Kakurenbo: Hide & Seek
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The title is redundant, as "Kakurenbo" is simply Japanese for the game "Hide and Seek," but I suppose it may just have the latter part added for the American release, I dunno. In any event, in this film, the kids call the game "Otokoyo," which doesn't even mean anything that I'm aware of. You'd think they'd use the title of the movie, or if it's just some slang the kids use, then the movie would use it as the title, but whatever. Apparently there's this mazelike city, or maybe it just gets mazelike at certain times or something. And then kids will wear wolf masks and run around the streets looking for something... trying to find a specific place, I guess. I'm not really clear on that. But kids have been disappearing when the games are played, and supposedly demons take them.
The film focuses on a couple of groups of kids. One of them includes a boy named Hikora, who is looking for his sister Sorincha, who went missing during an earlier game of Otokoyo. The other group is a small gang led by a boy named Noshiga, and they just want to learn the truth about the game. There end up being some demons who pursue the children. Also there's a girl in a wolf mask who looks like Sorincha, though even Hikora isn't sure if it's her or who or what she really is.
Well I'm not sure really what to say. It's difficult to scare me, and this film didn't manage to do so, I'm afraid (pun intended). I can't really hold that against it. It's still definitely creepy, and the animation is incredible, and the whole film is just very... atmospheric. I definitely liked it, I just can't say I liked it alot. It's a very good little film, in fact. It just didn't make much sense, or rather I didn't understand it. I do understand that movies (especially anime, or J-horror, so when you combine them...) don't have to make sense, and in fact may be really great sometimes because they don't make sense. But it still bothers me that I don't have a clue what the end actually means. Even so, I'd probably like to watch this again sometime in the future... I think I might enjoy it more upon repeat viewings, even if it never does come to make any more sense to me than it did the first time.