330) Horror and Thriller in Anime

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Andrew
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330) Horror and Thriller in Anime

Postby Andrew » Sun Aug 20, 2017 8:43 am

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Anime can produce many different sets of emotions such as fear and suspense. In this episode of the Animecast, the hosts dive into the two genres that produce such emotions. Does Thriller and Horror work in anime? Listen and find out!

Topics this episode: Horror’s concepts, Anime Horror History, Horror Anime Rights, Horror Anime Wrongs, Thriller’s Concepts, Thriller Anime Rights, Thriller Anime Wrongs, Future of Thriller and Horror Anime, Some Anime Picks, Effects of Anime Thrillers and Horrors, and more!

The intro for this episode is the OP for Higurashi When They Cry called “Higurashi no Naku Koro ni” by Eiko Shimamiya. The outro for this episode is the ED2 for Re:Zero called “Stay Alive” by Rie Takahashi.

We hope you all enjoy!
http://otakuspirit.com/2017/08/animecas ... -in-anime/
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BlueSpark
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Re: 330) Horror and Thriller in Anime

Postby BlueSpark » Mon Aug 21, 2017 6:10 am

(I've only listened up to the part where you're mentioning concrete anime examples, so excuse me if something I'll talk about comes up later on in the podcast)

A great topic to have a discussion on. I wouldn't have thought of bundling horror and thriller up together, but I agree that it makes a lot of sense. I would like to add a different term to the debate which I learned about in a university class (those classes actually prove useful for once... Who would've thought?): terror.

In said class, we talked about the distinction between horror and terror in literature. Whereas horror elements are used to outright scare people (the primary method, as you mentioned, being jump scares or displays of very explicit violence), terror works more subtly by building up suspense. I basically makes the viewer afraid of what could happen the very next moment. A classic example would be someone exploring a creepy place alone in complete darkness with only a flashlight equipped.

I would classify terror as a middle ground between horror and thriller, being less explicit than horror, but more intent than thriller on evoking negative emotions in the audience. When it comes to defining genres, I'd bundle horror and terror up together since they strive for the same goal.

I'd say a stellar example of a thriller would be Steins;Gate. The series constantly keeps the viewer on their toes, anxious to find out what happens next, but never actually aiming to frighten them. On the other hand, When They Cry has several such moments: Because of the mood the show creates, when Satako goes missing and the others start looking for her, you can practically feel some horrible revelation approaching. Also, needle rice balls*... Rena standing outside Keichi's window in the rain... There are numerous scenes in that anime which can make your skin crawl without resorting to actual violence. They're just a bit more subtle than the jump-scare-based horror we usually find in western productions.

Also, while I think that in When They Cry's case, the violent scenes are sort of integral to make the series effective, I believe Another could've done without resorting to Final Destination levels of over-the-top death scenarios. The suspense (terror) in that series would've been enough to establish it as a solid horror title in my opinion. If anything, I feel that the gratuitous violence provides ammo for haters of the series (leading to claims that the anime needs cheap tactics to scare the viewer). Either way, I'm still a fan :P.

*Rena is such a sweet and caring girl. "What would you like as filling for your rice balls today, Keichi? Red beans? Plums? Needles? Yes, I thought so!"
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Re: 330) Horror and Thriller in Anime

Postby BlueSpark » Mon Aug 21, 2017 11:05 am

Listened to the next 35 minutes or so on my way home from work. That was a nice list of suggestions there - kudos, you guys :). I'm glad my top 3 horror series made it onto the list. Although I've got to say I still have a hard time classifying Elfen Lied as horror. I mean, objectively speaking, I kind of have to, but it never felt like horror to me. The violent scenes reminded me more of splatter movies, to be honest.

As for not being able to stomach horror shows: I can certainly see how watching young girls get slaughtered (or even tortured) would be quite revolting to some people. I've always had strong nerves, and even though I certainly get creeped out or shocked by effective horror elements, they don't really 'pierce through me,' if that makes any sense. Still, I don't necessarily need enormous degrees of violence to be intrigued by a dark anime. Just give me a creepy atmosphere and I'm set (hence my love for the early episodes of Shiki).
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Re: 330) Horror and Thriller in Anime

Postby MyBalls » Mon Aug 21, 2017 11:23 am

Really fun Podcast.

Horror:
Was wondering why Berserk was never mentioned. When I think of horror, the first thing came to my mind, was the eclipse of Berserk. It gave me 2 weeks of serious nigthmares... thank you Kentaro Miura. ::anger::

The whole story also had this lingering feeling, that something lurks behind the scenery, just waiting for the moment, when you are not prepared.... and booooy where they NOT preperad.
::shocked::

I think real horror is the unknown, when you not even know why you have fear. The fear of the dark, where your own mind is your bigest enemy, filling the dark corners with the most horrible things you can imagine.

