Ayakashi: Japanese Classic Horror

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Alternative Titles

Synonyms: Ayakashi - Samurai Horror Tales
Japanese: 怪~ayakashi~ Japanese Classic Horror


Type: TV
Episodes: 11
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Jan 13, 2006 to Mar 24, 2006
Premiered: Winter 2006
Broadcast: Unknown
Studios: Toei Animation
Source: Other
Genres: MysteryMystery, HistoricalHistorical, HorrorHorror, FantasyFantasy
Duration: 23 min. per ep.
Rating: R - 17+ (violence & profanity)


Score: 7.441 (scored by 2028820,288 users)
1 indicates a weighted score.
Ranked: #17552
2 based on the top anime page. Please note that 'Not yet aired' and 'R18+' titles are excluded.
Popularity: #2081
Members: 57,439
Favorites: 236
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Apr 27, 2010
Toast-Junkie (All reviews)
Sadly when I received this series, the information about Japanese Culture which was supposed to be included was not there. This was important in order to receive a fuller understanding of the stories. I tried desperately to get hold of a .pdf file of the information, but sadly I couldn't find it. Although many of the images and symbols probably got lost in the series due to my Westernised mind, despite this I decided it could be a good way for me to interpret it from my standpoint. The stories in itself did not get lost to me and certainly didn't hinder my enjoyment. So read more
Jun 20, 2011
Lindle (All reviews)
Ayakashi: Japanese Classic Horror/Samurai Horror Tales is a horror anthology of three unrelated stories: Yotsuya Kaidan, Tenshu Monogatari, and Bakeneko, the third of which received a far more successful spinoff in the form of Mononoke. Each arc was done by a different, and then-unknown director, though the director of the third, Kenji Nakamura, went on to make the critically acclaimed series "Mononoke" and "Trapeze" (He also made [C], though that fails to fall into the previous category). This review will mostly be split up into the three arcs. (NOTE: The R1 release of this series switched the first and second arcs around. This will be read more
May 14, 2015
berserkersoul (All reviews)
(the stories portrayed have some graphic images like murder/gore, rape, etc. so watch as your own risk!!) *THIS IS LONG SO READ THE "IN SHORT"S

The series is split up into three main stories:

episodes 1-4: a story about a beautiful woman who falls in love with a man who ends up betraying her, abandoning her and her new born. in an angry rage she kills herself and turns into a vengeful spirit out for revenge

episodes 5-8: a story about the forbidden love between a "forgotten god" and a human commoner

episode 9-11: a story about a wandering medicine seller who specializes in finding and vanishing Mononokes (or read more
Feb 25, 2015
-ryougishiki- (All reviews)

The series is divided into three parts, each featuring a famous Japanese story about ayakashi, a supernatural monsters/beings in Japanese mythology.

Yotsuya Kaidan (episodes 1-4): A classic Japanese ghost story about a woman who is betrayed and killed by her husband, becoming a vengeful ghost and haunting the people who are responsible for her death. It is written by Nanboku Tsuruya IV, and the story is also narrated by him during the anime.

Tenshu Monogatari (episodes 5-8): A story of a forbidden love between a goddess and human. Zushonosuke, a falconer, falls in love with a woman whom he saw bathing in a lake, without knowing read more
May 23, 2011
Ston3_FreeN7 (All reviews)
Ayakashi: Japanese Classic Horror is a group of three different storylines, of which a couple are adaptations of classic japanese stories. As such, this review will naturally be longer than many I've done before as all three arcs deserve their own review, I believe. Also, not that I have not seen the original versions of the stories told in this series, so I have no prior knowledge of any material covered.

The first story told "Yotsuya Kaidan" is about a woman being betrayed, and effectively killed, by her husband and her seeking revenge as a ghost. The atmosphere is effective, but the actual attempts at "horror" read more
Jul 24, 2009
Bissen (All reviews)
I had a really hard time deciding how to rate this anime - not just because it consist of three different stories (having nothing to do with each other), but also because I just had mixed feelings.

Story: 9
All three stories were great, but seem to be part of the actual Japanese culture, so it wasn't something "new". Still very good though.

Art: 5
I was definitely not very impressed with the art in either of the stories (drawn differently!) The first wasn't special, though the scenes/backgrounds weren't fantastic in it, and I didn't really like the way people were drawn - they all looked mean and read more
Jun 20, 2012
angelsreview (All reviews)
This is much like Osamu Tezuka’s Phoenix in that there are different stories in this but unlike the Phoenix, there is not one little thing that keeps the stories connected. They are just simple ghost stories although I don’t know if you would sit around a camp fire and talk about. They are not so much horror stories, as more stories of caution against different things. They seem to have a story that has a lesson at the end.

The first story is a sweet story about forbidden love and fallen gods. I’m not so sure why they have the stupid little spirits that keep read more
Feb 17, 2013
Amphithere (All reviews)
The first two arcs are okayish... They weren't very horror, so the sole redeeming factor would be the Bakeneko arc. If I could review it on solely that, I'd give it a perfect 10. But the other two arcs are just a hindrance in my opinion, so I'd just watch the Bakeneko arc.
Feb 3, 2021
holmeskudo (All reviews)
Story 1: Wonderful narration! I hope I don't get cursed and nor do the producers(just kidding!) I really like the way it shows ancient Japanese folklore and culture, it's superbly portrayed and scripted with additional trivia.

Story 2: Inevitable plot from the beginning. Slightly boring, could have been condensed into fewer episodes. Didn't really like the story, hence I'm giving it a lower overall rating .

Story 3: Amazing! the theme is about how humans can be more cruel than demons and things like morality are shown in a very creative yet smooth way.

