages, as well as the victims.
Death Notice: Ikigami has an interesting concept, that while similar to William F. Nolan’s and George C. Johnson’s Logan’s Run, remains ‘unique’ and refreshing. The social commentaries on unemployment, bullying and social withdrawal are used well and not in a forceful, obvious manner. Tomoyuki Takimoto also does a great job, moving away from the stereotypically ‘over-the-top’, ‘comicy’ tones of popular Japanese cinema, to portray a more serious and realistic feature. Yes, the story is that of a manga, but Takimoto frames it in a touching ‘human drama’ that has the ability to induce ‘teary-eyed’ reactions, and doesn’t require knowledge of the source material. It’s a well directed, acted and written film that when the concept is to show the characters question the subject of life, it certainly evokes the audience to do so too.
This chilling concept is the brainchild of Motorô Mase, realised through his top selling Manga "Ikigami – The Ultimate Limit". It is necessary to dispel any notions that this film is related to or a rip off of the "Death Note" franchise because of the blatant title change to "Death Notice: Ikigami" for its release here in the West. In fact, this would appear to be a cynical ploy to encourage people to investigate this title based on that premise but the truth is "Ikigami" owes more to Orwell’s "1984" and soon-to-be remade 70’s sci-fi classic "Logan’s Run" than the aforementioned Japanese phenomenon.
Despite the pseudo sci-fi premise, this is in fact a thoughtful drama that presents an exploration into…