ghostYui IshikawaYamishibaiAsana Mamoru
Yamishibai: Japanese Ghost Stories: Season 5
Episode 1 also reviewed here: Anime 1st episodes 2017: Y
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2017
Writer: Ayako Yamaguchi, Satoko Kishino, Yuko Ichiki
Actor: Asana Mamoru, Azu Sakura, Fuka Haruna, Kanji Tsuda, Maho Yamada, Mai Kotone, Marina Tanoue, Megumi Natsuki, Sae Morita, Saeri Umehara, Sayako Tojo, Tsubame Amami, Yui Ishikawa, Yuka Adachi
Keywords: Yamishibai, anime, horror, ghost
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: Season Five: 13 four-and-a-half-minute episodes
Website category: Anime 2017
Review date: 2 August 2018
Will this show continue for ever? That would be nice. Well, if "nice" means "gruesome downer endings and ambiguously horrible things happening to nice people".
The Yamishibai format goes as follows. Opening credits show an old man with a traditional kamishibai puppet theatre, putting on a show for the neighbourhood children. "Shibai" means play or drama, while "kami" means paper. "Yami" means darkness and can include metaphorical meanings. We then get a little one-off horror story. This is juicy and enjoyable, if you like horror, but it doesn't actually leave not much for reviewers to talk about. It's like reviewing a short story collection, to which everyone's going to have their own personal reactions and you'd expect everyone's favourite to be different. They're good episodes. They're also all standalone. There are no ongoing characters, although the show would have had trouble keeping that up even had it wanted to. (Not many survivors.)
This season's got a particularly good line-up of stories, I think. They're all ultra-short, obviously, but they're still capable of finding extra levels you hadn't expected. Ep.10 subverts the zombie twist you'll have been expecting, while it's only the first half of ep.6 that plays out as you knew it would. Most of the protagonists happen to be female this time (which I'm happy with) and a few of them are even nasty or unsympathetic, which we didn't get in Season 4.
Do I have anything else to say? I could go through all the episodes one by one, but I'd sooner leave them for you to discover. You already know if you want to watch this or not. Tasty bite-sized chunks of poison. You know they're good for you.