Animating Halloween: Yami Shibai Episodes 3 and 4 Review

Yami Shibai Episode 3 – The Family Rule


Plot: Toshiharu has recently moved back to the country with his parents. They meet with their extended family to discuss a ritual where they stave off a demon or spirit with laughter through the night since the spirit feeds on hatred and fear.

Breakdown: This one actually fares a bit better than the previous two episodes because it bothers to explain a little bit about what’s going on. This family is plagued by visits from a demon that possesses people and possibly kills them or other people. The demon feeds off of hatred and fear, so on the one day of the year where the demon seems to be active, the family laughs through the night.

I guess I just don’t entirely understand the ending. No spoilers, but I don’t get what happened with this ritual to make it end like that. Was it purely Toshiharu interrupting them? Because they seem to have been affected before he started spying on them. Was it the fact that Toshiharu wasn’t laughing? Because you’d think someone would tell him to participate if that was a problem. I just figured it was only the adults who needed to it.

I will also add that this episode has the freakiest imagery so far. That ending was just straight up creepy.

Episode 4 – Hair


Plot: A teacher is working late one night when she tries to copy a paper and finds a hair mark copied on the paper. Is it just a few stray hairs or is she not alone?

Breakdown: This one is…..weird. It’s still creepy in its own right, but let me just get down to it, it’s a haunted copier. There’s a weird spirit of a girl with long hair living in the copier. That’s pretty much it for this whole short. There’s no twist, it’s just a creepy girl in a copier.

Schools at night already have an air of fright around them, and hair is a bit squicky, but when you get down to it it’s still a girl haunting a copier.

And this is another example of why these stories would benefit from being actual background information instead of flash-in-the-pan four minute shorts. Why is this girl haunting this copier? Why is her hair her main feature? Why is she seemingly killing people who use the copier at night? How did she die? From the way she’s dressed, I wouldn’t even say she was a student there.

All in all….just fairly weird.

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