Akiba is a young private investigator who takes on spirits, shooting them with his “holy gun” and either sending them to Hades or helping them ascend to Heaven. Mikoto is a high school student that ends up working for him.
There is no doubt that this is one of the best movies of any kind I have ever seen. All of the characters are well developed, including almost all the spirits. The spirits themselves have reasons for what they are doing. There are bad ones and good ones. There is logic and reason behind their actions.
In addition, Akiba is given an incredibly interesting background, as is Mikoto.
The movie takes place as a set of stories, each one being extremely well done. There is a minimum of blood, and the horror element that is there wouldn't bother many people. The strength of the movie is in its characters (including the spirits) and the stories that they all have to tell. I can see this done as a TV series that could easily rival any American series in quality (as long as the quality could be kept up.) It's just an incredible story, wonderfully told, with a tissue-box type of ending.
A woman hears a child's voice.
A ghost/spirit appears.
He pulls her into some kind of something or other that appears on the wall.
A guy (Akiba) appears soon after.
He knows about spirits and that, detects where the woman has gone, and pulls out some kind of special gun.
He shoots the spirit and the wall cracks open and releases the woman.
There's a skeleton imbedded in the wall.
We don't know who this is at this time. Whoever it is sees the painting, finds the former owner's diary and reads it.
The Painting, the first story in the film.
Akiba finds out that the painting is cursed and whoever owns it dies.
The woman is still reading the diary.
She touches the painting and finds blood on her finger.
The painting's eyes open.
The painting falls off the shelf then starts moving around. A hand appears from under the painting, then the rest of the girl. (Think a crawling Sadako).
The spirit wants to die and Akiba again pulls his gun out. He shoots the spirit and it disappears.
The girl identifies herself. She knows all about the girl in the painting and the tragedy that befell her.
Something happens to him as he has a flash of something or other appearing in his memory.
He has another vision while at his office.
Mikoto lets him know she's decided to be his assistant.
(The first story is really good. The entity is not really evil at all; she suffered terribly in her life and just wants to be free of everything.)
The second story, The Reunion.
He's gotten a ride to somewhere which is bothered by child ghosts.
She seems to be lost. They are outside a school. They go away but he tells her that he heard children's voices calling her from the school.
Her navigation device malfunctions, wanting to send her back to the school. She went to that school over 15 years ago.
She had to miss her graduation day since she had a cold.
Some kids wanted to hold a graduation just for her but when she gets to the school it's on fire.
He suggests they return to the school and see what the ghosts want.
Just as he's about to open fire on the ghosts he gets more images in his mind. Apparently it's trying to tell him he doesn't have to shoot (exorcise) every ghost he sees.
The woman stops him from shooting, telling him they are not evil ghosts.
They smile at her and disappear one by one. All they wanted to do was to give her the graduation ceremony.
(This is a really good story; very emotional, very well done and Akiba learns something significant; don't practice “shoot first and ask questions later.”)
She's going to be his assistant whether he wants one or not.
The title of the third story appears.
Akiba is talking to a woman about strange things happening to her. The woman thinks it's some other woman that used to stalk her husband.
The woman would even break into his apartment and cut up photos of him with any other woman.
He later tells the woman that the stalking woman had committed suicide, and that's when the strange incidents started to happen.
The stalker has taken possession of the young boy and he has a pair of scissors so he can attack his mother.
Then in one of the weirdest things ever, Mikoto throws a black coat that Akiba gave her over the woman who's fainted. The woman revives and rises, wearing the coat and holding Akiba's gun.
(This story was, like the other two, really well done. In this case, of course, the stalker was someone purely evil, but the idea of the coat allowing Akiba to possess the wife and thus kill the stalker was unexpected and really neat.)
The next story begins.
Two girls are friends and one of them has a cell phone that can take photos. One photo turns out strange and the other girl thinks it's something to do with “Katsumi-san.”
The legend has it that if something like that happens, the person who took the photo will die. The girl did die and Akiba goes into the history of Katsumi-san.
The woman had been born with some kind of disease that caused her face to swell terribly. She stayed away from others, but a photographer got her picture anyhow. The woman ended up hanging herself.
He explains more about what happened (and it's quite fascinating and involved.)
She finds a bathroom where one particular photo was taken. She hears a voice in the bathroom.
The innocent girl on the floor and the spirit next to her just before Akiba opens fire. The bullets don't seem to have any effect, though.
Mikoto charges the bullet with psychic energy.
He shoots the mirror when Mikoto tells him the ghost inhabits the mirror.
He can't figure Mikoto out. Somehow she knows he's dealt with 98 souls.
His “attacks” become longer and more frequent.
(This was another good story with the mystery of Mikoto starting to develop.)
The next story.
A blind boy senses a strange presence. The young man has been blind since he was young, the blindness due to a car accident.
He and the man have a talk. The guy tells him that he's afraid of seeing since he can see things other's can't. He tells the boy that he can see spirits.
The buy continues to talk to him. He tells the kid he's running away from something.
The kid has the operation so he can see.
The kid seems some kind of spirit in the office.
We find out this is the young Akiba.
He goes to see a girl that had really helped him a lot when he was younger and blind, but finds out she's died.
A spirit appears and asks him for help.
The guy that talked to him before appears again.
He has the “holy gun.”
The guy gives his gun to the young Akiba. He says he will help him forget whatever it has been that has been troubling him so. Akiba is to carry on his work. He also tells him that when he's saved his 100th soul his memory will return.
He deals with his 99th soul and has further flashbacks.
He realizes there's a lot he doesn't know about Mikoto. He doesn't even have her address.
Back to the past with Akiba in the hospital.
A girl who's in the hospital herself visits him; this apparently is not long after the accident that killed his parents and blinded him. He's quite unresponsive with the nurse but finally starts talking to the girl.
He hears a some people talking about the girl and she has leukemia although she had told him she had nothing seriously wrong with her.
He had to transfer hospitals so the girl gave him a letter to read when he got his sight back.
The letter is signed Mikoto; when he was young the girl had made up her name.
He goes to meet with Mikoto. They have an incredibly moving reunion.
She starts glowing.
She asks him to shoot her so her soul can ascend.
You don't see the actual shot but you hear it.
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