When I first saw the trailer for the Japanese film “World of Kanako” I thought it was going to be a throwback to the Lady Snowbird films of the 1970’s (which were a direct influence on the Kill Bill films), but boy was I wrong!
The film follows a former police detective as he searches for his missing teenage daughter Kanako. During his search he learns that she had a secret life. It appears as though she has wronged, hurt, or possibly even killed everyone she has come into contact with. I was very intrigued to find out how or why such a presumably innocent school girl could be the source of so much of evil. Unfortunately we don’t really get to find out. Instead we get to learn what disgusting and horrible scumbag Kanako’s father Akikazu is.
When his Ex-Wife / Kanako’s mother informs him that Kanako is missing he agrees to go look for her only after sexually assaulting Kanako’s mother and declaring that he is moving back in so that they could all be a “family” again. It seems as though his motivation for finding his daughter is not to protect her but to stop her from making more messes that he will have to clean up. It’s almost as though he is envious of his daughter’s reputation and wants to put a stop to it so everyone knows who the real scumbag of the family is. Besides being a rapist, he also has no remorse about attacking or killing anyone who gets in his way of finding his daughter. He is a complete psychopath. The only reason I didn’t want him to die is because if he’s dead then the search of Kanako would end.
The film was incredibly hard to follow because it kept changing timelines without warning. It went back and forth between glimpses into Kanako’s pre- runaway life and the father’s hunt; often with dialogue from one timeline over visuals from the other. And the fact the film was subtitled made the task of following along even harder. From a technical standpoint the editing was very impressive but the constant cuts and timeline jumping made a lot of the film tedious to watch.
On a positive note the small peaks we got to see of the actual “World of Kanako” were fascinating. Every person that the father ran into that knew Kanako hated her and wanted her dead. They never really explained why which made her reputation seem even more ruthless. The film shines when we get to see Kanako on screen in all of her evil glory. While Kanako is a villain that you love to hate, her father is just a villain that you want to see die.
Peppered throughout the film was scenes of intense gore and crazy action sequences. Even though they were short and sweet, the fact that they were so over the top made those scenes exciting! Overall the extreme gore and the tiny bit of Kanako’s world we got to see helped me get through a film that was at times confusing, frustrating, annoying, and disgusting. This could have been a really great movie, if the story was more about Kananko and less about her scumbag father
World of Kanako Review
by James H. Carter II