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.
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.
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. ^^
If you are looking for a short anime you can marathon in one night, you should take Kowabon into consideration. You can't only watch it in one night, you can watch all of it in one-episode-worth of time. Each episode is short, about 3 minutes.
The people who were watching Kowabon while it was still running might have done the show wrong. I admit I did it wrong but not very much. It can be easily misunderstood because the story doesn't show clearly unless you watch all the episodes back to back.
a horror story and I was going to say something but I's afraid it's kinda a spoiler. All I can say: heads up for cameras. It took me the whole series to realize what was going on. If you want to scare yourself a little, Kowabon can do that.
One last piece of advice, do not watch the ending theme unless you want to see the actors behind the scenes. Many people complained about the ending, They said it kills the feeling the show leaves. You want to see what comes after the ending in episode 13 though.
I gave it 6/10 and perhaps if the episode were longer, I would gave it more. It's not that amazing but it doesn't disappoint either. That's all for Kowabon. Please consider watching it and enjoy.
I know a lot of people don't really enjoy this anime. Well I disagree. The story is rather intriguing and is one of those anime's that is built more on a message than a story. Just like it's description states it seems to be hinting at a more negative force among technology. It defiantly has an interesting plot. The animation is made from rotoscoping. Where people film it and then animate over it. It shows this during the credits. And while it is not the most 'pretty' or clear animation, it is still good and helps portray the anime nicely. It seems that this anime
is not going for a huge wow factor and I expect it does not have the biggest budget but for those who like to explore different views of the internet I recommend. Those who want a story or to be scared, I would not recommend this to you. I feel that it is unfair for people to score this on it's animation and story when this is more about how technology is taking over our lives. And thus Kowabon is a anime for those who want to discover new views. I am personally enjoying what it has to offer and am actually looking forward to how it will end.
When I first saw Kowabon as a prospective horror series, and I read about the rotoscope technique was being used, I didn't think it would do well with many reviewers. And of course it didn't as I have read the opinions of those that reviewed before me. However, don't write off this short series completely. While it is unconventional and not for everyone, I personally found some enjoyment in the spooky nature of the episodes. In fact, I wish there was a bit more to the idea. Due to the repetitive nature as well, it can either bore those that want a new scare or
continue the cut off feelings that the viewer had from the last episode.
In context to the general idea, Japan loves the idea of the ghost in the camera as a horror setting, which is why the game series, Fatal Frame, is so on and off successful. But once again, 'scary' is subjective. The rough style kinda makes sense if it's all from the point of view of a camera, and naturally, only the person holding the camera can see the ghosts, which creates it's own sense of dread because no one knows what's going on. If you do love this type of horror, I say go for it. If not, skip it over and stray from bashing it here in the reviews. Despite me not expecting it to be scary, I found it to be a good horror where other anime have failed.
Ah, horror. The one genre that anime just seems to never get quite right. Which is a shame, really. Considering how good a lot of Asian Horror films are! But that's another rant for another time. Let's get to the matter at hand.
It's... not much of a story, to be honest. Nothing is really explained at all (as of episode 10, anyway. Will update this review accordingly) and it's left up to the viewer to decide how and why these events are occurring. But sometimes, the truth is better left unknown and I feel this just
might be the case for this show.
Seeing how short this is, there shouldn't be much surprise that the only sound really present is the actors and a few sound effects here and there. Nothing that really stands out, other than the ending song which is surprisingly upbeat when compared to the subject matter.
My favorite part, which is most other reviewer's least favorite. I love rotoscoping, even when it's 'bad' (see: Aku no Hana), but this is animated at an even slower pace which adds to the atmosphere for me. It feels like each episode is seen through a glitchy, half-working monitor or camera of some sort. Which is exactly what is happening in most episodes anyway.
I LOVED LOVED LOVED what I've seen of this show. They are fairly short episodes, so you'd waste no more than 30 minutes watching it in one sitting. And it's honestly NOT a waste, at least not to me. You can see many other reviewers disagree, and that's fine. This anime is for a very specific audience, and it works well for that. It's basically a very short anime Ringu.
