Tetsuji Kurashige's nightmarish U-SA-GUI (2002) begins by citing a section from Brillat-Savarin's 1825 treatise, The Physiology of Taste, in which the renowned French epicure suggests that stimulating foods, meats in particular, can have an influence on one's dreams. The film depicts a macabre game played by two rabbits and a blindfolded woman. The rabbits face each other over an old-fashioned illustrated board game. When they land on a square, the woman must eat the food indicated in the illustration. If she has chosen correctly, a die pops out of her mouth and lands on the floor giving the rabbits their next move.
I ended up having a brain-ache from all the screeching noise. And there's no story to it, just two rabbits and a blindfolded girl dreaming about weird stuff.
I'd rather look forward to it if it had dreams including the girl running across the streets naked -_-"
Don't watch this. You'll just end up losing your precious 12.55 minutes.
"Oh you can't help that," said the cat. "We're all mad here." -Lewis Carroll
Usagi ga Kowai isn't your typical psychological anime. It takes the so-called reality we humans all take for granted; peels at it until it is forced to reveal itself for what it truly is. It isn't for the light of heart, nor is it for the foolish. I highly recommend this to any fans of true horror.
-The plot may seem simple upon watching it for the first time, however, this is just an illusion created by the mastermind that is Tetsuja Kurashige. I, myself watched it no less than 29 times. No, it goes much further down the rabbit hole than one can tell by looking down from the safety of the surface. However, Usagi ga Kowai will shake the very foundation upon which you stand.
The story follows our heroine, Alice, (not unlike the one from Lewis Carroll’s “Through the Looking Glass”) and two rabbits whom I have taken the liberty of naming Harriet (the more effeminate one that is obviously a girl) and Harrington (whom I believe to be Harriet’s husband). Alice must play a game with these rabbits that revolve around eating specific foods and win against impossible odds. However, if you watch carefully each and every scene is truly a metaphor for life. The blindfolded Alice signifies how we are blind to our surroundings. The necessary dice that are spat out by Alice when she correctly guesses a food signifies that sometimes we leave too much on our plates and we must sometimes handle the immediate problems so that we can move forward. You can see the inspiration that Tetsuja drew from Alice in Wonderland such as when our heroine, (not Lewis’s) loses her head, not only symbolically but literally as well. A double entendre which Lewis himself would applaud.
The characters are outstanding. From Alice’s resilience to Harrison’s level-headedness, each of the characters possess unique qualities that make them loveable. But, no character stood out more than Harriet who fed up with her husband’s advances towards Alice, murders him in cold blood. However, regretting her decision she begins to go through bouts of psychosis descending into madness. Background story isn’t necessary when these characters already speak for themselves.
The art may very well be the best thing in this entire series. The clay-like animation style really brings out the sense of horror. The way blood doesn't act like blood and is symbolized by a mess of red that a kindergartener could draw better is in fact, on purpose. Their true goal was not to mesmerize you with their art but to make it lesser than the plot, and that is why their art is so great. You see to understand their art, you must first understand the story. Just like real art, it is real art because no one gets it.
The sounds are beautiful. They actually hired many of the greatest seiyuu of all time, and although they don’t have a single word or line, they portrayed the silence of our characters in a way that no one else could. The emphasized, unrealistic sound effects of swallowing food or metal dropping are for your benefit in order to heighten your sense of dread. You may find yourself annoyed by the constant buzzing sound, but it is actually the impending end approaching.
All in all, I truly enjoyed this anime. I may even watch it a 30th time. Despite the horror of what I was seeing on the screen, I could not look away, for I knew it, all of it to be true.