Yuichi Arisu slaves away in a cold, geometrical office everyday, in a humdrum job, somewhere in the huge, impersonal city of Tokyo. Every night he commutes home to his distant wife, and buries himself in the mystery novels of Jo Kuroda, a writer who has conjured up a strange alternative universe called the Darkland.
Then, one night, Arisu’s wife disappears. The following day he falls asleep on the train on his way home and wakes in a siding to find Jo Kuroda sitting opposite him. The writer persuades Arisu to tell his own story. So begins a second story about events that took place two years ago in a snow-bound town in the far north of Japan. There, in the eerie, crumbling Starfish Hotel Arisu begins an affair with a young woman called Kayoko.
Is Arisu’s story a memory, a dream or just a story? As the plot in the past unfolds, the present-day story of the search for his wife also becomes more and more bizarre. Arisu traces his wife to a private detective and then to an underground brothel called Wonderland. But the brothel burns down and the detective is murdered. Arisu becomes the main suspect in a murder case. Then the walls between fantasy and reality break down completely when Arisu stumbles into the Darkland…
Title: Starfish Hotel Also Known As: スターフィッシュホテル / Sutaafisshu hoteru Country: Japan Language: Japanese Subtitle: English Year: 2007 Genre: Drama, Mystery