“Sunny”… An 11-year old girl is dubbed the cutest murderer ever.
Rie Kitahara, known to fans by her nickname “Kitarie,” announced that she would leave the popular idol group NGT48 next spring and would be playing the leading role in the film “Sunny/32.” On her official Twitter account she wrote, “This is a big event in my life.” Yes, it is a movie about a criminal event and a thrilling cinematic event! The name of the film is “Sunny/32” and is brought to you by the duo responsible for the hit motion picture “The Devil’s Path”: director Kazuya Shiraishi, a leading force in Japanese cinema, and screenwriter Izumi Takahashi. Together, they have constructed an original, unpredictable, suspenseful, and emotional-roller-coaster like movie!
As soon as the curtain opens on the story, junior high school teacher Akari Fujii (Rie Kitahara) is abducted and imprisoned on her 24th birthday. Her abductors are two men, who keep calling her “Sunny.” Who or what is Sunny? It is the alias of an 11-year-old killer who threw Japan into an uproar in 2003. Deified by the underbelly of Internet users, they dubbed her “the cutest murderer ever.” 14 years later, the tale of “Sunny” is back in motion and headed for a dramatic conclusion.
In what is sure to be the most “insane” movie of 2018, “Sunny/32” reunites the director, staff, and cast of “The Devil’s Path.”
“Sunny/32” director Kazuya Shiraishi enjoyed a burst of popularity with his hit film “The Devil’s Path” (13), which won multiple awards across Japan. He continued his brand of success with “Twisted Justice” (16), a film about a real-life police scandal in Hokkaido. Others in the Shiraishi catalog include, “Dawn of the Felines” (17), “Birds Without Names” (17), and the upcoming, 12 May 2018 release of “The Blood of Wolves.”
On the subject of “Sunny/32” star Rie Kitahara, director Shiraishi shares his thoughts, saying, “The film will unlock Rie’s hidden, destructive power.” Although a typical idol singer having belonged to groups AKB48, SKE48, and NGT48, she was driven mercilessly by the director in order to awaken the actress within her.
“Sunny/32” is Kitahara’s first starring role since announcing that she would be leaving NGT48. As a fan of Shiraishi’s “The Devil’s Path,” Kitahara was prepared for what was certain to be a difficult role. During shooting, she accepted hostile situations, devoting herself to the part both body and soul. As the film’s heroine, she is certain to move viewers deeply from her dedicated performance. The two crazies who abduct “Sunny” are played by Pierre Taki and Lily Franky, both of “The Devil’s Path” fame.
Other actors are added to intensify the “dangerous mix” of the film’s characters. In particular, actress Mugi Kadowaki, who had experience working with the director in “Hibana: Spark” (16). She gives a knock out performance in the film. According to director Shiraishi, “The movie is somewhat like a tag team between Taki and Lily doing a pro wrestler-like show, with the female duo of Rie Kitahara and Mugi Kadowaki as challengers to the male duo.” “Sunny/32” is truly a film with an exceptional ensemble cast.
Director Shiraishi realistically incorporates the sense of present-day in the film. While its style may be sensational, it also probes into the quintessence of the human condition. Both an “idol” and “adventure” movie, “Sunny/32” is the widest-ranging piece of entertainment yet from director Kazuya Shiraishi.
It is winter in a town in Niigata Prefecture and Akari Fujii (Rie Kitahara), a junior high school teacher who has not had much success with work or in her private life, is abducted by a pair of men on the occasion of her 24th birthday. She is taken to a deserted house at the foot of a snow-covered mountain. There, abductor Oda (Lily Franky) gleefully films her with a video camera while partner Kashiwabara (Pierre Taki) confesses, “I’ve always wanted to meet you, Sunny.”
“Sunny” is the nickname that was given to an 11-year old elementary school girl who murdered a classmate. In the sensational crime, she slit her victim’s neck with a cutter.
After the case come to light, the child killer was quickly identified from a photo used by the mass media. Due to her adorable looks, she was dubbed “the cutest murderer ever.” As her legend grew, she came to be deified by some Internet users, eventually developing a following of fanatic fans. Her photo, with its unique 3 and 2 finger peace pose, earned her the moniker “Sunny,” a name derived from how 3 and 2 are pronounced in Japanese. Oddly enough, the two men abducted and confined Akari fourteen years after Sunny had committed the crime.
Kashiwabara and Oda operate a cult of Sunny followers. They force Akari to wear a party dress and uploaded her photos and movies to a web board exclusive for those who share a love of Sunny. As she begins to feel her grip on sanity slipping, Akari desperately tries to escape from her abductors. However, with the arrival of other “Sunny” fans into the group, her jaw-dropping tale has only just begun.