You can’t help but love this girl. I do at least😀
I’m sure a lot of you already know this, but all the same; Corpse Party is a 2D survival/horror game franchise popularized on the PC/PSP (though an earlier 1996 PC version exists, albeit with a slightly different story line). It’s strong points, mainly the retro-style horror along with the innovative binaural audio (plus, of course, the hauntingly memorable plot) made for a good experience overall.
I’ve played, finished and for the most part completed the game (and loved it) so you might hear me mention it from time to time.
Flashback to a couple months ago when a relatively okay-ish OVA bundled with the game’s spin-off visual novel (also for the PSP) came and showed fans of the franchise and anime fans in general a prologue – or at least the moments before the events of Corpse Party. Granted, the OVA itself was unimpressive, and might have even turned away any possibility of any further adaptation (honestly I was really hoping for a 1-cour series).
Realistically though, Corpse Party spans at most 4-5 episodes; and the reality is we actually do get these as an OVA series. Corpse Party: Tortured Souls is a direct adaptation of Corpse Party: Blood Covered’s main storyline. Basically it’s the real “meat” of the franchise as far as what Corpse Party is actually about, and in that regard we (or at least I) open with the first episode here.
For the most part I am very impressed as to how they recreated the atmosphere that the game itself originally delivers (the audio might not be all there, but other than that everything feels spot on). It does get too dark (literally; see my first image) at times though, which bugged me a bit more than it should have. In their defense though, I watched the whole thing in a lit room.
The episode itself is a fairly gripping chunk of story (I estimate about 1/6 of the game), which introduces us quite hurriedly to the Corpse Party main cast, and how their unfortunate group is sent to Heavenly Host Elementary, which is where they’ll spend, well, the entire series for the most part. The main focus however is on Naomi and Seiko (coincidentally, Index’s/Railgun’s Misaka Mikoto and Shirai Kuroko, respectively), who’re also the ones you start with in-game.
Naomi and Seiko’s exploration of Heavenly Host is more so about the initial terror,as well as a real grotesque introduction as to what awaits the others. That said, they definitely breezed through this phase relatively quickly, which I think already sets up the pacing for the rest of the series; fast.
Controlling Naomi for the first time in-game quite honestly made me feel anxious. It was the feeling of helplessness that made walking around all the more worrisome (which makes more sense if you consider Naomi’s sprained ankle). I didn’t feel that here, and instead they opted for a more traditional “Oh, there’s a ghost behind you” kind of scare tactic. I feel like if they slowed down just a bit, it could have worked, but at the same time they really can’t afford that.
So this first episode adapts all of Chapter One of the game, and what’s survival/horror without anyone dying right? And I think this is where they tried to pull the stops and deliver one of the series’s most memorable events. Compared to how the game handled it, this was a teeny bit sub-par, but still very hard hitting (I’m purposely avoiding spoilers here for the right reasons, but I’d rather suggest playing the game first).
All in all, Corpse Party: Tortured Souls Episode One is okay-ish. About as much as you’d expect from a video game-OVA adaptation. If you’ve played the game I can at least say that it’s still a very entertaining watch-through.
Though they’re all already out, I can only wait until they’re subbed somewhere, so my thoughts on the rest of the adaptation will have to wait😀