So, it’s been awhile since I did an anime review… again. I think I’ve only done, at the most, three. And that’s only on the top of my head. I do want to review more at a later time, including ones like Midori, which I have heard is very, very hard to stomach. Perfect for this series. But, for now, I’ve got something just has hard to face. Maybe. Let’s just say that, throughout the anime I have seen, blood and gore hasn’t been a major factor in these shows. Was there blood and gore, yes. But it was either very minimal or was in the background the entire time and was not the main focus of horror in this series. But today, I introduce you to an anime that I think went from tame to extreme real fast. I introduce you to the four episode series, Corpse Party: Tortured Souls.
Corpse Party: Tortured Souls, from the title alone, already sounds like it’s gonna be a swell time. But no, seriously, let’s get into what this series is about. So Corpse Party is based on a video game of the same name. I’ve never played it, but thankfully, my Filipino friend, Alinah_09 said that it was boring. She didn’t enjoy the gameplay, and she felt like it was filled with just constantly going back and forth. I’ve heard that the PSP version was batter and more of a graphic novel, but… Come on, who really owns a PSP? What’s next, a version for the Vita? Anyway, you thankfully don’t have to know anything about the game to understand what is going on in the anime, because it gives you everything you need to know in the first few minutes. The opening starts by showing the characters going about their daily lives in some happy, slice-of-life show before cutting VERY briefly to some darker scenes. But you barely see anything besides character reactions, so you don’t know what you are in for. Most of the opening is just these characters, enjoying life and just in general being happy. Now, I want you to remember this opening. It’s gonna come up later on why I really like the horror in this anime. So, let us talk about the characters in this series. First let’s talk about our two lead characters. Satoshi is a cowardly dumbass who is easily scared of things and has a crush on the large chested girl with short hair. He reminds me of me. All the more reason to hate him. The more interesting protagonist is Naomi, a the large chested short haired girl I mentioned who goes through some psychological stuff…………………… Kinda like Silent Hill- Okay, I’m gonna stop now. And then you got the rest. Ayumi is a girl who really likes scaring people like a creep. Reminds me of someone… Anyway, Seiko is a lesbian… Just a big lesbian. Not even a subtle one. Yuka is the little sister of Satoshi who likes him…. A little too much. Like an uncomfortable amount too much. Yoshiki is just the typical bad boy with heart. Mayu is just the typical popular girl. Sakutaro is a guy who doesn’t really get interesting until he goes bludgeoning crazy later on, something I got a real psycho fanboyism over when I first watched the series. I still regret it to this day. Yui is a responsible teacher. Yeah, as you can tell, the more characters we look into, the more bland their personalities get. And with a four episode series, there isn’t exactly a lot of room to develop most of them. Unless you're part of the main characters, expect to just be as interesting as cardboard, because you're most likely going to be killed. But I almost forgot about one character. Sachiko, the ghost girl. And… Well… I’ll save her for later. That’s a whole other story I want to get into. For now, let’s actually get to the plot.
The plot of Corpse Party is as follows. A group of friends have gathered in their school overnight to tell ghost stories, one of them being about a cursed elementary school called Heavenly Host Elementary, where children were kidnapped and killed by having their tongues and eyes cut out, in graphic detail. On that night, the characters decide to perform a ritual involving a paper doll in order to gain good luck. Everyone involved must grab the paper doll and repeat a phrase a certain number of times, and no one must miscount, either by not counting enough or counting too much. After which, they must rip the doll and take a piece. Failure to do so… Well, I think you know what happens here. And of course, being the stupid bunch of kids they are, they fuck up the thing and are sent to the very Heavenly Host Academy where the kids were murdered. Here, the group run into ghosts, Scooby-Doo style, and now they must do what they can to just not die. That goes as well as you’d expect. As you may have heard from the game or the anime, Corpse Party lives up to the name Corpse Party. From the title, you would expect this to be filled with violence and gore… And yeah… it is.
