Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter: A Movie Review


There is dark side to Japan which you won’t get to know by simply sight-seeing Tokyo. Behind the lights, tall-rise buildings and kimonos are literally millions of overworked citizens eating a plain dinner of instant ramen (not just a stereotype) while still wearing their monotonous uniforms, alone, in their crammed match-box apartments in the early hours of the morn.

I had been seeing the red and white movie poster for Kumiko everywhere, all the while thinking that it was a modern remake of little red riding hood, meaning to watch it but never getting around to it. Last night, alone in my apartment, I finally had the chance to and I wish I hadn’t. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great film and by great I mean, so artistically able. Rinko Kikuchi (Kuniko)’s acting is incredible and the cinematography just as good with little dialogue, a gorgeous soundtrack and many many beautiful shots from crowded Japanese subway stations to frozen ski lifts.  But, living and working in Japan and watching a movie based around a young individual driven mad by the vicious Japanese work-system just wasn’t good for my soul.

I’d recommend Kumiko to those who enjoy and appreciate the art of film, who are either interested in Japan or and especially for those who have lived and experienced Japan; the good and the bad. Also, to the patient viewer as the build-up is gradual.



  1. I saw a trailer for this a while back. This was showing locally here at the Cocteau (cinema house owned by George R.R. Martin). It caught my attention because it was filmed in Minnesota (where I grew up). I’ve been to the statues of Paul Bunyan and Babe.

    I’ll have to check it out.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. But according to the trailer, most of the action do not take place in Japan.

    Looks interesting though.

    A lot of otaku like myself actually understand that many Japanese live in cramped apartments and live on instant noodles. That is because there are many protagonists in manga and anime who are poor and live in cramped apartments.

    Especially if they are otaku.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I watched this a while ago, I like this sort of thing. Do you think she dies in the end? Couldn’t make up my mind… the fact that Bunzo (or whatever his name was) was suddenly there with her kind of made it look like she did. I’ll have to watch it again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi there! Yes, I think she dies in the end.. I mean, she’s in the middle of no where and yes, Bunzo appears! I think the whole time, she knew the treasure wasn’t real but couldn’t admit it/face her harsh reality! Thanks for dropping by xxx

      Liked by 2 people

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