Overall, I'd say give it a watch if you've got time to kill and enjoy Asian horror tropes. Don't expect anything amazing, and you may just come out finding yourself loving it as much as I do!
Kowabon is a short horror ILCA anime from the end of 2015. They aren't a studio I'm really familiar with. They're best known for Yami Shibai, another anime made up of horror shorts that they've kept going for five series at this point. Maybe next year I'll look at that one but, for now, let's allow this to serve as our introduction to their work.
There isn't any single over-arcing plot. Rather, each episode gives us some scenario involving some character using technology to communicate with someone else, record themselves or being monitored by a security camera. Whatever the case, we see them through the perspective
of the technology and they aren't allowed to be touching themselves or disrobing for tips from thirteen year olds who stole their parents credit cards because that would be a completely different kind of series.
The trouble with this series is that the episodes are essentially all the same. We're introduced to an innocuous scene that we're seeing through some variety of camera. Graphical glitches start happening. They get worse as the scenario progresses and then we see some kind of apparition that's more silly than scary. At that point the character we've been watching usually gets snatched away, presumably to reside in a nightmare dimension where all media is written by Stephanie Meyer & Frank Miller and the only work available is a fast food clerk but the customers are allowed to strike you if they feel like it. Where law enforcement is American, the chefs are English, the mechanics are French & the comedians are Deutsche. If they don't get spirited away, and not the fun kind, it's something else that's supposed to be scary. After the first episode it just gets repetitive and predictable.
In all fairness, these are very short episodes with each one lasting a couple minutes and you can't expect anything elaborate but, at the very least, you'd think they could do something different at some point. It's like if Gakuen Heaven released its jokes where it sounds like a couple blokes are doing something naughty but they aren't, as their own anime. Except that would still be better because those can make you laugh and I don't think anyone is getting scared by this series. Maybe Wade the duck would, but no one else. Not only are the apparitions goofy looking, but there's no surprise factor past the first episode and even the way they're set up is basically the same. It's not like there's only one possible horror scenario with its slight permutations that are executable in a short work. They just couldn't be bothered to come up with something else.
It kind of goes without saying, the characters in this don't have any depth. If you expected more from a series with episodes that last a couple minutes and all feature different characters, you may be a bit too optimistic. The issue with that in a horror work is that, in a good piece of horror, a lot of the tension comes from concern over the characters. In a piece like this, you know what's going to happen and you have no reason to care. You have more reason to care about the villains of the week you get in children's anime. That fitness instructor monster was, at least, hilarious when he was tormenting Kirby and Dedede and he had more character traits than anyone in this series. Same with the stop light goat monster. And that's a problem when you're trying to do horror.
The artwork in this is rotoscoped. Fortunately, it doesn't go the Cheesesteak Suppository route where the rotoscoping looks like complete bollocks. In this, it's actually competent. It helps that the animation does move pretty smoothly and the set up of viewing things through an actual camera lens while graphical glitches start happening does serve to make those jankier moments work. It's a case of the artwork just matching what they're doing very well.
The performances in this are pretty much the epitome of mediocrity. There's never a performance that really sells the situation but there also aren't any that are so bad that they completely take you out of it. The music is rather dull and forgettable, but it' not bad.
There's no romance in this series in general. Which is the right call. There's no bloody way they could take these characters and show any kind of chemistry with any of them.
To be blunt, Kowabon would have probably been better served taking the Chocolate Underground route and having one story with consistent characters so that they could have some pacing and atmosphere build up even with short episodes. Instead, we've got short episodes that are basically all permutations of the same thing. It is pretty lacking. It's not scary in the slightest. The characters may not be the worst I've seen, but they've got nothing to them. If the basic concept seems like it could be interesting, go ahead and give it a go. The entire series is over in under forty minutes and I can't say that it's a bad little series. More sub-par. My final rating is going to stand at a 4/10. Next week I'll finish out this year's horror anime month with Elfen Lied.