Tag Archives: Horror

Higurashi is Scary, and Yes That is Surprising

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

It’s no surprise that most horror anime tend to be underwhelming at best when it comes to actually being scary or intimidating. As I have talked about before, there are many inherent limitations that animation has when it comes to penetrating our sense of reality, the main one being that, and the end of the day, they are just drawings. Drawings, at least most of the time, are not scary.

This rings just as true for the original “Higurashi,” as it was limited both by the production quality of mid-2000’s Studio Deen, as well as a lack of overall frames, making the animation even less expressive. While there were still some good moments in the original, it just did not get the adaptation the series needed to achieve its goal. The same holds for the series’ follow-up, “Higurashi: Kai.”

However, Studio Passione is back in force for the…sequel? yeah, so apparently I missed a lot in regards to the specific storyline of the series, as I, along with most of the community were under the impression that this was going to be a remake of the first season. The scene with Rika at the beginning of the second episode made that abundantly clear. Guess I should have finished “Kai,” huh?

Whether or not one is fully caught up on the lore of the “Higurashi” universe is irrelevant to the fact that “Higurashi: Gou” is a strict upgrade, at least in terms of the animation.

For starters, the lighting of the series does a much better job at contrasting the brighter colors of the show’s opening episode with the darker moments that come only 20-30 minutes later. This is most evident in the scenes where Keiichi and Rena are at the trash yard together trying to get out the Kernel Sanders statue, when the glowing red sunset fades into ominously into pitch black.

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There is also the character’s themselves that move much more often. The scene that demonstrates this the best is when Keiichi confronts Rena on their way home, asking if her and the others have been hiding anything from her. Rena goes from her sweet, innocent Persona to her real self in a matter of seconds, completely changing the tone of her voice. On top of that, the way her body is animated makes it look as if she slithers next to Keiichi, looking up at him from below. It happens so fast that it legitimately scared me, but in a way that does not feel like a cheap jump scare.

Still, there have been plenty of welcome changes outside of the animation as well. The one that I noticed most immediately was the symbolic repetition of certain actions as a way of provoking certain scenes in the show. In the first episode, it shows the fate of everyone at the end of the rotation, with everyone accept Keiichi dead, and him violently swinging what looks to be a bat on Rena. The show uses various different instances, whether it be him using a saw to get the statue out for Rena, or Rika’s ceremonial dance, to further remind us of what will happen to those characters.

While I would not say it is a strict improvement, the soundtrack definitely does a great job at setting the tone. The new opening also reintroduces the characters well and has a killer music track to boot.

Overall, there is a lot to like about “Higurashi: Gou,” and despite not being fully caught up with the series myself, although that might change by the time this comes out, I am fully invested in this new season and look forward to the insanity to come.


How do you guys feel about the new “Higurashi?” Let me know in the comments below.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

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Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

Gleipnir Episode One Reaction

“Oh boy, now that the semester is over, I have so much free time. I wonder what the seasonal stuff looks like.” *watches one episode of Gleipnir* …huuuuuuuuuuuuuh.

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

While it is true that I have not been actively watching the stuff that has been coming out, I have still been following enough of it to know that Gleipnir was going to be weird, even before its release. Just based off the description of the manga, it was likely that Gleipnir was going to be bringing something strange. However, strange does not always necessarily mean good.

The show’s first episode was…ok. There were a lot of unique elements to be sure. The opening scene where a monster of some kind was looking for a vending machine, only for another person to pop out was great. Not only did it highlight what is likely to be a key plot point, but also had an indie-horror vibe without even being based on a game, which is pretty cool.

Shuuichi is where a lot of the show’s strengths and weaknesses will likely be based. On the one hand, there is a lot of potential for interesting storytelling through his monstrous powers. The fact that he is a monster but does not really look like one is already something that has been highlighted by Shuuichi himself, and Clair has already said, albeit mockingly, that he looks cuter in that form.

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Still, there is a lot of potential for him to be pretty boring. The first episode is already relying on a lot of ecchi elements that do not necessarily fit the horror vibe that it is trying to establish. What’s more, I get the feeling that Clair might not get the proper development that she honestly deserves. It was really intriguing when after Shuuichi says he is the one who save her from the fire, she responds by telling him that was her suicide attempt.

The show’s music and animation, at least so far, can be summarized as not particularly interesting. A lot of the color combinations in Gleipnir, along with the show’s character designs, feel pretty normal for this era of anime. The only thing slightly unique is that, for some reason, it feels like everyone’s face is slightly flatter than they should be.

The music is passable for what the show is trying to do, but again, not that notable. It relies on a lot of modern sounds, such as high-hats and a little bass mixed with more traditionally horror-sounding music in order to get through its more action heavy scenes.

Overall, I feel like this could end up being a great show, but it really depends on where they go from here. I will likely continue to watch it even if it is just to see the train wreck that it end up becoming.


Are you all caught up with Gleipnir? How do you you folks feel about it? Let me know in the comments.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

A Major Disconnect: Exploring the Lack of Effective Horror Anime

For me, It’s hard sitting through horror movies. I know, I know, I’m a weakling, but it’s true. Even subpar products like the recent remake of Flatliners had me in all but the most panicked of states. No matter how hard I try I can’t get through the creeping effects of seeing people on screen and knowing that they will more than likely die.

Halloween got me thinking more and more about Horror as a genre and as a storytelling convention. Even poorly made horror films can still get a lot of people with a well-timed jump scare. However, anime, and a lot of animation, doesn’t really have that advantage.

In the game of life, animation drew the short end of the stick when it comes to scaring people. Unfortunately, their are a few underlying reasons as to why.

One of the main two reasons is that animation is often perceived as childish. Whether it be literally kid shows like Yugioh or Pokémon, or even a less sophisticated adult comedy like family guy, it is ingrained in many fans minds that animation is just for kids, and that we shouldn’t be scared because that be dumb.

The other, and more important reason is that no matter how detailed and alarming, we know that  animation isn’t real. The reason that simple jump scares often get to us more than a well planned frantically horrifying scene in anime is because we simply don’t associate these things with reality, because they’re drawings, whereas live-Action horror films have the air of looking at least theoretically possible.

And this really sucks. Shows like Higurashi which put time and effort into building up an intense atmosphere really only make me feel slightly creeped out, as opposed to legitamently scared. Because of these realities, Horror in anime remains a niche and under appreciated part of our beloved medium.


I’m really curious: What has your experience with horror anime been? How scared of an anime have you gotten? Let me know in the comments. Bye for now, Friendos!