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Written by

Koji Suzuki






Psychological Horror

S (エス Esu) is a Japanese horror novel by Koji Suzuki. It is the 5th installment of the Ring series.


Following on the story told in the series of novels that began with the runaway bestseller Ring, this work starts with 28-year-old image processing specialist Takanori Ando being handed a USB memory stick by the president of the CG production company where he works. Tasked with analyzing its contents, Ando gasps at the graphic images he sees, and quickly concludes that they cannot have been faked or generated by CG software. Assuming the man in the video did indeed kill himself, what could his purpose have been in leaving this footage behind?

Ando saves the file to his PC. When he plays it again the next day, the man's body has shifted to a lower position, and in subsequent viewings, the video undergoes further changes. Meanwhile, Ando's fiancée Akane Maruyama, a 24-year-old high-school teacher, learns she is pregnant with his child. When she is at Ando’s apartment, she is drawn as if by an irresistible force to watch the suicide video on his PC. After examining the video more closely, Ando manages to identify the apartment building where he believes it was filmed. He also realizes that someone is following him, though intermittently, and that he may in fact be in danger...

The man who holds the key to the story is philosophy instructor Ryuji Takayama, who appeared in previous volumes of the series. Twenty-five years ago, Takayama had died after watching a video that transmitted a curse, but, miraculously returning to life, he has been battling the evil villainess Sadako to prevent the Sadako Virus from spreading. Akane is in fact Takayama's child by a woman who carries Sadako's DNA, and the man who kills himself in the suicide video is the twice-resurrected Takayama. The video is his way of informing Ando about the intervening events.


  • S is the first letter of Sadako's name.
  • The novel is translated in English in 2017
  • It is later adapted into a movie called Sadako 3d in 2012.