Friday Favorites: Supernatural/Horror Anime

new Friday fave

Friday Favorites is a post where I incorporate more of what I love into the blog. This includes films, anime, manga, music, you name it. Anything goes.  It will be an opportunity to share some of the things I love and discuss them briefly or at length, depending on my mood 😉


My appreciation of animated films and anime is no secret to anyone who frequents the blog. However, it is very rare that I discuss the major genres of supernatural and horror in anime, as I know it does not appeal to a large portion of my audience. But today. I have decided to give some of my favorites their much deserved praise.

another.gif

My Favorite Supernatural/Horror Anime

deathparadeDeath Parade

My Rating: 10/10

MAL Synopsis: After death, there is no heaven or hell, only a bar that stands between reincarnation and oblivion. There the attendant will, one after another, challenge pairs of the recently deceased to a random game in which their fate of either ascending into reincarnation or falling into the void will be wagered. Whether it’s bowling, darts, air hockey, or anything in between, each person’s true nature will be revealed in a ghastly parade of death and memories, dancing to the whims of the bar’s master. Welcome to Quindecim, where Decim, arbiter of the afterlife, awaits!

deadmanwonderlandDeadman Wonderland

My Rating: 9/10

MAL Synopsis: It looked like it would be a normal day for Ganta Igarashi and his classmates—they were preparing to go on a class field trip to a certain prison amusement park called Deadman Wonderland, where the convicts perform dangerous acts for the onlookers’ amusement. However, Ganta’s life is quickly turned upside down when his whole class gets massacred by a mysterious man in red. Framed for the incident and sentenced to death, Ganta is sent to the very jail he was supposed to visit.

But Ganta’s nightmare is only just beginning.

The young protagonist is thrown into a world of sadistic inmates and enigmatic powers, to live in constant fear of the lethal collar placed around his neck that is slowed only by winning in the prison’s deathly games. Ganta must bet his life to survive in a ruthless place where it isn’t always easy to tell friend from foe, all while trying to find the mysterious “Red Man” and clear his name, in Deadman Wonderland.

hellsingultimateHellsing Ultimate

My Rating: 10/10

MAL Synopsis: There exist creatures of darkness and evil that plague the night, devouring any human unfortunate enough to be caught in their grasp. On the other side is Hellsing, an organization dedicated to destroying these supernatural forces that threaten the very existence of humanity. At its head is Integra Fairbrook Wingates Hellsing, who commands a powerful military and spends her life fighting the undead.

Integra’s vast army, however, pales in comparison with her ultimate weapon: the vampire Alucard, who works against his own kind as an exterminator for Hellsing. With his new vampire servant, Seras Victoria, at his side, Alucard must battle not only monsters but all those who stand to oppose Hellsing, be they in the guise of good or evil.

In a battle for mankind’s survival, Hellsing Ultimate proves that appearances are not all they may seem, and sometimes the greatest weapon can come in the form of one’s worst nightmare.

yamishibaiYami Shibai

My Rating: 8/10

MAL Synopsis: The mysterious, yellow-masked Storyteller is a man whose true name and origin are both unknown. He appears at dusk where children gather and recites sinister tales based on Japanese urban legends, to which his young audience eerily intakes. However, the Storyteller is no ordinary teller of tales. He incorporates a kamishibai, a traditional paper-scrolling device, to add visuals to his already demented narration.

A series of short horror stories, Yami Shibai begins with a bachelor who, after moving into a new apartment, immediately starts sensing a malevolent glare being pressed into him. A single talisman rests on his ceiling, but he has no way of knowing it is one of the few safeguards that separate him from a bottomless pit of suffering. Each story is more terrifying, more appalling, and more sickening than the last as the Storyteller’s audience find themselves being sucked into the vicious world of his words.

lost village 3The Lost Village

My Rating: 8/10

MAL Synopsis: A bus full of eccentric individuals is headed towards the urban legend known as Nanaki Village, a place where one can supposedly start over and live a perfect life. While many have different ideas of why the village cannot be found on any map, or why even the police cannot pinpoint its location, they each look forward to their new lives and just what awaits them once they reach their destination.

After a few mishaps, they successfully arrive at Nanaki Village only to find it completely abandoned. Judging from the state of disrepair, it has been vacant for at least a year. However, secrets are soon revealed as some of the group begin to go missing while exploring the village and amidst the confusion, they find bloody claw marks in a forest. As mistrust and in-fighting break out, will they ever be able to figure out the truth behind this lost village?

highschoolofthedeadHighschool of the Dead

My Rating: 7/10

MAL Synopsis: It happened suddenly: The dead began to rise and Japan was thrown into total chaos. As these monsters begin terrorizing a high school, Takashi Kimuro is forced to kill his best friend when he gets bitten and joins the ranks of the walking dead. Vowing to protect Rei Miyamoto, the girlfriend of the man he just executed, they narrowly escape their death trap of a school, only to be greeted with a society that has already fallen.

