Plot: A little boy drawing on a slide presents us with tales of demons and monsters.
Breakdown: Well, now we’re at Yami Shibai 3, the season most people seem to hate with a passion, for some reason. Nearly every comment I saw about this season was slamming it in some way.
People ranking the seasons always put this one last or called it terrible. The comments on the individual episodes called the stories stupid, boring and plain not scary.
I will admit, the sudden change in format and the seeming change in subject matter was a bit difficult to deal with. However, is it really on the lowest rung of the ladder for this franchise so far?
Episode 1 – Lend it to Me: A creepy little story with a successful jump scare at the end. In hindsight, the monster looks a tiny bit silly, but it’s only on screen for a few seconds and it’s not that bad.
Episode 2 – Tunnel: I called this episode the scariest one of the series so far, and I would probably say that statement still stands up even after watching the rest of the series. Successful jump scares, creepy atmosphere, freaky imagery – it’s just a really effective episode.
Episode 3 – Rat: The first ‘meh’ entry of the season, I’m not that freaked out by rats, the husband is a complete ass, and the final imagery is a little silly. It’s a bit squicky, but doesn’t really warrant anything above an ‘okay’.
Episode 4 – The Noisy Hospital Room: Creepy setting with a couple of decent scares, but ultimately disappointing with somewhat silly visuals.
Episode 5 – The Museum of Taxidermy: Another creepy setting with some nice atmosphere, but ultimately predictable and kinda meh.
Episode 6 – “That Side” Festival: A mixed bag in regards to freaky imagery, but not really that scary and has a fairly sad ending.
Episode 7 – Behind: This one is just completely ruined by the visuals, which are cartoony and laughable. The sad part is that the actual story is fairly strong, but the imagery just makes it fail.
Episode 8 – The Empress Doll: This one had so much going for it. Great atmosphere, creepy environment, freaky visuals and creative ideas, but it is marred very badly by the BOO ending.
Episode 9 – The Fourth Man: This episode has a decent enough set up, but it’s predictable from start to finish, the visuals aren’t that creepy, the monsters are very easy to avoid and the ending is cheap.
Episode 10 – Merry-Go-Round: Very effective in its setting and atmosphere with some pretty freaky moments, this one also just ends up being silly in the end. And I mean really silly. Despite the silly ending, this was a very memorable episode that made something unique out of itself instead of relying on clowns like I was worried it would do.
Episode 11 – Cuckoo: Good atmosphere and buildup, but this isn’t scary at all, is barely interesting in its story and ends up being pretty silly. Plus, I really believe that grandma is a bitch. She must’ve known what that clock really was, yet she just lets her granddaughter get caught up in it.
Episode 12 – Water: About as interesting and creative as its name – this episode is milquetoast at best and silly at worst.
Episode 13 – Drawing: The best season finale of all three seasons, and a very well-written and composed tie-up to the story of the little boy who has taken over the narrator’s job this season. The actual story itself is a little predictable once you get into it and the visuals aren’t fantastically scary, but it’s a great entry in this series and really makes up for the narrator’s absence, especially the absolute end.
I’d say this season is on the same level, roughly, as YS2. Neither are as good as S1, but this definitely doesn’t deserve all the hate it’s getting, in my opinion.
Additional Information and Notes: Yami Shibai 3 was directed by Takashi Taniguchi and Tomohisa Ishikawa, and was written by Hiromu Kumamoto. It was produced by ILCA and is currently licensed in the US by Sentai Filmworks.
Recommended Audience: The Museum of Taxidermy is pretty much the worst you get in terms of gore, and even that’s not too bad. Typical scary situations and whatnot. 7+
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