Thriller
Was also wondering why not mention Mirai Nikki - Future Diary. I think it is one of the best examples how to do it rigth and at the same time wrong. The rigth thing was the complete series and the wrong thing was "Mirai Nikki Redial" (fanservice)

The dramatic ending of the series was something special. And the fanservice "new ending" feels forced and out of place.

Still... Mirai Nikki and Elfen Lied are the top one thrillers for me.

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Re: 330) Horror and Thriller in Anime

Postby Scribblenog » Mon Aug 21, 2017 2:06 pm

"It's finally time.", "I'm a little scared." Excellent opening.
I took a listen to the latest podcast under our delightful little eclipse. Great work. I appreciated the differentiation between thriller and horror despite how much they can blend.
I'm pretty jaded when it comes to gore and violence in entertainment. I enjoy many anime that fall into this category but I'm not at all squigged out by it.
I can be startled by a jump scare, but there's really nome of that to be had in the medium.
If not necessarily "horror", the anime (and manga) I find horrifying are ones that showcase that the universe is not ok, and that people are twisted and filthy and nothing is going to end well.
I suppose that falls more under the umbrella of thriller, but if I'm looking to be unnerved, disgusted or filled with revulsion I'll be looking more towards something like that.
Internal sickness of the soul intrigues me far more than blood spray and viscera. Watching characters fall apart and break down is especially exciting.
Some excellent titles were mentioned that I really enjoyed. "Another" is a fantastic mash up of several horror movies. "Elfen Lied" and "Higurashi" are personal favorites of mine for their stark brutality. Special props to "Higurashi" for taking things from moe to madness at mach speeds.

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Re: 330) Horror and Thriller in Anime

Postby Mys145 » Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:55 am

Andrew, you should give Brynhildr in the Darkness another chance with the manga. I believe it's a better story than his previous work, Elfen Lied. It's a shame that neither got a full anime adaption but Elfen Lied has some major flaws especially with the main male character not really having an impact on the overall story. Actually anything involving him really didn't matter.

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Re: 330) Horror and Thriller in Anime

Postby michelous » Tue Aug 22, 2017 9:30 am

Go nagai did lots of horror action and many 90s ovas had horror action

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Andrew
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Re: 330) Horror and Thriller in Anime

Postby Andrew » Wed Aug 23, 2017 3:52 pm

Thanks for the feedback all! Glad people enjoyed it. Always feel uneasy with these types of casts! hah..

I'll get around to replying to everyone eventually. So bear with me!

BlueSpark wrote: ::peace::

Whew! Awesome feedback! Interesting idea of adding Terror as a middle ground, though I'm also afraid of that making the topic even more mixed in responses on what defines everything (haha!). That said, it makes sense to help define things as directors/writers continue to pick elements from different genres to mix things up.

I agree with both your criticism and defense of Another. I don't really think the over-the-top is at all necessary and I'm on the boat of wanting tension (like we praised Kagewani for) more than gore. By the way, totally laughed at the comparison to Final Destination... I wonder if I put that together when I watched it...

BlueSpark wrote: ::peace::

Which three! Love to hear everyone's picks.

I can see your point on Elfen Lied as I sort of debated it being more excessive violence action than horror, but sprinkled in there some tragic horror in what happens to innocent civilians and psyche of characters. Maybe more in the realm of psychological drama lol..

I think what bothers me more on being revolved by horror in shows, especially with cute characters, is feeling like you're too cold when you have an overly expressive and protesting relative (cough Chris cough). Often their reactions make you go "I didn't think it was that bad". But it really does come down to often not connecting enough to really be put off by it.

Thanks again for more insane feedback!

MyBalls wrote: ::peace::

We talked about both Berserk and Future Diary. Not sure what you mean.

Glad you enjoyed the cast though, thanks for sharing your picks!
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Re: 330) Horror and Thriller in Anime

Postby Crash Kamio » Wed Aug 23, 2017 4:07 pm

I was on this podcast so fast. I really like these genres breakdowns a lot. Been looking forward to this since you mentioned it off hand a few months back.

Maybe it's because I'm not too up on the nitty gritty of genre definitions but it always escaped me that thriller and horror are extremely similar. But it makes sense, horror more about scaring, thriller on the more edge of the seat. A lot of overlapping traits but small differences that set them apart enough. Aways nice getting informed like that.

As for favorite horror/thriller shows or mangas, Higurashi, Madoka Magica(<3 Madoka), Berserk, School Live, Magical Girl Apocalypse, Magical Girl Raising Project. For ones I want to check out I have to get on Another, Future Diary and probably many many more that's escaping me.

Great as always. I really enjoyed this one.

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Re: 330) Horror and Thriller in Anime

Postby BlueSpark » Thu Aug 24, 2017 2:20 am

Andrew wrote:Which three! Love to hear everyone's picks.
That would be Another, When They Cry and Shiki. Those three are the only animes I've seen that I would consider primarily horror, so calling them my top 3 is probably a bit misleading. But I enjoyed each of them a bunch (in descending order).
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