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The Cursed Video is a collection of images projected by Sadako's spirit to video tape. The viewer is cursed to die after 7 days after watching.

Ring : Kanzenban (1995)

Scenes with Meaning
Floating red dot, expanding, until it fills the screen. Doesn't have a special meaning.
Mt. Mihara erupting - when Sadako was a child, she predicted the eruption of Mt. Mihara, and the prediction was later proven as true. Also, Sadako's mother, Yamamura Shizuko, after being branded a fraud at the demonstration, held by her lover/Sadako's father, professor Ikuma Heihachiro, she committed suicide by throwing
People at Shizuko's demonstration. Just a shot of the people.
Rolling dice. At the demonstration, held by professor Ikuma Heihachiro, Shizuko had to predict the outcome of the rolling dice, and, as Sadako was there, she memorized this scene (the cursed video is basically Sadako's memories). This is important, because on that demonstration, Sadako's mother, Yamamura Shizuko, and her father, professor Ikuma Heihachiro, were branded a fraud, thus making Sadako suffer as well.
Sadako's grandmother, interrupted in the middle by the shot of a new-born baby.What she says, is in the dialect of Izu-Oshima
Demonic face, which shoots forward. This scene doesn't have a special meaning (however, the demonic face could be that of Nagao Jôtarô).
Countless faces - the reporters at Shizuko's demonstration. They're yelling sentences, such as Charlatan!and Fraud!, and they yell them at Shizuko and professor Ikuma Heihachiro.
The yama kanji (yama means mountain, and is the first part of Sadako's surname - Yamamura, which means mountain village). This is the very same mental image, that Sadako sent to a certain professor Miura Tetsuzo, who was a studier of the paranormal powers. As I explained before, the cursed video is Sadako's memory, more precisely, the events, that had the biggest effect on Sadako's life, so even this very image is included, as it basically "wrote" her life's story.
The old TV, turning on to the sada kanji (sada means chastity, and it's the first part of the name Sadako, which means chaste child) - this is a nod to the scene, described later in the story, where Shigemori, the director of the Hisho Acting Troupe, which Sadako was a member of since the age of 18 until her death, once spied Sadako practicing her nensha (thoughtography) on an old TV set, which was later discovered to have been unplugged.
Sadako's grandmother appears again, this time saying shômon bakkari shite'ru to, bôkon ga kuru zo (if you keep playing in the water, the monster will come for you) again. This is just a blurred, concrete memory of Sadako's grandmother.
Angry reporters at Shizko's demonstration. This scene represents the people who made Sadako basically lose the will to live - they branded her mother a charlatan and a fraud, which caused her to throw herself into Mt. Mihara. This engendered depression in Sadako.
New-born baby - Sadako's dead brother. When Sadako was around 7 or 8, her mother, Yamamura Shizuko, gave birth to another child, this time a boy who died 4 months after from disease. This is Sadako's son, although in Ring: Kanzenban, she had an incestuous relationship with her father, professor Ikuma Heihachiro. Despite this, Sadako had Female Testicularization Syndrome, which means she appeared female, but in actuality had a male genetic structure - she also had no uterus, but fully developed testes. People who have this syndrome are unable to conceive (as they have no uterus), so Sadako could give birth.
Red interruption. Does not have a special meaning.
Nagao Jôtarô raping Sadako - unlike in Nakata's Ring or Verbinski's The Ring, here and in the novel, Sadako was thrown into the well by Nagao Jôtarô, a young doctor, who watched her bedridden father (professor Ikuma Heihachiro). Nagao Jôtarô was also the last person in Japan to have been treated for smallpox. The story follows that after Nagao raped Sadako, he realized that she had no uterus and had fully developed testes. This being Sadako's "secret", she telepathically sent him a message saying, I'll kill you. Nagao, being afraid, strangled her and tossed her into the well. Also, as Nagao was the last person in Japan to have been treated for smallpox, by raping Sadako, he transferred the smallpox virus to her, which she, 30 years later, transferred onto the cursed video, but in a mutated form; seven parts smallpox and three parts human DNA (in Rasen, Sadako's cursed tape virus impregnates Ryuji's assistant Takano Mai, who gives birth to a clone of Sadako's, which now has less prominent testes and an uterus, and Mai dies).
Droplets of blood falling towards screen (i.e. into Sadako's eyes), probably when she was tossed into the well. This scene does not have a special meaning.
Forest at day morphing into moon at night. This scene does not have a special meaning.
The finale (a.k.a. outro): You, who watched this tape, you are going to die in one week on this same time. There is only one way to survive. You must—, then the TV commercial, which four dead teenagers then recovered over. The missing part of the message is: —copy the tape and show it to someone else within one week. As it's explained in Rasen, the cure to the curse was no longer to copy the video and show it to someone else, as the virus, carried by the tape, mutated, so the cursed person had to do something else to lift the curse (for example, Asakawa Kazuyuki wrote the Ring report).

