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Thursday, December 14, 2017

"Dead Stock" drama: Episode five recap

 Air Dates: July 21st to September 30th on TV Tokyo, Saturdays at 12:52 am

Main Cast:

Akari Hayami as Saori Nikkaido
Nijiro Murakami as Riku Tsuneta
Tetsusho Tanaka as Satoru Sayama

 The cast list is correct as there's just three characters though there are a few guest stars for each show. Some of this horror drama is actually true such as where it's filmed. TV Tokyo moved their main offices in 2016 and this drama is filmed where their offices used to be which was in Toranomon, they're now in Roppogni. Don't know if the office building looks that abandoned but it does give a creepy atmosphere. Also the site locations are real as the cast traveled to spots where real cursed stories may have happened.

 Kind of a so-so episode compared to the first four shows though the ending was fairly decent. In the next recap we do learn the name of an older show but up until now all have remained unnamed. Today's pick out the overflowing boxes of VHS tapes from TV-Tokyo's older shows had to deal with the curse of a samurai soldier from centuries ago and it had been caught on video.
 In the older show a reporter had gone to an inn to interview an Idol, it took place 25 years ago. But before the interview could begin there was a commotion in a hallway and when the cameraman went to investigate he saw an old soldier who quickly disappeared. But also caught on video was a man stumbling out of a doorway completely covered in blood. The video went blank then so could the soldier have killed the reporter and cameraman?
 That's what Riku was wondering and for once he wants to be in charge of investigating a possible curse. Up until now it's always been Saori and just once she wants to catch a real curse on film, to her that could be the stepping stone to having her own TV show. She's kind of skeptical about the curse Riku has found but after some nudging by the supervisor Sayama she agrees to accompany him.

 The pair travel to the old inn where the original footage was taped, it's now been sold and going under renovation. Saori used the inn's renovation to their advantage as she lied to the new owner saying she was doing a TV special on old inns and the two were invited to stay. One of the helpers is an older man named Todoroki and in the very bad quality video from 25 years ago Riku had recognized him from it, he had been warning everyone to flee from the soldier.
 Todoroki told the whole story of the samurai soldier to Riku, the soldier's name from centuries ago was Tsudzuranuki and that's a name you will definitely not see often. The soldier who was actually a general had lost a battle and in it most of his army. He was able to escape to a nearby village with his servants and Tsudzuranuki thought they were safe there. That wasn't the case as the villagers quickly turned on him and his staff murdering them all. With his last dying breath Tsudzuranuki mumbled to his killers 'You'll regret it' and they did as every day after a villager was mysteriously killed.

 But a legend developed that if the suit of armor Tsudzuranuki was wearing was kept clean and safe then no more deaths would occur. That's what happened so over the centuries there's been a caretaker for it and in present time it's now Todoroki, that was the whole myth he explained to Riku. He left the older man to grab his camera and to bring Saori with him but in Riku's absence only trouble started.
 The new boss who we never learned her name came in right after Riku's exit and had some orders for Todoroki. The main one was to dispose of the armor, it was an eyesight to her and the talk about it's legend would scare potential visitors away. Todoroki knew the curse was 100% true but his pleas to keep it fell upon deaf ears, he soon brought it to the forest to destroy it.
 While he was traveling there Riku showed up with Saori and were unable to find Todoroki until they heard him scream. That scream was the final noise from Todoroki's mouth but then again we wonder if it was. Todoroki had left the armor deep into the woods, as he was departing there was a sound behind him. Turning around Todoroki saw the suit was now worn by Tsudzuranuki who quickly made mincemeat of Todoroki.

 Bottom screenshot shows the pair's supervisor who is Sayama, he's been very mysterious up until now and so far we haven't learned much about him. He does have some secrets about TV-Tokyo and other various things which may not come out until the second half of the series. The new owner of the inn had no idea about Todoroki's death, she was back at the inn preparing a meal for Riku and Saori when there was a noise behind her.
 It was the ghost(?) of Tsudzuranuki who now made her his second victim. Saori and Riku had been waiting for the owner who never showed up, as they were going to check on her the lights in the inn suddenly went out. The pair went through the halls seeing what the problem was but they didn't run into anyone, that's understandable as the other two were both dead. It was pitch dark but Riku had his camcorder with them and they duo continued on their hunt for the owner or Todoroki.

 No one was to be found but on the camcorder Riku caught that bottom image, it was of the ghost Tsudzuranuki! But not so fast, when the soldier was about to attack the two out of nowhere came Sayama who stuck a talisman on the back of the figure. Whatever was in the suit wasn't dead, when the trio looked at the face of the soldier it wasn't Tsudzuranuki but instead.... Todoroki!?!? They were confused and so was I to an extent.
 Perhaps when the soldier killed Todoroki it took over his body as to move around, but then again if that happened how was Tsudzuranuki kill Todoroki in the first place? The other scenario that came to mind was that perhaps the soldier had transformed his face to pass as Todoroki. What really took place at the inn was never explained as the next scene was of Sayama and Riku at a pub. Riku kept looking at the video he had taken, to him there's no doubt the image he caught on tape was of the soldier Tsudzuranuki and with that the 23 minute episode ended.

 Kind of a confusing ending but it was still a solid way to end the show off though it didn't quite make up for the sluggish beginning. Check out the next post for the recap for the sixth episode and it may have been the best show to date.

