Mitsuki Takahata Savors Vampire-Human Love Tale

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Mitsuki Takahata

Suspense drama “Unknown” depicts the “ultimate love” of a married couple who share a hidden truth. Mitsuki Takahata plays the protagonist, Kokoro Yamihara, in the show broadcast on the TV Asahi network from 9 p.m. on Tuesdays. Kokoro’s secret is that she is a vampire.

“It’s extremely comedic, and it’s extremely serious. It’s a story that switches between the two extremes at incredible speed,” Takahata said.

Kokoro is not only a vampire but also an ace reporter for a weekly magazine. She falls in love with Toramatsu Asada (played by Kei Tanaka), a police officer who works at a police box. She dares to reveal her secret identity to Toramatsu and accepts his marriage proposal. Then a body is found in a peaceful town with the blood drained from its neck.

Kokoro cannot stay alive unless she consumes blood. But she never attacks people and instead buys blood on the internet as if buying bottled water. She is very much a vampire in that she has prodigious strength and hates the sun and garlic, but she is also very affectionate. Meanwhile, Toramatsu also seems to have a deep secret. Then the two become involved in a mysterious serial murder case.

“They’re a vampire and a human. How both of them accept each other is the focus of the story. In a sense, it’s like an international marriage between people who have grown up in cultures different from each other,” Takahata explained.

The drama also highlights the difficulties Kokoro goes through in her everyday life for being a vampire and having to hide it from others. She worries about public opinion and gets hurt by the words and behaviors of those unaware of her circumstances, which presents a poignant question for our society, where diversity is necessary. Watching the show will be a good opportunity to consider how to live alongside people who have different views.

Toramatsu Asada is played by Kei Tanaka, left, and Kokoro Yamihara is played by Mitsuki Takahata in a scene from “Unknown” on the TV Asahi network.

“I, too, feel that the process of getting along with someone can have difficulties and troubles. The way people think is completely different from person to person. But it would be boring if everyone thought the same way, so I probably do care about deliberately moving a step closer [to the other person] in each and every case,” she said, carefully choosing her words.

As the episodes unfold, the story becomes more and more suspenseful. What Kokoro and Toramatsu will do after learning each other’s secrets will be something to watch. Stay tuned.

Questions to Mitsuki Takahata

The Yomiuri Shimbun: Have you ever done something you mustn’t do?

Takahata: Once I changed my hairstyle without asking. I got told off because of advertisements and stuff. I only wanted to change it. It was quite an extensive haircut, and I was like, “Oops!”

The Yomiuri Shimbun: Please tell us if you have a secret you hesitate to tell.

Takahata: When I wash my face, I can use only one hand at a time. I’ve never been able to do so with both hands. I wonder why.

Mitsuki Takahata: Born Dec. 14, 1991, Takahata hails from Osaka Prefecture and first became noted for appearing in the musical “Peter Pan.” She has starred in many TV dramas, such as NHK’s serial morning drama “Toto-Nee-chan.” Her recent works include the play “Kiseki no Hito” (“The Miracle Worker”) and the film “Ashita no Shokutaku” (“Tomorrow’s Dinner Table”).