Tuesday, May 11, 2010



"I learned karate through correspondence courses."


Having deleted several drafts of this post in a row, I give up on trying to write a comprehensible summary of the Trick franchise. What started out like a comedic detective series is nowadays more a bizarre comedy with detective-elements, but it's still, together with Furuhata Ninzaburou, my favorite Japanese drama. As a detective drama, it's somewhat like Jonathan Creek as it features a magician solving crimes, but that's as far as the comparison goes. Trick is all about comedy, with just a bit left for mystery. You shouldn't even think too much about the mysteries.

What's so difficult to explain about Trick is in fact the bizarre comedy. Besides the 'normal' comedy derived from text and story, the screen is so much an element of Trick's distinctive flavor, with crazy angles, cuts to other scenes and running jokes in the background, it's something you have to see to understand. And this year is the 10th anniversary of the Trick franchise and a new movie was released some days ago. Which I had been looking forward to ever since I saw the trailer.

So using my Ueda-like powers of persuasion, I dragged my own self-proclaimed beautiful and talented magician with me to the theater to see Trick: Psychic Battle Royale. Like the title subtly implies, the story revolves around several (self-proclaimed) psychics who fight for the title of the shaman kamihaeri. Among them are psychics who can not die, psychics who can read the future and psychics who can cast curses. And self-proclaimed magician Yamada, who once again tries to get her hands on money by pretending to be a psychic and as a magician herself, is capable of seeing through the tricks of the other fakes. And the scientist Ueda is of course there to... do stuff. Nothing new here.

Which is good. Trick has never been about doing something completely new, it's about strange people interacting with each other, with a mystery-subplot beneath. And this movie did it the best of all the Trick movies. The mystery subplot was not very impressive and some other stuff have been left unexplained, but that doesn't really matter. Even if you solved the mystery the moment it's shown on screen, you'll still get goosebumps when Yamada points her finger at the culprit to proclaim she has seen through all. Trick is just that awesome.

It is in fact quite amazing the bizarre comedy saves this from being just a casual detective with no redeeming qualities whatsover (yes, I am looking at you, Yonshimai Tanteidan) and actually transforms it in a fantastic series.

Oh, and the tie-in at the end to first episode of the first season? What. Was. That? 

Original Japanese title(s): 『劇場版TRICK 霊能力者バトルロイヤル』


  1. ahh still need to see it xD did you get the Ueda Elektriceit-ish thing? :,D I saw it at Junkudo but dismissed it as useless ;p

  2. While I have bought my share of Trick merchandise the last few days, that's one thing I doubt I'll buy. I haven't seen it in real life yet though, but from what I can gather from the Trick website and Amazon, it doesn't look that interesting.

    Tonight's the Trick TV special \O/