What is right vs Love. Finding Love amidst evil actions. One’s security getting in the way of Love. Criminals have hearts too. How far people are willing to go when backed up against a wall.
Tsumi no Yohaku AKA Crime’s Blank, a 2015 awesome crime drama takes on all these issues and statements and all I have to say is, forget the likes of Romeo and Juliet, this is what tragic love is all about! I have never had my heart pulled in all directions when it comes to the villains in movies like it was this time around! Maybe it is expected seeing as this villain, Saki (played by the captain of X21’s Yoshimoto Miyu), is actually also the protagonist of the story, even though her end was a BAD ONE, which makes her an actual villain in the end instead of an anti-heroine!
I can hear someone going ‘why now?’, well, the credit goes to this new drama that was recommended to me currently airing titled ‘Kuzu no Honkai’, which, if you are an anime person, you know of this as the anime version is also currently airing, and the main girl sure moves around. I am still at episode 2 and having been blown away by Miyu’s performance in those two episodes (are idols really allowed to do that?!!), I remembered that there was a movie she was supposed to be in and so I went and looked for it and dear Readers, am I glad I remembered it!
This girl is just so good! Add her in a big budget movie like Tsumi no Yohaku and man, what a ride! But it was not just her that got me to stay and write about this movie, nope, the other girls too both Uno Narumi (who plays our other half in Maho) and Yoshida Mikako (who plays the catalyst Kana). Those two were also great in their roles and their performances added greatly to the overall feel of the movie bringing that oomph to the punch!
Obviously the point and focus of this post is going to be on our ship in Saki and Maho! Having decided that maybe we have had enough of Korean Movie posts, this was kind of an excellent timing if you ask me! Better still the fact that Tsumi no Yohaku also has the same themes of the last movie talked about, the short ‘End of Summer’. Our main characters almost were similar but ended up taking different routes, an outcome that was also influenced by their partners.
Both having tragic endings but of different magnitude and brought on by opposite circumstances, makes me one sad but also happy citizen! And so I am thinking maybe I should approach this post by way of comparing this and End of Summer? Nah, nothing ever goes according to plan where I am concerned!
I am not going to go sequentially this time around so be warned, my thoughts are going to be all over the plot. The first thing I wish to comment on is how surprised I was by Saki, our main character. All throughout the movie I kept thinking that her feelings and actions towards Maho were fake! Even later on when they kissed I was still thinking it was a fad and that she was only preying on Maho’s feelings and using them to trap her and keep her on her side! The fact that she may actually have feelings for Maho did not sink in until towards the end, ironically in the moment that she was about to kill Maho!
Anyone else would think that a deal breaker, that her colours finally came out the moment she decided to kill Maho in order to shut her up but then I think those people would have thought that because they had forgotten about the other 98% of the movie! Saki had a lot of time to kill of Maho too or show complete disdain and cracks in her façade before that climax towards the end but she did not do either!
All she did was try her best to keep Maho from talking, not through threats and scare tactics but rather, comfort and promises of a mutual future. In fact, it was Maho’s degrading psyche due to the sheer weight of the secret that finally pushed Saki over, which was truly understandable. Saki had tried everything else in order to keep Maho sane and thus from spilling the beans and that everything else were good intentions. It was Maho that brought about Saki’s downfall which was really tragic to me and not the whole reason.
The other reason is that Saki actually, genuinely, developed feelings for Maho throughout this phase in their lives as she tried her best to keep Maho under wraps! There is no way that she felt the same way she did towards Maho at the beginning of the movie as she did towards the end. I am not even sure that Maho had romantic feelings for Saki in the first place. Her’s were the typical jealousy feelings underlings have for their mistress in regards to Kana.
That’s right, opposite of Ju-yeon, Saki was the Queen B of her school and Maho and Kana, her side-kicks. The whole story revolved around these three (and Kana’s father) when Kana died and it was Saki’s fault while Maho had all the evidence (despite the fact that Kana jumped out of a window in front of the whole class)! Maho was the only one who heard what Saki said to Kana to make her jump to her death so Kana speaking would have been the end of Saki.
And so you see the unusualness of the situation we have on our hands here. Were it any other villain, the only solution, given that they can go so far as to command someone to kill themselves, was to get rid of Maho, plain and simple! And if that was not an option, then scare tactics would so be in the cards as well. But did Saki do all that to Kana? Nope! Instead she was comforting, sensual, emotional and accompanying towards Maho.
Actually I was very angry towards Maho. I think this is one of the first times I have felt anger towards a hero in regards to what they do towards the villain. The only other time I remember feeling like this was during Amazing Spiderman 2 when Spiderman was quipping at Electro (during the Square scene) instead of actually comforting him and thus preventing his full transformation. I hate that scene!
Like, didn’t Mao realise how lucky she was that Saki was doing what she was doing to keep her from talking instead of what she could have been doing?! Even if it was not what you were looking for, you were getting a lot out of not talking! Sure you would have had to live with the guilt for all your life but isn’t that what love is all about? Isn’t that what committing to love some is all about?! You have to be there for them as well in both their highs and lows. It is up to you to make them feel happy that they are with you instead of someone or somewhere else. And seriously, you think you had it bad? What of Saki herself who actually is responsible!!!