Soon, Takashi and Rei band together with other students on a journey to find their family members and uncover what caused this overwhelming pandemic. Joining them is Saeko Busujima, the beautiful president of the Kendo Club; Kouta Hirano, an otaku with a fetish for firearms; Saya Takagi, the daughter of an influential politician; and Shizuka Marikawa, their hot school nurse. But will the combined strength of these individuals be enough to conquer this undead apocalypse?

parasytemaximParasyte -The Maxim-

My Rating: 10/10

MAL Synopsis: All of a sudden, they arrived: parasitic aliens that descended upon Earth and quickly infiltrated humanity by burrowing into the brains of vulnerable targets. These insatiable beings acquire full control of their host and are able to morph into a variety of forms in order to feed on unsuspecting prey.

Sixteen-year-old high school student Shinichi Izumi falls victim to one of these parasites, but it fails to take over his brain, ending up in his right hand instead. Unable to relocate, the parasite, now named Migi, has no choice but to rely on Shinichi in order to stay alive. Thus, the pair is forced into an uneasy coexistence and must defend themselves from hostile parasites that hope to eradicate this new threat to their species.

tokyoghoulTokyo Ghoul

My Rating: 9/10

MAL Synopsis: Tokyo has become a cruel and merciless city—a place where vicious creatures called “ghouls” exist alongside humans. The citizens of this once great metropolis live in constant fear of these bloodthirsty savages and their thirst for human flesh. However, the greatest threat these ghouls pose is their dangerous ability to masquerade as humans and blend in with society.

Based on the best-selling supernatural horror manga by Sui Ishida, Tokyo Ghoul follows Ken Kaneki, a shy, bookish college student, who is instantly drawn to Rize Kamishiro, an avid reader like himself. However, Rize is not exactly who she seems, and this unfortunate meeting pushes Kaneki into the dark depths of the ghouls’ inhuman world. In a twist of fate, Kaneki is saved by the enigmatic waitress Touka Kirishima, and thus begins his new, secret life as a half-ghoul/half-human who must find a way to integrate into both societies.

anotherAnother

My Rating: 8/10

MAL Syopsis: In 1972, a popular student in Yomiyama North Middle School’s class 3-3 named Misaki passed away during the school year. Since then, the town of Yomiyama has been shrouded by a fearful atmosphere, from the dark secrets hidden deep within.

Twenty-six years later, 15-year-old Kouichi Sakakibara transfers into class 3-3 of Yomiyama North and soon after discovers that a strange, gloomy mood seems to hang over all the students. He also finds himself drawn to the mysterious, eyepatch-wearing student Mei Misaki; however, the rest of the class and the teachers seem to treat her like she doesn’t exist. Paying no heed to warnings from everyone including Mei herself, Kouichi begins to get closer not only to her, but also to the truth behind the gruesome phenomenon plaguing class 3-3 of Yomiyama North.

Another follows Kouichi, Mei, and their classmates as they are pulled into the enigma surrounding a series of inevitable, tragic events—but unraveling the horror of Yomiyama may just cost them the ultimate price.

BlackButlerBlack Butler

My Rating: 10/10

MAL Synopsis: Young Ciel Phantomhive is known as “the Queen’s Guard Dog,” taking care of the many unsettling events that occur in Victorian England for Her Majesty. Aided by Sebastian Michaelis, his loyal butler with seemingly inhuman abilities, Ciel uses whatever means necessary to get the job done. But is there more to this black-clad butler than meets the eye?

In Ciel’s past lies a secret tragedy that enveloped him in perennial darkness—during one of his bleakest moments, he formed a contract with Sebastian, a demon, bargaining his soul in exchange for vengeance upon those who wronged him. Today, not only is Sebastian one hell of a butler, but he is also the perfect servant to carry out his master’s orders—all the while anticipating the delicious meal he will eventually make of Ciel’s soul. As the two work to unravel the mystery behind Ciel’s chain of misfortunes, a bond forms between them that neither heaven nor hell can tear apart.


Do you enjoy darker anime or films? If so, have you watched the above or do you have any favorites to recommend?

Happy Friday!

Danielle ❤

Connect With Me: FacebookTwitterTumblr and Instagram

The Merry Spinster: Tales of Everyday Horror by Mallory Ortberg

35035160The Merry Spinistery: Tales of Everyday Horror
By Mallory Ortberg
Publisher: Henry Holt & Company
ISBN: 9781250113429
Pages: 240
Genre: Retellings/Horror/Short Stories

goodreads-badge-add-plus

From Mallory Ortberg comes a collection of darkly mischievous stories based on classic fairy tales. Adapted from her beloved “Children’s Stories Made Horrific” series, “The Merry Spinster” takes up the trademark wit that endeared Ortberg to readers of both The Toast and her best-selling debut Texts From Jane Eyre. The feature become among the most popular on the site, with each entry bringing in tens of thousands of views, as the stories proved a perfect vehicle for Ortberg’s eye for deconstruction and destabilization. Sinister and inviting, familiar and alien all at the same time, The Merry Spinster updates traditional children’s stories and fairy tales with elements of psychological horror, emotional clarity, and a keen sense of feminist mischief.

