Aragami is produced by Ryuhei Kitamura who is known for his cult film Versus. Aragami follows the fate of two wounded samurai finding shelter at an isolated temple. There, they meet the lord of the temple and a woman. However, the two are not any regular beings and the situation turns tense as the man hands a difficult responsibility to the only surviving samurai and reveals his identity. Aragami is for people who can appreciate good dialogues, great acting, social dynamics and sword fights.
From the mysterious host of the temple’s true identity to the ending cameo, it never ceases to stimulate. Each dialogue and interaction has intent and moves the story forward. Aragami is well paced and builds suspense, even with the intentional long pauses of tense silence that eventually breaks out.
The acting is superb for shooting and finishing the film in 7 days — one of the requirements as part of a challenge with the director of 2LDK. Other requirements were having only 2-3 actors, one room, and one character must die. Masaya Kato who plays the mysterious lord of the temple oozes a strong, charismatic presence whereas Takao Ohsawa, the healing samurai, dons his role well as the underdog for the job the mysterious warrior has endowed on him. Kanae Uotani plays the mysterious woman accompaniment of Masaya Kato. Chemistry can be seen between the two men with their very different personalities but the audience will be drawn to the mysterious warrior, Masaya for his elegant clothes and charisma. In real life, Masaya Kato also does martial arts and has experience with sword fighting. This may be the reason he is so in character. (I have noticed in person that those with a theater, dance or martial arts background has a different posture and presence than normal people). I have left out the official names or titles to prevent spoilers because the film will be more enjoyable learning one thing at a time such as identities.
You have to applaud Ryuhei Kitamura for his ability to deliver a good story with limited characters, production time and only one room for the setting. If you love seeing a wide collection of weapons–especially swords–this movie is for you. All the swordplay and fights are entertaining and the conversations are interesting. Do not miss out on this gem!
If you’ve seen Aragami, leave your thoughts in the comments!