Yamishibai, in theory, is the perfect show for me. Currently, I'm going through a horror phase and I can't get enough of creepy movies and shows. However, I also don't have a lot of time to sit though long series, so the short episodes are perfect for me. As soon as I found out about this show, I was pretty excited!
Yamishibai is episodical; each episode is a stand-alone story based on a Japanese legend. None of the stories or characters are complex due to the length of the episodes, which has both good points and bad: Even with their short lengths, the stories are simple easy to follow without needing a bunch of background info, but I think the short length has the most effect on the endings, which are usually cliffhangers. The biggest problem with this show is too many episodes follow the same type of plot, which makes the story a bit predictable. However, predictable plots aside, I enjoyed most of the stories and was always looking forward to the next episode.
Although a bit cheap looking at first, I really enjoyed the animation used. It is suposed to mimic "kamishibai", a form of storytelling using pictures in Japan. It really seemed to fit the whole "urban legends" feel to the show.
Like in most horror shows/movies, sound is very important for making the viewer feel uneasy or scared. Although not amazing, the music was pretty good at making scenes creepy, or to make a "jump scare" even more effective.
Overall, was it scary? I'd say yes. None of the stories made me screen in terror but most were extremely creepy, without having to use blood and gore. They would make perfect camp-fire stories! Repetative narratives were the biggest problem, but even if you did have an idea of what was going to happen, the endings were still spooky.
Although I know many won't agree with this high of a rating, I personally enjoyed Yamishibai enough to give it a 7/10.