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