Kagewani: Shou – 03

Screen Shot 2016-04-15 at 6.56.12 PM

A man and a woman foolishly use Bing to find an off-the-map hot spring and the woman is kidnapped by a cult of mask wearing crazies who sacrifice virgins to a monster living under neath the hot springs.

Fortunately, a mysterious man with a tuning fork distracts everyone long enough for the original man to save the girl and get away. The monster then eats the cultists. Later a cab driver says the place has been closed for years and the website is all 404

dun dun duuuunnnn. Roll credits…

Screen Shot 2016-04-15 at 6.57.54 PM

Kagewani 3’s pocket sized twilight zone continues to ‘work’ as long as you don’t think to hard about any of the details. The monster and the cult were freaky and, until tuning-fork-sama shows up, I had no expectation for the lovely couple to make it out alive. (given episode 1 & 2’s mountain of corpses)

Unfortunately, Tuning-Fork-sama is a pure let down as a random save the day factor. The plot also doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, since sacrifice-cyan’s companion was known by, but completely ignored by, the cult. Why? I guess someone needed some way to get down to the cult’s ceremony and save the day.

So does atmosphere trump lazy story telling? Does a unique visual style make up for monster of the week throw away plots and/or a completely unengaging master plot about prisoner 44?

Barley and probably less and less the more episodes I review.

16rating_7

Advertisements

Kagewani: Shou – 02

Screen Shot 2016-04-08 at 1.42.37 PM

Prisoner 44 is being transferred by train to somewhere. He’s guarded by a hard-ass know-nothing detective but the train is full of civilians and gets attacked by a giant acid spewing monster early on.

Using team work and the monster’s own stupidity, 44 and the Detective separate the front locomotive from the rest of the train, and the monster goes flying off a cliff at the next hair pin turn.

Screen Shot 2016-04-08 at 1.41.37 PM

While the over arching plot was fine, the pacing was just awful. At barely 7 minutes in length, it actually felt padded. The animation is very slow, characters pause and look at things purposefully, despite the speeding train and threat of cliff-based-doom.

And really, in a world with this many constant monster attacks, it’s just not believable theres no believability in the detective not knowing about them, nor people standing around gawking at them only to be eaten/melted for dawdling.

Screen Shot 2016-04-08 at 1.37.33 PM

Where the opening episode was enjoyable for its methodical pace and creepy vibe, this episode’s focus on action — but still being slow about it — just didn’t work.

Sprinkle in the evil army organization that grabs 44 at the end to transport him to wherever and Kagewani doesn’t seem like it knows what to do with it’s meager resources.

This is really not a good sign.

16rating_7

Kagewani: Shou – 01 (First Impressions)

horror2

There’s a Twilight Zone episode where (the actor who plays) Captain Kirk is on an airplane being attacked by a goblin, except he’s the only one who can see it and everyone thinks he’s crazy until the plane lands and work crews see all the damage.

This episode of Kagewani is like that, except the monster is inside the plane and has already eaten all the passengers and a reporter and ground crew are trying to figure out what happened after the fact.

horror1

Apparently this is the first episode of the second season but, given how much ground short format shows generally cover, you’ll be fine starting here.

Yes, this is another 7-minute short format show worth your time, but not just for its spin on the horror genre. Kagewani is visually unique: characters appear to be water-colored ink stills that have been animated in post process. It also employs what I can only describe as ‘Shaky Cam’.

horror3

I am absolutely certain the overarching plot is idiotic. The hero/villain introduced in the end has that ‘hardcore dude in the shadows’, too-cool-for-school vibe that we can all roll our eyes at.

Regardless, as an individual episode, this was engaging, visually interesting, and broke my expectations. Have 7 minutes? Give this a watch!

16rating_8