Jisatsu (manga) vs. Suicide Circle/Jisatsu Saakuru (movie)

Suicide Circle (movie) *Spoilers*

54 High School girls hold hands and jump onto the train tracks in front of a speeding train. Why are they doing this? Is it a cult? Should it be classified as murder? On the scene of the suicide, detectives find a white bag with a coil of human skin, sewn together bits of skin shaved off the bodies of the girls while they were still alive…

We watch as the detective Kuroda struggles to find out the source of the suicides as they continue, he has leads on a webpage, a source of information given to him anonymously from a girl who just calls herself ‘the bat’. On the web red dots appear before the suicides are anounced…Kuroda receives more strange phonecalls from a childs voice asking him if he is connected to himself, and the reasons why people are commiting suicide seems to be a litle clearer. Then his children commit suicide…and he joins them.
In the backdrop,is a pop group, made up of 12 year old girls called Dessert. I was beginning to wonder where they would fit in, when ‘the bat’ is kidnapped by a weird transvestite, claiming delusions of grandeur and that he is behind the suicides…however, after looking at all the photographs of Dessert in her dead bf’s room, Mitsuko quickly realised the number of their fingers correspond to the keypad numbers which spell out suicide on the phone. She goes and joins the cult, and just as you think there is going to be another mass jump at the station at the end you are, unrewarded as the girls just get on board the train…the end. I wanted a mass suicide at the end, during the Dessert’s pop concert, damnit!

Jisatsu (manga) storyline *more spoilers*

This is a completely different version to the film, so it doesn’t matter which order you read/watch things. Personally i would recommend watching the film first, becasue i found the manga more satifying it it’s explaination of the suicides, and a better ending. Anyway…Saya is the one girl to survive the mass suicide, and we look into her past to see how the relationship has changed between herself and her friend Kyoko.

They grew up together, exchanging a diary notebook with ech other, but various events caused them to grow apart, Saya started selling her body/ photographs for money, and becoming very unhappy. Until one day Saya met Mitsuko, and joined her ‘club’ these girls would go and hold hands on the roof, worship the Mitsuko girl for bringing them together to share her pain. Eventually they cement their bond by tattooing each other’s ears with a little symbol of their group, then agree to commit suicide.

Strangely, Saya’s survival of the suicide make her really popular, and discussed on internet forums. Saya begins mourning Mitsuko, but it soon becomes clear that she is just turning into her. She starts her own club, has her own followers…who dispose of anyone who stands in their way, including a greedy photographer and a teacher who realises the truth. Kyoko eventually joins the club, she can’t stand to be without Saya…and they all jump off the roof together…and Kyoko survives…to become the next ‘Mitsuko’.

Obvious differences of the manga

Dessert – now a self mutilating musician.

Exploration of the ‘Mitsuko’ leader of the suicide club phenomenon rather than the speculated source of the suicides.

Seen from the girl’s point of view not the police.

More pornographic. Less horror really, no skin wheel in this manga.

Messages of happiness from the dead people on the internet (Serial Experiments Lain anyone?!)
Main similarities

The theme of “connection to yourself”, and the odd visions, although this time by Kyoko not a security guard/ detective.

Identical beginning and jumping off a school roof.

Attitude of the girls to death the same disturbing happiness.

Why I prefered the manga to the film

The film just didn’t work for me, mainly because the explanation of the Dessert Pop group being ‘evil’ didn’t come to the natural conclusion of them commiting suicide (I mean the music was so bad i wanted them to die), and putting the delusional transexual in was just so dull. I would rather have known more about ‘the bat’ girl. if she had somehow joined the suicide club to try and infiltrate it that would have been cool. The child coughing after every word on the phone – was that necessary either? Just annoying. The only chracter I could relate to shoots himself so that didn’t lead anywhere good either. I was relieved when it turned out to be linked to the Dessert group, but i was hoping for a more intreesting reception than the litle red box with the chicks in, i mean, 50 more deliriously happy school girls lined up to have the skin scraped off in a brightly lit room would have been far more atmospheric, and the ending! As the train pulls away, i at least wanted it to flash into the future to see them about to commit suicide somewhere cool, or at least Mitsuko becoming the ring leader or something…

Attractions of the manga – aside from the wonderful artwork by Usumaru Furuya, the relationship between Kyoko and Saya is so well developed. I particularly love it as people start to see Saya as the ‘amazing’ survivor, and the mysterious death of a jealous girl who’s boy friend had paid for pornographic pictures of Saya. I guess I love the weirdness of Saya because she is like a ‘Lain’ figure, weird outside, with a strange attraction, not really sure about her psychology and what exactly is special about her. It was an assumption that Kyoka’s odd looking teacher would try to rape her, and then it’s even more satisfying when he doesn’t and that the revelation of the previous ‘Mitsuko’ girls is so mysterious.

Enough of that! Here are my favourite screenshots/manga pics…the reason why this is worth the watch/read…

They’re so happy about dying!

I was NOT expecting this! Grosse.

Somehow this summed up the entire film for me. The policeman’s sickening, and the girls pooring down the stairs and a weird sense of inevitability.

I think it read’s ‘land here’…nice…

Eugh, eiugh, eugh, eugh, EUGH. Can’t really look at the screen.

Something tragically romantic about lying in the outline of your dececed bf.

Nooooooooo, it can’t end yet, damnit. DIE already.

She’s turned into a monster…

There is a fanvideo (+cool music) of Suicide Club here.

The best news is that there is a sequel film, called ‘Noriko’s Dinner Table’ you can see a trailer for it online here.

They screened it at the Singapore Film Festival and it’s had some great reviews. I can’t wait to see it!

7 thoughts on “Jisatsu (manga) vs. Suicide Circle/Jisatsu Saakuru (movie)

  1. haha i remember the film fest had really wierd shows, like the one with the yakuza boss and his wierd fetish X)

  2. Ichi the Killer?

    Anyway I read and watched this. The movie was shite. Really, it was nothing more than a shockfest. Which got old after the first few scenes.

    The manga is superior. By a large margin. And besides, Japanese cannot act.

  3. I was getting pretty interested, that is until I came across the screen cap of the roll of skin. I’m all about gratuitous displays of skin, but that’s not what I like. Killer lolis, ok. Suicide lolis, I don’t know about that one.

  4. yea japanese cannot act fer nuts. well, but they have good staging/makeup and nice scenery to make up for it i guess.

  5. I liked the film, looking forward to the prequel, but the manga looks absolutely awesome – has the english translation been published?

  6. i found a {gif} of the girls jumping, and i loved it…
    and i got interested and started searching for where the scene was from!

    thanks sooo much.
    so~~~ going to buy the manga and movie. ^^

    this stuff interests me soo much.

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