High atop a cliff sits the mansion known as Shadows House, home to a faceless clan that pretends to live like nobles. They express their emotions through living dolls that also endlessly clean the home of soot. One such servant, Emilico, aids her master Kate as they learn more about themselves and the mysteries of the house.
Imagine The Promised Neverland, but just the first season and a lot more well thought. This is Shadows House. It pains me that someone already added a review to this anime. Not to be dramatic, but this is one of the best things my eyes have ever been exposed to, and I really wanted to be the first one to tell the world about it. Oh well, now I think the only thing left to me is to just hop into this review already. First off, I will start talking about the story. I have already read the manga but don't worry, I will keep this spoiler free. Here we follow Emilico, a living doll whose only life purpose is to be the face of and serve her shadow master, Kate-sama. That's because these shadow masters are beings whose bodies are entirely black, but who have the same silhouettes of their dolls. The living doll's faces are the only way a shadow can show their emotions, the only way they can be complete. Quite the strange premise, right? But trust me, that is just the tip of the iceberg. At the beginning of the story, you are going to be confused, left completely in the dark, much as our protagonist Emilico. It starts a bit slow, just fuelling your curiosity, adding suspense and making you think "there might be something weird going on here". But as time goes, you will discover that the world of Shadows House is much more complex than it seemed when your horizons were still limited by the walls that surround Kate and Emilico's bedroom. As for the characters, Shadows House has plenty of good ones. Emilico is a bubbly girl who cares a lot about other people, but who is very clumsy and has trouble fulfilling her role as a face. If you are like me and don't really dig this type of character, don't worry, Kate is there to be your more proactive and intelligent protagonist. They make a good balance of goofiness and seriousness and work really well as a duo. There are also some great side characters, two of them go through amazing character development and really will make you go from hating to loving them. Some great villains and all that jazz. Just to wrap this up, this anime has decent animation. It gets good when the scene calls for it, but nothing exceptional most of the time (as expected from CloverWorks). The soundtrack is also good, and the ending is superb. So, should you give this anime a chance? Absolutely. Even if you are not a fan of horror or mystery, don't worry, it's not THAT scary, and it still has some pretty funny and light-hearted moments! I love the manga and this is a great adaptation, it's a 10/10 for me in terms of entertainment.
The Shadow "I have gone through the most terrible affair that could possibly happen; only imagine, my shadow has gone mad; I suppose such a poor, shallow brain, could not bear much; he fancies that he has become a real man, and that I am his shadow." A shadow, the first thought that comes to your mind is that it is something sinister and dark. Some people believed that your shadow is a demon that wants to possess you, or that it is a portal that can lead to a world unknown. There are so many fables and stories that surround shadows that it will take a whole year to touch upon each and every one of them. But there is one thing I want to say, remember ‘The Shadow’ by Hans Christian Andersen? First, the fairy tale’s protagonist sees the idea to use his shadow in his little tricks amusing, but later this idea turns into a tragedy. Hans Christian Andersen depicted a shadow as something horrible and atrocious and there is a reason for it. Yet, further discussion will lead to nothing but spoilers, so let us stop here. In a nutshell The story of the anime centers on a certain place, in a certain castle. There people, playing noblemen, live. They do not have faces; their emotions are always a mystery, but they have living dolls that have faces and care for them. What is the mystery behind a castle where human-looking dolls are servants of shadows? No one knows. Story It is so easy to control people; just give them a false hope. Even if it is something that is highly disliked, a small lie will turn any hated activity in something that will be blindly followed without any questions. ‘Just keep on doing it and eventually your life will be better and you will be able to join the elite.’ It is too good to be true; however, a small part of your heart will still show a grain of hope and will blindly follow this stupid lie. Anyways, from the synopsis alone, Shadows House does sound like a first class horror anime. It just screams: ‘creepy!’ The story of the anime revolves around Emilyko, the 'living doll' that serves the shadow called Kate. The problem is, the servant is unable to see the face of the master, hence she does not know how Kate feels and if she is pleased. It is only natural, since no one is able to see the faces of the shadows, which makes their servants, the dolls, the only possibility to distinguish between the members of their clan. Little to nothing is known about the dolls, their creator, the shadows, the castle, where they live, and about a number of rules, both the shadows and the dolls are to follow alike. Are dolls even dolls, or humans? Or maybe shadows are the true humans? There are just so many questions. But one thing is clear, the castle does not look like something that opens opportunities; it looks more like a jail than anything else. Random thoughts The initial feeling that you might get, when watching this anime, is that it is somewhat similar to Rozen Maiden. I am not going to give you any more details, since I might end up spoiling you both Rozen Maiden and Shadow House. Long story short, Shadows House is quite an amazing watch. While it does have a very slow, cliché and boring start that might be the reason for you to even start thinking about dropping the anime, but when you find out more about Shadow House, calling the anime boring would be quite an unforgivable mistake to make. Of course, it is not simply a slice of life, with some drama. The main genre of the anime is supernatural. This anime has many supernatural elements and the best thing about it is that it is near impossible to guess anything that is happening in the world of Shadow House. There are just so many mysteries that come out of nowhere, making the world of Shadows House mysterious and dark. It is simply so enjoyable to watch! You know, sometimes you just know the ending right from the first episode and this is really boring. Not here, however. Characters Character wise, just like with the story, it is near impossible to find them interesting, at first. However, with time, more characters are introduced, who become a catalyst for the development of the anime’s protagonists, you find out more about that and you will not be able to find them lacking anymore. What is more, while many anime tend to focus only on the protagonists, Shadows House equally pays attention to both the supporting and the main characters. Overall All in all, with my review, I only give you small hints and the rest will be for you to find out. Definitely, this is not an anime for everyone. However, if you like thinking and analyzing, this might be a good watch. As for me, I adore Shadow House, because I have so many theories, but they all have been wrong so far. Shadow House is the anime, where it is impossible to guess what will happen in the future episodes.
Until I watched this show, I never imagined that an anime could be so heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time. A lot of people have compared it to The Promised Neverland--personally, I like Shadows House better. In my opinion, it does a better job of illustrating the relationships between the characters as well as making them relatable to viewers. Not to mention, Emilico is freaking adorable! There's also more than enough creepiness to satisfy my inner horror junkie and plot twists that keep you guessing without being too confusing. I can't wait for season 2!
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