As the Gods Will ("Kamisama no iu toori")
Official Selection: Rome Film Festival 2014, International Film Festival Rotterdam 2015
"Guaranteed to delight those with a hankering for deathmatch-survival mangas" – Jay Weissberg, VARIETY
“Blisteringly insane” - Jordan Mintzer, HOLLYWOOD REPORTER
“Gleefully, gloriously weird... thrilling, flashy, un-clean fun” - Ard Vijn, TWITCHFILM
Since the 1997 Fantasia screening of FUDOH: THE NEW GENERATION, a powerful bond has been built between the festival and Takashi Miike, one of the most active and imaginative filmmakers alive today. His versatility is legendary — Miike’s mastery reaches from fantastic family fare like NINJA KIDS!!! to gripping gorefests like ICHI THE KILLER, and with AS THE GODS WILL, he connects these two extremes to unleash a surrealist high-school death match, a sort of BATTLE ROYALE seen through Lewis Carroll’s fairy-tale looking glass.
AS THE GODS WILL bursts onto the screen with a CLOCKWORK ORANGE-style daruma doll leading a class of students in a lethal game of Red Light, Green Light. If the doll sees someone move, it makes the person’s head explode, which promptly triggers further panic, and further explosions. Shun, a bummed-out teen obsessed with violent video games, wins the game, if only because none of his classmates made it through. The poor guy is hardly at the end of his troubles. Further trials, involving among other things a giant good-luck cat and nightmare nursery rhymes care of creepy kokeshi dolls, await the school’s few survivors, among them Shun, his crush Ichika, and Takeru, a goon with psychopathic tendencies.
It would be an understatement to say that an adaptation of the popular manga “As the Gods Will” is a perfect fit for the fevered imagination and twisted virtuosity of Takashi Miike. Surrounded by his usual tough and talented accomplices, notably in the photography, visual effects and art direction departments, Miike has clearly taken great delight in concocting astounding scenes in which the quaint playthings of yesteryear meet the console carnage of today. With this irreverent spectacle mixing fantasy and ferocity, dark dread and deranged laughter, the love affair between Miike and Fantasia is cemented before the gods — if they will it!
— Nicolas Archambault