Kowabon is an original horror story which examines the possibility of there being a darker side to the digital age. What if someone, or something, was observing us through all our cameras and other digital devices for its own sinister purpose? Are there sinister supernatural elements at play in this age where people can’t go one minute without looking at their phone?
The series is animated using a technique called rotoscoping. In other words the animators are tracing live-action footage frame-by-frame to recreate it as animation.
Kowabon is a 13 episode original horror series using rotoscoping, with each episode lasting a brisk 3 minutes. Starting out, I've read some of the negative reviews and definitely understand the negative views towards the anime, but I want to say that the purpose of the show isn't to have some overarching developed horror concept like Another and other "full-lengthed" anime. It's sort of like a 3 minute does of horror, telling the story of a single incident with each episode. So, I feel like it's unfair to deduct points for not developing its horror-concept or having an overarching storyline, since it never meant to do so. Instead of being a "full-blown show," it's more like sitting around the campfire listening to short ghost stories.
Kowabon is told in 3 minute increments, which gives enough time to showcase one setting and one incident. As I've sort of said previously, each episode is standalone and just a way to entertain yourself for 3 quick minutes during break or in the morning or something, so do not expect anything grand.
The rotoscoping is pretty interesting, and really some of the biggest enjoyment came from seeing this uncommon technique at work, which is why I enjoy the credits a lot (it shows the "behind the scenes" of the recording that the animation is based on for each episode). Episode 1's animation was kind of bad but it gets cleaner in later episodes.
Nothing too special, never noticed anything bad from the sound effects so I guess it's a 7.
Characters never develop, but that's due to the format of the show rather than a bad production. (No recurring characters, show tells a new story each episode)
I really wasn't that into the show about 3 episodes in, but once it got into its groove I started to enjoy it more. There is some good horror and some meh horror, and the "behind the scenes" in the credits and the rotoscoping add up to a 7 in enjoyment for me.
It's clear from the reviews and the ratings that the show did not work for a lot of people, so if you're thinking of watching the show, my strongest advice is to see the show for what it is: A fun little horror show, kinda like that "Scary Stories to tell in the Dark" book, and an experiment with rotoscoping. View it casually, and this show can definitely please.read more
When I first saw this show was horror I was looking forward to watching it but I was also worried as it is a hard genre to do well and even more so in anime.
I ended up watching all the episodes in one go and I am writing this right after finishing the final episode. Let me just say I am a huge fan of horror if its in books, movies or anime and it is pretty hard to scare me as I have watched horror for so long now. That said this show did manage to creep me out. I think it helps as every episode is only 3 minutes long so it does not keep you waiting ages for the reveal and it keeps you attention. Also using the internet, and electronics gives it more of a creepy feeling as they are things we all use all the time and in the show there is no real reason told to us why it is happening, it makes you feel as if what is happening to some of the people could happen to you.
The show makes me think of telling stories around a campfire, they are short and scary, and it works.
I really enjoyed this show, a lot more then I thought I would, and I really hope for a second series.
When I first read a summary about this anime, I was pretty intrigued, never having seen or even heard of rotoscoping before. The fact that this technique was going to be used for a short horror anime sounded even better!
I have to admit that I was pretty disappointed with the outcome though. I appreciated the experimental technique, but felt that the anime as a whole was lacking in direction and plot. At the very least, I thought they should've done a different story for each episode, but instead, it was essentially the same idea with different people. It became boring very quickly.
I don't think this anime deserves a score lower than 3/10, simply because the technique was interesting and would probably appeal to fans of Japanese horror. I thought some of the other effects were a nice touch, such as glitching and static. I also enjoyed the small segment during the credits which shows the behind-the-scenes filming process.
Overall, I wouldn't recommend this anime unless you're a big fan of Japanese horror and/or rotoscoping. Otherwise, don't waste your time.read more
It was really disappointing; there was pretty much no plot. I didn't understand anything. They didn't even wrap up the anime at all; the last episode was just another 3 minute-long episode.
A lot of people were saying how it's not scary at all, but at some parts it really did scare me xD but there was no gore, no nothing. Just a few creepy/scary scenes.
What pissed me off the most is that they never answered any of my questions. They don't say WHY there are these ghost things attacking people through technology. WHY they only appear in cameras and stuff. They don't.
The only thing seriously good about this is the rotoscoping animation and the sound.
Although the ED kind of ruined the horror mood, I liked seeing how the actors and actresses were having fun and stuff ^^
But yeah. I didn't really like it.
You can watch it if you want; it's really short, only 3 minutes for each episode, so it doesn't take long to watch the whole thing~ and if you're in the mood to see some mediocre horror for no reason, then you can try this out I guess. ^^read more