Air Dates: July 21st to September 30th on TV Tokyo, Saturdays at 12:52 am
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.
New episode and new horror mystery that our trio found on an old video tape. While I'm not sure what the terror was for the last episode it was still an eerie watch, perhaps it was both a curse and ghost. No problems with this show as the terror is definitely a doll but not a normal one as it's alive(!).... or once was. As you can see above there must have a glut of these horror reality shows decades ago as these video tapes appear to be filmed in the 80's and 90's.
That priest above was responsible for getting rid of cursed dolls, that's a theme which has been a popular one in movies. First the priests have to exorcise the souls out of the dolls as they will contain many of their owner's traits, if they're not removed evil spirits could be released. After that a brief ceremony will be held where the dolls are burned, for the above show the host was there to film the ritual. But before the doll cleansing can begin it was noticed that one was missing!
Wasn't missing for long as on camera the doll was caught many feet away and it's alive. The video stopped there as the cameraman probably rushed away in a panic, shortly after everyone at the ceremony had gotten sick and apparently died. All of the dolls were eventually destroyed save one and that was the doll that came back to life(?).
It was bit of an odd story which I wish was explained so much more but at 23 minutes a show there's only so much time. Seems as though the doll was alive and somehow was active for a period of time after the show where it came to life as it appeared on variety shows and in magazines. Don't know why more details of that weren't revealed as that truly could have been one quirky story. But because the doll hadn't been exorcised it started to show evil traits and had to be locked up by a priest at a temple, he's the person who took over once the other priest died after that earlier incident.
Riku and Saori visited the priest at his temple, she still has grand ideas to find a true ghost which may lead her to having her own TV show. The priest gave them a history of the doll which wasn't always cursed. It had been owned by a younger girl who now is sadly dead, the curse started after her death. The girl and her family had taken a hiking vacation thirty years ago and during it she got into a vicious argument with her mother who thought the girl liked her father more.
No names for the family members were given, to teach the girl a lesson the mother drove off leaving the girl alone in the forest. After waiting a bit the mother returned to bring her daughter back home but she was nowhere to be found. The authorities were called in and a massive search failed to find the girl. That is found right away as her body was eventually discovered a month later and she was dead near a stream.
Saori is insistent that she be able to take a picture of the doll but was turned down over and over by the priest. The doll is currently in a box that is nailed shut, they don't want to take a chance of the doll coming back to life. Saori wouldn't take no for an answer and was finally allowed to take a picture though she squeezed a few extra ones in. That's the doll above and doesn't look like a cute one you want your younger daughter to have.
But what the pair had really wanted to do was to film the doll but there was zero chance of the priest allowing that to happen. It was never explained so perhaps they wanted us viewers to figure out one of the mysteries and may have have done that. There's one other way to for the doll to come back to life and will get to that in a moment. But wonder if being on camera also breathes live into the doll which is why the priest doesn't want a camera rolling around it. The doll did come alive in the older show plus it stayed alive when it appeared on shows, odds are I'm 100% in error again.
The other way for the doll to come back to life is showing it pity. Riku and Saori thought that was an odd way for the doll to live again but the priest insisted it's true, when the box was open he said not to look at the doll if there's any chance of them showing it pity. After their return to the office the priest had called to inform them that the doll has disappeared, which one of them showed any pity? The pair said they didn't show any pity viewing the doll but that was a lie by one of them, it ended up being Saori who has kind of an iron heart.
That was a scary scene too when the pair split revealing the doll on the table behind them, they also jumped. But the doll was gone as quickly as it had appeared as the pair looked away for a brief second, when they looked back at the table the doll had vanished. Will give a bit more of the doll's history, it had been given to the priest thirty years ago for an exorcism and to do a memorial. The doll wouldn't have been cursed if it wasn't for some actions of the mother whose daughter had died.
When the missing girl was found a month later the mother wouldn't claim or verify that the girl was her daughter, perhaps she was thinking she'd get in trouble for leaving her in the forest. Because of the mother's actions the doll couldn't be properly exorcised as it has the spirit of the girl in it and needed to see her mother one more time, be easier to explain with names.
Riku and Saori go hunting around the office for the doll, the setting in the TV Tokyo's old office basement is a nice location as it's so dark and eerie. Saori happened to notice a figure running down a corridor, she rushed after it without telling Riku. Now the doll is alive or should I say it's reverted to the human form of the dead girl and is crying for her mommy. For some reason she thinks Saori is her mother and Saori for now plays along with her.
That was a creepy moment too as the doll had turned into the little girl, when she ran towards Saori and jumped into her arms she reverted back to being a doll. All the doll kept repeating was mom but perhaps she communicated with Saori telepathically as the pair soon headed to the office roof. Upon reaching it Saori brought the doll to the roof's edge, not positive what Saori was thinking but probably whether or not to throw the doll over the ledge. The doll had an inkling of what Saori was planning but also had a plan of her own which was to tumble off the roof with Saori!
That was about to happen but in the nick of time Riku had reached the roof and with just a few seconds to spare was able to drag Saori and the doll away from the ledge. Not quite the end as the doll is still cursed, thinking it saw it's mother meant that a memorial could be held to destroy the doll. That event took place the following day and it was a spine tinkling ceremony. The priest gave his exorcism speech and then the box the doll was in was burned.
It took a long time for the doll coffin to burn completely, during that stretch we kept hearing the doll whimper and cry out for it's mother which sent goose pimples up everyone's arms. But the doll was finally destroyed and that brought us to the conclusion of this second episode.
So far have enjoyed this drama and seems like twelve episodes may not be enough, this is the kind of show which could run every week for years and perhaps there will be a second season. The DVD for it is coming out in three weeks, be nice if they made an announcement for more episodes at the release event. Have the next four episodes subbed but won't give you an exact date for the next pair of recaps but it should be within the week.