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Nagai Yume

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Directed by  Higuchinsky
Runtime  58 minutes
Director  Higuchinsky
Written by  Junji Ito

Released  2000
Initial release  2000
Music by  Zuntata
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Studio  KTV, Omega Micott, TV Asahi
Cast  Eriko Hatsune, Shuji Kashiwabara, Masami Horiuchi, Tsugumi, Kenjiro Tsuda
Similar  Uzumaki, Meet Me in Miami, Rebels Without A Clue, Kakashi, Tomie: Another Face

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Nagai Yume (長い夢, lit. "Long Dream") is a one-hour Japanese television drama broadcast in 2000. It is based on a short manga story of the same name by Junji Ito, and directed by Higuchinsky, whose film adaptation of Ito's Uzumaki had been released earlier the same year.


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Dr. Kuroda, a celebrated neurosurgeon, expresses severe doubt when a patient named Tetsuro Mukoda is admitted, complaining of increasingly long dreams, although his assistant, Dr. Yamauchi, believes there may be some truth to Mukoda's complaints. Another patient at the hospital, Mami Takeshima, who was admitted for treatment for a benign tumour, begins experiencing a heightened fear of death, and has a harrowing encounter with Mukoda, who wanders the halls at night, too afraid to sleep.

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At first believing Mukoda's symptoms to be nothing more than hallucinations, Kuroda decides to admit him anyway, and studies his symptoms in detail. With each passing night, the perceived length of Mukoda's dreams seem to be increasing, from months, to years, to decades and then to centuries.

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Mukoda continues to suffer from his long dreams, who eventually undergoes extreme mental and physical mutations; it is as if Mukoda is really is living the length of time he perceives his dreams are. Eventually believing that Takeshima is his wife from within the dream world, a severely-mutated Mukoda accuses Kuroda of trying to interfere in their 'relationship' upon waking, and accosts Takeshima. Terrified, Mami accuses Mukoda of being death, before Kuroda manages to intervene. Mukoda comes to his senses, and asks "What happens to the man who awakens from an eternal dream?"

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Mukoda's mutations continue to worsen, and he eventually experiences an eternal dream. With his spirit fleeing his body, Mukoda crumbles away into dust, leaving behind strange red crystals. Shortly afterwards, Takeshima confides to Yamauchi that her fear of death is lessening, but that she too is starting to experience long dreams. Fearing there may be a viral component to whatever caused Mukoda's long dreams, Yamauchi tries to consult Kuroda on the matter, but Kuroda seems elusive and refuses to talk about his research on the crystals. Days pass as Yamauchi begins to take concern in Kuroda's unhealthy interest in the crystals. Eventually, Takeshima, experiencing a similar mental breakdown to the one Mukoda experienced, murders a nurse at the hospital.

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Yamauchi takes matters into his own hands, and sneaks into Kuroda's office at night to see if he can find any information about the nature of Mukoda and Takeshima's long dreams. He finds a set of video tapes surrounding the case, and then discovers Kuroda's dark secrets. By testing the crystals on Takeshima, Kuroda intends to find a way to enter the dream world, trying to reunite with the spirit of his deceased lover, Kana, who died from an overdose of Phenobarbital a few years prior to the events of the film. Kuroda has also been surreptitiously administering the chemical crystals on himself.

Kuroda suddenly appears in the office, and Yamauchi, horrified by what he has just learned, asks Kuroda just why he would do such a thing. Kuroda reasons that humanity never need fear death again if they had the option to go into an eternal dream. Disgusted, Yamauchi replies that this would desecrate the spirits of the dying. Kuroda breaks down, and reveals that despite taking the crystals, he is now unable to dream at all. Yamauchi comments on the poetic irony of the situation, and prepares to leave, only for Kuroda to murder him with a picture frame of Kana.

Kuroda then encounters Kana's spirit, and tries to talk to her, only for the spirit to say her goodbyes and disappear. Waking up in a hospital bed, Kuroda sees Yamauchi and several other doctors standing in front of him - the previous murder had been just a hallucination. Despite being unable to dream, Kuroda is experiencing the same mutations that Mukoda experienced. The former doctor looks at his hands and weeps as he finally goes insane.


Nagai Yume Wikipedia