“The World of Kanako” is a film that I haven’t seen Japan tackle in the modern era. South Korea has dwelled in this kind of damaged domestic dramas, but Japan has tip-toed around it. Playing around as an Eastern misogynistic tale of an older man trying to find his daughter, we’re supposed to be shocked by his discoveries. The missing Kanako pimps her fellow students, does drugs and might have Yakuza connections. How her father’s reaction to this is portrayed has caused Western audiences to gasp. Is gasp the right word? I always tip-toe lightly around my disgust with the Socially Upright of the Western Privileged set.

The women that seemingly antagonize our lead in the film are quick to be dispatched. Whether beaten or killed, every strange female is something to be overcome to get to Kanako. Remember kids, when Ethan Edwards does it to Indians…it’s classic film lore. But, give one of those antagonists a vagina and the world goes crazy. At a certain point, the hunt for Kanako stops being that significant. Our lead Akikazu is an ex-detective trying to get his professional bearings back to save his kid.

What matters in the film is Akikazu deciding whether or not some people deserve to be saved. Moral ambiguity vs. personal gain drives the film and it never bats an eye from the debate. Can a parent ever decide that their kid is a piece of garbage? Akikazu might just find out. The Blu-Ray comes with a featurette, interviews, booklet, poster, trailers and a digital download as the special features.

Release Date: 2/2/16

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