"Ankoku Joshi" is a murder mystery involving six pretty JK (slang for joshi kosei, high school girls)" who all have something to hide. The film's title literally means "pitch black girls," which pretty much explains their characters' personalities in what soon becomes a grisly little tale directed by Saiji Yakumo.

For those who are interested in studying the dark arts of high school, make tracks to the cinema immediately. For the rest of us, however, "Ankoku Joshi" is notable because of the light it sheds on a small-but-intriguing aspect of Japan's film industry: actresses who are turning to religion. The lead joshi from the film is Fumika Shimizu, and she made headlines several weeks ago when she suddenly announced her intentions of becoming a nun for the increasingly powerful religious group Kofuku no Kagaku (Happy Science in English).

Shimizu’s commitment runs pretty deep. According to domestic news sources she has been an avid believer since childhood and discussed the possibilities of terminating her acting career with her agency long before working on “Ankoku Joshi.” Since her announcement last month, the 22-year-old actress has made herself scarce, failing to show up for the film's promotional gigs and keeping eerily silent. The other cast members proceeded to appear in public without her but, if anything, Shimizu's absence contributed to a considerable boost in box-office sales.