Ghosts that haunt the living for laughs have been Hollywood staples going back to at least “Topper.” In this 1937 comedy, a feckless young couple (Cary Grant and Constance Bennett) die in a car crash and, as ghosts, decide to bring fun to the life of their stuffy older pal, Cosmo Topper (Roland Young). Comic ghosts can also be found in Japanese films, as in Koji Maeda’s 2015 “Till Death Do Us What?,” starring Kuranosuke Sasaki as a bereaved widower whose wife (Hiromi Nagasaku) returns as a free-spirited spook.

The latest in this line is “Not Quite Dead Yet,” the feature debut of TV ad director Shinji Hamasaki. Based on an original script by Yoshimitsu Sawamoto, the film may be a manic, strident farce, with the principals loudly playing cartoons, but it’s also instructive about Japanese attitudes toward the afterlife, which are not quite Hollywood’s.

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