Ayakashi Japanese Classic Horror

Watch Ayakashi Japanese Classic Horror

  • 2007

Ayakashi: Japanese Classic Horror is a mesmerizing anime television series that brings to life the feudal Japan of the Edo period. Produced by Toei Animation, the show premiered in Japan in 2006 and features a unique blend of traditional Japanese horror stories with an anime twist. Viewers are transported to a world of Yokai, demons, and supernatural phenomena that lay at the heart of ancient Japanese mythology.

Ayakashi Japanese Classic Horror primarily revolves around three main story arcs: Yotsuya Kaidan, Tenshu Monogatari, and Bake Neko. Each of these arcs is inspired by real-life Japanese horror tales that date back to the 17th century. The series explores the dark sides of human nature and delves into the depths of human desires, highlighting how they can turn even the most innocuous situations into pure horror.

The first story arc, Yotsuya Kaidan, is a classic tale of love, betrayal, and revenge. It follows Iemon Tamiya, a poor samurai, who abandons his faithful wife to marry the daughter of a wealthy merchant. However, the union turns sour, and Iemon arranges for his wife's murder to be with the woman he loves. What follows is a chilling and gruesome tale of revenge that leaves the viewer gasping for breath.

The second arc, Tenshu Monogatari, takes place in a Buddhist temple where a group of nuns lives. The head nun's most cherished possession, a miniature Buddha statue, is stolen, and the culprit is the temple's gardener. The story takes a devilish turn when the artifact is revealed to be cursed and possessed by an evil spirit.

Finally, Bake Neko explores the legend of the cat monster that takes revenge on those who harm its kittens. This particular arc is unique in that it features a span of three episodes, double the length of the preceding ones. It is primarily a study of the relationships between humans and Yokai in feudal Japan, highlighting the similarities and differences between the two groups.

Regardless of the arc, each episode of Ayakashi Japanese Classic Horror is a feast for the eyes, with beautifully animated scenes, recreating the Edo period, and a haunting soundtrack that amplifies the series' eerie nature. The production team's attention to detail is truly something to be admired, from the intricate designs of the characters' clothing to the symbols and motifs that are specific to Japanese folklore.

The show's execution and ambiance are heavily influenced by the works of the legendary Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa. It features voicing actors from the famous "Tokusatsu" giant monster movie franchise, which parents and grandparents of Japanese children are familiar with.

Ayakashi Japanese Classic Horror's thoughtful and deliberate pacing allows for fully-formed characters with their unique motives and experiences, even if their roles are limited to the story's margins. The series inspects the traditional mindset of the Japanese society of that era and scrutinizes how it contributed to the social ills, some of which still persist.

In conclusion, Ayakashi Japanese Classic Horror is a must-see for any horror lover and lover of anime. It is a rare gem that has a respectable place among Japanese anime and deserves more attention from the international audience. Its portrayal of Japan's rich literary tradition will leave viewers in awe, and its horror stories are bound to send shivers down their spines. The show proves that good old-fashioned storytelling and excellent animation can work together to produce a series that is both entertaining and aesthetically pleasing.

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  • Premiere Date
    December 12, 2007