As the Gods Will (2014)

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As the Gods Will
The Japanese poster for As the Gods Will
Directed by Takashi Miike
Producer Minami Ichikawa et al.
Written by Hiroyuki Yatsu
Music by Koji Endo
Funded by As the Gods Will Production Committee
Production companies Toho Pictures, OLM
Distributor TohoJP, FunimationUS
Rating R15+JP[1]
Box office ¥1.22 billion+[2]
$388,377 (foreign)[3]
Running time 117 minutes
(1 hour, 57 minutes)
Aspect ratio 2.35:1
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As the Gods Will (神さまの言うとおり,   Kamisama no Iu Tōri) is a 2014 Japanese horror film directed by Takashi Miike and written by Hiroyuki Yatsu based on Muneyuki Kaneshiro's 2011 manga series of the same name, with visual effects supervised by Kaori Otagaki. Funded by the As the Gods Will Production Committee (consisting of Toho, Dentsu, Kodansha, OLM, JR East Marketing & Communications, Nippon Shuppan Hanbai, and GyaO!), it was produced by Toho Pictures and OLM. The film premiered in Italy at the Rome Film Festival on October 18, 2014, and was released to Japanese theaters by Toho that November 15.


One morning, Japanese high school students attending a class at school per usual, but are unknowingly entering a life-threatening game of "The Daruma Fell Over", which they are magically sealed into and forced to play. They soon realize the gravity of the situation, when students (who move upon the Daruma doll turning around after saying "Daruma-san has come!"), heads explode into red marbles that scatter all over the floor. A student named Satake realizes that to stop the deadly game they must press the button on the back of the Daruma doll's head before it turns around to face them. After two more students' heads explode, an enthusiast of violent video games named Shun Takahata discovers a timer on the back of its head and that they must press the button to get out alive within that time. When the clock gets down to one minute, students begin to print to get to the button but all fail until only the video game thieves Takahata and Satake are left. The timer continues to click down and with only a few seconds left, Takahata steps on Satake's shoulder and leaps at the doll, and stops the game by pressing the button. They fall to the ground behind the desk, and the doll says "Game over". Suddenly, when Satake moves to show his gratitude to Takahata, his head explodes and the doll says that Satake is the only one who gets to survive as he pressed the button.

A flashback scene of Takahata's day then occurs, recapping his entire morning: playing video games at home, arriving at school, talking to Satake before class, and the teacher's head exploding and turning into the Daruma doll. The flashback stops and Ichika Akimoto enters the room, where she sees Takahata surrounded by his dead classmates. After Akimoto tells Takahata in the hallway that she was the only surviving person in her class as well, the doll tells them that they must be mice in the next game, the "Belling the Cat", and they try to escape the building, but discover that the exits are somehow magically locked. They then enter the gym where they find other school students dressed in mice costumes; upon entering the doors shut behind them, forcing them to play yet another life-threatening game. Suddenly, the floor of the gym opens up, and a giant beckoning cat emerges from it. It soon begins to eat the people dressed as mice, and Takahata and Akimoto notice a giant golden bell object with a timer on it and conclude that they have to put it into the hoop on its collar.

After successfully practicing by throwing a basketball into the hoop, basketball player Haruhiko Yoshikawa throws the ball into the air with everyone watching, however, the beckoning cat stops the ball with its two front paws before it falls into the hoop. The cat throws the ball into Yoshikawa's stomach, sending him flying into the wall of the gym and killing him. It then returns to killing the students dressed as mice, while Akimoto and Takahata remain motionless looking at the beast. Everyone takes off their mice costumes as Takahata believes the cat only kills those dressed as mice, and the cat seemingly soothes and stops chasing them. However, following an agreement breaks out between two of the boys, the giant feline eats a girl watching them which sends everyone into a panic again. During the cat's onslaught, it tries squishing Akimoto under its paw but she rolls out of its way just in time; the golden bell moves over to her with only three minutes left on the clock. She notices that the cat is still looking at her and it attempts to eat her, but is saved when Takahata directs its attention to him. Realizing he is dressed in a mouse costume, the cat tries swatting him with its paw but he also rolls out of the way in time and makes himself the distraction while someone shoots the ball into the hoop on its collar. He hears the cat say "My back's itchy", and looks at the others but realizes he is the only one who can hear it talking as his costume has large mouse ears on it. He climbs onto the back of the cat and starts scratching it while holding onto the rope; he struggles and asks for help and so Akimoto climbs up its back, clings onto the other rope, and scratches its backside as well. Soon everyone joins in and the cat falls asleep.

