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USA: Viz Films / Tidepoint Pictures
Cast: Kenji Mizuhashi, Tsugumi, Chika Fujimura, Harumi Inoue, Kouta Kusano, Yoshiki Sekino
Director: Akihiko Shiota
Language: Japanese (English subtitles)
USA: 100 mins
USA Release Date: 22 November 2000 (Limited Release - New York)
USA Release Date: 27 October 2000 (Limited Release - San Francisco)
SASAYSKI if the directorial debut of Akihiko Shiota and is a darkly comic exploration of innocence and perversity. Shiota gets a great deal of mileage out of the extreme contrast between the film's placid surface - that of a lightweight teen romance - and it's underlying themes of sexual degradation and control.
Based on a manga by Masahiko Kikuni, SASAYSKI is a character-driven film avoiding sensationalism, but instead focusing on the convoluted sexual dynamic that develops between the protagonists; a tension which is more psychological than physical.
An unusual romantic relationship develops between a young couple Takuya (Kenji Mizuhashi) and his girlfriend Satsuki (Tsugum) - he would rather be her slave than her boyfriend. Unsettled and perturbed at the beginning, Satsuki soon comes round and starts to enjoy this fetish. But to what lengths will the masochism go to in this relationship before it ends or continues further than wither could have imagined?