Deleted Scene (in the end version tape)

Hisho Acting Troupe director Shigemori (somewhat unconvicingly) keeling over dead. This is a concrete memory of Shigmeori dying the day after he and his friend, Arima Shin, saw Sadako involved in a sexual incestual relationship with her father. Probably Sadako realized he saw it and thus killed him. This scene was only included in movie version.

Ring (1998)

Scenes with meaning
Moon-like view from the well. It's what Sadako saw, when looking upside from the well. The face is of her father, professor Ikuma Heihachiro, who in this version, was who tossed her into the well.
The mirror sequence. For the first 5 seconds, we see Sadako's mother,

Yamamura Shizuko, brushing her hair. The mirror is on the left side of the wall. Then, the mirror very quickly moves to the right part of the wall, and in it, we see the reflection of Sadako - this part last for 1 second. For the next 4 seconds, the mirror returns to its original position, and we can see Shizuko again, this time turned to the right, and smiling. This is, as it's explained in Ring 2, the concrete memory of an actual event in Sadako's life - her mother was slowly going insane, so once, when she was brushing her hair in front of the mirror (she did it almost constantly), Sadako approached her, and as a childly prank, she (with her mental powers) switched the mirror's position.

An undulating, impenetrable sea of kanjis, used in the Japanese language. The rightmost kanjis read yama ga funka, which means eruption of mountain. It's a jumbled version of a newspaper article, which we see unjumbled later in the movie. The complete article says Miharayama ga funka (Mt. Mihara erupts), followed by Local reisdents urged to take precautions and smaller, related article, saying Did young girl predict eruption? A local girl, from the Sashikiji prefecture... Oh well, the same as in the Ring novel or in Ring: Kanzenban - Shizuko threw herself into Mt. Mihara after being branded a fraud at the demonstation, held by professor Ikuma Heihachiro. But in this movie - it was Shizuko, who predicted the eruption of Mt. Mihara (thus Ryuji's lines: According to him (the Oshima correspondent of the TV station Asakawa Reiko was working for), the woman who predicted the eruption is the same woman from the video."). Also, there is one additional decipherable word here: local (on a studio TV screen, the word residents can also be deciphered).
The shamblers. They are either the victims of the eruption of mt. Mihara or a re-representation of the "countless faces" scene in the cursed video in Ring novel or Ring: Kanzenban.
The Towel Man. Probably the most famous scene in the Ring cursed video. This man is either the same Towel Man Sadako saw in her childhood, when, in an ecstatic state, she asked her mother who her father is (it's possible - the sea in the background), or Tôyama Hiroshi, Sadako's lover from the Hisho Acting Troupe (he died on the cliff after having seen the re-joining of the small evil and big good Sadako twins), or a foreseen vision of Takayama Ryuji, who actually appears as the Towel Man at the end of the movie - to point towards Asakawa Reiko's bag and thus enlightening her, that what she did and he didn't was - she copied the tape and showed it to someone else. The Towel Man also has a hidden message - if you listend to the sound of this scene, while playing it extra slowly, you can hear the words shômon bakkari - to, bôkon ga kuru zo (note: the word shite'ru is missing, don't know, why) - the line means: Frolic in brine, goblins be thine, and it's in the dialect of Oshima.
A weird, alien-looking eye with the sada kanji in reverse inside it. As I already explained in the scene-by-scene analysis of the Ring: Kanzenban cursed video, sada is the first part of the name Sadako, sada means chastity, and Sadako means chaste child.
The Well. Well... not much to explain about this scene, except for - it's the last scene the cursed people see before they die. They see the well, then Sadako crawls out of the well, then she crawls out of the TV, approaches them, and shows THE EYE, which scares the victims to death (actually, THE EYE is what kills the victims). This ending scene is unique to this version of Ring (and subsequent remakes) - the director Nakata Hideo credited the '80's movie Videodrome for it.

