Written by: Michael Den Boer on July 27th, 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, Chiaki Kuriyama
DVD Released: August 30th, 2005
Approximate Running Time: 116 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 #3 “Life Is A Constant Double Helix”
A group of school girls kill their classmates before ultimately turning their guns on themselves. Detective Amamiya is brought in too solve the mystery behind this mass suicide pack. Amamiya learns that all the victims have barcodes tattooed on their left eye and that his old nemesis Shinji Nishizono is somehow involved in this affair. Once again Shinji Nishizono slips through Amamiya’s hands, but not before he gives him a word of advice “Don’t trust Isono Machi”.
Episode #4 “The Crushed Ants”
Two rival gangs brawl at a local arcade. Then next morning the police find perfectly severed body parts that have numbers carved into in a field next to the arcade. Detective Amamiya is assigned to the case and it doesn’t take long before he links these brutal murders to the same man who is currently holding Amamiya’s wife hostage. More secrets from Amamiya’s past will be revealed before this case is solved.
The second volume MPD Psycho picks up right were the last two episodes left off with Amamiya as he looks for his wife and chases after the ever elusive Shinji Nishizono. Takashi Miike continues to experiment with in the boundaries of television and it is miraculous what he is able to achieve under such restrictions. While the first two episodes focused most of the time on Amamiya this time around the secondary players are given more screen time. Besides the bizarre imagery that pops up through out the series another staple is its quirky sense of humor which doesn’t translate too well at times. “Life Is a Constant Double Helix” is the strongest episode to date with two more to go until the end of the series which seems to get better as it progresses. “The Crushed Ants” episode contains what has to be the most disgusting and surreal image in the whole series as one of the characters not only has an extra long tongue. This tongue has an eyeball on the end of it. It will be interesting to see how this series wraps itself up in the final two episodes.
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 colors are nicely saturated and flesh tones look healthy. Black levels remains string through out and grain is kept to a minimum. There are no problems with compression, artifacts or edge enhancement. Overall this release is on par with Adness’s first volume of Multiple Personality Detective – Psycho which is also available on DVD. This release comes with only one audio option the series original Japanese language track that is presented here in a Dolby Digital stereo. The dialog is always easy to follow and understand. The effects and music have been evenly mixed as they never drown the other out. 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. The DVD comes with an outer sleeve that houses the main DVD. This outer sleeve covers up a more explicit cover art that comes with the main DVD case. Extras for this release include preview trailers the next two MPD-Psycho episodes “Coronation of the Cursed King” and “Soaring Souls and Human Bondage”. Rounding out the extras are trailers for the following Adness releases Never Give Up, Resurrection of Golden Wolf, G.I. Samurai, Shadow of the Wraith and Inugami. The MPD-Psycho series has all the hallmarks we have come to expect from director Takashi Miike and Adness DVD is another solid release that is sure to find its way into every Miike fans collection, recommended.