So after watching Jigoku Shoujo, I figured the Japanese idea of "horror" is probably a lot different from my idea of it. Some parts of Jigoku Shoujo were actually pretty funny, so I expected to either be scared during this anime or laugh at it. Did I do either? You know the drill, read on to find out!
~Ayakashi~ Japanese Classic Horror is actually a collection of three stories, each taking 3 episodes. I’m guessing that most Japanese who watch this show are already familiar with the stories. I, on the other hand, was kind of clueless throughout.
The first story is "Yotsuya Kaidan" and is about this jerk named Tamiya Iemon. He kills his father-in-law and generally does some uncool stuff. I thought the episode was kind of cheesy and generally hard to believe, especially during the scene where he does the killing:
Iemon: Hey, what’re you doing here, other guy?
Other guy: Oh, I just killed this dude.
Iemon: Oh, you too? Well uh, let’s put the bodies together and they’ll probably just blame it on bandits.
Other guy: Yep, sounds good to me!
These are pretty old stories, so maybe people were just more gullible back then. In the next episode, Iemon’s wife drinks postpartum medicine/goldfish poison! Stay tuned!
One thing I noticed during the entire episode was how ugly the characters were. The character designer is actually Amano Yoshitaka, who did the designs for Final Fantasy 6 (III in the US). That explains why all the pictures during the OP look like my Final Fantasy 6 game manual! I do have respect for the designer, but an ugly character is an ugly character.
Of course, it would be inappropriate for a horror anime to have chibi/SD/moe/loli characters all over huh? Actually, I think I may be onto something…
Even though the characters look really ugly, it’s a horror anime, so I won’t deduct points for that.
The OP is Japanese rap! It sounds pretty cool once you get used to it. Does it work in the classical setting of Japanese horror? Hell no! I dunno what they were thinking with this one. I’ll still give it points for being different.
The ED is by Chitose Hajime, the same singer who did the Blood+ ED. The more I listen to her voice, the awesomer it sounds. I dunno if "awesomer" is a word, but that’s the perfect way to describe it. She’s really got some crazy voice control going on. I think it’s sorta like Enka, but not. Chitose Hajime is quickly becoming one of my favorite artists. (note: the ED was kinda blended into the end of the episode, so I cut off the beginning part. Sumimasen!)
Overall, Ayakashi is hard for me to rate. It’s probably very local in the sense that it’s totally geared towards Japanese who probably already know these stories. I want to keep watching this anime, but really it’s a pain with all the ugly characters, and the story is really confusing to me. Then again, each "story" is only 3 episodes long, so the next one might be more interesting. I’ll probably keep on watching so I don’t miss something potentially good.