Maiku Hama
(aka Mike Hama and Mike Yokohama)
Created by Kaizo Hayashi and Daisuke Tengan

It's Hama Time!

The rundown office of Yokohama private eye MAIKU HAMA (get it?) is on the second floor of an old theater, stuck between the projector and the screen, which is appropriate enough, since so much of Waga jinsei saiaku no toki (in English as The Most Terrible Time in My Life), a quirky Japanese detective flick, is based on old films.

It's even filmed in black and white. Hama dresses flashy, drives a classic car with California plates, and Hama serves up some tasty but terse Bogie-style voice-overs.

But, of course, this isn't some murky American-made film noir set in the distant past of San Francisco or Los Angeles of the 1940's here -- it's a modern day riff on those films, set in Japan in the 1990's. So we've got martial arts galore, and even a little good ol' Yakuza-style dismemberment.

When he's approached by a Taiwanese waiter who wants the detective to track down his missing brother, all easy-going Hama really wants is to earn enough money to send his little sister to college, But Hama soon finds himself involved in a series of double-crosses and violent revenge as sibling rivalry erupts into a full-tilt gang war.

Waga jinsei saiaku no toki was followed by two sequels, Harukana Jidai no Kaidan O in 1994 and Wana in 1996, and in 2002, it became a television show in Japan. There were twelve episodes produced, with Masatoshi Nagase reprising the role. But the writers and directors included Alex Cox (of Sid and Nancy/Repo Man fame)






Report respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith. Special thanks to FRY2K for theheads up.
Photo is of Shinya Tsukamoto and Masatoshi Nagasn (as Hama) mixing it up in The Most Terrible Time of My Life.

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