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
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:48 AM)
    Ashura was an excellent example of how to through anime illicit and emotional response in an honest, non-melodramatic way.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:46 AM)
    @Bam: I’d be more than happy to take a look at some of those shorts anytime.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:44 AM)
    @Emma: there’s a lot of European animators that got active in the last 10 years or so that are really reinvigorating their animation scene, and every now and then I get introduced to some fabulous shorts.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:40 AM)
    @Emma: no I don’t really mind gory ‘for the fuck of it’ violence, I even like it in some grindhouse type of works, but I just don’t think it’s always effective as a shock factor. Live-action is the most sympathetic for obvious reasons, but there are animated works that do elicit a deep response. Probably because of circumstances but also the details of the in-between animation, which can induce certain feelings of disgust.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:39 AM)
    *here and there
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:35 AM)
    @Bam: I really wish there was more arthouse anime now to give some kind of a balance to everything thats out these days.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:33 AM)
    Now I like my exploitation every so often, but yes Bam I really do wish that adult and mature storytelling could be better associated with truly, more pure mature themes.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:25 AM)
    I get choked up over Bergmans cries and whisper and Autumn sonata, I look back on a work by Key and Jun Maeda and wonder, think of how silly it looks to me now.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:24 AM)
    I also find it easier to get an emotional response from a honest drama, live action film, largely due to the real people doing the acting. Sometimes you get an actor whose just that good too…
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:22 AM)
    I’ve gotten my odd emotional reaction here from anime and manga but a lot of the time it feels like the jump scare in a generic horror movie, I got shocked but I felt minipulated afterwards it wasn’t genuine, the same goes for some anime/manga drama when it takes a melodramatic turn instead of a bleak, honest one.

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