While pursuing a gang of ruthless killers, Detective Murakami is ordered to a gruesome crime scene. There he discovers Maki, a beautiful young girl clutching the torn out heart of one of the victims. As the sole survivor of the mass killing, Maki is its prime suspect. However, she claims to have no memory of who she is; only that she was led to the scene by the voices of the dead. Though her explanation is dismissed as the lunatic ravings of a mad woman by his police higher-ups, Murakami takes note since he too is able to see the ghosts of the dead, a condition that has afflicted him since childhood and one he keeps hidden from the other detectives. Claiming the murder case as his is Yutaka Hashi from the Department of Spiritual Affairs, a small branch of the Japanese police devoted to the investigation of unexplained phenomena. Hashi explains to the somewhat disbelieving detectives that Japan is experiencing an overload of “alter egos”, doppelganger ghosts torn from the bodies of the living that loath humans and are on a campaign of murder and mayhem. Arcana, the debut feature of Takashi Miike’s assistant director Yoshitaka Yamaguchi, is a thrilling ride into supernatural madness, based on Yua Kotegawa’s famous manga. With its unique visual style, nervous editing and a solid portion of blood and ghosts, this exciting flick starring Tao Tsuchiya, who made her debut in Kurosawa’s Tokyo Sonata, heralds the discovery of a future genre master!

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