Ranked #2422
Yami Shibai

Yami Shibai

Alternative Titles

English: Yamishibai: Japanese Ghost Stories
Synonyms: Theater of Darkness
Japanese: 闇芝居


Type: TV
Episodes: 13
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Jul 15, 2013 to Sep 30, 2013
Producers: TV Tokyo, ILCA
Duration: 4 min. per episode
Rating: PG-13 - Teens 13 or older
L represents licensing company


Score: 7.221 (scored by 8542 users)
Ranked: #24222
Popularity: #1672
Members: 15,865
Favorites: 38
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top anime page.

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Akin to TV Tokyo's Folktales from Japan, Yamishibai: Japanese Ghost Stories takes a narrative format to explore the rich occult history from Japan. Moreover, the storytelling techniques in this brand new series will mimic kamishibai—a traditional storytelling technique inspired by the artistic usage of paper figures and scrolls.

Yamishibai is a picture-story style of animation whose motif is surrounded and based off rumors and urban legends throughout the history of Japan.

(Source: Crunchyroll)

Related Anime

Sequel: Yami Shibai 2nd Season

Characters & Voice Actors

Story teller
Story teller
Tsuda, Kanji
Tsuda, Kanji


Kumamoto, Hiromu
Hatsune, Miku
Theme Song Performance

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Dec 23, 2014
Theatre of Darkness will be the shortest hour of your life.

Allow me address the elephant in the room – the episode runtime. The problem here is I do not lean strongly either way because I cannot completely tear down nor defend it. I will say it is a big factor as to why I did not rate this a perfect 10, though. Visually, it is compelling. There are times when the quality falters, but because of the stylistic choices which fit in with the cutout 'theatre' image, I cannot complain. The sound and atmospheric design is very well done. And most importantly, the horror is read more
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Aug 10, 2013
Esta review también está en español.

Step right up and have a look… It's time for Theater of Darkness…

With this ominous presentation, a mysterious man wearing a golden mask invites us to enjoy Yamishibai: Japanese Ghost Stories (Theater of darkness, and from now on, YS), an anthology of Japanese rumors and urban legends, full of spirits, ghost, curses, and all those creepy things we like so much. No gore or extreme violence here, only pure, clean terror.

Unlike creations like Ayakashi: Japanese Classic Horror or Kousetsu Hyaku Monogatari, which both had a more medieval setting (or at least, before the Meiji era), YS take place in read more
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Oct 23, 2013
Sometimes the simplest of ideas work surprisingly well. Yamishibai: Japanese Ghost Stories (or Theater of Darkness) is essentially the animated equivalence of telling spooky stories by the campfire. Of course, unlike campfire ghost stories, it has the advantage of telling its story through visuals and atmosphere setting sound design. This is as rudimentary as storytelling gets, short and quick to the point. Yet these tales of horror are plenty effective; distilling the tense atmosphere and shocks which make those short ghost stories so much fun.

Yamishibai wholly commits to creating a creepy atmosphere from beginning to end. The short opening for every episode has a man read more
I found this review Helpful  Not Helpful
Aug 4, 2013
Yami Shibai actually is not bad. It may be rated G, but it can get insanely creepy at times. The stories are also well written, unique, and diverse. They are the type of short stories that stick with you. I also like how most of the ending mainly implied, but open to interpretation.

I don't care much for the artwork. It is very artistic. The animation mimics kamishibai well. It's just a little too different for my taste. It has a semi realist style too it. It kind of blurs the border as to what defines an anime at times. On the bright read more
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Tales of horror are told in these two series. They focus on almost an entirely different character/story every time and these usually involves strange events dealing with supernatural elements.

The elements of horror are present as the characters in the stories are often met with unfortunate results.
Both are collection of short horror stories. While Yami Shibai has 13 four minute long stories, Yonimo Osoroshii Nihon Mukashibanashi has three 20 minute long stories.
**This is my first recommendation, so apologies if it's a bit long or anything like that.**

At first the two may not seem as similar as they actually are - Yami Shibai is based on traditional Japanese ghost stories, and Shiki is based on a mysterious epidemic spreading in the village. The two can't possibly be similar, since Yami Shibai doesn't have anything like that, whereas everything about Shiki is completely different from YS too, right?

Not necessarily. There are some deeper similarities between the two, but first, here are some apparent differences:

-I think that quite a lot, if not all of, YS relies on shock value. Many scenes shock the viewer and makes it worth watching. Shiki doesn't rely on this as much, and instead works with a much more detailed plot, greater character development, etc.
-The plot of the two aren't similar at all. Whereas Shiki has an overarching storyline between episodes, YS doesn't have any of that. Each episode is self-contained.
-YS is based on traditional Japanese ghost stories, but I feel that Shiki is a more modern take on the supernatural, definitely so when compared with something like YS.

But I think that's where the differences end. I certainly can't think of any more.

So, the similarities between YS and Shiki:

-Starting with the obvious, both are horror animes and deal with the supernatural in one way or another. I would say, watching both of them for the first time, that they were both equally well done. Even though the two series branch off (YS goes for horror while Shiki is more about morals), both Shiki's and YS's opening episodes had me equally creeped out.

-Both have the same creepy atmosphere - I was distinctly reminded of series such as Shiki, Corpse Party and Another while I watched this, but Shiki definitely came to mind more often.

-Both are novel takes on anime. YS differs from the usual moe-fanservice-harem combination that is seen so many times in modern animes nowadays, and gets straight to the point. I'm not sure if I've seen any animes at all lately which are as concise as YS. Shiki is also very far from what a certain overrated book may seem like if it was adapted into anime. If I was to combine the two into one group, and compare it with a third, similar anime, I would choose either Madoka Magica or Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt - as both of them are also novel takes on anime (Mahou Shoujou genre - and just for the record, I would recommend those too).

-Finally, both give the viewer valuable lessons in life. In YS, without (hopefully) revealing too much about the plot, I think that the most important underlying things you learn about, which may be hard to see at first but are definitely there buried under the horror and shock, are the importance of family, how life isn't all about working, and there's at least one other which I can think of late in the series. In Shiki, the lesson there is mainly a moral one, to view both sides of the argument and to avoid prejudice and stereotyping, and to realise that sometimes there isn't just a "good" or "evil", but only "necessity".
Both are compilation of short horror stories. Both have simmilar "simple" animation with very few action, but both still manage to send some chills down your spine. Both are based on Japanese urban legends. If you liked one, check the other one.
both give you this creepy feeling that is hard to describe unless someone has seen the series, both have a ton of creepy characters, both series tell different stories, though yami shibai does so for each episode and umineko does so in several arcs, beside that both series are series that should be watched alone in a dark room
Both are collection of short horror stories. While Yami Shibai has 13 four minute long stories, Yonimo Osoroshii Nihon Mukashibanashi has three 18 minute long stories.

Opening Theme

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Ending Theme

"Kaifuu Emaki" by AVtechNO! and Teniwoha (performed using Hatsune Miku)

Recent News

'Yami Shibai' Second Season Announced Airing Summer 2014
49 replies by Zero »»
02-28-14, 9:03 AM
Summer 2013 Simulcast List ( 1 2 3 4 5 )
204 replies by AbZeroNow »»
09-10-13, 6:58 PM

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The Shorts Club, Yami Shibai, Short Animes, Yokai Club, True Horror

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