"Dead Stock" drama: Episode six recap

 Air Dates: July 21st to September 30th on TV Tokyo, Saturdays at 12:52 am

Main Cast:

Akari Hayami as Saori Nikkaido
Nijiro Murakami as Riku Tsuneta
Tetsusho Tanaka as Satoru Sayama

 The cast list is correct as there's just three characters though there are a few guest stars for each show. Some of this horror drama is actually true such as where it's filmed. TV Tokyo moved their main offices in 2016 and this drama is filmed where their offices used to be which was in Toranomon, they're now in Roppogni. Don't know if the office building looks that abandoned but it does give a creepy atmosphere. Also the site locations are real as the cast traveled to spots where real cursed stories may have happened.

 Finally a name for the one of the older videos that Riku and Saori had to go through to determine what it was, as you can see it's title was "Tele East at Night". There's a connection to the events of thirty years ago and present day, that's of a series of deaths where the victims look like mummies. The connection was never explained out loud but figured it out by the end and will reveal it then but sure most will have figured it out.
 Riku may have stumbled on to a clue connecting the two series of death, that's according to his supervisor Sayama. That clue is 'Full Moon' as the deaths have occurred when that happens, it's also the name of a hostess club. Thirty years ago the club was once a museum, the top screenshot is from that museum and during the taping of a news feature a dead mummified body had been found.
 Being a hostess club means just the men are pressed into action so Riku and Sayama head there to investigate. Riku was the only one to do that, one reason was that he was the only sober one as Sayama went to town at the club and had run up a bill of almost a million yen! Looks like there were no clues to be found but before they had left Riku had stumbled across an incident. He noticed a man and woman rolling around in a room though they weren't lovey-dovey, actually to Riku it looked like the man was trying to bite her neck!

 Outside the hostess club the pair met up with Saori who had been waiting for them but with the state Sayama was in nothing positive was accomplished. But outside the club an older man had confronted the trio and asked if the woman in a photo he had was in the club. Riku said yes as the woman had sat next to him, the older man said it was his daughter Ume but in the club she used the name Karen.
 Nothing more could be done that night so the next day at the station a new set of plans had to be developed to find Karen and and evidence for the rash of mummified deaths. Saori traveled to the club to apply as a hostess, personally I would hire her within a nano second. She meets the manager Sakaki who seems to be a bit suspicious of her but thinks she'll make a good hostess. He hires her right then but needs to excuse himself for a moment to check on something.

 You'll soon be seeing the meaning for 'What is this?'. After Sakaki had departed Saori had met up with Ume who has no clue what she means by that name and says she's there to bring Saori back to meet again with Sakaki. That's when the above expression is uttered as Saori walks in to see Sakaki biting the neck of one of the hostesses! It was very odd what happened after that 'bite' as the woman seemed to age decades in front of us and has turned into an eighty year old woman.
 Sakaki then went to the head of his 'special table' which was surrounded by all of the other bar hostesses, almost looked like a coven of witches. Just before Saori entered the room or actually chamber may be a better term she had turned on a cassette player. As she was witnessing these acts Saori threatened Sakaki telling him that the room was being videotaped and that she was a TV reporter recording everything. He laughed her off but soon after Riku entered the room, he grabbed Ume and with Saori the trio headed back to the station.

 The older man's name is Anzai and you read the above correctly, the much younger Ume is his mother! She had left Anzai forty years ago which would put her age somewhere in the sixties, she looks to be about 25 in that screenshot. Need to find out who played Ume as she was one ultra sizzling woman. But back to the show and the obvious question is why is Ume still so young?
 With all the events the first thing that pops in one's head is that Sakaki is a vampire, that's the conclusion of Saori and myself as the two of us would make for a good team. Sadly we're about to proved wrong, the trio plus Sayama head back to the hostess club to face off against Sakaki and his female demons.
 The quartet is prepared as they've brought crosses with them to ward off the vampires. The final showdown takes place on the roof of the club and as Sakaki is glowing in his potential victory over the four Riku and Saori put the crosses close to his face. Sakaki laughed them off and says they'll have no effect on him as he's not a vampire! He explains to the group he doesn't bite necks to suck their blood but instead to extend their lifespan.

 As Sakaki tells us above he can make a female look young for a long time though not forever. He can only extend that lifespan for so many decades, when they die the women look like mummies which have been the bodies that have been found recently and also thirty years ago. Brings up the question hasn't there been any more found within that stretch of time? On the roof Anzai had asked his mother why she left him, Ume or Karen as she's now called told him she was so tired of being a mother and why does a woman have to be judged on what kind of parent they are?
 That mini speech by her also revealed that the women had come to Sakaki voluntarily but once he extends their life once they're under his powers forever. No clue what the other side is planning on doing during this confrontation but we did learn what Sakaki had up his sleeve. As Saori has begun to tell him she'll expose what he's doing a blinding light suddenly hovers over the roof blinding everyone and knocked the good guys for a loop. While that was happening Sakaki and his hostesses flee the roof and that's the last we see of him. The next scene which was the final one took place the following day back in the cellar of the old TV-Tokyo offices.
 Saori is reading on the internet that the previous night there were many reports of a UFO, of course all of the witnesses had seen it hovering over the hostess club. So the conclusion is that Sakaki was not a vampire like he said but an alien(!), that UFO did more than just let him and his group flee. The light erased the memory the four had of Sakaki and his women who are probably continuing on with the same life they had before. The connection between now and thirty years ago was of Sakaki being an alien, who knows how many centuries they can live and with that this episode comes to an end.

 May not have made it sound overly exciting but this may have been the best show to date and hope it's not the last recap. The subbers for the show say they will finish the project but for now this is the final episode they've done though they do have all of the other episodes available for us to view. So for now obviously can't tell you when I'll be back with the next recaps but more than anything else let's keep our fingers crossed hoping the series will be completed.