Masatoshi Nagase is brilliant as the the lead, Maiku Hama (his real name), a stylish private eye whose office in the projection room of a Yokohama cinema. Once a juvenile delinquent, he now hunts missing persons (and pets) in the hopes of earning enough money to send his little sister to a good college. While there's definitely quite a bit of comedy in the films, the stories are pulp to their core and, in the detective noir tradition, what begin as simple cases become ever more dangerous and complex for Maiku. With the help of his friends and fellow private eyes (and with little to no assistance from the mostly crooked police), Maiku will have to face Japanese gangs and crazed killers, and success is far from guaranteed.
The photography is well done. It's at once modern and faithful to the film noir style. Unfortunately, it's let down by the DVD transfer. The picture is grainy and washed out.
Aside from short written bios and filmographies of the writer, director, and lead actors, there are no special features to speak of.
Spoken language is Japanese with optional English subtitles.
Maiku Hama Private Eye Trilogy (The Most Terrible Time in My Life/The Stairway to the Distant Past/T review
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