Written by: Michael Den Boer on May 12th, 2005
Theatrical Release Date: Japan, May 2nd, 2000
Director: Takashi Miike
Writers: Eiji Ootsuka, Gichi Ootsuka, Yumi Sirakura
Cast: Naoki Hosaka, Tomoko Nakajima, Ren Osugi, Sadaharu Shiota
DVD Released: May 24th, 2005
Approximate Running Time: 112 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 non-Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo
DVD Release: Adness
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.99
Multiple Personality Detective – Psycho is based on Manga created by Otsuka Eiji and Tajima Sho-u. Takashi Miike is one of the most prolific directors working in cinema today who has directed a diverse cross sections of films with two main things in common through out all of them bizarre imagery and visceral moments of violence that often looks a little to real. It is appropriate that a Manga like Multiple Personality Detective – Psycho know for it’s over the top violence and surreal tapestries be directed by Miike.
Yousuke Kobayashi (Naoki Hosaka) while working for the homicide division was forced to retire after he killed in cold blood Shinji Nishizono. The shooting that ended his career in law enforcement brought about second personality named Kazuhiko Amamiya and years later when similar crimes to the ones he had worked on five years before start happening he is reinstated as a criminal profiler for the police.
Episode #1 “Memories of Sin/Drifting Petals”
There is a new madman in town and he is turning his victims into human flower pots. Kazuhiko Amamiya now retired from the force has found a new lease on life with his new wife Chizuko. His ex-wife who was murdered was also named Chizuko. These new victims resemble victims from one of Amamiya’s cases from five years before as all the victims have barcodes tattooed on their left eye. Are these the crimes of the same killer or are they clever forgery of a copy cat?
Episode #2 “How to Create a World”
Yet another sadistic killer is on the loose only this time around the victims are pregnant women who are having their unborn fetuses cut out before they are murdered. Similarities to the flower pot crimes pop up when these new victims also are found with barcodes tattooed on their left eye. The case takes an unusual turn when someone from Amamiya’s past appears to be involved.
MPD Psycho is a series that likes to play up odd occurrences like Amamiya marrying two different women named Chizuko. It also dabbles a little in the supernatural as the apparent killer that Amamiya is trying to catch is not only dead, but he has the ability to jump from one body to the next and occupy the body. The look and feel of MPD Psycho borrows heavily from CSI, The X-Files and Twin Peaks, still even though it is melting pot of ideas there is something undeniable unique about this series. The series also primarily focuses on Amamiya as he is trying to solve a case instead of letting the viewer into his more personal moments. Yes there are flashbacks and references into his past; still it is his present that we are rarely allowed to get close to outside of what he does at work. Takashi Miike’s visual style is imprinted in every frame and even by television standards he manages to create some really disturbing images. Overall MPD Psycho is a cleverly written series that ends each episode on the right note.
Adness presents Multiple Personality Detective – Psycho in its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio. MPD Psycho was original shot for television during scenes of graphic violence they have been digitally masked with static. Apparently the uncut footage no longer exits. Despite this minor set back it is amazing how well this transfer looks. The Color palette is lucid and flesh tones look natural through out. Black levels remain constant with an exceptional amount of details present in every frame. There are no problems with artifacts or compressions as grain is virtually non-existent. Overall this is one of the better looking Takashi Miike transfers that I have seen to date. This release comes with only one audio option the series original Japanese language track that is presented here in a Dolby Digital stereo. There are no problems with hiss or distortion. English subtitles have been included that are easy to read and follow. The subtitles are burnt in and cannot be removed. Extras for this release include preview trailers for the next episodes of MPD Psycho and trailers for the following Adness releases Inugami, Isola, Shikoku, Legend of the Eight Samurai and Ninja Wars. MPD Psycho is another interesting project from director Takashi Miike and from the get go he injects his personal style. Just about every company is releasing films of Takashi Miike in region 1 and Adness enters the fray with another solid release that is sure to please Miike fans, recommended.