THE SEA OF SEIRO: DETECTIVE MITARAI’S CASEBOOK Press Notes
Source: Toei Co., Ltd.
Official Movie Site: mitarai-movie.jp (Japan)
Toei has provided information and high-res photos from their new thriller THE SEA OF SEIRO: DETECTIVE MITARAI’S CASEBOOK (探偵ミタライの事件簿 星籠の海, Tantei Mitarai no Jikenbo Seiro no Umi). The movie was released last month in Japan and is now being offered to foreign distributors.
The film is based on the 2013 novel Sea of Hoshikago: The Clockwork Current (星籠の海 The Clockwork Current, Hoshikago no Umi The Clockwork Current), by mystery author Soji Shimada. The book was the 28th in Shimada’s popular Kiyoshi Mitarai series, which launched in 1981 and has sold more than 5.5 million copies to date. The protagonist, Kiyoshi Mitarai is a Japanese take on Sherlock Holmes, an astrologer, fortuneteller, and self-styled detective known as the “brain scientist”.
In THE SEA OF SEIRO, the character is played by actor/model/singer Hiroshi Tamaki, who first came to attention with his role in WATERBOYS (ウォーターボーイズ, Uotaabooizu, 2001). He has starred in the NODAME CANTABILE (のだめカンタービレ, Nodame Kantaabire, 2006) television series and theatrical films, MW (MW-ムウ-, 2009), ADMIRAL YAMAMOTO (聯合艦隊司令長官 山本五十六, Rengoo Kantai Shireichookan Yamamoto Isoroku, 2011) and TIME TRIP APP (幕末高校生, Bakumatsu Kokosei, 2014). Tamaki first portrayed Kiyoshi Mitarai last year in the Fuji Television movie GENIUS DETECTIVE MITARAI (天才探偵ミタライ〜難解事件ファイル「傘を折る女」〜, Tensai Tantei Mitarai 〜Nankai Jiken Fairu `Kasa o Oru Oon’na’〜), an adaptation of the first novel in the series, Tokyo Zodiac Murders: Detective Mitarai’s Casebook (占星術殺人事件, Senseijutsu Satsujin Jiken).
With a brilliant analytical mind, Kiyoshi Mitarai has a talent for cracking mysteries. After giving a university lecture one day, he is approached by Miyuki Ogawa, a publishing company editor who comes bearing newspaper headlines to unsolved mysteries. Ogawa hopes Mitarai can offer some insights to a mystery writer named Ishioka who bases his books on Mitarai’s real-life investigations. But Mitarai’s eyes stop on a headline that reads: “Corpse Island.”
Mitarai and Miyuki immediately board a boat for Gogo Island in the Seto Inland Sea where six bodies have been found in the past half year. The case prompts Mitarai to declare: “The killer is this remarkable sea!” These currents, dubbed “The Clockwork Sea”, had carried the corpses from “someplace else” to the island. Pinpointing that “someplace” to the mainland city of Fukuyama in Hiroshima Prefecture, Mitarai secures the cooperation of Yusaku Kuroda, a local police chief, and begins his investigation. He quickly encounters, however, a number of disturbing cases: a mutilated foreign woman (Case 2) and the Ibi family kidnapping and child murder (Case 3).
On top of that, the community is all abuzz over the spotting of a mythical creature, a water dragon called “Suiryu”. Kunihiko Makita, president of the Saikyo Institute of Science and Industry is seriously bent on capturing the creature to display in an aquarium planned for construction.
Meanwhile, strange things are occurring around Fukuyama Municipal College associate professor Kanako Takizawa. The incidents started when she began investigating an unearthed manuscript from centuries ago entitled Seiro (lit. Star Basket), pertaining to a feudal clan leader named Masahiro Abe. When Kanako is assaulted by a band of Southeast Asian foreigners, Mitarai expands his pursuit to include them and the Seiro mystery.
Slowly but surely, Mitarai’s superhuman deductive powers begin to unravel a complicated web of seemingly disparate and unrelated events, giving rise to a profile of a well-hidden killer. What truths do the three clockwork sea incidents hide and do they dovetail with the Seiro riddle buried in feudal history? Mitarai’s peerless mind is about to bring clarity to an entanglement of mysteries with some shocking revelations.
Japanese Theatrical Release: Saturday, June 4, 2016 (Roadshow)
Running Time: 107 Minutes
Kiyoshi Mitarai: Hiroshi Tamaki
Miyuki Ogawa: Alice Hirose
Kanako Takizawa: Akira Ishida
Junichi Kozakai: Jun Kaname
Tatsumi Yoko: Mizuki Tanimura
Yusaku Kuroda: Hisahiro Ogura
Kunihiko Makita: Eisaku Yoshida
Director: Seiji Izumi
Original Story: Sea of Hoshikago: The Clockwork Current by Soji Shimada (Kodansha Ltd.)
Screenplay: Kenji Nakanishi, Yasuo Hasegawa
Producer: Kanjiro Sakura (Crossmedia Inc.)
Music: Taro Iwashiro
“The Sea of Seiro” Movie Production Committee: Crossmedia, Inc., Tsuneishi Group, Aoyama Trading Co., Ltd., Kodansha, Pony Canyon, Samantha Thavasa Japan Limited, Nitto Seimo Co., Ltd., Horkos Corp., Mediatec Isshin Co., Ltd., Chugoku Shimbun Co., Ltd., AOI Corporation, Furec Group
Supported by: Fukuyama, Hiroshima Prefecture
Special Sponsors: Tsuneishi Mirai Foundation, Fukuyama Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Japan Association of Corporate Executives Fukuyama Branch Hiroshima Prefecture
Sponsors: ASEED Holdings Co., Ltd., Fukuyama Electronics Co., Ltd., EVERY Co., Ltd., Vessel Co., Inc., Nishikido
World Sales: Toei
© 2016 “The Sea of Seiro” Movie Production Committee
About Toei Company, Ltd.
Established in 1951, Toei Company is not only producing and distributing films, but is also one of the major exhibitors in Japan. The company owns two film studios located in Tokyo and Kyoto. The films produced cover wide range of genres, exceeding 20,000 titles.