Posted by psgels on 25 April 2006 with categories: Ayakashi ~Japanese Classic Horror~



Today, we start with the third and last part of Ayakashi: Bake Neko (I’m really forcing myself not to misread it as Baka Neko). And again, it feels like we’re in a total different anime. The funny thing is, that the impact is even bigger than with Ten Shu Mono Gatari. And again, Bake Neko has some unique features. Yotsuya Kaidan had the incredible murders, Ten Shu Mono Gatari had its great love story. Bake Neko, however, is just crazy. And that has to say something, especially when compared to Yotsuya Kaidan.

The first thing that comes to the eye is the once more changed character art. Yotsuya Kaidan had ugly characters. Ten Shu Mono Gatari had elegant-looking characters. Bake Neko has hilarious looking characters. Especially the minor characters just look like they had to suffer from the horrors of overbudgetting, ending up with a continuously idiotic look.

That’s not all. Also the dialogue just screams chaos. While Yotsuya Kaidan’s dialogue was based on history, Ten Shu Mono Gatari tried to be as romantic as possible, Bake Neko just uses fast-paced dialogue combined with characters being weird, and combines it to something that actually ends up pretty enjoyable.

Anyway, about the story of Bake Neko: I like it. I really like it. This might be the best of the three. We have this demon, who’s busy assaulting a rich family, consisting of a grandfather, a father, a mother, a daughter, an uncle, two or three bodyguards and a bunch of servants. He already killed the daughter and one of the servants, and if it weren’t for a medicine seller who happens to know exorcism, the entire house would have been demolished.

In order for the medicine seller to be able to kill the demon, three things must be known: Katachi, Makoto and Kotowari: the form the demon takes, what is really going on, and the events that made the demon act the way he did. Katachi is immediately clear: this is a case of Bake Neko (hence the title). The merchant needs the members of the house in order to be able to determine Makoto, after which the episode ends. My guess is that the rest of the episodes will deal with the merchant figuring out what happened, accompanied by a couple of nice deaths. I also like the way that especially the uncle seems to be hiding something, though my favourite character still is the assistant bodyguard. He’s just so ignorant.

7 Responses

  1. Avatar Hopeless says:

    While the first too stories did not have that much depth to them, this one seems rather promsing. I just love the art style – I can think of nothing like it in anime. It conveys the idea of the story being a series of exquistite wallpaintings. The characters are also interesting this time around. I do wonder if the concept can be stretched another three episodes, though.

  2. psgels psgels says:

    Indeed, The Count of Monte Christo has the closest resemblance to the art style, but even then the two are totally different.

    My guess is that the second episode will be about Makoto, the third about Kotowari, so that the fourth can be focused on killing Bake Neko.

  3. Avatar robin says:

    I saw this and got me interested in seeing it. Only you and one other is blogging it. I liked this story. Reminds me more of Hundred Stories (aka. Requiem from the Darkness). I even went back and watched the previous story, which I liked alot.

    FYI: In case you missed it, the “horror” part of that last story arc has to do with the fact those pretty women were deforming into grotesque demon-like creatures KILLING & “EATING” PEOPLE!!! Duh!

  4. psgels psgels says:

    Pretty women were indeed deformed into demon-like creatures, killing and eating people. You’re indeed right about that. To make it horror, however, it would take much more than that. Horror is meant to scare people, though I never found the second story scary, or anything that comes close.

  5. Avatar Marazul says:

    I just watched Ayashi – bakeneko in Japanese. My Japanese is not perfect, but from what I heard and saw, the story goes on something like this: 30 years ago, a young bride was robbed from her bridal caravan by a samurai. He took her home and tried to win her good will, but she only desired to go back home. He gives her a kitten. Her devotion to the kitten while remaining inaccessible to him infuriates him. He stops treating her like a human. He sets a beautiful cage in a decorated room and keeps her prisoner in the cage, a sex slave: he only lifts the cage to rape her. The small cat becomes her “freedom” as it is the only kind contact she has. The cat grows up watching the brutalities inflicted on her, till one day the cat attacks the samurai. It is implied that she asks the cat to run back “to the world” but the samurai kills it.

    During the years of imprisonment, the samurai’s son witnessed his father’s brutality, but he dared not to interfere. The mature woman in the family has a couple scenes where she’d go to the cage to mock the prostrated sex slave. I think that’s only to explain the cat’s aim to these three specific peoples.

    That’s for the cat’s story. Back to the present timeline, the mononoke (the medicine-seller) learns all this story through his battle with the phantom cat, who reveals the past to him through a series of visions during their battle. Finally, the mononoke comes to understand the truth and once the cat perceives this, it fulfills its reason to exist and finally dies. The mononoke does not accuse anyone, but the truth has been revealed and the samurai family must accept and deal. He says their way to atone is not his business. As the mononoke leaves the household, the spirit of the robbed bride with her kitten follow him to “the world” (aka, outside) free from her imprisonment in the house. They disappear in happiness. The mononoke guy smiles at this and the story ends.

  6. Avatar Marazul says:

    Note: I used the japanese word Mononoke with the meaning of Shaman. However the medicine man is more of a mononoke; an Elemental or spirit but definitively something which travels the human world but is not human.

  7. psgels psgels says:

    Hmm, I’m not sure whether the cat’s purpose has been fulfilled once he’s slayed by the Mononoke. It also keeps killing everyone it meets, so I think it wants revenge on the whole family, instead of just these three characters. I personally think that the Mononoke smiled because spirit of the cat and the woman were finally able to leave to heaven.

    And now I understand the meaning of the title of the upcoming Mononoke-anime, which basically features this Mononoke against more ghosts and demons. Keep an eye out for it. :)

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