Akaba and Kurei: it all starts with a letter
Ippei Akaba (Takaya Kamikawa), 45. Profession: writer. Having said that, he has never published a book under his own name, only one called ‘The Vampire Who Loved’, a light novel aimed at young women who would not be attracted by a male author, and so which was published under his mother’s maiden name, with a photograph of her as a young woman on the cover. Now he is middle-aged and dull, living in the house of his brother, who has been posted to the United States, and eking out a living writing erotic serials for a magazine called ‘Men’s Golden Street’. One day he receives a letter from Daigo Kurei (Shinji Takeda), who is on death row in the Tokyo Detention House. A self-styled photographer, he has been convicted of the murder of four women who answered his advertisement for models. Known as the ‘serial photo killer’, he says he wants Akabane to write a tell-all book about his exploits. But why?
An erotic serial novel to serve the fantasies of a murderer?
‘Don’t you want to be big?’ says his niece Ai (Rina Koike), urging him on, and he goes to see Kurei’s lawyer, Reiko Maeda (Keiko Takahashi). She receives him coldly, saying only that he must wait until Kurei is executed before he publishes anything. Her assistant, Emi Toritani (Aya Hirayama) takes him to meet Kurei, who turns out to be a bright and cheerful young man, nothing like one would expect of a murderer under sentence of death. He says he will tell all if Akabane writes it as an erotic novel based on what he can learn from three women, fans who are obsessed with love for him. Akabane is not sure if he wants to do this, but Kurei tells him ‘if you write my confessions you might become a first-rank novelist’. His ambition kindled, Akabane begins to write his erotic novel.
New murders unravel a 12 year-old mystery.
As he interviews the women who are in love with Kurei, Akaba also starts to look into his past. But when he goes to interview the third fan, he finds a headless corpse with red roses scattered round it. This is exactly what happened with Kurei’s murders 12 years ago, and the story spreads that ‘Daigo Kurei is back’. It is impossible that Kurei, in prison, committed this murder. Does this mean it was the act of someone else? Since Akaba has discovered the body, Detective Machida (Masato Ibu) of the Homicide Squad suspects he might be the new killer. To clear himself, Akaba joins with Chinatsu Hasegawa (Nana Katase), the younger sister of one of Kurei’s victims, and begins to investigate the events of 12 years before. Is Kurei really a murderer? And is it true that Akaba really has nothing to do with this new case?
The Serialist is due to hit theaters June 15 and stars Takaya Kamikawa, Shinji Takeda, Nana Katase, Aya Hirayama, Rina Koike, Tomoka Kurotani, Chikako Kaku, Denden, Keiko Takahashi, Kazushige Nagashima, Keiko Toda, Katsuo Nakamura, Bin Konno, Sumie Sasaki, Hirotaro Honda, Masato Ibu