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Takeo Saeki is one of the two overarching antagonists (alongside Mrs. Kamawata) of The Grudge series, serving as the posthumous overarching antagonist in the series. He is an illustrator working in Nerima and the husband of Kayako Saeki. Takeo discovered that Kayako was in love with Toshio's teacher, Kobayashi, and killed Kayako, Toshio, and Mar in a fit of rage. He was eventually killed by Kayako's spirit. After this, he becomes an evil spirit as well, and haunts the house along with his family, killing everyone in their way.
He was portrayed by Takashi Matsuyama in Ju-on: The Curse, Ju-on: The Curse 2, Ju-on: The Grudge, Ju-on: The Grudge 2, The Grudge, The Grudge 2, and The Grudge 3, Yasuhito Hida in Ju-on: The Beginning of the End and Ju-on: The Final, and an unknown actor in the Ju-on: The Grudge videogame.
Takeo Saeki was an illustrator working in Nerima, Tokyo when he met Kayako Kawamata. He fell in love with her and later married her, eventually fathering her child, Toshio.
One day, he found Kayako's diary and read it. He was struck by uncontrollable rage when he learned that Kayako was in love with a man named Shunsuke Kobayashi, Toshio's school teacher and Kayako's first love back in college. He became obsessed with the idea that Kayako was cheating on him, and that Toshio was Kobayashi's child.
When Kayako got home, Takeo attacked her, breaking her neck and slashing her with a box cutter, then hid her body in the attic. Takeo went to Kobayashi's apartment and killed Manami (小林 真奈美 Kobayashi Manami) and took her premature baby. He then called Kobayashi by using the bloody phone booth, saying that he would be leaving him to raise Toshio because he thought 'up until now, he had raised him in his place'. Then after hitting the dead female fetus around in a sack, he fell on some garbage bags, one of them actually heading towards him and containing Kayako's dead spirit, who eventually killed him on that street.
From that day on, the Saeki house has become an infamous landmark. Once anyone enters, they are either killed by the spirits of Takeo, Kayako, or Toshio, or disappear within Kayako's clutches. Like with the other ghosts, none of the victims ever attempt to fight back physically, as they are usually paralyzed by fear.
In the reboot timeline, Takeo was more sane than in the original and the American remake and more symphatetic, as he was ultimately manipulated, both by feelings and trust, by Kayako due to the fact that Toshio really was not his son, but rather an incarnation of a dead child from a previous family who inhabited the house. He still killed Kayako (by snapping her neck to death) and Toshio (attempted to stab him with a knife, but Toshio suffered from cardiac arrest out of fear and instantly rose as an onryo in process before he could land a blow), but did not become an onryo, as his fate afterward is not revealed.
American Adaptation Timeline (The Grudge trilogy)
In The Grudge series, his biography remained consistent with original Ju-On series, but there are some differences: After he killed Kayako, instead of going after Peter Kirk (Shunsuke Kobayashi's American counterpart) and his wife, he drowned Toshio along with his beloved black pet cat, Mar. Takeo was then killed by Kayako's ghost soon after when she hung him with his hair that made the way she claimed him looked as if he commited suicide.
Takeo already had negative qualities to begin with in life and had qualities that made him fit to be considered as a yandere: As evidenced in the Ju-on novelization, Takeo Saeki was very possessive and jealous of anyone who stole Kayako's attention; when his wife said that she liked a particular actor on TV, he got very angry. When he discovered that Kayako was in love with her past love with Kobayashi or Kirk, Takeo went mad so much that he went into a killing frenzy.
In the Ju-On reboot series, he was more sympathetic due to him being an outright kind man and husband for Kayako to begin with. After learning that Toshio was not his biological child, he was so brokenhearted that he killed Kayako, Toshio, and Mar in grief.
Takeo reflects as a possessed Matthew walks by the lobby's mirror.
Detective Nakagawa is murdered.
Karen finds Takeo's hanged corpse.
In Karen's last vision.
The possession of Max.
Naoko is murdered.
Rather than his own, Takeo's demise in the Western series references Tomoka and Noritaka's deaths in Ju-on: The Grudge 2. The couple is hanged by Kayako's ghostly hair and Toshio's ghost "plays" with them afterwards.
It is unclear if Takeo's apparitions occur only as a manifestation of the curse, or if he in fact became an onryō as well. In the DVD commentary of a scene deleted from Ju-on: The Grudge, however, Takashi Shimizu refers to him as a "ghost".
It is unknown how old Takeo was in the Ju-on series, but in The Grudge films, according to a news article, he was 35 years old when he died.
In the intro of Ju-on: The Grudge, Takeo is portrayed by an unknown actor and his fate differs from both Ju-on and The Grudge continuities. After he discovered Kayako's secret and murdered her, Takeo committed suicide with a hanging noose.
In the Ju-on novel, his death differs once again, as Kayako's ghost killed Takeo by stabbing him in the back with a knife.
In the director's cut version of The Grudge, he was seen hanging by Kayako's hair, implying that her ghost was responsible for his death, thus making him the first victim of the curse.