Descendant [2003]

As Tsuzuki and Hisato pursue Dr. Muraki to Kyoto, the filmmakers reveal the interrelated pasts of the main characters. When Tsuzuki appeared at the clinic run by Muraki's grandfather in 1925, he somehow lived for eight years in a coma without food or water--only to awaken and slash his wrists. No one knows what Tsuzuki is or was. The debate over his nature is intercut with scenes from a Noh drama, a juxtaposition that works more effectively than similar ones in Gasaraki. Tormented by guilt over the deaths he has inadvertently caused, Tsuzuki summons the guardian animal-gods from Chinese legends (familiar to Fushigi Yugi fans) to destroy himself and Muraki. But Hisato's love pulls Tsuzuki back from the brink of oblivion, ensuring a happy, if unconventional, ending--and the possibility of a sequel. (Rated 13 and older: brief nudity, violence, grotesque imagery, alcohol and tobacco use, suggested homosexuality) --Charles Solomon

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