Yami Shibai Episode 5 – The Next Floor
Plot: A father is taking his son out to buy his birthday present at the mall when he suddenly has to leave for work. His mother is tasked with buying the boy a gift, but the mother coldly guilt trips his father by saying outright that his work means more to him than his son. Irritated by his wife’s attitude and her gall to say such a thing in front of their son, he merely wishes he were left alone. However, when he boards the elevator, he finds he just might get his wish.
Breakdown: This one works a bit better without the backstory as it’s one of those ‘be careful what you wish for’ morals, essentially. They typically don’t need intricate backstories to really get a decent grip on who’s doing this and why.
This segment was probably the creepiest one of all so far considering its familiar and modern setting and everyday events. While the mother is a major bitch, this family is also very realistic, allowing you to connect with them and worry for the safety of the father.
Problem is, I feel like the father didn’t deserve such a fate. He has a very valid point; it’s his working so hard that allows him to buy nice gifts for their child and, of course, live what I assume to be a fairly comfortable life, yet his wife is treating him like garbage and trying to alienate their son away from him. She’s literally saying ‘Yes, son, Daddy cares more about work than he does you. Now let’s buy all sorts of nice stuff for you with the money he makes from that job he has.’
Of course he wished to be left alone after that. Anyone would be pissed off if someone said that to them. We have nothing indicating that his dad’s a workaholic asshole. If he was, he wouldn’t have been there to begin with.
Really just makes you feel bad for the father and the son. Hell, I feel even worse for the son because now he has to deal with being brought up by his slag of a mother who will probably only talk about his father in a bad light as he grows up.
I kinda have to wonder if the mother was the one who triggered all that because she sure looks creepy enough.
In the end, this one was legitimately scary with imagery, atmosphere and relatability working in its favor, but you do end up feeling bad for the poor guy.
Episode 6 – The Overhead Rack
Plot: A man who is extremely fatigued from working day in and out rides the train home one day when he spots a weird blob-like creature on the overhead rack.
Breakdown: This story kinda explains itself, which is nice because it negates the seeming need for us to be given a backstory. From what I can surmise, avoiding spoilers as much as I can, this creature on the overhead rack used to be a person who committed suicide by train and now he’s killing people off by possessing them and forcing them to kill themselves in the same manner as he did.
Another thing about this episode is that the art is noticeably different. Everyone looks kinda distorted and odd compared to how the art usually looks. If I wanted to analyze this whole short on a psychological basis, I might say that this is depicting depression. He is annoyed by how happy and energetic everyone else around him is, perhaps envious that his life is so exhausting and disheartening, and his views on the world as a whole are distorted, like how everything is depicted as just being off.
The creature may represent suicide ideation, even though this man has shown no real inkling of wanting to kill himself before this creature’s appearance. It’s latching onto people who specifically seem depressed and force the ideal on them, which is an interesting way to approach that topic to say the least.
Finally, the creature is incredibly creepy, though we don’t see how creepy it really is until we get a closeup. At first, it just seems like a red blob with a bit of a slit for a mouth. But when it gets closer we see that it has a realistic mouth with gnashing teeth and a shaking eyeball. Like I mentioned, it’s surmised that this thing was a person who died by suicide by train, so I assume this is a depiction of what was left of his body as a creature. In which case I say that is damn effective. This show really has an awesome knack for frightening visuals.