Caution: This review contains SPOILER!!
This novel has plenty of differences with the movie (The Japanese version), basically the outline of the story was the same but the details were different.
It started with Tomoko, a high school student who was left alone by her parents. She died of a heart failure. At the same time, a taxi driver, Kimura, saw a 19 years old boy died because of heart failure right next to his taxi. A month later, Asakawa, a reporter from Daily News, coincidentally get on Kimura’s taxi and Kimura told him about that event. His curiosity was aroused by that story because Tomoko, his wife’s niece, died the same way and at the same time. He found out that there were 4 people died at that time, they were Tomoko Oishi, Shuichi Iwata, Haruko Tsuji and Takehiko Nomi.
His investigation brought him to Villa Log Cabin B-4 which belongs to Pacific Land Resort at south Hakone. At that cabin he found a tape, a mysterious tape. It begun with words saying “Watch it till it’s over” and then there were some abstract pictures of blood, some real images like old woman saying something, an erupted mountain, an old television, a baby boy, many faces and a face of a man. The weird thing about that video was that Asakawa felt it like it wasn’t a video, he felt the sensation of holding the baby, felt like those faces insulting him and felt hatred toward that man. It ended with words saying “whoever watches these pictures was destined to die at the same time a week from now. If you don’t want to do, please follow this direction……..” the video was deleted by someone. He couldn’t find out how to save himself. He wouldn’t believe that tape if he didn’t know about the death of those four teenagers. He watched it at 11.04 pm on October 11, Thursday
He told Ryuji Takayama about that video and asked Ryuji to help him. Ryuji was his high school friend who has a unique personality. Ryuji asked Asakawa to copied that video and give it to find so that he could study it. Ryuji watched it around 9 pm on October 12, Friday. Asakawa tried to find the 1st clue, where is the mountain? He found that mountain, it was Mount Mihara at Izu-Oshima. They also found that the tape was accidentally recording those pictures. Ryuji noticed that there were some black frames in the video. On Sunday, October 13 at 11.00 o’clock, Shizu and Yoko, Asakawa’s wife and daughter, watched that video too. Asakawa became more determine to find its counter curse.
On October 15, Monday, Ryuji found out that the video wasn’t made by any camera at all, the abstract pictures were made from someone’s thought and the real images was seen by someone, Ryuji figured this out because the black frame wasn’t a total blackness, there was vague white mist hanging in that blackness, something that people see every time they blink. This new fact brought them to Tetsuzo Miura Memorial, Miura was a professor who studied supernatural things. Ryuji thought that the image in the video was made by someone with high supernatural ability, that someone was a female. They found Sadako Yamamura.
On October 16, Tuesday, They went to Sashikiji, Oshima to learn more about Sadakko. Sadako’s mother, Shizuko Yamamura had a psychic power. She left Sadako on her parent’s house right after her birth. She came back when Sadako was 3years old and brought her to Tokyo to be with her father Heihachiro Ikuma. Something happened when they were in Tokyo, Shizuko was called as a fraud and it hurt Sadako’s heart to see her mother being humiliated by people. They went back to Sashikiji when Sadako was 9 years old. Shizuko killed herself not long after that. Sadako left Oshima when she was 18 and got a job in Soaring Theater. Something happened at that Theater, someone saw her watching an unplugged TV, but the TV was on. And not long after that Uchimura, one of the theater’s founders was found death of heart failure. And then there was no more news about her.Ryuji realized that the images in the video were something that projected by Sadako minutes before she died. And he thought that there must be something connected it to Log Cabin of Pacific Land South Hakone. Yoshino, one of Asakawa’s colleagues, found the blue print of that place 50 years ago. It was a Tuberculosis Sanitarium. Sadako’s father was there. Yoshino also found one of the doctors from that sanitarium, Jotaro Nagao.
On October 18, Thursday, they visited doctor Nagao and surprisingly he was the man in the video. He raped Sadako and found out that Sadako had a Testicular Feminization Syndrome, so Sadako was actually a man with woman’s body. He killed her by throwing her into a well. Ryuji and Asakawa went to Log Cabin B-4 and found the well right under the TV and VCR inside cabin B-4. They went inside and found her body. They thought that the counter curse was by giving Sadako a proper burial in Sashikiji. Asakawa passed his time and still alive.
On October 19, Friday, Asakawa went to Sashikiji and Ryuji went home. But something terrible happened around 9 pm, Ryuji had an odd feeling as if someone was squishing his heart, pain ran trough his back and chill ran down his neck. He turned around and saw the VCR, thinking about that video, and then he realized what the real counter curse was. He called Mai Takano but Mai can hear was a dreadful scream, at that time Ryuji was looking at the mirror and saw his much older version of himself. He died of heart failure and face looking horrified.
On October 20, Saturday, Asakawa was devastated knowing that Ryuji was dead. He had to find the counter curse as fast as he can or he could lose his family.
On October 21, Sunday, Asakawa knew what it was. Just like virus, the video wanted to reproduce. He gave a copy of that video to Ryuji, and he was saved. But Ryuji didn’t make any copy and therefore he had to die. Sadako was always wanted to have children, and the video was her children, her children to the society that she hated so much. It will grow and became a plague. Asakawa decided to have his wife copied the video and show it to her parents, that’s the only way he could save Shizu and Yoko.
I love this book!! The movie was scarier but the book was more entertaining.