Monday, July 25, 2011

Comparison: Akunin - book vs. movie

In a previous post I did a quick review on Shuichi Yoshida's novel, Villian. It was a really great story with memorable characters and an interesting twist. When I learned there was a movie, I jumped on it immediately.

Yoshino Ishibashi is a seemingly average young woman just wanting to live her own life away from her small hometown and worrisome parents. She works for an insurance company and stays at the company's dorm. She has two close friends that share a slightly deceitful and envious relationship. She appears to be happy, but she reveals to a friend that she's been trying out dating sites and meeting guys, even though she's dating a rich guy named Keigo Masuo that they met at a bar.

One night out, after the girls eat out, Yoshino separates from her friends to meet up with Keigo, but she's really meeting a guy from the site named Yuichi Shimizu. This isn't the first time they've met and apparently she manipulates him (and other men she met previously) to give her money after spending time with them. Upon meeting up with this guy, she spots Keigo and decides to ditch her meeting with Yuichi to be with him.

The next day, Yoshino's body is found below the side of a road and the police began investigating who is the killer (or perhaps I should say "villain").

Akunin (or Villain, in English) is a murder mystery drama that plays with the viewer's emotions and makes you question the surroundings.

Shuichi Yoshida does an amazing job of pulling you into the story and luring you to choose sides. It brings up many questions for you to solve that makes the novel more enjoyable. Who is the villain? Who do I believe? Is it wrong for me to feel a certain way toward this character?

Of course, the novel gives off more detail and provokes more emotional acknowledgement for the reader, but the movie holds true to creating a relationship tie between the characters and the viewers. I can honestly say I still felt the same about each character in the movie as I did in the book.

I have very few complaints about either medium. When reading the novel, there are sections that are first person testimonies and commentary. I remember a couple of them I couldn't decipher who was speaking, but found it interesting to include at all. As for the movie, I wish they explained Yuichi's grandparents' situation and relationship a little more and Yoshino's friends' reaction toward her death. I also think they could've said more about Keigo and his friend, Kento. Lastly, they could've executed Yuichi's relationship with Mistuyo a little better. I think they portrayed Yuichi a little more emotionless or unstable than he really is in some ways.

Overall, both are worth taking time for, but if you enjoy a more descriptive view point then I highly recommend the book.

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