Readers of The Toast will instantly recognize Ortberg’s boisterous good humor and uber-nerd swagger: those new to Ortberg’s oeuvre will delight in her unique spin on fiction, where something a bit mischievous and unsettling is always at work just beneath the surface.

Unfalteringly faithful to its beloved source material, The Merry Spinster also illuminates the unsuspected, and frequently, alarming emotional complexities at play in the stories we tell ourselves, and each other, as we tuck ourselves in for the night.

Bed time will never be the same.


My Thoughts

The Merry Spinster is a collection of short stories in the form of retellings. Each is presented in a unique manner with an often unsettling or brooding twist. Some are easily recognizable while others are not so familiar.

It is immediately evident that Ortberg offers each story with a distinct prose that is graceful and laden with metaphors. Her writing entices the reader and promises an experience that will be hard to compare to any other. For that alone, I found some appreciation within. But that is not to say I did not struggle with certain elements in the grim and often strange collection.

What I appreciated..

  • The elegant prose and truly original re-imagings of childhood classics.
  • The author’s ability to find a common ground between the often over the top joyous portrayal of fairy tales we encounter today and their darker, more disturbing origins.
  • A set of morally defined tales with an often feministic approach.
  • A psychological tactic to presenting discomfort and the unsettling that was refreshing in this genre that is usually riddled with horror of late.

Challenges I encountered..

  • At times the symbolism was muddled and bordered confusing. I struggled to make sense out of some portions.
  • The brevity of each story frankly limited their impact.
  • Stories were a hit and miss. Enjoy one and be tempted to skim the next.

A few of my favorites:

The Daughter Cells
The Six Boy Coffins
The Rabbit

Overall, this was an engaging and fast-paced read that offers a nice reprieve from the usual. Ideal for busting up some of the monotony and combatting a slump. Fans will appreciate the familiar and savor the unfamiliar. However, do not expect a significant amount of depth, as brevity is likely to be an issue.

*I would like to thank Henry Holt & Company and Netgalley for this copy. The above review is my own, unbiased and honest opinion.

tea cup

Serves well with a nice cup of chamomile to settle in for an easy, evening read.

Grab a Copy: Amazon.com Book Depository

*Disclosure: I use affiliate links and may earn a small commission for purchases made through them. Click here for details.

Happy Reading!

Danielle ❤

Connect With Me: FacebookTwitterTumblr and Instagram

 

 

 

Nod by Adrian Barnes

33216614(New)TheBook
Nod
By Adrian Barnes
Publisher: Titan Books
ISBN13: 9781783298228
Pages: 271
Genre: Dystopian/Horror

Synopsis:

Dawn breaks over Vancouver and no one in the world has slept the night before, or almost no one. A few people, perhaps one in ten thousand, can still sleep, and they’ve all shared the same golden dream.

After six days of absolute sleep deprivation, psychosis will set in. After four weeks, the body will die. In the interim, panic ensues and a bizarre new world arises in which those previously on the fringes of society take the lead.

Paul, a writer, continues to sleep while his partner Tanya disintegrates before his eyes, and the new world swallows the old one whole.


(New) Thoughts

The synopsis for Nod is pretty inclusive so I am omitting a thorough recap. The story simply follows the events ensuing a cataclysmic but unexplained occurrence that has stripped the world’s occupants of sleep. Only the smallest handful of mankind now retain the ability.

I want to begin by exploring the one element that sets Nod apart from other dystopian stories. That would be its fictional prose that sets the stage for a read that is more literary in tone than one might expect. For this very reason, you will either discover a profound appreciation or dislike for Nod within a matter or mere chapters. The experience is unique, and I believe will find the same in its following.

Paul, our main character suffers an affliction in the most unlikely forms. He retains the ability to sleep while those around him fail to do so. Within this, he discovers isolation and desperation as humanity slowly unravels around him in the form of sleep deprivation. It will begin as generalized fatigue and then unfold until psychosis and death eventually claim all he knows of humanity. The approach Barnes has taken is simple and highly effective. It was reminiscent of Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend in the fact that I found it to be raw and quick look at humanity (or the loss of) through the eyes of an outsider.

The setting is as expected. A turmoil is brewing beneath the surface as mankind struggles with loss of sleep and sense. What begins as small encounters of aggression and oddities soon evolve into episodes of delirium, leading to a state of maddening incoherence and violence. Perhaps the most terrifying aspect of Nod is the pacing. It takes the human body approximately 4 weeks to die without sleep and there in lies the rate at which this story transpires. It is unsettling on a multitude of levels.

“Hell is time, isn’t that obvious? Take your greatest pleasure or your greatest fantasy and let it come continuously true—for a day, a week, a year, a decade. And that’s hell.” 

Nod is a highly successful approach to a time old tale of the downfall of civilization. The abrupt onset and pacing of an unusual malady combined with a dry and darkened sense of humor fuel a fast and consistent  read that creates an inventive and original encounter that fans of horror and dystopia will not want to miss.

Untitled designEnjoyed with a cup of chocolate pu-erh tea and cocoa.

goodreads-badge-add-plus

Purchase Links:  Amazon.com  Book Depository

Connect With Me: FacebookTwitterTumblr and Instagram