Horror, Ghost Stories, and Mischievous Spirits – Tales of The Strange and Anomalous in Anime


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This post was partly influenced by comments I have seen on forums, and twitter in the past criticising horror anime for its inability to scare the viewers, alongside problems with writing and characters. Horror in Japanese culture can be both terrifying, but also seem somewhat benign – it deals with a variety of different themes, but the most important, and arguably the most used is that of spirits and the effect they have on the human world. Having said that, I also believe that the term ‘horror’ when it comes to describing Japanese ghost stories is somewhat misleading, and feeds a series of assumptions about the stories content and whether or not it might be scary. Read more of this post

The Spirit World of Noragami


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Like many anime or manga that focus on the spirit world as found in Japanese belief systems and religions, Noragami presents us with a representation of how the lives of humans constantly intersect with spirits. The spirits, or ‘Youkai’ in Noragami are far from good, but are instead the metaphysical accumulations of humanities pain, sadness, and hatred. Throughout the series we have seen how easily they can cause the death of humans, as they are attracted to negative feelings, possessing the individuals body and pushing them over the edge. It would however be unfair to call them ‘evil’, at least in the conventional meaning of the word, as they are not acting out of malice or hatred, but are instead acting based on what they are, in an unthinking fashion. Read more of this post