Sep 29, 2019
When's the last time an anime you have watched scared you? In the most obvious sense? First ask yourself that question before reading the rest of this review.
Yonimo Osoroshii Nihon Mukashibanashi doesn't try to. Not conventionaly at least. It's tales are executed in a way that take on a form of 'external horror'. Or i guess 'horrific' to make the viewer understand how terrible things happen in the world and there's nothing we can do about them.
Each of these tales takes a horrific scenario and pushes it to the far extremes.
I want to note that finding this anime subbed online is quite challenging as it
is a very unknown piece of media that's been poorly documented for foreign audiences. What i've done is uncover raw footage and watch that. Fortunately the stories were easy to get the jist of with my beginner Japanese comprehension, combined with their straightforward structure.
- Understanding what they are trying to say - (Moderate to mild spoiler warning)
1. First tale (easiest to watch) introduces us to a wanderer seeking shelter from the terribly warm weather. He shows very little respect and gets punished for his reckless behaviour at the village he thought would be the safe haven he so desperately sought. On first glance it might seem harsh what happens, but if you look at it from the villager's perspectives he wasn't much better.
Even with subs they don't tell you what really goes on at this village, you're meant to piece it together through visual cues, which you wouldn't be able to do if you don't pay enough attention to the scenes and events that take place.
2. Second tale is about "cancel culture". Minimal spoilers, popular slang of the youths. There you go.
3. Third and last tale was the most 'psychedelic' and difficult to understand. To be absolutely fair to it my patience was a little running low from personal life that i didn't give this one the time it deserved. If i had to make a guess though i'd say it wants to do a commentary on superficial interests and one's karma.
- Visuals -
Great for their time, they get the job done. And can get experimental and wild during major scenes. But i must warn you, don't drop this within the first few minutes, what you will be greeted by is not what the tales actually look like. The "watcher" at the video store is only fancy introductory fluff, an interlude meant to smoothly transition you from tale to tale.
Although there's dialogue that happens during them. It's sadly lost in translation for me. It can't be helped.
- Audio -
Unremarkable voice acting however the choice of music is breathtaking. I might sound blasphemic but this is probably one of my favorite anime scores i've heard in a while. Haven't come across anything this esoteric, tribal and sophisticated sounding since Psycho Diver.
If you are fond of unusual scores and instrumental music that fits the themes and ancient eras, your senses will be pleased.
I have to recommend this strange title. I may be biased for loving the soundtrack but i really do think this is something worth looking into if you have time to spare and are able to acquire a viewable copy through whatever means.
What did you think of this review?