As a Spooky October Special, I decided to write a reaction post on the creepy tales of Yamishibai: Japanese Ghost Stories (Season 1). These five-minute stories are based on Japanese myths and urban legends, and are told in kamishibai, a traditional style of storytelling that uses picture scrolls and paper figures.
Ep. 1 The Talisman Woman
Talisman Woman? Is this some sort of exorcism?
*JUMPS* OMG. There had to be a pop-up…
So many talismans…
A man, a new apartment, talismans. I think this story is referring to people, who rent or purchase a new home that was previously owned by someone else, but they do not know the previous owner’s household history. For all we know, the previous owner could have died and may be haunting the place. Hence, if you are superstitious, you may bless a house before you start living in it, just so that no one can haunt you.
Ep. 2 Zanbai
For this episode, I think the cultural barrier prevents me from truly understanding the storyline. From my assumptions though, it seems that this act, zanbai, is a curse or a bad omen.
Ep. 3 The Family Rule
Laughter is usually a positive trait. It makes people all happy and joyful, but in this case, it isn’t. Also doesn’t that face remind you of The Joker?
Ep. 4 Hair
For this episode, it reminded me of certain Japanese horror films that pertain to ghosts trapped in technology such as Ring and Pulse. In this case, there is a ghost living in the copy machine.
Ep. 5 The Next Floor
A family went to go get a birthday present for their son at a department store. The father got called-in for work, which made his wife upset because it was their son’s birthday. Since the husband is a workaholic and enjoys being alone, the elevator seems to take him to a place of solitude and darkness. The lesson I got from this short story is that there are certain moments in life where family matters more than work or anything else.
Ep. 6 The Overhead Rack
There is this creature that looks like a blob of raw ground beef on the overhead rack in a train. The man is going home from work, and appears to be tired and stress. I think the alien blob is his self-conscious because he is the only one who could see it, and the blob seems to be swallowing him whole.
On a side note, this whole scene made me feel uncomfortable because the train is cramped with people, and the atmosphere seems to be all hot, musty, and sweaty.
Ep. 7 Contradiction
Why would you even go to a haunted house in the first place?
Two friends, Mayumi and Tooru go into a haunted house and tell their friend, Yuuko, who is at home, two different versions about what happened on their adventure. The stories are the same except that each of them blames the other for acting weird. The moral lesson I got from this story is never open the door to a stranger.
Hope you enjoyed reading my thoughts on Yamishibai: Japanese Ghost Stories. Stay tune for more reactions.
You can watch Yamishibai: Japanese Ghost Stories on Crunchyroll.