Every Halloween, anime fans are given a list of horror animes after another to watch for the holiday. And year after year, the lists fill up with shows that, in my opinion, aren’t exactly horror. Sure, there are shows that include tons of violence and blood or rampant demon / vampire / monster activity, and some of the go-to titles are about the darker parts of the human psyche and involve tense acts. So what is “horror”? Simply put, the entries in the genre are intended to scare you. Whether or not you as a viewer are personally scared is subjective, but true horror anime shares a direct line with the history of scary tactics. Since real horrors are rare, the anime series that actually go with it get more celebratory.
The soul of horror has been part of animation since the beginning of the medium, at least in the West. From Walt Disney’s Silly Symphonies, especially “The Skeleton Dance” and the works of the Fleischer brothers such as Swing yourselves sinners and Snow white, Animation opened up the world of film to phantasmagoric images, even if it served as a funny musical number with dancing ghouls. In Japan, however, creators established themselves in the 1960s with shows like. a recognizable horror tone Adventure boy Shadar and Against no Kitaro, although the focus was on fighting monsters and ghosts to save the world rather than scaring the audience. A stronger perception of horror anime took shape in the 1980s as the rise of OVAs (essentially direct-to-video anime) gave way to a decade where extreme violence, gore, sex, and the grotesque were like commonplace in shows Evil city, vampire hunter D.
These anime used violence and blood to shock audiences, but they were more interested in thrills than horror. Sure, Tetsuo turns into a huge blob of Akira is pure Cronenberg-like body horror, but the film shouldn’t be so scary as it should be exciting. While Cronenberg focused on the horrific and traumatic way our bodies could transform to delve deep into our collective fear of our fragile bodies collapsing, Katsuhiro Otomo’s groundbreaking anime aims at a tamer, but still compelling story of puberty and male violence.
In fact, most of the anime films and series categorized under the horror genre are more like thrillers with a focus on surprises that keep audiences excited and excited about what’s to come. Other is a great anime with the plot of a Final Destination movie, great kills, and an intriguing plot full of shocking twists and turns, but it plays more like a bloody mystery than a horror show and aims to solve a fun mystery that is related to being solved must be who will die next. It’s not about disturbing the audience in such a way that one is afraid of the next Death scene, something the popular Higurashi when they cry succeeds in. Then there is an acclaimed trio: Boogiepop Phantom, Serial Experiments Lain, and Paranoia agent, who value atmosphere, creepy images and the feeling that reality is not what it seems to be. The series is about paranoia and existentialism, which leads to the anime shows that come closest to horror, even if their actions do not follow explicit horror tropes.
Animation can be horror, but time has shown that there are hurdles; it seems significantly more difficult to scare audiences while viewing 2D drawings than it does with real people, but it can and has been done. Take animation for example Monster house, a 3D animated film for children that still has a lot of horrors, a creepy atmosphere and characters you fear – all without violence and blood. Then there are R-rated animated horror films like that Train to Busan
Surprisingly, anime has come closer to the authentic horror tone in the shōnen genre. Since the 1980s, action horror anime have adopted horror tropes and used them to make the violence tougher, like Devil man and the above Vampire Hunter D. In the 90s, anime like shōnen YuYu Hakusho and the over-popular bleaching Inspired by horror movies and shows like GeGeGe no Kitaro to create action-oriented series that still weave supernatural elements. Death report and monster, in the meantime, took a psychological thriller approach that told us dark stories about murders and serial killers and introduced them to a wide audience.
Over the past five years, there has been a trend towards shonen anime that takes this idea further by embracing the tropics of horror to put the characters in dire situations that ultimately emphasize the optimism of the subgenre. attack on Titan Not only did it become one of the most popular anime shows of all time, but it also broke into the mainstream by competing with the Walking Dead for one of the darkest and cruelest shows in years. It’s a show that takes place in a cruel world with violence, blood and constant fear for characters who can die any second – while still telling the classic story of a little boy learning to use his powers. Not long ago we did Demon Hunter and Jujutsu Kaisen, arguably the two greatest Shōnen anime at the moment, both adapted from mangas that were published in the renowned and long-running Shōnen Jump magazine, which also has such mainstream hits as. published One Piece, My Hero Academia, Naruto and Hunter X Hunter.
Demon Hunter and Jujutsu Kaisen have all the ingredients for a successful Shōnen anime: sympathetic protagonists with incredible strength, a story of perseverance and determination, and a group of supporting characters who support the hero and help him to recognize the value of friendship in order to face adversity. What makes them unique, however, is how they basically put this formula for success and in a seemingly impossible horror environment where hope has to fight harder and harder to even exist, where levels of power are not just toys but have their price, where characters can suffer terrible fates, injuries are not healed instantly but leave bloody marks and the villains are really creepy and menacing. Take the third set of Jujutsu KaisenWhich essentially plays out as a haunted house story, using tropes of creepy sounds and things that move on their own before unleashing a menacing ghost on our main characters before letting them kick their asses with their cool and growing powers.
Before it lost its way The promised Neverland perfectly combines a beautiful story of children who come together to save the day from monsters and turns them into a terrifying, terrifying horror story. Season one uses framing to keep the characters at a distance and the contrast between CG environments and 2D characters to make the story feel creepy that something is wrong, and emphasizes the monstrous shapes of the show’s villains as well the orphans. Building superintendent.
As for the more traditional “horror anime”, all is not lost. An adaptation of the horror comedy Mieruko-chan is currently on the air and cleverly uses horror tropes to create a fun anime with terrifying imagery about a ghost whisperer. Next year, the highly anticipated adaptation of Junji Ito’s classic Uzumaki Horror Manga should play like a mix of body and cosmic horror as it chronicles a city haunted by a spiral curse. Horror has now become an integral part of what makes anime equally exciting and popular, even if these shows are not exactly embalmed in the substance of horror.