Animating Halloween: Yami Shibai 4 Episodes 5 and 6

Episode 5: Night Bus

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Plot: On a night bus trip with his friends, a teenage boy has to make a rest stop after getting a terrible stomachache. When he returns, he gets back on the bus but realizes that something is strange about the other passengers.

Breakdown: The strongest episode so far, though predictable after the midway point. This episode tries to skew back into mostly creepy and realistic territory and it works in its favor. This is also one of those stories where I don’t really need to know the backstory of the paranormal phenomenon for it to have a full impact.

Just as a tally, today’s live-action shot was the boy’s hand holding his phone, though the screen is still obviously animated. The art style is also getting notably more typical anime-style-ish, and apparently the narrator is changing in every episode. No idea why.

Episode 6: Guess Who?

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Plot: A young teenage girl finally gets up the courage to ask her senpai out on a date. They have a great time, but just as she’s about to gather the courage to talk about their relationship further as they wait for the train, she’s interrupted and he excuses himself for a moment. While she sits alone waiting for him, she realizes that they’re not the only two there.

Breakdown: Getting even better with this episode. This one is a bit more off-putting from the rest in a somewhat bad manner because it’s done in even more traditional anime style, particularly with the girl. Kinda takes you out of the kamishibai format, but it’s not too bad yet.

This episode is one of those stories where it’s both scary yet sad at the same time. It’s also very confusing. I’m going to lay it all out here for you so maybe I can get some different views, so be warned of spoilers.

A shy teenage girl gets up the nerve to ask her crush, known only as Senpai, out on a date to an amusement park. They have a great time all day and then sit at the train station as they prepare to go home. She wants to ask if he has a girlfriend, but gets interrupted as a train goes by. Senpai excuses himself to go get a drink, leaving the girl by herself in the empty train station. She spots a pale girl on the bench on the platform on the other side of the tracks. She gets up and walks toward the tracks and is just about to reach the edge of the platform when the train whizzes by, obscuring the girl’s sight. When the train clears, there’s no sign of the girl and no indication that she was hit by the train.

As she wonders what happened, her face is suddenly covered by a pair of hands and the voice of her senpai says ‘Guess who?’ She starts to get flustered by the physical contact and again attempts to ask him if he has a girlfriend. However, before she can ask, he presses his hands into her face, hurting her. She tries to pry him off of her when she suddenly starts forgetting who Senpai is. As she manages to sneak a peak through the fingers covering her eyes, she sees her reflection and realizes the girl from before is covering her eyes.

At this realization, the girl completely forgets everything about her senpai. She transforms to look somewhat similar to the creepy girl and completely forgets who she is as well before she disappears from the bench.

Some people in the comments theorized that this was a girl who died while waiting for her date, so whenever she sees young people on a date, she erases the girl’s memories of the boy and then kills them, but that doesn’t make much sense to me.

My first time watching this, I thought she really wasn’t on a date with anyone and was caught in a loop or something like that, mostly because we never see Senpai come back. However, that doesn’t bode too well with me either.

Not that Yami Shibai has ever aimed to make much sense. The ending is creepy to me, and the story as a whole is very sad if this was indeed an innocent girl who was tragically killed right before she was able to officially get together with her crush. I can’t even say ‘well, at least she was able to spend her final day having fun with someone she cared for’ because she doesn’t remember it.

This is also the first time where the live-action shots have actually worked in the show’s favor. This time, we see hands covering up the screen like we were the girl in the scenario experiencing and seeing what she saw. It was very effective, and also worked surprisingly well when they kept flashing back and forth between that style and the regular animation during the rest of the scene.

I, personally, really liked this episode, despite the confusing logic behind the ending. What’s your interpretation?