Animating Halloween: Yami Shibai Episode 11 and 12 Review

Episode 11 – Video


Plot: Three middle-school boys are trying to finish up their homework before their summer break is over. When they start to get antsy, one of them decides to play a tape that his cousin lent him that supposedly shows a ghost.

Breakdown: Well, this one certainly makes up for the poo monster.

This episode is arguably the best and scariest one yet, though it also exercises the tried and true ghost story method of a ghost/monster on a video tape. The pacing and atmosphere are great, even if it’s a little predictable, and the jump scare was pretty good too. While a good chunk is kinda predictable, the absolutely ending twist did get me, and the visuals for that shot were just fantastic, especially with the angle.

And, really people, remember, if someone lends you a tape that supposedly has ghost footage on it, for the love of god, don’t play it. Especially if the person wrapped the tape in electrical tape to prevent people from watching it. Not only is that a bad omen, but hell, that electrical tape gunk has to be bad for the VCR heads.

Why didn’t they just burn the tape if they knew what it was?

Episode 12: Tomonari


Plot: A teenage girl lives in a housing complex that a bunch of kids also happen to live in. One day, she spots the kids sitting in a circle and asks what they’re doing. They claim they’re playing with their friend, Tomonari, though this ‘friend’ turns out to be a weird black stain on the pavement. They ask if she’ll play with them, but she says she’s busy and promises to play some other time. She’ll keep her promise….Tomonari will make sure of that.

Breakdown: This one is more on the creepy side than full-on scary, but it’s a pretty unique take on a ghost kid story. Hell, the actual kids in their own right are pretty creepy. I have to wonder if they’re under some spell from Tomonari or if they really don’t get that something bad is happening. Do they really see a normal boy in this weird stain?

I am really curious as to what Tomonari actually is. I feel like the stain is supposed to be his remains, like the blob in The Overhead Rack. And that he’s just a lonely spirit looking for friends, yet the circumstances of his death, whatever they were, causes him to sometimes get these friends through violent manners.

Overall, pretty creepy episode. Not terrible frightening, but still gives you chills.

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Animating Halloween: Yami Shibai Episodes 9 and 10 Review

Episode 9 – Curse


Plot: A little girl is being plagued by a terrible curse that is causing her great pain and turning her skin black and purple with an ominous hand print gripping her arm. Can anything free her from this hex?

Breakdown: Gonna keep this one shorter than normal because 1) it wasn’t scary and 2) it was just plain sad. There’s no creature this time around, just curse markings and this is one of those unfair ‘you’re cursed because your ancestors did something to get cursed’ curses.

The girl is perfectly nice, the mother is incredibly caring and even the priest and priestess trying to help her were really kind. This is just something terrible happening to a bunch of people who don’t deserve it. There aren’t even any jump scares, it’s just sadness.

Episode 10 – Moon


Plot: A bunch of high school boys are staying overnight at an old-fashioned inn for a trip for their baseball team. One of the boys reminisces that they’ve been there before and recalls that another boy, Daisuke, fell in the pit toilet, yet Daisuke doesn’t remember. What happened down there?

Breakdown: This one is just silly to me, I’m sorry. Let me spoil it for you; haunted toilet. There ya go. That’s all you need to know.

Sure, porta potties and pit toilets are a bit creepy considering there could be anything down there from animals to creepers with cameras (it has happened), but come on; a haunted toilet? That warrants an animated short?

They throw in a jump scare or two, but I have a hard time staying creeped out or scared when all I can think of is poop…and the other boys’ nickname for Daisuke when he fell in the toilet in first grade; Doo-suke. I’m supposed to be scared at a short that says ‘Doo-suke’

And this is yet another story that would probably benefit from a backstory. Why is there a creature down there? Is that the spirit of another boy who died after falling in the toilet? It looks creepy, I guess, but the final scene with it just looks kinda stupid, especially with the craggy animation.

……And what the hell does this have to do with the moon? Does it only come out during full moons? Is it a were-poo monster?

If you’re referencing mooning, I’m going to put my foot through my screen.

Let me end this on the same note the short did.


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