I am not going to lie, most horror stories don’t have that much of an effect on me. Monsters coming from the grave in different ways, slashers chasing down dumb teenager victims with long knives, or super natural terrors that can’t be explained don’t scare me. My mind is on a too logical of a level to ever consider those things a threat. Have an extra lens of being animated after that fact doesn’t help with me getting thrown into its setting. This is why I prefer more psychological horror stories. Silence of the Lambs is my favorite horror movie after all. The following are anime series that make me feel the same vein as that film.
From the mind of Satoshi Kon comes the only tv series that he has ever produced. Here we have a down and dirty crime story centered around a kid with a bat beating the stress out of people and having two rag tag police officers attempt to solve what exactly is going on. There is a lot more to it to this story then that, because this series does a good job at examining the states of different parts of Japanese society on a psychological level. It’s also very relatable on to everyone who has experienced stress in their lives so it’s infinitesimally relatable. This show’s mystery is more obvious than you would think, but it’s the journey not the destination that is what series are about most of the time, right?
This is where you are going to feel a theme of this post come into play. A slow story that is centered around a character’s psychological journey. Monster is about a Japanese doctor working in Germany that is a goody goody who originally saves a person that his boss says he shouldn’t and then finding out that the person he saved is a monster mass murderer. The story after that is about the mental state of our dear doctor as he is kicked out of his job and slowly approaches the state of becoming a killer himself to cover up the misdeed that changed his life for the negative. It’s very long show, but the shows length and pace are what make the show feel more realistic. Plus, the direction of the show and the development of its side characters help it as well. You may need to do some ground work yourself to get more involved in the show, but it’s completely worth it. Believe me, this show is amazing.
There has been some controversary over this series recently for some reason, but I think it’s pretty good. It’s a show that takes place in the future based on a society of people with psychic abilities. While some information and backstory of this story is a direct download that isn’t paced very well, the show’s very exploration of how that certain society works using time skips is well done for me. I will say that this show is a story more about the society that it’s presenting and commenting on instead of the characters. They are more a vehicle or lense that Shin Sekai Yori is trying to explain itself instead. This is one of few examples of anime in which I allow the world building to take over the character front because it’s just so interesting. It’s a series that is commenting on society. What else am I supposed to say?
Speaking of slow and about the development of society, we have Shiki. One day in a boring Japanese village in who knows where land, some very eccentric strangers show up. Then in the short while afterward, an unidentifiable virus is going around this town killing everyone. I feel like you guys probably have an idea of what this series is about, but it’s the way citizens of the town react to this ensuing virus that is interesting to me. It’s yet another slow, but worth it series that needs the audience to meet the show half way for them to get something out of it.
Hey guys, guess what this show is like. You guys probably know, this show is that taller younger brother to Serial Experiments Lain. It’s a series that is tonally dark with despair and humanities worse elements and takes place near the end of humanities run. The series takes place in two settings of the underground world that is mafia controlled and the more technologically advanced upper world that has a small foot hold in the underground world’s business in a lot of ways. With this set up, we see a larger exploration of humanity as they fight for their existence and try to remain true to themselves. Just don’t watch this series when you are depressed. It’s a dangerous show to watch even when you are in a positive mental state.
Ok, so all of series are similar but different in ways, so maybe I should have renamed this post something else. Something about how horror stories are used to explore different facets of society? Does this post say a lot about me? I think it does. Besides, these series are still psychological horror stories still. This title totally works still. Yup. Yup….
What do you guys think? Have you watched these before? Did I not mention a series that you would have? Let me know in the comments below.