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Directors of the better Japanese commercial films typically carve out thematic or stylistic niches for themselves, so that even if they do a manga adaptation for the masses, it’s their kind of manga filmed in their kind of way. One is Yoshihiro Nakamura, a master of mysteries and thrillers with brainteaser plots who is fascinated by the strangeness of the universe and the dualities of human existence.

How can a punk rock song recorded in 1974 save the world (“Fish Story”)? How can a mousy office worker become a diabolical murderer, at least in the eyes of the mass media (“Shirayuki Hime Satsujin Jiken” aka “The Snow White Murder Case”)? His answers may surprise you.

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