Animating Halloween: Yami Shibai 4 Episodes 7 and 8

Episode 7: Footsteps

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Plot: A man on a shopping outing with his wife visits the restroom for a minute when he hears non-stop footsteps outside of the stall.

Breakdown: I can’t really decide if this episode was good or bad. On one hand, the footsteps were unnerving as they increased in intensity, and the final shot was kinda spooky. Plus the narrator for this episode is a fantastic story teller with his voice. On the other hand, this is another Yami Shibai episode that takes place in a toilet….Also, they kinda stretch for the spooky atmosphere here by making the stall very dark when it logically shouldn’t be. A bathroom in a crowded mall being mostly dark? Why?

It also has a confusing ‘story’. I guess the marks on the wall were sigils to ward off whatever was making the footstep noises, but why write them in such easily removable ink? Why is whatever is haunting this bathroom haunting this bathroom?

Middle of the road material, I suppose.

The live-action shots of the episode were just shots of him holding his phone, which has already been done and doesn’t add to the atmosphere or story at all.

Episode 8 – Cassette Tape

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Plot: A young man is returning to his old childhood home for the wedding of one of his childhood friends. As he rustles through the stuff preserved perfectly in his old bedroom, he finds a tape titled ‘What happened today?’, which turns out to be an old audio journal he kept as a child. As he listens with nostalgia, he realizes that something is odd about what he’s saying and how he’s speaking. He soon has no recollection of the odd things he seems to be noting as the tape continues. So….what happened today?

Breakdown: Now we’re getting back into the good ol’ funk of the original Yami Shibai….but ultimately ending a bit flat.

This is just some nice psychological screwing that unnerves you from nearly the instant the tape starts. Also, the shot of the tape playing is the live-action shot for the episode, giving it a tad more creepiness.

The ending, while being ominous, is also very open-ended, which is why it’s somewhat flat. There’s some weird box that he keeps bringing up, but we never see the box or have any indication what’s inside it.

All in all, one of the stronger entries in this season. Just needed a firmer landing.