Posted on 22 March 2007 with categories: Ayakashi ~Japanese Classic Horror~, Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, Random Posts

Yes! The airdate for Higurashi 2 finally has been announced. The second season is coming in July. The twenty-second, if I’m not mistaken. Now all that’s left is to hope that all of the arcs will be animated, and not just the seventh and the eighth one.

Still, that’s not nearly as interesting as some information I found while checking out Moonphase. I’m really not sure about the details, but an upcoming anime (also scheduled for the upcoming summer) called Mononoke strangely has a picture of the medicine seller from Ayakashi ~ Japanese Classic Horror on its website, and it also mentions Ayakashi once.

Oh, I’m so hoping that this is some kind of sequel or similar story of Bake Neko. If it actually is, then we’ve got ourselves a serious contender for the “best anime of 2007”. Bake Neko already was one of the best short stories I’ve ever seen, but it’s going to be even better seeing an entire anime dedicated to this concept.

Posted 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

Posted on 30 April 2006 with categories: Ayakashi ~Japanese Classic Horror~



Whoa… that was just incredible… I expected the last episode to be of the same scale of the second one, but the way it turned out, I never saw coming. Bake Neko definatly has earned itself a spot on my list of most memorable stories. I’m encouraging everyone to at least take a look at it. You don’t nessecarily have to see episode 1-8 in order to enjoy Bake Neko, Ayakashi is just a combination of three individual stories which have nothing to do with each other.

This episode consists out of two parts: the Makoto being found out, and the Kotowari being found out. My favourite moment is when we get to see our first glimpse of the Kotowari. You SO DO NOT see that coming! I like the way that we’re completely kept oblivious about it until that moment, then everything suddenly becomes clear. You’ll understand when you see it.

Overall, Bake Neko was just total awesomeness. Starting from begin to end, this is a story that’s just totally incredible. I’ll probably have the review up tomorrow. It’s a bit too late for that now.

Posted on with categories: Ayakashi ~Japanese Classic Horror~



Okay, now I know what happened to the “horror”-part of Ayakashi ~ Japanese Classic Horror: they saved all of it for the last two episodes (yes, for some reason, Bake Neko consists of three episodes, instead of the usual four). For one of the first times ever, an anime managed to actually scare me. Not much, but still… Needless to say that I absolutely loved this episode.

I would try to give a summary of this episode, but I feel like I won’t be able to. So many different things happened all at once, this was just a roller-coaster ride from one scene to another. If the third episode doesn’t disappoint, then Bake Neko will easily be the best out of the three stories presented in Ayakashi.

Another thing I loved is the attention paid to exorcism. Our medicine seller uses finally a bit more than just the basics in order to get rid of this demon. The line of salt, the flying scales that would tell the demon’s location, the paper seals which would show signs whenever Bake Neko was near it, it all made sense once you saw it in action. The dialogue also was a major plus of this episode, ranging from the characters going berserk to the bickering between the bodyguard and the medicine seller and from the desperate characters to the calm characters. Speaking of characters, these also were great. Each of them seems to be unique in some way, and for some reason, all are interesting to watch, especially the uncle freaked me out, as he seemed to be extremely happy when the demon arrived, in a scary way.

The artwork, the more I look at it, the more I actually like it. It’s really something different, for both the characters as the background.

Posted 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.

Posted on 22 April 2006 with categories: Ayakashi ~Japanese Classic Horror~



As expected, Ten Shu Mono Gatari ends just as morbid as Yotsuya Kaidan. While the latter ended a bit too predictable, with the rats and all, the former delivers a much better and satisfying ending. The deaths actually make sense this time. We start with Zusho-no-Suke and Tomi Hime standing in the highest room of the castle, and watching the local army stand at the gates. Tomi Hime wants to defend the castle, and the old woman shows her civil side.

What then starts is a horrible bloodbath between the minor forgotten gods and the local army. The local army may have 1000 people at its command, the forgotten gods remain forgotten gods, who have the ability to take out ten men at a time. I guess I don’t have to say that they gladly make use of this. But then again, the forgotten gods have weakened. Not as in, they can only cast a few skills before their MP is up, but as in the fact that once they get hit, they’re dead, just like any other human. They still don’t know how to mask this weakness, so eventually every forgotten god except Tomi Hime ends up killed. It was great to see that the creators showed the scenes from both parties point of view. It gives so much more backgrounds than when just one side is put in the spotlights.

