Re/Member explained: the original story from the manga

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Re/Member is a Japanese horror movie released on Netflix in February 2023. It’s based on the manga Re/member – Karada sagashi by Welzard, the story of six high-school students who get involved by a supernatural creature in a “body search” that becomes their life’s mission. People watched the movie with curiosity, trying to understand how the body search works and how life can continue to the following day. In this article, we will have the movie plot explained, introducing how the events develop in the manga.

You can watch the official trailer for Re/Member here on Youtube.

Re/Member movie explained: the original story from the manga

In the manga Re/Member, six students of a Japanese high school are selected by a dead student, Haruka Mikami, who asks them to “find her body.” Later that day, the six students receive an email containing the rules of the body search. Then, at midnight, the six students are summoned to the high school, and the body search begins: until it’s not completed, the students are destined to repeat the same day from scratch every morning, in an infinite loop.

The movie does not mention the rules of the body search, but knowing them from the manga helps us understand what the students should do. Here they are:

  1. The Red Person will appear in the school after class
  2. The Red Person will appear in front of a student if they are alone
  3. Anyone who sees the Red Person must not turn around until they exit the school
  4. If they turn around, they will be cut into eight pieces and hidden in the school building
  5. The student killed by the Red Person appears in front of everyone the next day and asks to look for their body
  6. One cannot refuse to search the body
  7. The Red Person also appears during the search
  8. The search doesn’t end until the body is found
  9. Even if you lose your life during the body search, you don’t die

From the rules explained in the manga Re/Member, it becomes clear how the body search can become a never-ending loop: a student who gets killed by the Red Person will be dismembered, and the day after, a group of students will have to look for the body. This fits how the Netflix movie ends after the ending credits: the newspaper at the bottom of the well changes, and now the dead student is Asuka, one of the movie’s protagonists. According to the manga, every student involved in the body search can get killed by the Red Person and become a body to search for, starting from the day after.

The movie successfully reflects the underlying message that the students are supposed to learn: to achieve success, they have to team up, winning the sense of solitude that always fills their lives. In the manga Re/Member, the students get organized in the search. Their cooperation is also facilitated by the voice coming from the school speakers, which informs them about the position of the Red Person. The students will never understand who speaks from the speakers: when they get close to the announcement room, the Red Person immediately appears.

In the manga, the person that experienced the body search in his childhood is not the librarian, but Professor Yashiro: he explains that it took five years for him to find the body, because in his case, the group had no intention to participate in the body search, living every day in the loop with no rules.

The manga Re/Member is composed of many parts, but regarding the plot covered by the movie, the body search ends successfully, and the students find the head in the Red Person’s doll. Only Asuka and Takahiro survive the day. Asuka wakes up the morning after, and again, nobody seems to notice her, as she predicted. But Takahiro remembers her and declares his love for her.

The movie ends with Asuka’s happy face knowing that Takahiro remembers her, and the spectators don’t know what will happen next. In the manga, a new body search begins, and Asuka and Takahiro will join it again. But the group will discover a greater curse hidden behind the never-ending loop of the body searches, and Re/Member will show the origin of the story, explained.

The movie does an excellent job of transposing the beauty of the manga Re/Member on screen. If you want to know more about what happens in the manga, we suggest you read the manga directly. There aren’t many English sources on the Internet talking about it: among the most detailed articles you will find, there are the Wikipedia pages in Italian, French, and Japanese dedicated to the story developed in the manga.

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