The dark and brooding Ayakashi is composed of three horror stories: the narration of a young woman named Oiwa who was abandoned and betrayed by the one she truly loved, leading her to curse all who stood in her way; a story of two star-crossed lovers – a human and a forgotten god – and their struggle to have a future together; and the tale of an evil and malicious demon who is haunting and murdering a family for unknown purposes. Though different in animation style and tone, each story shares a similar theme: the darkness of the human heart.
When two strangers find themselves trapped in a mysterious lounge with no memory of arriving, they're informed by the bartender that the only way to escape is play a game like their lives depend on it. With a spin of the roulette wheel, their fates are set: the men must play a game of pool, but it's no ordinary game! In a suspenseful, macabre twist, the balls aren't numbered but rather represent a different organ in each man's body. Just what kind of fate awaits the loser of this anything-goes game of billiards?
The story of Death Billiards feels like it could be one of the shorts of Ayakashi.
They are somewhat supernatural and or twisted slightly.
If you enjoyed the Outer Limit/Twillight Zone feel of one, you might enjoy the other.
Mai Taniyama is a first year high school student who lives a carefree life telling ghost stories with her friends. One day, she meets Kazuya Shibuya, the head of Shibuya Psychic Research (SPR); and together, she tags along to help him investigate paranormal activities in a haunted school building. His assistant Lin was hurt during an incident to protect Mai from danger, so what more can Mai do than to take the job as Shibuya's assistant? Along with a team of other ghost hunters, they will uncover the mystery of a strange case coming their way, while Mai starts to discover her own abilities.
Both Ayakashi and Ghost Hunt deal with the paranormal, and with life-after-death occult matters. If the haunting darkness of the human soul and the thought of life actions having far-reaching after-death consequences are your bag, both of these anime will satisfy your inner child's craving for horror.
From swordsmen to robots, from ancient tribal cultures to civilizations that reach the stars, there is one force that dominates all others: life. From birth to death, and rebirth again, it is life that permeates the soul and opens up to us the mysteries of the universe. Within this tale of the phoenix and those who would be touched by its beauty, we are shown the joys and tragedies that life sometimes hands us, and what we, as humans, must do to survive...
Each anime has several different stories within their genre. Hi no Tori takes on the sci-fi part where Ayakashi takes on horror. Both are sure to please if you are interested in either genre and just wanting to sit down for a quick story that will leave you satisfied.
Ever since childhood, Kintoki (commonly known as Kai Doh Maru) has lived a difficult life of bloodshed, as a woman who was raised to be like a man. With the help of her mentor and comrades, she helps defend her city from evil spirits and beings that threaten it. However, Kintoki cannot forget her past, and soon, her past will catch up to her...
In purely style terms, the last story told in Ayakashi-Japanese Classic Horror recalled Kai Doh Maru to me because they are both attempting to emulate Edo period woodblock prints. In Ayakashi, the colors are muted and the backgrounds and characters appear to be painted in water colors, with even the yellowed and wrinkled look of old woodblock prints coming through to the viewer. Kai Doh Maru also strives for an original look with faded colors and an almost woodblock look to it. This isn't to say the stories are really all that similar, but if you have an interest in creative art styles and liked the last story in Ayakashi, check out Kai Doh Maru.
Kurahashi has never been the same since the hallucinations started. His condition is not medical in nature, and only seems to be triggered by an antique glass which shows him things he never would wish to see. For Kurahashi, figuring out the mystery of the Petit Cossette that appears to him in his waking dreams is a matter of life or death... and his sanity...
Le Portrait and Ayakashi are must sees for fans of horror, violence, mystery and intrigue. Both anime display powerful animation both in the design and stroke, and are able to engulf the central theme through such animation and beautiful soundtracks.