Half-American, half-Japanese, Rei Shimura is finally beginning to feel like Tokyo is home. Now a writer on art and antiques at the 'Gaijin Times', a comic-style magazine aimed at affluent young readers, Rei's latest assignment is a piece on the history of comic book art. During a weekend of research and relaxation at her boyfriend Takeo's beachside house, Rei stumbles upon the perfect subject: an exquisite modern comic that reveals the disturbing social milieu of pre-World War II Japan.
Rei's art story, though, evolves into something much darker. One of the comic's young creators is found dead - a murder that soon takes the tenacious Rei deep into the heart of Japan's youth underground. Immersed in the investigation, she finds herself floating through strip clubs, animation shops, and coffeehouses to get the true story - and save her own skin.