Extended Well Scene

While Yoichi watched the tape, A hand came out from the well and cuts the scene.

Extended Version (Fanmade)

  • Man looking down the well
  • red liquid
  • countless faces
  • mirror sequence
  • mt mihara erupting
  • sadako's grandmother saying Sono go, karada wa naashii? Shômon bakkari shite'ru to...
  • while sadako's grandmother saying her lines, The towel man cuts the scene
  • sadako's grandmother again saying Ii ka, tabimon ni wa kii tsukero. Unu wa daasen, yogora o ageru. Amakko
  • Ikuma saying "Sadako"
  • eye sequence
  • yoichi saying " Mama wa watashi o tasukeru"
  • The Well
  • TV Static until it shatters

Contents

Shizuko brushes her hair in a mirror

The video shows a panorama of odd and disturbing images relating to Sadako's past, but also possibly relating to the viewer. The video is not completely in black-and-white, but most images are, or feature black and white as the predominant colours. The first scene is a shot of Heihachiro Ikuma looking down at Sadako from the top of the well she was thrown into. Shizuko Yamamura then appears, combing her hair in a mirror and Sadako walking in on her; Shizuko's mirror briefly disappears and one showing Sadako appears, then Shizuko reappears looking towards Sadako. Then, a newspaper article about Shizuko predicting the eruption of Mount Mihara appears, but the kanji float about and only the word 'eruption' is stable. People are then depicted crawling on the floor and apparently dying -- aftermath of Mount Mihara's eruption.

Towel Man in the sea. People have speculated this could be Ryuji Takayama or Hiroshi Toyama.

It appears to be a shot of Ryuji Takayama standing in the sea, but there is a towel covering his face and he is pointing at something. This image is odd because Ryuji takes this form after his death, which occurs after Reiko watches the tape, although the image is already on the tape. Next there is a close-up of Sadako's eye, with the kanji for sada (part of her name, meaning chaste) reflected in it. Last, there is a shot of the well which Sadako was thrown into. This part of the video seems to extend itself at times; when Reiko first watches the video nothing happens to the well, but when she watches it again, Sadako's arm comes out of it. When Yoichi Asakawa, her son, is seen watching it, Sadako's other arm emerges from the well as she begins to pull herself up.

Lastly, when Sadako comes to kill Ryuji (and presumably her other victims), the scene plays on the nearest TV (whether the video is in it or not) and Sadako completely emerges from the well, slowly walks towards the screen and proceeds to crawl out of the TV.

Throughout the video a number of unearthly sounds play. It is unknown what makes these sounds, but they are very unnerving.

Curse

In the final stage of the video, after a week, Sadako emerges from the nearest TV.

In the novels, the curse is actually a smallpox virus mutated by Sadako. It creates a tumour in the victim's throat and after seven days, they will die of a heart attack, the face of horror being a side effect. The virus also contains a strand of Sadako's DNA, which can be fertilised and lead to her resurrection as seen in the second novel Spiral, along with other deceased characters.

In the films, after the viewer finishes watching the tape, the phone will ring if they are in Cabin B4 at Izu Pacific Land, directly above where Sadako's well is hidden. If they are anywhere else, there will be no phone call, but they will still have been cursed. If anyone takes their photo, it will appear distorted, another sign that they are cursed. They have seven days to reverse the curse by copying the tape and showing it to someone else, or Sadako will appear and kill them. The victims are left with facial expression of terror and may appear in odd places. Tomoko's corpse was found in her bedroom closet, even though she died in the living room downstairs. Those who witness or have a connection to the deaths may develop psychic powers as seen with Masami Kurahashi.

If they die of the curse, their spirit may appear as an onryo like Sadako and try to kill other people to turn their other spirits int Onryos and cause the Onryo Apocalypse by making them watch the tape (Tomoko) or appear as a more benevolent spirit (Ryuji), or they may not appear as a ghost at all. In Ring 2, Kanae Sawaguchi completely returns as a vengeful spirit and haunts Okazaki.

The curse appears in other forms. In Spiral and Rasen, Kazuyuki Asakawa's journal of the curse (or Reiko Asakawa's in Rasen) becomes a carrier and is published as a best selling novel. An early version of the curse is unknowingly created by Sadako before her death as an audio recording.

