Episode 11: Curse
Plot: A teenager boy accidentally breaks a Jizo statue and everyone starts gossiping that he’ll soon wind up getting cursed.
Breakdown: I really liked this entry because it was a pretty good twist on the old “accidentally broke some sacred artifact and got cursed” story. The boy in this story doesn’t believe in curses at all, but he starts getting annoyed by everyone around him whispering and waiting for him to get cursed. At first, it’s just a general annoyance, but he starts seeing a strange man in a suit telling him to hurry up and get cursed already.
Soon, he starts hearing everyone around him waiting with smiles for him to get cursed and urging him to get cursed. Eventually, it’s all he sees and hears until the ending in which he falls down a flight of stairs and seemingly dies. The head of the Jizo statue rolls up next to him and starts cracking and glowing. The kid had indeed been cursed, but not in the way you’d expect.
The growing paranoia and the insensitivity of the people whispering around him made for a better scary experience than the typical bouts of bad luck or suddenly seeing ghosts experiences that most ‘cursed’ characters wind up with.
If I had one big criticism, it’d be that I think the story would have worked better if the guy went crazy and stayed that way instead of him going nuts for one day and then randomly dying. It just seems pointless to torment him for one day and then end it by killing him. There’d be a lot of irony/poetic justice, at least from the spirit’s perspective, in letting him be locked in a world where he never gets cursed, but everyone around him is eager for him to get cursed and thinks and says nothing but that around him.
Episode 12: String Telephone
Plot: A man’s young daughter brings home a string telephone she made at school and wants to talk to him with it. However, they’re not the only people on the line.
Breakdown: This one has the makings of a decent campfire story, but execution is fairly sloppy.
First of all, the art is really messy. It’s like everything was hastily drawn with a ballpoint pen.
Second of all, I have no idea how things snowballed as badly as they did in the end. He went from going a little nuts at hearing this voice on the phone to suddenly having a time lapse where his wife and daughter leave him and his house fills with garbage because he’s going insane because of this string telephone that…I guess he can’t just throw away?
And then the ghost gets him? The end?
The voice on the phone seems to be of a woman with whom he was cheating on his wife. But I don’t know if she’s dead. The guy never says she’s dead, but she has to be if that’s her ghost on the other line, right?
Why would this lady wait until his daughter made a string phone before trying to contact him? He has a cell phone. Does that not work as well?
I guess, in the end, this was just a cautionary tale about cheating? Because if you do….and your daughter makes a string phone….your life will be ruined and you’ll die in a closet?
Like I said, the bare bones of the story works well enough as a campfire ghost story, it’s everything that was added as extra material that muddies the water too much.
Episode 13: Sleeptalking
Plot: A college student becomes aware of his odd sleepwalking and sleeptalking habits where he frantically searches throughout his room for something.
Fairly lackluster season finale, if you ask me. It is kinda scary to think that you’re doing or saying strange things in your sleep without realizing it, and continuing to do the same weird actions over and over every night would be kinda creepy, but this story just didn’t have much to it.
After spending a fun night with his old childhood friend, a college student becomes aware of the fact that he wakes up every night searching his room for something. In order to figure out what’s happening, he films himself one night to watch video footage of it happening. He turns his room upside down searching for something when he finally finds what or, more to the point, who was missing.
I needed a third party to explain the ending to me, but apparently, and without any context clues beforehand, he and the childhood friend from before actually had a third best friend who went missing. The college student was searching for that friend in his sleep. The friend shows up, off screen, and says he found him, but now he’s missing and the third friend will search for him, implying that the third remaining friend will sleepwalk/talk as well until the day he vanishes and they’re all reunited in whatever purgatory world they’re vanishing off to.
I guess that’s kinda clever, but I wish it had been more properly set up is all.
And that was the final episode of season eight of Yami Shibai! My full review will be up soon, and then we’ll move on to season nine!
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