Tomi Hime and Zusho-no-Suke, meanwhile have problems of their own. First, the old woman tries to kill Zusho-no-Suke after all. He gets saved by his ‘wife’, feeling extremely jealous. Then, she finally realizes that Zusho loves Tomi Hime, and not her. She forces him to go with her, and we’re in for a pleasant surprise, as it appears that Zusho has turned into a forgotten god himself, as his face gets a total make-over. In a bad way. By seeing this, the wife runs away. Zusho and Tomi Hime then decide to defend the castle themselves.

When Tomi Hime, however, finds out about the fate of the other residents of the castle, she goes berserk, complete with a number of extra hands and a pair of wings. Every soldier outside gets killed by her, while Susho himself takes care of the soldiers inside the castle. The landlord is the last of the army to perish. It might be a bit morbid and predictable, but I liked the way it was carried out.

Afterwards, when we think that the ending couldn’t have been more obvious, we get to see a great final scene, as the two demons, without much success, try to search for valuable things in the castle, which got burned to the ground during the battle. Then they see three figures flying in the sky. They make some remarks, and leave. I loved this part. Overall, Ten Shu Mono Gatari was a very nice story to see. I still find Yotsuya Kaidan’s craziness better, though. Furthermore, where, exactly, was the ‘horror’ part?

Posted on 17 April 2006 with categories: Ayakashi ~Japanese Classic Horror~



This tale somehow manages to keep getting better and more beautiful by the minute. Okay, the “Horror”-part is still drifting in oblivion, but this certainly is one of the better love stories in anime. All tensions are rising high, and it seems that everything is ready now for a big climax.

We start with the guy, whose name appears to be Zusho-no-Suke (no wonder I couldn’t remember it. I’ll call him Zusho for the time being), and Tomi Hime have a little fun in the human town. Then the old woman finds them, and begs Tomi Hime to return. Once they do, it becomes clear that she has a very good reason to be against Tomi Hime’s feelings. Her love for Zusho caused the Forgotten Gods to weaken. In other words, making them mortal again. Tomi Hime then forces Zusho to leave her alone.

Zusho leaves the castle, and suddenly the other woman comes running up to him. The two end up marrying, though Zusho still thinks of Tomi Hime. When the woman finds out about this, she manages to make the landlord decide to attack the Forgotten God-castle. Of course, with them weakened like that, this will turn out to be quite interesting.

Anyway, Zusho finally can’t hide his feelings anymore, so he abandons the woman and heads back to the castle. In there, they see the torches belonging to the regional army rising. This will make for an awesome climax in the fourth episode. I can hardly wait to see it.

Posted on 2 April 2006 with categories: Ayakashi ~Japanese Classic Horror~



The man (what the heck was his name again? *kicks memory*) gets ordered to return the falcon he lost in the previous episode. If he doesn’t, he gets to perform seppuku. Though I think he would’ve gone back anyway. When he arrives at the castle, he meets up with the two demons, and the three form a truce. It’s interesting that the demons are on the good side for a time. Well then, they enter the castle, and suddenly they got attacked by a couple of forgotten gods. The demons actually help our main character escaping, after which he goes to search for Tomi Hime. He finds her, but before the two can get to know each other, the old woman manages to catch him and knock him out. He finds himself locked up afterwards, only to be freed by Tomi Hime. The two talk for a bit, Tomi Hime shows her background, and they officially end up as a couple. After a wild night, the main character convinces Tomi Hime to run from the castle, and the two run off on a horse. This doesn’t actually please the old woman.

Overall, I like this romance. It’s greatly executed and I can really feel that these characters love each other. There’s just one problem. This show is called “Ayakashi ~Japanese Classic Horror”. Not “Ayakashi ~Japanese Classic Love-Stories Involving Supernatural Beings”. I have yet to see any horror in Ten Shu Mono Gatari. Sure, we have some ghosts and demons fighting each other, but I don’t really classify that as horror. It’s more like action. Overall, I think I liked the second episode of Yotsuya Kaidan more than the second episode of Ten Shu Mono Gatari. The former already had some disturbing deaths at this point, though the latter likes to take its time in telling.

