Directed by Mike de Leon, The Protege is an interesting drama that deals with the occult. The movie is considered to be of the "hardcore" horror genre and boasts some pretty graphic kills. If you've seen the previous Mike De Leon vampire movies, you'll most likely understand the appeal of this one. Although it doesn't quite reach the same level as his other work, it's still a very watchable movie. Let's go over the major points of the movie that should help make the experience more enjoyable for your viewing pleasure.
The story begins with the tragic murder of a young woman named Ariel. Her death spurs her best friend, Kasia, into investigating the crime and discovers a clue in the form of a diary entry that connects the killer to a secret Order of The Protege. The diary reveals that the killer is a member of The Order who wishes to gather supernatural power for some purpose. When Ariel's body is discovered in the woods, however, the headstrong young woman runs from the scene, pursued by The Protege.
As if the book wasn't enough to get us hooked on The Protege, the TV series spawned by the novel was equally compelling. The TV series followed a more grounded version of the story, focusing on the life of The Protege, rather than casting him as the main suspect. The novel was adapted to a series of movies, featuring different actors playing the various characters. While none of them managed to achieve the popularity of the book, they did manage to capture a larger fan base than the movie adaptation ever did.
The movie itself was received poorly upon release, but the online community quickly made up for that with its members helping to create engaging discussions of the film online. One of the most interesting threads to follow involves Ariel, who discovers a mysterious and powerful force binding her to the earth. The collective goal is to help her discover The Protege's identity and defeat him so all humans can live together in harmony.
The novel has also spawned an online sequel called "The Fall of Protege." Unlike the TV series, which debuted in the US, "The Fall of Protege" has been made available in twelve languages across the world. The first novel was even translated into Chinese, allowing its readers a peek at what happens between The Protege and the Chinese after his imprisonment. It seems that The Protege escaped to China after imprisonment, leading his former associates to believe he is a long-retired figure known as The Phantoms of Identity Theft. This movie provides yet another excellent example of how streaming media such as movies and anime can reach a global audience that includes not only those in the US but those in Asia, Europe, and South America as well.
"The Fall of Protege" continues the excellent tradition of award-winning Japanese manga author Reiji Kitushaki, who wrote and illustrated the series. The manga became a sensation in the Japanese market, selling more than a million copies in print. This proves the success of online streaming movies, both for media, such as movies and anime, as well as for the companies that produce them. One would be hard-pressed to find a better example of how anime and manga can reach a new market that would not be possible just as easily with cable TV, DVD, and satellite TV. It also helps that online streaming movies are a comparatively low cost way of experiencing Japanese art in its rawest form.