Excited children gather around the enigmatic masked Storyteller once more. His unique kamishibai storytelling draws them into tales of fear and dread. These are dark and foreboding stories, which could happen to anyone...
This season has tales of a salaryman who buries a dead cat, only to be haunted soon after; a college student and her cheap new apartment that hides a ghastly secret; boys exploring an abandoned haunted house before coming across a strange fish tank; a man who finds himself on the wrong bus, and in more danger than he thought possible; and a young couple's visit to an amusement park, which suddenly takes a dark turn. All these stories and more await in Yami Shibai 4.
For those not familiar with the Yami Shibai series, they're sketches done with paper-puppet animation techniques, quite stylishh, featuring small, one-episode horror stories. The first one was good, the second mediocre the third fantastic and unfortunately the fourth installment is 100% underwhelming.
First off, the most notable change: The narrator. The previous Yami Shibai narrator was a creepy-sounding old man, with a sly and sinister voice. This time we have a random idiot in what I assume to be his 30ish, giving a very disappointing opening ("It's time for Yami Shibai") that doesn't sound remotely threatening or vile.
The stories themselves are
a mess too. Season 4 takes (good) ques from season 3, understanding that it's much scarier to have unexplained phenomena happen rather than the typical vengeful ghost that we saw in the first two seasons, but somehow completely misses. The stories feel like they have no buildup, whereas in season 3 the insanity of the situation mounded as the episode progressed.
Here, it's pretty much... "Dry".
-Yami Shibai art style.
-The narrator is awful.
-The episodes have no buildup.
-Indifferent ending song.
The seasons of Yami Shibai continue to get less interesting except for a few good episodes here and there, but this season is what has made it really drop off as series that I was interested in. I did enjoy all the previous seasons even if none could quite match up to the beauty that was Yami Shibai season 1, but I still liked watching them. For season 4 though, this was not the case.
I felt the stories in this season were unfinished. A lot of them had a good idea but they were just executed poorly and done to their full potential. Episodes such
as episode 3 and 10 were probably in my opinion some of the better episodes of this season with others just feeling like they still had more to give. I also didn't find myself scared during any of this episodes and just left most confused and trying to research what had happened.
Disappointing, the one word I would use to describe the art in this season. As I stated in my reviews of the other seasons of Yami Shibai, the art was beautiful and very creepy at the same time which is what gave Yami Shibai that appeal and atmosphere. This season, they made the decision to change the art style, what reasoning was behind that decision I do not know nor wish to because it was not a good one. A cool thing this season did do though was add aspects of live action. Some of these live action scenes were really creepy and I felt added to my enjoyment of the series, sadly though, these were not enough to make this season worthwile.
The sound was not to bad considering. I felt as though the characters voices were not heard though as pretty much every episode consisted of two lines from actual characters and the rest being the narrator. This is someting that most people watching didn't agree with. I felt as though the characters need more lines for me to become more connected with them and understand how they actually felt in these situations.
Most of these characters I didn't really feel any sympathy for as they didn't really help themselves. All these situations could have been avoided if the characters weren't so out of it. It was interesting having a different narrator each episode though which has led to some cool theories. That is pretty much the only good thing to come out of this season.
As I said, I enjoyed all the previous seasons of Yami Shibai, but I felt whilst watching this season that I wasn't watching it because I wanted to but because the episodes were short and I felt like I should since I had watched the rest. There were maybe 2 episodes that I did get an ever so slight creep factor from but nothing scared me a lot or made me really feel like I was excited for the next story the season was going to bring.
Yami Shibai has gone downhill, everyone who has watched each season knows that. From season 1 the episodes started getting less creepy but they were still good and the art alone was enough to keep people interested, but now not only having even less creepy storylines but also changing the art, this has really put Yami Shibai into a hole that if another season is released, it will need to work to get out of.
At this point, this is just sad.
None of us should even be here, and yet HERE we are.
Yami Shibai season frickin 4.
Season 3 set my expectations very low, and I'm glad I wasn't disappointed.
Not really any room for disappointment when your expectations are already at rock bottom.
Guess we gotta start somewhere.
I understand leaving things up to viewer's imaginations. It's important in horror, especially with ghost stories.
However, episodes just sort of... End in this season.
There's not much to be left up to the imagination as the endings just... Happen?
This is a problem throughout the entire show as well.
Stories are incomplete and
a lot of important information is just left unexplained.
The writers also don't seem to understand the "show don't tell" rule, as the narrator narrated everything that you could see for yourself on the screen. It got old FAST.
Art and animation? What's that? HAH!
There wasn't any. There's your answer.
Seriously, the art style was poor and the animation was reduced to stills for most of it. Art and animation was nonexistent.
There was also a huge style problem, similar to season 3. Again, it was very jarring (though it was pretty funny seeing an episode with a Wiki-How esque art style)
The ending song was trash. Narrator-san riding a bicycle to a J-pop song. Good idea for a horror themed show guys.
Sound wasn't memorable. The voice acting was meh at best. For whatever reason, they changed Narrator-san's voice every episode yet they weren't even good. Most of them sounded far too optimistic/enthusiastic for it to be creepy.
Lol what characters
They're basically the same as season 3's characters. Boring. None of them were interesting. They're just lambs for the slaughter (red shirts).
This was tedious. It was a chore. I guess at least it was slightly better than season 3, but not by much.
Just end it now.
Garbage season as always. Season 5 is probably gonna be garbage too.
Rate a 3
Warning: I know this is marked for teens and older but given the nature of episode 10 this but be stated. Teens already do stupid acts of violence for bizarre reasons episode 10 was designed to scare you. In fact it was the only episode that did for me. But it only scared me knowing that there will be viewers not as wise or old as me and try it themselves. For that reason alone will scare a lot of people, especially parents. If you want to watch the show I can’t stop you but please there are plenty of safe games
to play and doing a single harmful game one time can have lifelong issues. Just like smoking.
Disappointed is a great word to show my expression on the entire season. While admittingly each season that came before was somewhat lacking in the horror field this season was a true disaster. For it abandoned horror for mystery. Not that I minded the change. I do enjoy mysteries but not this kind. Mysteries like these are disappointing. For example in one of the stories a good deed was done by the main male character. His reward ended up being implied torture with the mixture of affection. A good sum up might be that this doesn’t teach good morals. In fact steers the young from trying anything brave or kind. So, if the show doesn’t even live up to what it promises, lacks in plot and doesn’t provide good morals why should I watch this?
As for the credits it was a nice change I suppose. No longer was it generally that same techno pop bit but instead a more relaxing environment and song. Kind of nice if you found each episode of this season to be scary. But, I don’t know can a relaxing or warm natured song work for a horror show?
Another disappointment. Sure the same puppet or cutout animation was used in the other seasons but this time around there were brief moments of live footage. Couldn’t they have been drawn? Kind of ruined the mood of being immersed in the world of anime.