I’ve seen Elfen Lied. I’ve seen Hellsing Ultimate. I’ve seen Another (And before you ask, yes, I plan to review all of those). But those were tame. Or at least, in comparison to Corpse Party, they were tame. Because Corpse Party… Wow. For an OVA series that probably had a smaller budget, they were… very detailed with the violence. If you ever wanted to see kids eyes get ripped from their skulls, people sliced in half, girls getting smashed into walls until they are turned into a literal pile of flesh, and some of the most detailed looking stabbings that you can see in a Japanese animation, then oh boy, you sick fuck, this anime sure as shit delivers. I won’t lie, I’ve seen this anime once and that was enough for me. I’m not one to be freaked out by gore, but my god, they really knew how to make it disturbing to look at. But I don’t think it was the gore itself. I think it was how the actors were. Now, there is no English dub for Corpse Party, and with how long it’s been, I doubt there will ever be one, but from what I have heard from the Japanese voice actors, they did a really good job of portraying someone in the worst possible pain. Let me tell you, those screams sound too realistic. It gets under your skin, and just seeing the characters getting violently murdered just makes it worse. But hell, you don’t even need to look at the screen to be freaked out. Just hearing it on it’s own is enough to make things hard to stomach. I heard that there was too much gore, and yeah, I can see that as being the case, but at least it isn’t just one big gorefest like your typical slasher film. It manages to have a very disturbing story…. Just with lots of dead bodies.
So, now that I’ve held out on this character long enough, let’s get to actually talking about the character Sachiko. Sachiko is the main antagonist of the entire anime. A ghost girl with nothing but a pair of rusted scissors, she and the other ghost children, all disfigured in their own ways, hunt down the group of students and try to kill them, to trap them within the cursed school that they are trapped in. Sachiko is probably one of the best entities in a horror anime. And she’s a ghost. And I am sick of ghost… anything. I don’t know how, but Sachiko manages to make ghosts interesting. I mean, I’m not gonna watch the ten thousand Paranormal Activity movies, but I may look into The Grudge sometime… Maybe… but doubtfully. Sachiko manages to be both scary and as well, tragic, with her backstory that… I really want to get into. I mean I really want to get into why she is a very tragic character in a horror anime, but I don’t want to spoil it. But that could alienate a lot of people who are turned off by the extreme gore and avoid such good character story. Oh, I don’t know what to do… I just want to say that it is a story you would not expect from a child and you can clearly see why she has become a vengeful spirit. It makes you really feel bad for her… Despite her being a murderous ghost girl. But it’s still very good, and I urge you to try your best to get through the violence to see it. When I think about it, saving her for later was kinda pointless, really… Shit… Uh… Hey, how about that opening?
As I said before, this opening is very tragic indeed. First off, the happiness and the joyful tone of it is nothing more than lies and betrayal, as… Well, you can guess. But I said before that this opening is very more hard hitting when you better understand the lore of Corpse Party. So, after catching up on my lore, I noticed that this opening isn’t just creepy, it’s depressing. This is actually more of a previous showing of the things they have done, before entering Heavenly Host Elementary. Before they started getting killed by crazy ghost children. And now, things have changed completely. This ain’t no Persona school, kids. This is Corpse Party, and in it, people die and they don’t come back. There’s your happy anime opening. It really makes you want to play the games in hopes of getting the best possible ending so that everyone can live. Sadly, people in that game have to die, or so I’ve heard. So, all you can do is just try and get the most people to live, and even then, it’s a depressing ending, no matter what. And I think that really hits home in the ending of Tortured Souls. It really hits you in the gut, and ends with giving you one last final scissor to the gut. An extra fuck you right before it ends. And that’s what I love about Corpse Party, in a screwed up, masochistic way.
Corpse Party is known as being one of the most shocking, violent, and most disturbing… things ever… And yeah, you heard right. I think that the violence helped keep this anime from getting English voice actors. All this murder happening to children. It’s a very taboo thing here in the States. But it’s a very good fucked up piece of work. It manages to tell a very creepy backstory, have an interesting environment and have some of the best use of gore I’ve seen in a horror story, which says a lot. The characters aren’t the most flushed out, but you still want to see them get out of this place in hopes of living their lives, even when you know that is just not gonna happen. And as much as it kills me that I can’t describe Sachiko in anyway without spoiling the story, you have to trust me when I say she is one of the best. If you can stomach some of the most intense violence ever to be shown in… anything, I urge you to give this one a look. Just remember that this series is far from tame… Also Naomi gets groped by a shadow monster and we get to see panty shots. 10/10 . Would get creepy rape ghost fetish again.
But seriously, this is screwed up. Take care.