Unlike victims of Samara Morgan's tape, the victims of Sadako's do not show any signs of being cursed other than having a distorted photo. This is in contrast to Samara's tape, which causes its victims to undergo several unnerving physical phenomenae linked to Samara.

Novels

  • Hisho Acting Troupe Members - The acting troupe suffer from the audio version of Sadako's curse, and several deaths occur including that of the troupe leader Yusaku Shigemori.
  • Nagao Jotaro - The doctor who raped Sadako and chucked her down the well. He had a strand of smallpox that made up the curse/virus.
  • Tomoko, Iwata, Yoko Tsuji, Tadehiko Nomu - The niece of Kazuyuki Asakawa and three others who watched the tape. They died a week later from heart attacks.
  • Ryuji Takayama - A close friend to Kazuyuki, Ryuji helps him solve the curse's origins. However, Ryuji realises what the curse really is but dies before he can warn Kazuyuki. He is resurrected by Sadako in Spiral.
  • Mai Takano - Ryuji's girlfriend, who becomes the incubator for the resurrected Sadako. She is eventually killed when Sadako is reborn.
  • Mitsuo Ando - The other half of the incubator used to resurrect Sadako. Unlike Mai, he is spared and Sadako revives his dead son for him.
  • The Loop world - Kazuyuki's journal is published as a best selling novel, and millions of people become carriers of the curse. In Loop, the curse is revealed to have spread to every living organism in the original timeline of the Loop prior to Kaoru Futami's intervention.

Films

  • Miyaji and other journalists - A journalist who heckles Shizuko Yamamura at her public demonstration, but is murdered by Sadako via a heart attack. This causes Sadako to split into two girls. In Ring 0: Birthday, it is revealed the other journalists were all killed by Sadako's curse.
  • Shizuko Yamamura - Sadako's mother. After the demonstration, Shizuko was mentally affected by Sadako's actions. She went insane and eventually killed herself. In the novels, she died from depression.
  • Aiko - An actress in the acting troupe. She sees hallucinations of the evil Sadako and is eventually killed by her.
  • Yusaku Shigemori - Head of the troupe, he tried to murder Sadako but was killed by Hiroshi Toyama.
  • Sadako's Doctor - Sadako's therapist who helps her to control her powers. Unfortunately, she accidentally kills him via a heart attack.
  • Hiroshi Toyama, Etsuko Tachihara, Akiko Miyaji and the Hisho Acting Troupe - All of the members are murdered by the combined forms of Sadako. Toyama is killed offscreen by Sadako accidentally. Akiko, the wife of Miyaji, commits suicide with Etsuko.
  • Tomoko, Iwata, Yoko, Tadehiko - Watched the tape at Izu Pacific Land Resort, and then all died a week later. Tomoko was known to be directly killed by Sadako, whilst the others were found dead on vehicles.
  • Ryuji Takayama - Reiko Asakawa's ex-husband. He was killed by Sadako's ghost when she crawled out of his television and scared him to death.
  • Yoshino - A journalist who appears in Rasen. He was killed after handling Reiko's journal.
  • Koichi Asakawa - Reiko's father. He willingly watched the tape to save Yoichi but did not make a copy and died to end the curse, although this failed.
  • Masami Kurahashi - Tomoko's best friend who witnessed her death. She went mad and was institutionalised. In Ring 2, she gains psychic powers but dies after Ishi Kawajiri tries to remove them.
  • Kanae Sawaguchi - A schoolgirl who watched the tape whilst getting a copy for journalist Okazaki. She died but like Sadako, rose again as a vengeful spirit seeking Okazaki after he promised to watch the tape to save her and he did not.
  • Reiko Asakawa - The ex-wife of Ryuji and film equivalent of Kazuyuki. She and her son Yoichi flee the police after Yoichi attacks them with psychic powers, but Reiko is hit by a truck and dies.
  • Takashi Yamamura - Sadako's uncle. He commits suicide in a swimming pool, sacrificing himself to Sadako to spare the others.
  • Doctor Ishi Kawajiri - A doctor who studies psychic powers. He is driven mad by Sadako's powers and commits suicide by diving into a swimming pool whilst carrying electrial equipment. His nurse assistant is also killed.
  • Sadako - Sadako herself is a victim of her own powers, leading to her death in both continuities.
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