Half-rhetorical, half-joking, half-serious.
…Wait, that’s three halves! *cue violin screech*
This is a recurring thought that I’ve had for quite a while now, which had just recently resurfaced again while chatting up a seatmate at Uni. In talking about stuff that we liked, we found ourselves on the subject of anime; in particular, the genres that we preferred. Somewhere along the way we ventured onto the topic of horror anime, and how there aren’t much of ’em around. Of course this could very well be far from the truth and there are in fact more horror titles than I actually know of (which is possible, given my modest anime-viewing history).
But really, off the top of your head, what was the last horror anime that you saw?
According to MAL, it would be Parasyte/Kiseijuu for me – which is fine; I agree that there were in fact some intense horrific moments in there, and the overall feel of the show was progressively dark and grotesque. Do I think Parasyte is a horror anime? To a certain extent, yeah, I guess. It’s a sub-genre at best. Next in line for me was Tokyo Ghoul. TG was a fine horror in my mind. Although Parasyte and Tokyo Ghoul shared slightly similar themes, Tokyo Ghoul did a better job showing the slow downward spiral towards inhumanity (hooking it very early by referencing Kafka’s The Metamorphosis) and was very reminiscent of my favorite horror movie of all time, Rosemary’s Baby (Well, at least in the earlier half of the show. After that, the anime took another turn for the horrific, in a different not-positive-at-all meaning).
So we’re on somewhat of a good roll, here.. up next – DanganRonpa. …What? Followed by: ShinSekai Yori. Just.. No. The list starts to pick up again (kinda) with titles like Dusk Maiden of Amnesia and Another, but while both have their moments (with Dusk Maiden having a better run as a horror),
I wouldn’t call either a horror anime. Or, well, I guess Another is, by nature, if you count the Final Destination series as a horror.
I suppose it would be in the best interests of this post before I proceed any further for me to define what it is exactly I’m looking for in horror. A horror feature should make you scared (c’mon Leap, stating the obvious a bit too much?) Hear me out for just a little bit more. Horror should make you fearful of what’s to come – leaving you at the edge of your seat, at you’re most vulnerable; some horrors will try and topple you off that seat by throwing you a jump-scare or two, while other horrors keep you on edge until you fall off on your own. A constant dread, varying in size; from the dark corners of the room, to that sound you think you heard.
There are horror anime out there. They exist. I just think they’re very scarce (again, in my humble opinion). This could be attributable to a number of things. One of which is the medium itself and the limits of what animation can do. For instance, a staple of horror features is the darker tone in scenery – which is a bit tricky in anime, given that scenes with a darker contrast tend to look a bit washed and not terrifying at all.
Another reason stems from simple tagging. Maybe some good horrors just aren’t tagged as ‘horror’. I for one still think that Shingeki no Kyojin is a neat anime alternative for the American zombie-survival-horror. But this reasoning is a bit of a slippery slope, and is really the only thing stopping me from calling LoveLive! a psychological anime about the interpellation of school idols (which it totally is). This leads us to-
Preference. Maybe something that’s supposedly horror just isn’t horror for me.
What do you guys think? Am I horribly in the wrong here?
What are your favorite horror anime features? 😀