Anyway the irony that Saki might have developed feelings towards Maho in her attempt to keep her on her side, she instead got her heart broken with the betrayal when all her hard work, resilience and accidentally offered heart all got rendered useless when Maho couldn’t keep herself together after all and also Saki reaching her wits ends.
Saki here is similar to Ju-yeon in that they both discovered love throughout their respective stories but also lost it towards the end. Ju-yeon lost it due to un-controllable circumstances where as Saki lost it due to controllable ones but that they could not make it and thus it was actually Saki’s fault that she lost it. Saying that though doesn’t mean that it was so easy to salvage! Both girls were at their limits! Saki’s suspicions were founded and Maho’s state of mind was not helping matters at all!
Now, I am not saying that I condone Saki’s sin of murder! I still think that taking someone’s life is the evillest thing that is in existence! But the fact that Saki was partially redeemed even before she faced trial and went to jail when she showed that she still had a heart by her actions towards Maho, really makes me feel for her! The fact that she went to prison was actually the best course of action because of what was about to happen. Had she gone through with killing Maho, a person who saved her from her first spiral downwards after killing Kana, that would have a point of no return for her. Maho was her anchor. We did not see anyone close to Miyu throughout the movie other than Maho and if she was to die, Saki would have completely been lost to the darkside.
But Maho is still alive and the two still have time. Some reflection in prison for Saki and recovery time for Maho to get her wits back about her, the two still have a chance for a future, unlike the alternative! The circumstances of their separation were not such that a reunion would be in the negative side. Maho would reflect on Saki’s actions towards her throughout those days and Saki will realise exactly how much Maho means to her. I don’t think she got enough time to really absorb all those developments and what she actually did with Maho.
I mean, those two went to more dates, had more emotional touching scenes and had deeper secrets than most romantic couples I know of! Like, I can’t even measure how much tears those two wasted on each other! Have you ever seen a criminal cry so much!? I think not! Man, not even Hae-won and Bok-nam from Bedevilled were this tragic, and one of them actually died in that movie! Then again Bok-nam did kill way more people in that movie, a whole village actually, even if the reason was much worse (they killed her daughter).
Maho too, though she kind of made me mad, I have to give her some slack. She had a very heavy scale to balance! Make a parent happy by solving the murder mystery of their child or keep the secret and save her love? She was also probably having nightmares about Kana and not doing anything to bring peace to her rest by giving up the person responsible when only she could do it! Okay, I forgive her!
Then there is our main girl Saki. No doubt about it, what she did was very, very wrong! Sure she did not push the knife herself, per say, or in this case push Kana through the window but she was the cause of it. She could have stopped it had she done something, actually something akin of what she was doing afterwards to keep Maho from talking! There was no question that Kana was that drunk on Saki. All Saki had to do was say the word and Kana would not have jumped! Therein, she was in the wrong and thus her fate in the end is not why I think of a BAD END in regards to this movie.
It’s more like the way things turned out in hers and Maho’s relationship. BAD END is kind of not the right words to use here too. More like TRAGIC END. Saki found real love out of fake love meanwhile Maho, got the love she might have been looking for but did not manage to hold onto it or even bask in it! She was too busy fighting with her psyche while Saki on the other hand was too busy trying to keep Maho under her feathers to realise what was actually happening and thus keep her wits about her.
They both lost to themselves, Maho to her guilt and Saki to her need for security! Speaking of which, this is where we cross over to End of Summer once again. Where Ju-yeon overcame the seduction to succumb to saving one’s own skin and thus saving her love, here Saki fell victim to the seduction and was going to sacrifice her love for her security. To be fare though Saki’s situation had one thing that Ju-yeon’s did not have. Saki already had the seeds planted in that she already got away with murder before in Kana and so the pull to the darkside was stronger in her situation! She got away with murder before after all, she could get away with it again.
Which is why her going to jail was essential in order to stop her from even entertaining that thought again. Also beats one of them dying and sealing off a possibility of them happening ever again. This way they have a chance! And with the state of their relationship, that future is promising to be a better one, given that they both reflect on the chaotic months since Kana’s death.
And speaking of Kana, putting aside the usual Japan killing off the cute one again, there was so much possibilities in Kana and Saki and if this were a popular series I am sure there would be lots of Saki/Kana fics out there but alas. Maybe they could have pulled a fast one where Kana was actually still alive but badly injured? Like she was in a coma and wakes up towards the end as a twist or something? Imagine her coming to Saki’s rescue just as the un-mentionable hit the fan and things are about to spiral out of control! Or maybe Saki goes through with killing Maho only to realise that kana is actually still alive!!
Anyway, despite the ending, I implore you who haven’t to go and give it a chance. I did not bother looking for subs but given how big and how long ago this was released, I am sure they exist somewhere. Believe in the internet and it will not let you down!
Anyway, that is all my thoughts on Tsumi no Yohaku.
See ya around…