The Fable: The Killer Who Doesn’t Kill is a direct sequel to the 2019 Japanese action comedy film, The Fable. It portrays a ruthless assassin, Akira, who has been instructed by his master to live a normal life in a normal society and refrain from killing anyone for a year. While Akira tries to follow his master’s wishes, a nemesis from the past hunts Akira to take revenge. Will Akira kill again to protect himself and the people around him? Let’s find out.
Who was ‘The Fable’?
The Fable is a ruthless hitman character based on the Japanese manga series of the same name. He always kills his targets, and no one has survived his fast-paced attacks. It is said that he kills his targets in less than 6 seconds. Because the killer only exists in stories, he became an urban legend and was dubbed “The Fable.” He even wears a black mask; hence, no one knows his real identity.
Why Akio or The Fable couldn’t kill anyone?
In the 2019 film, Akira’s boss sent him and his accomplice to Osaka to live a regular life. The two trained killers started living as siblings and changed their names to Akio and Yoko Sato. Before leaving, Akira’s or Akio’s boss laid down a condition that if he killed anyone before the year ended, Akira’s boss would kill him.
The reason behind such an odd condition was mentioned at the end of the film. Akira’s boss told a Yakuza Captain, Ebihara, that he had trained Akira since his childhood and had inevitably turned him into an indestructible weapon. From his viewpoint, Akira lacked empathy. Hence, Akira’s boss wanted to re-integrate Akira into a normal society where he could live a normal life. He believed that if Akira stopped killing people, his killer instinct would diminish in a year.
However, the sequel film portrayed Akio as a hitman who always had feelings for the weak or the innocent. He was ruthless against those who had committed a sin. His boss probably never saw his humane side and thus sent Akio to Osaka.
‘The Killer Who Doesn’t Kill’ Plot Summary
Four years ago, Akio killed five people associated with a prostitution racket. During the fifth assassination, he slit Kenji Kawahira’s throat, who was sitting in the car’s front seat with a young girl named Hinako Saba sitting in the back. Accidentally, Kenji hit the accelerator, and the car went out of control. The car jumped from the fourth-floor parking lot. In an attempt to save Hinako, Akio jumped with her onto another car on the ground. Hinako suffered major injuries, and her legs became paralyzed due to the accident.
Four years later, Akio saw Hinako in a park in Osaka. She was sitting in a wheelchair and was struggling to move her legs. Akio felt guilty for her condition and shared his grief with Yoko. He informed her that he was assigned to kill six people during that mission, but the boss called off the sixth assassination for some reason. The sixth person whom Akio was supposed to kill was Koichi Kawahira. He changed his name to Utsubo, came to Osaka, and started running a nonprofit organization for children. Akio told Yoko that Hinako stays with Utsubo, but he feels something fishy in the whole setup.
In the previous film, Akio took up a delivery job for a design company called Octopus. At the office, he met his lady love, Misaki Shimizu. At the office, a creepy colleague named Etsuji Kainuma installed spy cameras in Misaki’s house. Somehow, Utsubo found out about Etsuji’s hidden camera and blackmailed him for money. Etsuji blamed Misaki for the whole deal and tried to kill her, but Akio intervened. Later, Utsubo’s pro hitman, Suzuki, kidnapped Etsuji, and Akio promised to bring him back safely.
Why did Akio get attached to Hinako Saba?
Akio told Yoko that on that day he killed Kenji Kawahira, and he saw Hinako crying. Hinako’s moist eyes changed something in Akio, and at that moment, he decided to save her. For the time being, Akio lived as a ruthless hitman, unbothered by anyone’s miseries. But in the current year, living a normal person’s life made him more empathetic. He felt guilty for Hinako’s paralysis and thus motivated her to walk again. He even taught her a physical therapy technique that did wonders.
Helping Hinako became Akio’s path of atonement. Slowly, Hinako got attached to Akio and visited the park regularly to meet him. Utsubo learned about Hinako’s secret meetings and tried to poison their relationship. Utsubo wanted to possess Hinako and even exploited the innocent girl. When Suzuki told Utsubo that the legendary killer is known as “The Fable” was no one else but Akio, Utsubo quickly used his secret identity to turn Hinako against him. He told Hinako that not only was Akio the reason behind her paralysis, but the cold-blooded killer also killed her parents. Hinako decided to take revenge on Akio for all the miseries in her life.
‘The Killer Who Doesn’t Kill’ Ending Explained
Kenji Kawahira was Utsubo’s brother, and so, to take revenge, he decided to kill Akio. Utsubo and Suzuki set a trap and convinced Akio to come to their apartment to discuss Hinako’s future. Akio wanted to help Hinako, so he took the bait. However, Akio dodged all their attacks without killing a single soul. He not only had to face the protagonists but also keep in mind his boss’s condition “to not kill anyone.”
Utsubo and Suzuki escaped and drove into the woods. Akio asked Yoko to follow them, and Suzuki cunningly trapped Yoko. In the woods, they placed a landmine to kill Akio. Meanwhile, Utsubo persuaded Hinako to shoot Yoko. Hinako lifted the gun and shot Utsubo instead. However, he survived because he was wearing a bulletproof jacket.
When Utsubo asked Hinako the reason for her betrayal, she said she knew that it was Utsubo who killed her parents. The police never disclosed that their throats were slashed. And Utsubo knew this detail because he killed them. Utsubo confessed that he killed her parents to threaten her so that she wouldn’t go to the police. To conceal his true identity, Utsubo enslaved a paralyzed Hinako.
Burning with anger, Hinako stood up from her wheelchair and tried to shoot Utsubo. She walked towards him and accidentally stepped on a landmine that was set for Akio. Akio arrived on the scene and skillfully saved Hinako’s leg. It became his act of redemption. Even Suzuki cared for Hinako and considered her his sister. He pledged his loyalty to Hinako, and feeling a sense of loss, Utsubo threw a pinned grenade towards Hinako. In a reflex, Suzuki shot Utsubo. Akio outlined that he threw the grenade intentionally because he wanted to die.
Hinako sent a letter to Akio during Christmas time and revealed that she never held a grudge against him. She blamed herself for rebelling against her parents and running away from the house. On the day of her accident, Kenji Kawahira was going to sell her to a whorehouse. In a way, Akio saved her from it. She promised Akio that she would walk again in six months. Maybe their paths will cross again.
Akio burnt Hinako’s letter on the terrace. As the ashes turned into smoke, snow started falling on Akio’s face. It was probably a sign that his new life was full of adventures, emotions, and action without killing anyone on the journey.
The Meaning of Post Credit Scene
The post-credit scene in the film depicted Akio and Yoko’s Boss listening to their conversation on an earpiece. The scene established that the Boss was constantly observing his disciples’ actions. He ordered Akio to live a normal life without killing anyone, and hence he made sure that Akio didn’t cross the line. If he did, the Boss would personally kill him.
The Boss wanted Akio to leave behind his assassin instincts and spend a normal life, maybe start a family with someone. If the makers decide to make another sequel, then it would probably portray the path Akio would choose to spend the rest of his life.
The Fable: The Killer Who Doesn’t Kill is a 2021 Japanese Action Thriller directed by Kan Eguchi. It is streaming on Netflix.