(Only minor spoilers in this review)
Corpse party is... okay. It's not the best horror anime I've seen, but it's definetly not the worst either. Be warned, there are a lot of gore and violence, as well as some ecchi. It's interesting enough to watch (since it's only about 2 hours in total), but it could have been better. Have in mind that I have not played the game.
It's your typical horror story; some school kids perform a ritual and end up in a school that's haunted by the spirits of dead children and their victims. To escape, they have to solve the mystery of what really happened to the children, and set their spirits free.
The story works. It's unoriginal and predictable, but it works. However, you never know who will survive, or if anyone will survive, which I think is really good. The ending was also a surprise, as well as the characters actions.
The reason I give it a little above average on the story is because it had a few holes in it and they didn't show everything that happened (probably because the time wasn't enough). There were quite a few things left unexplained and some things the characters did were just plain stupid. I mean "this guy just told me there are ghosts here and the floor is filled with blood and corpses.. well, I'm gonna go find a toilet because I really need to pee right now, we can catch up later, bye!".
The character design and the animation was great. The gore was terrifying and well done, the lightning and shadows were spot on and the creepy stuff were indeed creepy. I liked the fact that the gore worked and was part of the story, and not just "there for show". Some facial expressions and minor things could improve, but overall the animation and art style was very good.
The sound helped create a creepy and mysterious atmosphere. The voices fit for each character (jap) and the soundtrack was good.
Oh damn.... this is where it really fell for me. It was almost like the creators though "hey, this guy/gal is just gonna die soon anyway, there's no need to give him/her a personality". They all had one of three personalities: 1. The stupid and scared one. 2. The stupid one that wants to save everyone and get them all out of there. 3. The stupid one that turned crazy. Did I mention they were all incredibly stupid?
There were however some characters you "kinda liked" and some you "kinda hated", but most of them were just there. There was no one I was particularly fond of and I couldn't care less about the ones who died.
As I said, it was okay. I recommend you give it a try if you like horror, blood and gore, but that's mainly because it's so short you won't lose much if you don't like it. However, if you are easily irritated when the characters make a stupid decision or hate plot holes, then this is not the anime for you. I have heard the game is much better, so maybe you should give that a try instead.
DISCLAIMER: I have never played the original game, but I have watched a LP of it.
Story: The story is typical fare--a bunch of highschoolers get shipped off to a creepy place dripping in atmosphere. Now what, pray tell, does this anime in particular do to make this interesting?
Well, they do make it pretty scary...
Truth be told, this is one of those anime that will, at times, manage to make you pause the episode, turn on all the lights, and keep watching. However, "at times" refers to about two or three scenes in the entire anime. The anime does really well when it ups its already well-done atmosphere in such a way that will make anyone's heartbeat speed up. But the anime doesn't do this too often, especially since it later trades the eerie moments for gore-fests.
And what gore-fests they are.
Holy crap, this anime is disgusting. Blood (I can handle this), intestines-ripping (I can handle this), decapitation (I can handle this), tongue-cutting (I can handle this), eye-stabbing (HELL NO), anything goes. I watch and read quite a few violent and bloody things, but this anime is just crazy. Usually, this type of anime is heavily censored, but I easily found an uncensored version of this anime. (This is not a bad thing at all, because there's no stupid shadowing or pixelation.)
And, while the gore is definitely a defining point of the anime, it is a little too obvious and kills the dark atmosphere of the show and almost makes it ridiculous.
Oh, and speaking of ridiculous... this show is a (very mild) ecchi. Yep.
Finally, the "bad end" feel of the show (without spoiling, people die) could be a turn-off to some fans of the game.
Animation: The show itself looks quite nice. The color palette is near-excellent, with everything draped in darkness. The anime also takes advantage of interesting camera angles and techniques. And, of course, the quality of the gore is to die for (sorry, sorry).
And now, for the bad.
Out-of-place fanservice. The anime chooses to show pantsu at the most terrible moments--the last thing I want during a creepy, hide-your-eyes-behind-your-hands scene is a panty shot. Seriously, this show needs to learn the meaning of SUBTLETY IS NOT A BAD IDEA.
In addition, the character designs are bland and the differences in hair are the only way to tell people apart. This is somewhat an issue created by the original game, but the anime does nothing to improve on it.
Sound: First and foremost, the OP is beautiful. I love it. The ED is "meh" in comparison. There's only one itty-bitty problem--this is one of those OVAs that would benefit from being a longer series. Scare after scare, murder after murder is not the way to go if a series wants impact. So why is there a (rather lengthy) OP and ED for each episode? Whatever.
The OST is fine, and adds nice touches to the scenes.
But the voice acting is actually quite good, even though some of the voices are so annoying you'll want to punch your computer screen (YUKA) or you won't care when the characters scream (YUKAYUKAYUKA). Each seiyuu manages to fit his/her character well, which is great and all, but I wish there would be more silence in the anime. It feels like every second is filled up with some voice work, whether it be a scream or a gasp or anything.
The voices during the torture moments? They are ready to disturb you for life.
Characters: Four episode OVAs cannot achieve much character development. They just can't. Four episode OVAs which kill off characters like there's no tomorrow cannot achieve any character development.
In addition, nearly every character is an IDIOT. I mean, I get that they're all in a bad situation, but DAMN.
Mochida Satoshi: He is the typical shonen lead. That's about it. There's a reason he's not exactly a super-popular character (outside of the series. Within the series, it seems like every girl has the hots for him).