Anyway, the two are in love now. It can’t get any better than this. I’m expecting that the horror-part will come in the next episode. After all, something has to happen, doesn’t it?

Posted on 19 March 2006 with categories: Ayakashi ~Japanese Classic Horror~



Aaaah, I’ve been waiting for this to come out. Yotsuya Kaidan is finished, and now we continue with the second story of Ayakashi: Ten Shu Mono Gatari, and it suddenly looks like I’m watching a total different anime. The art style got a total retyle. The faces of the characters suddenly became to look much more like normal anime-style, and the clothes have changed from simple one-colored kimono’s into bright-colored, multi-layered cloths. This changed the overall style to be mush lighter. Overall, I have to say that I like this new art more than the previous. Especially the Forgotten Gods look beautiful (if you exclude the old lady, that is). Yotsuya Kaidan’s art wasn’t bad, or anything, but it just bothered me a bit too many times.

The story’s also so much different from Yotsuya Kaidan, which revolved around nothing but arrogant characters, only doing as they please and killing each other. Ten Shu Mono Gatari, however, seems to be a love-story, between a Forgotten God and a human. Yotsuya Kaidan had just one supernatural being involved (namely Oiwa). Ten Shu Mono Gatari has many, including different species. I have no idea whether this will be as succesful as Yotsuya Kaidan. I guess the only way to find out it to watch the next couple of episodes.

Posted on 20 February 2006 with categories: Ayakashi ~Japanese Classic Horror~


Holy god, this was one paranoid episode. I loved it!

Ayakashi is divided in three parts, each worth of four episodes. This episode featured the ending of the first part. I’m very pleased with it up till now. The first part featured Iemon getting what he deserved. Okay, it was predictable right from episode two, but the storytelling totally made up for it. I don’t know if it’s just me, but it’s fun seeing a sick person like that getting all scared and having illusions. The rats may have been a bit too much, though, although they set for a grand finale.

The second part of the episode told us about the background of the story. This certainly was a nice addition to anyone on par with the Japanese history. When you don’t know a lot about it, it might become boring, though.

Shoutbox

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  • topgavin
    (Thursday, Jul 28. 2016 12:02 PM)
    Ep4 for Illya was… interesting…. Don’t know if I’m now more or less interested in the MC’s
  • SuperMario
    (Thursday, Jul 28. 2016 09:02 AM)
    @Bam: sounds good to me really. The more the merrier. Let see if Mr. Aidan is alright with that.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Jul 28. 2016 08:57 AM)
    Not really necessary to make an account or give me the WordPress pass. I’ll just email the review to Mario or Aidan.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Jul 28. 2016 08:55 AM)
    I’m willing to cover Berserk if nobody else is up for it.
  • afgm
    (Thursday, Jul 28. 2016 08:35 AM)
    nobody’s reviewing Berserk? A SIN!!
  • Vonter
    (Thursday, Jul 28. 2016 07:17 AM)
    @Bam Read the Mob Psycho entry.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Jul 28. 2016 06:27 AM)
    Where’s Berserk 04 review btw?
  • Vonter
    (Thursday, Jul 28. 2016 04:33 AM)
    Also in regards to the bat scene. I just thought of Evangelion. I suppose that’s what the director was going on. Since you’re reviewing that, I’ll leave at that.
  • Vonter
    (Thursday, Jul 28. 2016 04:22 AM)
    I agree to a certain level the padding at the beginning. I suppose I didn’t mind since it at least was like a standard Batman episode (of the latter seasons). I think what bugs me is that the portrayal of Batman wasn’t very good, I think he’s emotionless for the most part. And like I’ve said, on the technical side it isn’t as striking as the novel. It’s like when Gyo was adapted (to be fair that’s also because like Berserk it had a lot of CGI).
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Thursday, Jul 28. 2016 04:20 AM)
    Basically just seeing the story put on screen I was grateful for.

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