The Wings of the Kirin Review
Press Conference Cancellation Simulator
A man is stumbling toward a statue of two griffins. He’s been stabbed, the knife is still lodged in his abdomen. With his life fading away he attempts to place an origami crane on the statue but collapses before he is able to fully place it and it blows away in the wind. Meanwhile, a boy calls his girlfriend hiding not far from where the man collapsed. He’s out of breath and scared, he tells her, “I’ve done something” but hangs up before he can reveal what he’s done. A police officer finds him in the bushes and he nervously runs off only to be hit by a truck, put in a coma. He had the bag of the murdered man in his possession. This guy murdered the man. Open and shut case right?
Not as far as Detective Kyoichiro Kaga is concerned. Mr. Kaga is very thorough and knows the easiest answer isn’t necessarily the right one. As he says, “A person learning formulas can solve all kinds of problems but when one memorizes something wrong the first time he is bound to repeat the mistake over and over.” Kaga is the master and with what seems like his apprentice, Yuto Aoyagi, they are determined to solve this case.
Like Detective Kaga, this movie is impressively thorough. It has a large cast of characters who all play pivotal roles in the mystery. The father, despite being killed in the opening moments of the film, is a full fleshed out character thanks to some timely flash backs. Of course the man left behind a family who are also important. Then there is the suspect and his girlfriend who knows that he couldn’t kill anyone. Although we know that the guy most likely didn’t do it the movie does a great job of keeping you on your toes, making you think, “Maybe he did do it.”
I initially only wanted to see this movie for Meisa Kuroki, who does a good job, but Hiroshi Abe (as Det. Kaga) stole the show with his masterful performance. This guy is like the Japanese George Clooney. He’s just so smooth and cool and it definitely rubs off on his character. I can’t reveal much about the story but I think it is a great mystery that will keep you guessing from beginning to end. But on top of that the film has some symbolism thrown in along with a positive message. It is a totally refreshing and unique take on the genre.