The GNP Presents:
Casefile: “MATANGO” – The Testimony of Kenji Murai
From an original story by Shinichi Hoshi and Masami Fukushima
Adapted from the story Voice in the Night by William Hope Hodgson
Screenplay by Takashi Kimura
Adaptation by Daniel DiManna
[PROPERTY OF THE TOKYO MEDICAL CENTER]
REPORT OF INVESTIGATION BY TOKYO MEDICAL CENTER IN COOPORATION WITH TOKYO POLICE DEPARTMENT
CASE #: PA0000435874
SUBJECT: MURAI, KENJI
OCCUPATION: PROFESSOR OF PSYCHOLOGY, UNIVERSITY OF [REDACTED]
NOTES: Patient Murai-san was admitted to the care of the Tokyo Medical Center on July 26th, 1963, after having been discovered drifting at sea in a crippled yacht. The craft, formerly property of Kasai Industries chairman Fumio Kasai, was reported as missing several weeks earlier after passing through a violent storm in the South Pacific. The crew of seven, including Kasai-san, lounge singer Mami Sekiguchi, writer Etsuro Yoshida, [REDACTED] University clerk Akiko Soma, and seasoned sailors Senzo Koyama and skipper Naoyuki Sakeda, were believed deceased following the disappearance of their ship.
Upon Murai-san’s rescue, the crew of the ship that saved his life began to note his erratic behavior, reporting to us upon their arrival of his seemingly delirious raving and insistence that he had escaped “an island of death.” Once delivered into our care, Murai-san was treated for severe malnutrition and minor injuries, and required sedatives to maintain restful sleep. As treatment proceeded, the patient continued to speak of “tragic death,” “ghost ships,” and “monsters in the night,” declaring his six missing friends to be dead on one day, and then insisting that they were still alive on the next. When asked how this was possible, Murai-san’s reply was always the same: “It was the mushroom.” Despite sleeping medication, the night staff noted the patient’s continued restlessness, reporting that he had been screaming and speaking in his sleep. According to their testimony, Murai-san was heard calling out the name of “Akiko” – his girlfriend – and whispering another, unidentified word: “Matango.”
Since his physical recovery, Murai-san has been transferred to the Psychopathic Ward, on suspicion of insanity. In the days since his transfer, Murai-san has grown quiet, and until two days ago refused to answer further questions regarding the circumstances of his survival. Then, on August 10th, a new and medically unexplainable development occurred that made ignoring Murai-san’s seemingly insane story impossible, and upon our insistence, he agreed to finally tell that story.
On August 11th, several doctors, myself included, and two officers from the Tokyo Police Department (called to the scene in the event a murder confession were to be given regarding the six missing members of the party) gathered outside the cell of Kenji Murai, ready to hear his testimony and gather the necessary information to render a final diagnosis.
The following text is a transcription of that testimony.
(Please note that in the longest stretch of text, no denotation of speaker is given. This block of text will be broken up into multiple parts – and then further broken up into paragraphs – for ease of reading, and the beginning and end will be noted in brackets. Notes pertaining to observation of the patient will be included at relevant points.)
DR.KUMAGAI: Good afternoon, Murai-san. How are you feeling?
MURAI: Afternoon? It’s nearly 10:00 PM, Doctor.
KUMAGAI: My mistake. Even so, my question stands.
MURAI: How am I feeling? How do I answer that…
KUMAGAI: By being honest. Have there been any … developments? Anything that might–
MURAI: Why am I still in here, Doctor?
(NOTE: At this point in the interview, and for most of the following testimony, Murai-san refused to look at myself and the men outside his cell. He instead stood facing the window, looking out at the lights of Tokyo, barely moving as he continued to speak.)
KUMAGAI: Here? What do you mean?
MURAI: This is the psychopathic ward, Doctor. They think I’m insane. You think I’m insane. But I’m not.
She’s dead. The others, too.
Actually, only one died. Yes, they’re all alive. So why didn’t they come back? That’s what you want to know, isn’t it? You’ve been kind to me, Doctor. But if I told you the truth, you’d truly believe I’m insane.
KUMAGAI: With respect, Murai-san, I’m willing to take that chance if you are. We’ve all gathered to hear your story. Besides, if I may say so, you’re living proof that this story may not be entirely untrue. If you speak, we will listen, and do our best to help you. It’s your only option left.
(Long pause from Murai.)
MURAI: Okay. Let’s begin.