Nakashima Naomi: I have a friend who likes Naomi a lot, and it seems that she's rather popular. So let me be blunt--I hate her. She's annoying and whiny, and I get that "OMG bad stuff happened to her OMG OMG how can you be so heartless she's so strong OMG" and guess what? I don't care. She's just another tsundere who can't handle herself and needs to man up. Geez, woman.
Kishinuma Yoshiki: I don't hate him. Not only is he actually a go-getter who's caring and kind, but he's also an effing BADASS when he wants to be. Oh, and he's hot (especially in the manga). Once again, though, he is a static character.
Shinozaki Ayumi: Hats off to her for getting stuff done. Hats back on because she likes Satoshi. I'm not criticizing her taste in guys (even though the guy with her is way hotter and cares for her a lot), but rather how it defines her actions. If this series wanted to make Satoshi the main guy in a harem, they should have done that instead of making a horror.
Mochida Yuka: Satoshi's good-for-nothing loli sister.
Shinohara Seiko: Another perverted comic relief. Hey, studios, please STOP MAKING THESE CHARACTERS!
Morishige Sakutarou: I hate this guy, but I hate him even more because the anime leaves out an important point about him from the game.
Suzumoto Mayu: I hate her, too. But she does wear shimapan, if you care.
Shishido Yui: Caring and protective teacher type. Wait, am I not supposed to be spouting tropes?
Naho: Very likely the only female character I like a lot. Her character wasn't fully explored in the anime, but she's still likable.
There are other characters (most notably sexy beast Kizami), but I won't go in depth.
Overall: If you want gore, then go watch this right now. If you don't desperately need your blood quota for the day, try out the RPG or manga instead. This anime feels like a tired adaptation that, if executed better, could have been improved immensely.
Not going to lie, this is a pretty messed up anime though, I did watch the entire thing so not sure what that says about me. It's not really what I would consider scary though, for an anime, it is pretty gory and graphic. The story line is pretty solid and I have to admit, it was fairly interesting. It's kind of hard to grasp the characters and their personality however as some of them are really only seen for a short time and I think perhaps this is something that could have been developed. In all honesty, there were a few cliche horror moves made by the characters that are central to the story and I was left questioning the characters intelligence more than once throughout the four episodes but, it wasn't terrible.
Corpse Party: Tortured Souls is the perfect anime for the halloween/fall season. With only four episodes, this anime is the perfect substituion for one hour and a half scary movie. Becoming more of a gory mystery series rather than a horror anime, there are still enough chilling and suspenseful to keep you on the edge of your seat. I reccomend this to anyone looking to add to their list of the scary/unsettling genre. Plus that ending will just leaving you with the most bone chilling feeling ever! (Watch after the credits of the last episode for sure.) BTW If these four episodes let you wanting more. Whether it be back story or more character development, I recommend that you play at least the first Corpse Party game for PSP which you can download to your vita from the Playstation store. If you at all enjoyed the anime and want to go more in depth then the video game is a MUST.
For anyone wondering how the last guy didn't make it back, i have an explanation. He Naomi picking something off the corpse in a previous scene and asked her what she was doing. She replied, "nothing." Later, he asked the ghost of that dead girl what happens to someone who doesn't use their piece of the paper doll when they return to the real world. We never get to hear her response. Now, when the three of them are going to return he knows that she has a piece of paper from one of the dead members of the group. He knows that she can't return with that piece because it's original owner is dead. Instead, he offers her his own piece and says that he will use his sister's piece, knowing full well she is dead and he will not be able to return with them. So in essence, he sacrificed himself so that she could get back to the real world. But after watching after the credits, who really came out on top of that one?? All in all I think it was a great twist.
This is what i would call a substition for a horror film; the suspense and hard core gore is perfect for the halloween season or to freak you and your friends out with. The ending is truly gripping and interesting, and throughout the episodes you learn more and more about the story. This anime is truly gripping. The ending almost made me sad - you will find it out when you watch it i was actually confused for a moment but its so good i wont spoil it.
What i did like about this anime was the story line, i thought it was interesting and it was carried out quite well although it wasnt anything original or outstandingly amazing. I liked the fact tehre was never a dull moment and what you think happened is suddenly changed as well as your percpective of the characters. There are a lot of twists and turns which i found enjoyable. The quality of anime isnt great but what i would call worth watching. its also short so what have you got to lose?
I didnt like the lack of character development as it was a bit rushed, i do wish it was slightly longer. A few of the characters did annoy me as well, i thought their desicons were unrealistic and stupid sometimes, such as
when Satoshi leaves Yuka with some little girl he has never seen to go to the toilet outside ALONE?! its so unrealistic especially in that situation. It was his little sister like he would let her out of sight in that situation?. Also i found the lack of fear was unrealistic with some of the characters - they became way to used with the situation too quickly it just wouldnt be the case.
Despite his stupidity - due to the contributuon of the ending - Satoshi is my favoruite character. he was the one i connected with the most and found the most enjoyable to watch. i loved how he looked after everyone, especially Yuka. I feel so sorry for him due to the circumstances that occur and his lack of selfishness was very endearing to me (again the ending you will see what i mean)
I would recommend this NOT to the light hearted as the gore did make me cringe in some areas. Would i say this anime is scary? not to me but gore was 10/10. This is definitley something i would watch again and again. Watch in the dark with no light for the best affect but I would say it may cause a lack of food throughout XD