Episode 5: The Dripping
Plot: A man spends too much time reading at a mini-mart after work. When he decides to walk home, he sees that it has started to rain. He spots an umbrella in a stand outside of the mini-mart and realizes it probably belongs to the creepy man who was reading next to him. He decides to take it anyway and starts to walk home. No matter the circumstances, you shouldn’t steal anything from others….
Breakdown: This has been one of the more chilling and legitimate scary entries of Yami Shibai in quite a while. There are no jump scares, but there’s a great deal of build up, creepy moments and great horror shots. You sympathize with the protagonist enough to worry about his safety, but you also realize a tiny bit that he stole an umbrella, and that’s wrong….Not ‘you should die’ wrong, but still.
Only thing about this story is that I’m a little confused as to what’s happening. The creepy guy definitely seems to be the owner of the umbrella and he seems to know what happens to the people who steal it. Is he setting up this trap on purpose? For what reason? Who is this girl whose soul seems to be attached to the umbrella?
Despite that, this is certainly one of the scarier episodes of the series.
Episode 6: Sakura
Plot: A man is hospitalized after a car accident. He hears children talking to him through the wall, asking to be his friend. He agrees and is happy to have some kind company as he recovers, but what happens when they want to meet him as the cherry blossoms fall outside?
Breakdown: This was certainly an eerie one. Starting off on an uncomfortable note is merely the fact that the man is hospitalized. He has a broken leg hung up in a sling, so he can’t really move to escape danger should it appear.
A majority of the episode goes on quite pleasantly. He’s just talking to these kids, enjoying the company, and then, one night, more voices join and they want to see him. Though some of the voices, particularly the children, aren’t so keen on the idea.
Spoilers! The big twist of this episode is a strange one, but explains why it’s called Sakura. Apparently, the big bad of the episode was the cherry tree outside. It was, I guess, demonic and lured many patients into hanging themselves from the branches over the years. It was about to do the same to the man, but the nurse stopped him getting up in the middle of the night. The next day, the tree was mysteriously cut down.
And thus, the day was saved by a nameless, faceless lumberjack. And, possibly, the nurse because she seemed like she kinda knew what was going on.
This twist certainly caught me off guard, and, while it is weird, it was also creative and creepy. Some people in the comments were complaining about another story ending with a happy ending, but not all horror needs death. It just needs suspense, atmosphere, tension and a feeling of personal concern. Plus, it’s not like it’s all that happy – tons of people were lured to their death by a tree, and they possibly still haunt the stump. They found death in a horrible way and can’t seem to rest.
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