Yami Shibai Episode 4 Anime Review

ImageJust a photocopier dreaming of becoming a bathroom drain.

This episode of Yami Shibai played on two fears – being the last one in the office after dark, and not knowing wtf is wrong when some piece of equipment goes haywire. We finally get a female protagonist, and I wonder if that was intentional because she has long hair too.

The timing for sound effects and the deliberate misleading of the end-scare was spot-on and really built up to the scare factor in this episode. I especially liked the gross squelchy noise of the hair disappearing into the photocopier.

The first cultural reference of this episode would probably be the chiming of the school bells just before the strange events occurred, which is like the ringing of bells to herald a portal opening. Or perhaps something waking up from slumber. The black-haired ghost, or yurei, appears and haunts our protagonist as she tries to use the photocopier. I wonder, with the emphasis on hair and that being the title of the episode, if it’s because she’s jealous of the protagonist’s long black hair?

How did she come to haunt a photocopier anyway? Did her head get slammed in the lid? Or was she runover by a photocopier? It’s a little odd, since she looked like a traditional ghost, but she’s haunting a photocopier. We could make the hypothesis that she’s haunting the school, but I doubt our protag was the first teacher to stay back late for work.

I suppose you could say the photocopier is like a camera, and it was capturing her essence. She looked like she was trapped inside the copier until paper was printed of her hair and only then could she manifest herself.

I think, overall, this episode didn’t feel as organic as the first one, and it’s very clear that it was just meant as a scare story, rather than toying with the possibility that it’s something that could happen. It doesn’t leave one with a lasting dread. Kinda sad too, since the timing for music and the scares this time was spot on.

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2 responses to “Yami Shibai Episode 4 Anime Review”

  1. Artemis says :

    I think the first episode of Yami Shibai is still far and away the best, but I quite liked this one too – as you point out, the timing was spot on, and the story itself, while not necessary as creepily realistic in the same way as others have been, still had a pretty decent scare factor going on.

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