Takahata climbs down from its back and grabs the gold bell. As they conversate, the awakes and it advances its claws, using them to cut two students to shreds; leaving everyone in disbelief and shock. Takahata gains an idea when he looks at a shredded basketball, then grabs it while Akimoto grabs the bell and they both run with the objects into the storage room. They return with the objects each wrapped in mouse costumes to trick the cat. The cat examines them in confusion, they then dash across the gym and the cat sees that Takahata has a basketball wrapped in the clothing and assumes Akimoto, who throws her object towards the hoop on its collar, but the cat stops the object and then stricks her with its paw, but Akimoto is unharmed. Takahata then throws his object towards the hoop and it is revealed that it is the bell inside a torn basketball to trick the cat. However, the bell bounces off the hoop to everyone's disappointment. Student Amaya Takeru runs up the back of the robot cat, grabs the bell, and slams a dunk, ending the game. This time, however, the cat reveals more than one person gets to live: Ameya, Takahata, and Akimoto. Upon asking what will happen to the others, Ameya stabs all his fellow students whose names the cat did not mention with a sword and says "This is God's Will". After the three survivors conversate, the cat then fills the gym up with smoke that it releases from its mouth.

People at their homes and in subways watch, on television, a news anchor reporting recent strange events occurring in major cities across the globe, with an estimated 10 million high school students dying in the games. Suddenly, they discover that large white cubes are floating around above the cities, which a reporter says is where the surviving students are being held. One such cube floats above Tokyo Tower, with a huge crowd watching it from below.


Staff role on the left, staff member's name on the right.

  • Directed by   Takashi Miike
  • Written by   Hiroyuki Yatsu
  • Based on the manga As the Gods Will
    • Written by   Muneyuki Kaneshiro
    • Illustrated by   Akeji Fujimura
  • Chief executive producer   Minami Ichikawa
  • Executive producers   Riichiro Nakamura, Kohei Furukawa, Toshiaki Okuno, Masanori Yumiya, Eisaku Yoshikawa, Naoto Miyamoto
  • Co-executive producer   Akihiro Yamauchi
  • Planned and produced by   Hisashi Usui
  • Produced by   Yusuke Ishiguro, Misako Saka, Shigeshi Maeda
  • Line producers   Toru Mori, Tomoyuki Imai
  • Music by   Koji Endo
  • Cinematography by   Nobuyasu Kita
  • Edited by   Kenji Yamashita
  • Production design by   Hajime Hashimoto
  • First assistant director   Ryusuke Kurahashi
  • Visual effects supervisor   Kaori Otagaki


Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.

  • Sota Fukushi   as   Shun Takahata
  • Hirona Yamazaki   as   Ichika Akimoto
  • Ryunosuke Kamiki   as   Takeshi Amaya
  • Shota Sometani   as   Satake
  • Mio Yuki   as   Shoko Takase
  • Jingi Irie   as   Eiji Oku
  • Ryosuke Yamamoto   as   Mikinori Taira
  • Minori Hagiwara   as   Yumi Taoka
  • Sasuke Otsuru   as   Yukio Sanada
  • Naoto Takahashi   as   Kotaro Maeda
  • Nijiro Murakami   as   Haruhiko Yoshikawa
  • Sakichi Sato   as   Tadakatsu Okudaira
  • Nao Omori   as   Takumi
  • Reiko Takashima   as   Shun's mother
  • Nobue Iketani   as   Takumi's mother
  • Lily Franky   as   homeless man
  • Dori Sakurada   as   class president
  • Tommy's Masa   as   daruma doll (voice)
  • Atsuko Maeda   as   beckoning cat (voice)
  • Katsuhiro Higo   as   Taro, kokeshi doll (voice)
  • Ryuhei Ueshima   as   Kenichi, kokeshi doll (voice)
  • Jimon Terakado   as   Oni, kokeshi doll (voice)
  • Ikuko Tatsu   as   Hanako, kokeshi doll (voice)
  • Michiyo Yanagisawa   as   Akemi, kokeshi doll (voice)
  • Tsutomu Yamazaki   as   polar bear (voice)
  • Wasabi Mizuta, Etsuko Kozakura   as   matryoshka dolls (voices)





Main article: As the Gods Will/Gallery.


Main article: As the Gods Will (soundtrack).

Alternate titles

  • Listen to the Gods (要聽神明的話,   Yào tīng shénmíng dehuà, Taiwan)

Theatrical releases

Foreign releases



Video releases

Toho Blu-ray (May 20, 2015)

  • Region: A/1
  • Discs: 1
  • Audio: Japanese (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: Japanese

Funimation Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD (June 5, 2018)



Japanese trailer


  • The South Korean survival series Squid Game has been inculpated of plagiarizing from this film. Hwang Dong-hyuk, the creator of Squid Game, however, proclaims to have begun writing the script in 2009, two years before the first issue of the As the Gods Will manga was published and five years before the film adaptation was released.[4]

External links


This is a list of references for Kaiju No. 14/Sandbox/As the Gods Will. These citations are used to identify the reliable sources on which this article is based. These references appear inside articles in the form of superscript numbers, which look like this: [1]

  1. "神さまの言うとおり". Retrieved 18 August 2022.
  2. "2014年(平成26年) 興行収入10億円以上番組" (PDF). Motion Picture Producers Association of Japan. Retrieved 18 August 2022.
  3. "As the Gods Will". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 31 July 2023.
  4. Lee Wei Lin (23 September 2021). "Squid Game Director Denies He Plagiarised Japanese Movie As The Gods Will". Today. Retrieved 24 August 2022.


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