Ayakashi: Samurai Horror Tales, Vol. 2 - Yotsuya Ghost Story
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Curses never die, but people do
In the Edo era of Japan, while cultural arts flourished and the samurai code of "bushido" emerged, humanity's fear of the supernatural was very real! Desiring to wed Lady Oiwa, an ambitious and calculating ronin named Iemon murders her father, who had opposed the marriage due to Iemon's treacherous past. As a masterless samurai, Iemon soon grows weary and resentful
of his ailing wife Oiwa and their impoverished stature, however when he is presented with an offer to marry a wealthy neighbor's beautiful granddaughter, Oiwa is duped into drinking a poison that horribly cripples her. The revelation of Iemon's betrayal as well as the painful disfigurement causes Oiwa to kill herself, setting into motion a nightmarish curse carried out by a terrifying, vengeful spirit seeking retribution!
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Live action and animation are combined in a way that screws with your mind a little and facts and fiction are toyed with in the same way. The narrator is as much a part of the story he tells as he is just a storyteller.
I don't see too much animated horror that delivers, so if you're a horror, history, or drama fan, I don't see too much of a reason not to give this a chance, especially since right now, it's so reasonably priced.
If this review makes this anime sound somewhat esoteric, then I've done my job. It's a challenge to judge the literary merit of a horror anime about a famous kabuki play most Westerners have never heard of. If you aren't interested in kabuki, you would likely experience this anime as a samurai-period drama with supernatural elements about villainous people doing awful things to each other and their unfortunate victims before karma catches up to them. If you're on a limited budget or want to see the best of what Ayakashi has to offer, skip straight to Ayakashi - Samurai Horror Tales, Vol. 3 - Goblin Cat.