Episode 9: The Woman in the Elevator
Plot: A woman gets on an elevator with a fairly attractive man holding a trash bag when the elevator suddenly breaks down. When they contact the elevator company through the intercom, the man on the other line claims he sees three people – the two of them and a mysterious other woman.
Breakdown: I won’t be able to get through the rest of this review without getting this off my chest – the guy in this episode looks so much like Light from Death Note. The fact that he was an eerily calm murderer on top of that made this whole episode very surreal.
Anyhoo, I enjoyed this episode for what it was, even though this was probably one of the easiest stories to figure out in this show in a very long time. Yami Shibai has a habit of either being too in-your-face with its twists or being so subtle that, no matter how long you think about it, it makes no sense. This one was a like a mix.
Like, ooh, I’m so sure there’s nothing ominous in that trash bag. The focus on his wedding ring sure has no purpose unless they’re indicating that he killed his wife. They really lay it on thick at the end that his wife’s body is in that bag and he’s going to burn it. The balls on this guy to do all of this in broad daylight too.
A few things did confused me though – How did he know the lady behind them was his wife’s ghost and to not look at her? Why did the ghost do nothing besides cry at the trash bag? Perfect opportunity to kill the guy who killed you. He’s trapped in an elevator. You can’t get much better than that. Did she need someone to look at her for her…powers to work?
Some people are theorizing that it was her pet in that bag, not her, which is why it moved in the end….but we were given no indication of any animals, and that doesn’t explain why the woman is clearly a ghost. Unless they’re implying he got rid of her body long ago and only recently killed the pet, which doesn’t make any sense. I believe he definitely killed his wife and she’s in the bag, but it’s one of many bags that he’s trying to nonchalantly dispose of one at a time. The bag is moving because oooh ghosts. It’s not moving because of the body.
Overall, while this wasn’t the scariest episode, I did get tense while the ghost was present just because I thought for sure the (living) woman would look at the ghost and die, and I did have a spot of tension afterwards as well because I thought, if the ghost wasn’t going to kill her, surely Light would. But nope. He just goes about his body burning.
I did feel really bad for the woman, though. Either way, it’s horrible. She’s either mourning her own death and crying about the fact that she’s now a pile of parts in a garbage bag or she’s dead and now her pet is also dead, murdered by the same man who killed her.
It’s not top tier Yami Shibai material, but I enjoyed it well enough.
Episode 10: Manga Cafe
Plot: An employee at a manga cafe keeps bumping into a creepy woman looking in vain for her lost earring. When the employee shares this information with his colleague, he shares a creepy story of a woman who was a regular at the cafe. But that’s impossible. She’s long since dead.
Breakdown: Another episode where the ‘twist’ is both obvious (the damn pachinko ball is the earring, dude.) but the ending threw me off for a while, and I’m not sure even the explanation I read from comments makes all that much sense.
The line that threw me off was the ghost claiming she paid for the earrings with her eyes….then an audio flashback to what the employee’s coworker told him was that woman died in an accident, but for some reason her eyes were missing from her corpse.
According to said comments, there’s either one of two explanations here. Either 1) she literally paid for her earrings by selling her eyes, which is more goofy than anything, if you ask me, or 2) she paid for the earrings with money she got from a loan shark, but she wasn’t able to pay them back so they killed her and gouged her eyes out as either part of her torment as they were killing her or symbolically. That explanation is much less goofy….but, I don’t know.
The story as a whole just didn’t grasp me. The woman wasn’t creepy enough. Only when she revealed her eyeless face does she get creepy and even then it’s not much. The plot didn’t have enough added to it to make it unique.
If that wasn’t bad enough, the art and animation for this episode just took me right out of everything too. The colors are ugly, the art is too cartoony, and even though I’m well aware this entire franchise is based on paper doll shows, no episode has seemed more paper-doll-ish than this one. I was half-expecting to see a popsicle stick taped to one of the characters.
I didn’t have a bad time watching this episode, but the horror aspect wasn’t there at all for me and the overall story was very average.
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