Suicide Club

January 3rd, 2001


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A detective is trying to find the cause of a string of suicides.

Release Year: 2001

Rating: 6.6/10 (8,210 voted)

Director: Shion Sono

Stars: Ryo Ishibashi, Masatoshi Nagase, Mai Hosho

54 high school girls throw themselves in front of a subway train. This appears to be only the beginning of a string of suicides around the country. Does the new all-girl group Desert have anything to do with it? Detective Kuroda tries to find the answer, which isn't as simple as one could hope.

Ryo Ishibashi - Detective Toshiharu Kuroda (as Ryô Ishibashi)
Masatoshi Nagase - Detective Shibusawa
Mai Hosho - Nurse Atsuko Sawada (as Mai Hôshô)
Tamao Satô - Nurse Yôko Kawaguchi
Takashi Nomura - Security Guard Jirô
Rolly - Muneo 'Genesis' Suzuki
Joshua - Slave Boy
Masato Tsujioka - Genesis' Gang
Kôsuke Hamamoto - Genesis' Gang
Kei Nagase - Genesis' Gang
Yôko Kamon - 'The Bat' Kiyoko
Maiko Mori - Kiyoko's Sister
Sayako Hagiwara - Mitsuko (as Saya Hagiwara)
Takatoshi Kaneko - H.S. Boy on the Roof
Mika Miyakawa - H.S. Girl on the Roof

Taglines: Sore de wa minasan, sayonara [Well then, goodbye everybody.]

Release Date: 3 Jan 2001

Filming Locations: Tokyo, Japan

Box Office Details

Budget: $250,000(estimated)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

"Mail Me", the catchy song that can be heard throughout many scenes, is actually a "Dezaato" cover of "Mail Me" by Haruko Momoi.

Crew or equipment visible: When the students jump to their death on the school roof, you can clearly see crew-members throwing buckets of fake blood at the window.

Radio Announcer: There's mass confusion on the platform. This is unprecedented.

User Review

Suicide Club: one please!

Rating: 10/10

I thought this was a great film. So great in fact, that I wrote to the director and he replied.

The movie is clearly a reflection of one particular social problem in Japan. NO! it isn't suicide! Suicide is one solution to the problem but it isn't the problem itself. If you need help understanding the film, I have three suggestions. 1) forgot focusing on the cute girls jumping in front of the train. Instead notice who exactly is dying 2) pay attention to the relationships between individuals, particularly related individuals 3) pay attention to the lyrics of the songs. Two songs very clearly tell you what the social problem is. Two songs also very clearly offer solutions to the problem. The movie ended correctly. Listen to the last song carefully.

The plot is basically this. Define "the problem" and show how deep it permeates the society. Show one solution again and again. Finally, propose a different solution.

Character development was clearly there too but it is Japanese character development so what is not said is just as important as what is said. Note the actions, listen to the soundtrack. Don't depend only on the dialogue. And DO LISTEN TO THE LYRICS OF THE SONGS!

The most touching scene was the girlfriend in shock trying to deal with the loss of her boyfriend and finally walking past the chalk outline of her dead boyfriend still sketched out on the sidewalk. She missed him so much that she lay down on the outline. Hollywood would never do a scene like that because the soundtrack that supported her mood, thoughts and actions clearly did not require any dialogue. I don't think Hollywood actors are capable of performing without the crutch of snappy dialogue anymore.

The scariest scene for me was the group of students that suddenly decided to outdo the deaths at the train station by jumping off the school. Three students backed down and refused to jump. But after they realized what had just happened, (there was a lingering pause to let it sink in in real time) one felt guilty and dragged another down with her. The last felt so guilty that she went anyway even after being begged not to by friends and teachers. Talk about peer pressure! If you understand Japanese schools, you can understand how real that scene was. In fact, when the movie was first shown in Japan, students were prevented from seeing it because adults were concerned about them getting the wrong idea.

If you were confused by the police officer's suicide, review his earlier behavior. Particularly, what time does he come home, how knowledgeable is he about his family, and how concerned is he about his family? And who exactly died just before he commits suicide?

If you are confused about the cryptic phrase "Are you connected to yourself?", try replacing it with "Do you still believe in yourself?"

As for the ending, well, if you don't have a family that you can trust and you put all your hopes for the future in your boyfriend and he died without explaining why, what would you do?

Lastly, I read all 7 pages of reviews previously submitted. Quite a few people just didn't get it. OK, what is the big failing? Well, I'd say that American films typically choose well-known songs as supporting material to set a mood. You know the words to the song so you know what idea they are supporting, might even hum along while watching the film. But what if the director chooses unknown songs? Will you pay attention? What if song lyrics replace dialogue? Will you even notice?