Say you’re the landlord of a building. One morning, one of your tenants is found dead in their unit. The police is called, an investigation starts and once the smoke is clear the apartment might be free to be rented out but there’s one problem. You have to notify all potential new tenants that someone died in there, thus making the unit un-rentable. What is a poor landlord to do?
Room Laundering offers the perfect solution: hire Miko the Ghost! I’m sorry, I meant Miko Yagumo (Elaiza Ikeda). She doesn’t like the nickname. Miko and her duck lamp will move in for a moderate fee and will spend the minimum amount of time so that when the apartment is put up for rent again there will be no need to mention any deaths to the prospective renters.
Director Kenji Katagiri who also co-writes this film with Tatsuya Umemoto, crafts this quirky (yeah I know I use and abuse this word, try to review a Japanese comedy without it and see how well you do) comedy of the supernatural. Miko has the ability to see and talk to ghosts. She tries to avoid giving herself away since more than one ghost that discovers this tries to get her to do their bidding. Their bidding being their last wish so that they can move on to the afterlife, of course.
As a result, Miko has gained a bratty kid in a lobster costume ran over by a car, a punk rocker who slit his wrist on the bathtub and a lady who was stabbed in the back. Yes, although her uncle Goro (Joe Odagiri) usually avoids taking on cases of murder, he ends up having to accept one since money is in dire need. The result is she’s now on the case to capture a killer.
Recommended for fans of Japanese comedy. It’s cute, it’s adorable but it does aim for subtlety instead of over the top laughs. It’s for the most part predictable, and I feel that it has a lull in the middle where things just stay where they are until it’s time that Miko takes action. It’s one of those movies you have to be in the mood for, and depending on that it can either work for you or not.
That will do for now.