So in the hopes of giving him new hobbies, and having someone who can guest blog for me when I need a break, we have another post from the mad man. I told him to make it in the spirit of the season, and since he's more of an anime fan than I am (and he's the reason I found most of the kick ass anime I watch) I figured he'd make a better top ten Horror-Hallweenish-Anime list for you readers than I could make. I promise more posts from me soon. I cant wait to show you my Pumpkin Carving Massacre pics! Those and more are coming up in the final week of my Halloween Countdown!
Enjoy the ride kids.
Hello again, horror fans and workplace time-wasters! It's-a me, your old pal Mad Jester- horror aficionado, man of letters (mostly angry) and lady-killer (acquitted on all counts), here to introduce to you some slightly different fare. We all know that Asia puts out some quality horror. (I recently watched 4bia, and it made me pee a little.) What many gore-crows might miss out on, however, is a surprisingly large selection of animated ooky. Some of it can be silly, comedic stuff, tangentially connected to the horror genre via commonly occurring themes; some, however can be just as thought-provoking and dread-inducing as one's favourite live-action flick. And so, without further (rambling) ado, I present to you a small sampling of the occult offerings of the Land of the Rising Sun and Used-Panty Vending Machine, with:
Mad Jester's Top Ten Horror-themed Anime
You ready? All strapped in and sedated? Here we go!
10. Yondemasu yo Azazel-san
This one is definitely one of the aforementioned comedy offerings. The title translates as "I summon you, Azazel", and it's about a small-time detective named Akutabe and his assistant Rinko who solve cases with the help of summoned demons, the main one being Azazel, demon lord of lust. This tends to go just about as well as one would expect. Very funny, but there's plenty of blood (mostly Azazel's), and some dark themes are toyed with.
9. Jigoku Sensei Nube (Hell Teacher Nube)
The ghosts, demons and monsters that threaten the students at Domori Elementary have met their match in Meisuke Nueno- Nube to his friends. Homeroom teacher by day, exorcist by night, Nube wields the power of the Demon Hand and the demon prince sealed within it to fight all manner of weird critters and save the day. Again, this one's mostly comedic, but it does introduce viewers to a wide variety of monsters and spirits from Japanese myth and folklore, and some of the fights are pretty badass.
8. Pet Shop of Horrors
This would probably appear lower on the list, except for the fact that there's only four episodes. The show centers around the eccentric and androgynous Count D, owner and proprietor of a very special pet shop. The pets D sells are rare and precious... and always come with a risk. Think Gremlins, only far more gory and moralistic. This is one of those thought-provoking horrors, the kind that makes one question one's definition of 'monster' and wonder if they have the fortitude to avoid making the same mistakes the 'clients' do.
7. High School of the Dead
As Kweeny mentioned, this one is chock-full of fanservice. It's a bit fanservice-y, even for me, and I'm the kind of guy that finds ways to work the phrase "I love boobies" into casual conversation. If you don't mind gratuitous breast-bouncing and panty-shots, this is a really good zombie-apocalypse joint. It touches on some of the lesser-explored aspects of the zombie subgenre, like how battling monsters all day every day can kill your own humanity, and the combination of loneliness and culture-shock that descends once the general populace becomes shambling cannibal cadavers.
6. Mermaid's Forest
The Mermaid's Saga by legendary manga-ka Rumiko Takahashi, adapted into anime. It focuses on the legend that devouring the flesh of a mermaid is said to confer eternal life- to some, while others are deformed into twisted creatures called Lost Souls. The main character, Yuta, has been immortal for five hundred years, and wanders the countryside looking for a cure. Certainly more of a psychological dread than an out-and-out fear-inducer, but fascinating nonetheless.
After his sister, Sorincha, goes missing during a game of Otokoyo (similar to hide & seek) near the ruins of an abandoned city, Hiroka is next to put on the fox-mask and play, in hopes of investigating the rumours that children are being abducted by demons. Hiroka, with his friend Yaimao, enter the gates to the demon-city to discover the secret behind the missing children. This one's more philosophical, dealing with themes such as humankind encroaching on the natural world (and, by extension, the spirit world).
4. Boogiepop Phantom
Five years after a string of grisly serial killings, a strange pillar of light is seen to shoot down from the sky; one month later, high school students begin disappearing again, and the incidents are being blamed on Boogiepop Phantom (please disregard stupidity of name), an urban legend said to be a personification of Death itself. The anime presents events out of chronological order, with some scenes being shown more than once from different perspectives- the sort of thing that makes you go "Oh, THAT'S how he got there!" and suchlike.
3. Hell Girl
There's a rumour making the rounds, about a mysterious website called Hell Correspondence that only appears at midnight, and if you type in the name of one on whom you seek vengeance, your revenge will manifest... at the cost of your soul. Wonderfully atmospheric and gripping, this title is one that illustrates in stark relief the ugly lengths to which humans will go when pushed hard and far enough, and the ugly things we do to each other out of hand.
2. Hellsing (and Hellsing Ultimate)
NOW we're getting to the really bloody stuff. Alucard, a powerful vampire, is bound to serve Integra Wingates van Helsing,last surviving descendant of Abraham van Helsing, the vampire hunter who defeated the legendary Count Dracula. When incidents of vampire attacks increase in England and around Europe, the Hellsing organization learns of a surviving faction of Nazis planning on rebuilding the Third Reich with a horde of vampire super-soldiers. Some of the fight scenes have to be seen to be believed- Alucard, when he's really mad, doesn't come off 'angry vampire' so much as 'pissed-off Elder God'. It's glorious.
1. Hundred Stories
This is one of my favourite anime of all time. Yamaoka Momosuke is a young writer who has become bored with writing riddle-books for kids, and so he travels into the countryside to collect ghost stories for a compilation he's writing. When Momosuke encounters the Ongyo (a group of travelling spiritualists), he finds himself drawn into the very stories he hopes to write- he learns that ghosts happen for a reason, and when someone does something so terrible that a restless spirit is left behind, only the justice of the Afterlife can mete out appropriate punishment. Exactly the sort of gory, suspenseful morality tale I absolutely adore.
And there you have it, friends and neighbours- my nowhere-near-exhaustive list of horror-themed anime, just in time to completely devour all your free time leading up to Halloween. There's something there for almost every taste. Unless you don't like anime or cartoons, in which case there's just no pleasing you anyway, is there?