Posted by psgels on 1 May 2006 with categories: Anime Reviews, Ayakashi ~Japanese Classic Horror~



Ayakashi ~ Japanese Classic Horror is divided in three individual stories. Each of them stands alone and has nothing to do with the other two. They also share a totally different art style, atmosphere, motives and characters for each of these tales.

Ayakashi begins with the story called Yotsuya Kaidan. The first episode is horrible, it starts just so boring, and keeps this on until the end of it. But then again, that was easily the worst episode of Ayakashi. The good part starts at the second episode, when some great deaths come past the screen, ending at the fourth episode with a satisfying climax. The art style is really old-fashoned, though it remains ugly. Though I guess that that was meant to be that way, as the theme of this story is ugly as well. It’s about the evil that humans can accomplish, and these humans eventually get punished. The characters are all horrible bastards, with a few exception, which only makes it more enjoyable to watch when these characters go berserk. Still, even though it was an enjoyable tale, the story itself is mostly one-layered, with a small exception in the second and third episode.

Then comes the tale Ten Shu Mono Gatari, and if it wasn’t for the fact that they share both the name Ayakashi, I would’ve been unable to identify it with Yotsuya Kaidan. Ten Shu Mono Gatari is suddenly a love story, the total opposite of its predecessor. The Horror-part of Ayakashi is also nowhere to be found in this story, it’s just a normal human and a supernatural being falling in love with each other. The art looks really nice this time, especially when compared to Yotsuya Kaidan. The first three episodes build up perfectly, and end into a very satisfying climax. Though, I have to say that Yotsuya Kaidan is the better one of these two, as it featured some memorable scenes, and it has chaos included which Ten Shu Mono Gatari misses.

Then the third story, Bake Neko, comes. And without a doubt it’s the highlight of the series. The art turns into something really unique, I can only say that I loved it, though it takes some time getting used to. The Horror-part is finally clearly distinctable, and the entire three episodes it consists of turn into an amazing roller-coaster ride with a couple of amazing quiet moments. The characters are each wonderful, and I haven’t even began about the story, which was truly one of the best ones I’ve yet to see.

Overall, I’m recommending Ayakashi ~ Japanese Classic Horror. Especially to the ones who love great deaths, though the fans of love-stories will also be satisfied, and even if you’re not one of these people, just give this series a chance. The first episode is what turned most people off, though it you manage to survive that one, you get treated to some brilliant scenes. You can also just skip the first eight episodes, and immediately turn to Bake Neko if you wish, as each of the stories have no relationships with each other.

Yotsuya Kaidan Rating: 85/100
Ten Shu Mono Gatari Rating: 81/100
Bake Neko Rating: 94/100
Final Rating: 87/100

4 Responses

  1. Hopeless says:

    Apart from Bake Neko, I thought the first two arcs were flawed. Too much time for too little in Ten Shu (I never really saw the romance as a good one, either, it just seemed to happen), while Kaiden just decided to hit a high point in the second episode then decline increasingly into absurdity. Both had a few amazing moments, but otherwise they seemed to drag. A 30-40 minute OVA, in my opinion, would have suited them much better.

    Bake Neko, though, I found much better, and definatly the highlight of the series by some degree.

  2. Archer says:

    i started watching this recently because i am going to watch Mononoke soon and i wanted to start first by watching the bake neko story but i watched the entire 3 story’s and i can say that the first two were nothing really special to me,the first one was ok had it’s good,horror moments and the second was ok but not something i enjoyed that much and then comes finally Bake Neko,definitely the best of this three story’s,the animation fits perfectly,the story is very good and the horror part is present to in a great way,if is hard to say how amazing the last story was you just have to watch it to understand it and now i am going to continue with Mononoke

  3. mhyta says:

    it’s nice story but i don’t know what does “ayakashi” mean………..

  4. Nanoko says:

    Yotsuya Kaidan was my favorite of the first two. I’m actually watching Bake Neko right now and so far I’m really loving it. Tenshu Monogatari was my least favorite, especially when it came to the artwork. It just looked so lazy. The story was alright, but it wasn’t anything to cream your pants over. Yotsuya Kaidan and Bake Neko both have such unique art styles, they really stand out from any other animes.

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  • Emma
    (Tuesday, May 5. 2015 01:14 PM)
    Additionally Hammill’s joker got both sides of the character down perfectly.
    My favourite depiction of the joker though is definately in Grant Morrison’s arkham asylum graphic novel.
  • AidanAK47
    (Tuesday, May 5. 2015 12:56 PM)
    @bam, Ledger was the best possible live action joker. But Hamell is the real joker to me. When you read jokers lines in the comics, you hear Hammill. Still that fellow in batman arkham origins didn’t do too bad a job.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, May 5. 2015 12:19 PM)
    @Bam: I remember loving the hell out of that old animated Batman movie from the 90s, mask of Phantasm, that mystery of Batwoman one was worthwhile also.
    Here is the new Jared Leto joker: http://static1.squarespace.com/static/51b3dc8ee4b051b96ceb10de/t/54870f57e4b074be5ade38ad/1418137431644/jared-leto-as-the-joker-in-suicide-squad-fan-art
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, May 5. 2015 12:06 PM)
    Also it was neat for FF9 to include summons as a plot element. They always existed outside of the story, as most of that series’ battle mechanics seem to happen in a bubble separate from the actual stories.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, May 5. 2015 12:03 PM)
    *@Emma lol
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, May 5. 2015 12:03 PM)
    @Joker: he definitely had the quintessential Joker laugh. Ledger was good, but also a lot grirrier due to the film’s tone. That whole animated series is one of main reasons why Batman is still so popular even with the 90s kids who cared very little about comics at that point.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, May 5. 2015 11:02 AM)
    @Bam: I feel the same way about Mark Hammill voicing the joker.
    As for FF9, I really liked that games take on the Alexander summon.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, May 5. 2015 09:45 AM)
    @K-off: That’s pretty cool. Conroy is easily the best portrayal of the Dark Knight- as somebody who got the Batman/Bruce Wayne dichotomy down like no other. The trick to get their attention is to be real with them, since they’ve heard every possibly fan praise a million times. I still remember how Maynard’s eyes lit up when my friend screamed “Hey Maynard! You’re a Tool!” at a Napa wine-tasting function he was hosting. You can always bank on weird.
  • k-off
    (Tuesday, May 5. 2015 07:17 AM)
    Very exciting, got to chat with Kevin Conroy in Vegas. I dropped 40$ to get a signature, but I met him afterwards outside the convention hall and talked some generic “fan-to-celebrity” talk, telling him how much I respected his work. I ain’t complaining though.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, May 5. 2015 12:43 AM)
    I enjoyed Vivi’s storyline tho. I think even tho he was bland and quiet he still had the most emotional developments as a character, which tied in to identity and what it means to be alive. I also liked the “I want to be your Canary” play within the game, it was like a fleshed-out version of the Opera House scene from FF6.

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