Animating Halloween: Yami Shibai 7 Episodes 7 and 8 Review

Episode 7: Public Phone

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Plot: A door to door insurance salesman, Chie, gets a frantic call from her sister late at night as she’s trying to get to an appointment. Her sister is calling from a payphone, not her cell phone, and begs Chie to come get her. She begrudgingly agrees. When she arrives, she finds the floor of the phone booth covered in broken cell phones and her sister is nowhere to be found. What is happening in this phone booth?

Breakdown: Dear god, this art is some of the worst the series has had. I don’t mind crayon-like lines and color work, but the character models are so off, and even the monster at the very end looks weird not scary.

As for the story itself, I give it points for creativity, maybe another point for the slightly creepy shots of the monster outside of booth, but that’s about it.

Chie is lured to this phone booth in the middle of the night as she makes her rounds selling insurance door to door. Her sister, Momoe, calls her in a panic begging her to come to the phone booth from which she’s calling to help her.

Chie, although annoyed, agrees and goes to the booth with about as much urgency as I have when I go to the eye doctor (For reference – super hate the eye doctor). She has zero concern and keeps thinking it’s a prank for some reason.

When she arrives, she finds the floor of the phone booth covered in broken cell phones. The public phone is off the hook, but Momoe’s voice can be heard from it. When she picks it up and talks with her for a bit, the door closes and locks her in. The air gets thin and she clears the glass to see some creepy humanoid monster outside.

She tries to call for help on her cell phone, but like the phones scattered on the floor, her screen cracks and is rendered useless. Momoe tells her that, in order to survive, she has to call someone with the phone card on top of the phone and hang up before the time runs out, otherwise, the monster will get her.

She calls who I assume is her boyfriend, Shouhei. When she hangs up, however, the timer keeps going down and Momoe apologizes. That ploy was never going to actually work. This is basically the MO of the monster. Someone gets caught by the monster, they call a loved one under this same trick, luring them down to the phone booth, but they get killed by the monster. The next person who arrives gets the same treatment. Wash, rinse, repeat for all eternity I suppose.

Chie gets eaten and, unsurprisingly, the episode ends with Shouhei about to enter the phone booth.

Sooo….does no one ever call the cops when they get caught by this thing? If it’s just a string of loved ones being called, wouldn’t someone have caught on before the floor was covered in phones? If your loved one called you in a panic from a payphone and when you arrived you found dozens of broken discarded cell phones scattered on the ground, including one she seemingly believes is her sister’s, would you not then call the cops? What happens if the person just decides to not go to the public phone? Is the monster screwed? Or does it just wait 6 months for someone to use the payphone because everyone has cell phones now?

It’s not too bad of an episode, but there’s enough wrong with it to be distracting to me and take me out of it entirely. The shot of the monster through the glass and its hand grabbing underneath the door were the only somewhat cool spots. Otherwise, it’s just okay bordering on bad.

Episode 8: Cough

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Plot: Takayuki lives in an apartment building where his neighbor is a crazy old man who is constantly complaining about the slightest noise he makes. Meanwhile, his ragged cough is enough to warrant alarm. When Takayuki hears a particularly bad coughing fit coming from his neighbor’s room, he struggles with calling 911 or just letting him suffer.

Breakdown: Here’s my play-by-play reaction to this episode.

– Wow, what a crazy old man.

– Is something going to burst from this guy? Is that why he coughs so much?

– Quite the moral struggle. I like it.

– As douchey as it is, I can’t entirely fault the guy for not calling an ambulance. The neighbor (who is related to their landlord) did threaten to get him evicted for so much as making slight noise, I can only imagine what he’d do if he felt he unnecessary called an ambulance for him.

– I don’t really think Takayuki can be blamed for the neighbor’s death, though. He seems to have died mere seconds after he put his phone down and refused to call an ambulance. Unless the paramedics have teleportation capabilities, he was dead either way.

– Oooh now shit’s going down!

– This sequence is actually pretty creepy.

– The suspense is good too!

-………………..PBBBBBBBBBBBBTTTTTHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! *laughs through the end credits*

What the hell was that ending meant to be if not hilarious? If this whole episode was a joke, bravo, but otherwise, what were they thinking?

The crazy neighbor who died comes back as a ghost milliseconds after he dies. He turns out the lights and starts slowly approaching Takayuki and his girlfriend through a weird dark tunnel thing. The sequence is pretty effective because he looks creepy and it’s paced pretty well. As he gets right up to them……he yells….YOUR TV’S TOO DAMN LOUD!

End!

What. The. Hell.

I’m conflicted even further because I didn’t want this crazy bastard to get the last laugh, I didn’t want Takayuki to die (which I assume he did) and his girlfriend was a completely innocent party I also didn’t want dead because she was insistent on calling for help. So now not only do I have a ruined ‘scary’ story, but I also feel a bit pissed that the jackass character got to win out and the likable characters died over something stupid that wasn’t even their fault.

It may have been silly, but I think my initial thought of this guy having some creature in his body that is causing his cough (and maybe causes him pain when he hears too much sound?) would’ve been better than nagging old man ghost. He might as well have yelled out ‘You damned kids, get offa mah lawn!’


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