Overall: It's a nice series of stories, really like the art and sound, it's read more
Nov 28, 2020
Balabuba (All reviews)
Ayakashi: Japanese Classic Horror is split into three parts, all of them are their own stories that can be enjoyed separately, to make choice whether it's worth seeing them all easier I'll also cover them separately.

First arc of the show is based on a classical Japanese play Yotsuya Kaidan. This is the one that visually aged the most of all parts, nonetheless it tells an interesting tale with an satisfying twist. Its story unveils at a very slow pace and is the most gory of the three, as such it's the one that's the hardest to recommend and if one of those sounds unappealing then read more
Oct 4, 2017
ktulu007 (All reviews)
Ayakashi: Japanese Classic Horror was brought to us by Toei animation. It's also the series that Mononoke was a spin-off of. Like that series, it's a horror anthology. I really enjoyed Mononoke and I'm hoping that this one will be at the same level. Let's examine it and see.


There are three distinct stories in this anime. The first is based off of a classic ghost story by the kabuki playwright, Nanboku Tsuruya IV. The second is based off of a play by Kyouka Izumi. The third is an original story featuring the medicine seller with the same voice as Cloud who we all know read more
Dec 26, 2012
Faylicia (All reviews)
In this anime the story is based on three different short traditional folklore stories from Japan. They are mostly horror stories, however I would say the the last two ones were dealt more with mythical phenomenons and were not so scary. Specifically, it is not as scary as Japanese horror movies are a days. However it is kind of psychological and revolves around issues that have some kind of melancholy into them. It is definitely a very good way to learn about Japanese literature while getting entertained.
The art is not manga art actually. It resembles ukiyo-e, which is a type of traditional Japanese read more
Sep 23, 2019
Anomanderake (All reviews)
When I started watching Ayakashi, I did not have any high hopes for it. Horror as a genre is not easy to pull off successfully. But Ayakashi was pretty good at what it does. It is not the kind of horror that scares you or disturbs you, but it does leave a strong impression on you. It is probably more reasonable to classsify it as an anthology of tragic dramas than a work of horror. All the stories are set in the classical Japanese period and they accurately portray the cruel and harsh conditions of that era. The horrifying elements are not that of the read more
Feb 22, 2010
davieboy232 (All reviews)
this series was done exceptionally well needless to say, with theme being mysterious as a primary to the whole show, the secondaries would have to be a little bit of love but a lot of cause and effect such as charma and upcomings. :)

i would say that if your looking for something a little different from things such as action and cutsie and want to get a taste of something else for a bit, then you may enjoy this.
Nov 14, 2010
Principal (All reviews)
Ayakashi ~ Japanese Classic Horror is divided in three individual stories. Each of them stands alone and has nothing to do with the other two. They also share a totally different art style, atmosphere, motives and characters for each of these tales.

Ayakashi begins with the story called Yotsuya Kaidan. The first episode is horrible, it starts just so boring, and keeps this on until the end of it. But then again, that was easily the worst episode of Ayakashi. The good part starts at the second episode, when some great deaths come past the screen, ending at the fourth episode with a satisfying climax. The read more
May 17, 2011
antinous (All reviews)
Ayakashi: Samurai Horror Tales, a set of three traditional Japanese ghost stories.

Goddess of the Dark Tower; While the animation left a lot to be desired, I rather enjoyed this story (the most out of all of them). Hmmm, I suppose there is not a real equivalent in Western culture, but basically…just as a mortal might attain godhood, so too can a god attain mortalhood. Forgotten gods as they were referred to, although I’d refer to them as decayed gods…as their transcendence from purity to worldly is a transcendence from benevolent to malevolent.

Yotsuya Ghost Story; This one was one of read more
Jan 18, 2019
Eoussama (All reviews)
It's a shame that nowadays shows like “Ayakashi: Japanese Classic Horror” are on the verge of extinction for how different the storytelling varies between a normal standalone show and one that pacts along multiple stories each with its own context.
With the word “horror” in the title, it was probably something they added in the English translation to add more intrigue to the series, I was personally drawn to it with simply reading that word alone, goes to show how effective and clever that methods of selling something is, but it turned out nothing more than a sneaky click bait. A bait set up way back read more
Jan 12, 2019
Gameboon (All reviews)
It's difficult to provide a single rating, considering the series consists of three separate arcs of unrelated stories. They even have differences in their art style, making it even more difficult. So I'll just mention my opinion of each story below.

The first arc, a famous revenge story named Yotsuya Kaidan, is my least favorite. I can say, however, that it is dramatic and that revenge is served in the end. It has an overall grim and depressing tone, and if you're not in the mood for that I would suggest you skip it. It's definitely horror to the core.

The second arc is more of a read more
Oct 19, 2018
Ameonna93 (All reviews)
Where three groups of writers given "Japanese Classic Horror" as a prompt, and this the end result? It's a possibility seeing how each story uses a different writing style, and even a different art style.

The first story, Yotsuya Kaidan, is a classic Japanese ghost story that has been adapted into a play, a few films, and now in anime. The art style is that of a dark anime series (which fits the tone perfectly), and the writing style is that of an older story. Funny thing is, Yotsuya Kaidan is the only one of thee stories that has narration. Of course, the narration is about read more
Jul 15, 2012
RedPlanet (All reviews)
This is quite a difficult anime to review as the first two arcs of the series feel like completely different works to the last, and I would be happy to give this a rating of 9 if they did not exist, but unfortunately since they do and they account for the bulk of the episodes in this series (8 of 11), I cannot give an overall rating higher than 7. Also, please note that the individual scores I provided for story, art and such only apply to the final arc for the sake of simplicity, while the overall rating accounts for the series as a read more