Tantei Mariko no Shôgai de Ichiban Hisan na Hi
2022 / 116m - Japan
Life of Mariko in Kabukicho poster


May 15, 2024


The kind of oddity you'll only find in Japan. Eiji Uchida and Katayama deliver a wacky genre blend that revolves around a little café in the heart of Tokyo's red-light district. Not everything is equally successful, but there are enough ideas here to fill 3 different films and it's unlikely you'll get bored (unless genre cinema isn't your thing).

Mariko has a little café, which serves as a cover for her detective agency. Business is booming and she gets a lot of requests, but many of them seem to relate to a runaway alien. Half of Kabukicho is hunting for the extraterrestrial, which isn't all that surprising when there's a finder's fee of five million yen.

Even though Mariko is the central character, the film spends a lot of time on her wacky clients (and her ninja boyfriend). The film offers a mix of action, sci-fi, and crime, though the fact that none of it should be taken too seriously underlines its comedic intentions. It's not quite as polished or excessive as I'd hoped, but it's great fun regardless.