Category Archives: Dead Cells

Dead Cells horror anime podcast: Parasyte

Hi there, i am typicallydia and welcome to Reanimation on the dead as hell horror podcast. today we are going to talk about the very recent anime Parasyte – The Maxim.

This is from Studio Madhouse, who you may know from Ninja Scroll, Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust, Death Note, and Chobits. They have worked with Marvel and Studio Ghibli, so all of that means this is sure to be a tightly tuned and high quality anime. The story handling remains to be seen, yet so far I find it gory, moody and well written.

It is adapted from the manga written and illustrated by Hitoshi Iwaaki, published from 1990 to 1995. Tokyopop and Del Rey released it in North America, and I am kind of surprised it took this long to develop into a series. It’s kind of exploded though, with the first of two live action films that will hit japan on Halloween this year, Ii can’t wait to see what sort of reception it gets and future releases overseas.

The theme song, as I mentioned in a previous episode is growing on me. Like a parasite maybe. “Let Me Hear” by Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is worth searching out on YouTube to give you an idea of the anime style if you watch the opening credits.

The story so far revolves around Shinichi Izumi a seventeen year old student. Shinichi has what his parents think is a nightmare about a snake burrowing into his arm. By the next day he is feeling weird and already has improved reflexes. His hand isn’t behaving properly otherwise, groping a girl at school and fidgiting with his smartphone in class, when he isn’t the type to do these things. It is only when he threatens his right hand that it starts talking to him. As messed up as that is, in it’s kinda adorable, childish and sleepy little voice.

It has it’s own personality and learns fast. it can sense other parasites but has no recollection of what it is or where it came from. all it knows is that it matured in his hand before it could hit his brain and take over his body, much to the misfortune of them both.

Meanwhile, other parasites have infected others and a rash of violent murder is taking place in Tokyo. it even affects  animals like dogs in a rather creepy meeting with a doggy host. if you are cranky about animals being hurt in horror, be careful as the dog does not make it. there are other scenes of animal cruelty, and though avenged and part if the plot, some may not like it.

If you are okay about people being slaughtered though, the second episode starts out with a splash! It becomes apparent the other parasite hosts are impossibly strong. In contrast, Migi, meaning right as in right hand, is still adorable.

The killings are happening worldwide and dubbed “The Mincemeat Murders” on account of the state of the horribly mutilated corpses. Shinichi is the only one that seems to know why this is all happening, though other hosts seem somewhat sentient and seem to be seeking him out.

Fans of Videodrome, From Beyond and even the liquid morphing T2 will enjoy the transformations which are awfully visceral. My only complaint is they border on silly looking most times. Not one attack so far hasn’t looked a little silly. I suppose we can’t argue what looks possible and impossible here, as the transformations depicted seem more magical than biological so we enter a bio-illogical place which makes body horror less fun in my opinion, when you don’t have the supernatural to explain it away.For body horror to really be effective, in my opinion, it need to adhere to earth physics, biological truths and physiological tolerances.

Until a supernatural presence explains the plasticity of humans infected, I’ll just grin and bear it. The score helps. Typical anime upbeat synthy flute music is co-mingled with harsh dubstep. I prefer my anime with metal, but I’m won over by the placement of the abrasive music as it rends your attention while bodies are being rent in half. Always a nice mix.

So Parasyte – it is airing right now on NTV and being simulcast on crunchyroll. As we speak I am waiting on episode three, so if you haven’t checked this out yet it is a good time to catch up on it.

If you have a favourite body horror anime or infectious parasite j-horror, let me know on the Dead as Hell Horror Podcast website at deadashellhp.com, or wherever you hang out online. This has been ReAnimeTion and I am typicallydia.

Dead Cells horror podcast: Tokyo Ghoul Season I thoughts

Hi there, This is typicallydia and you are listening to Reanimation on the Dead As Hell horror podcast. Today i want to wrap up my thoughts on the second half of Tokyo Ghoul. Once I was all done watching it, i had to watch episode 8 to 12 again, then watch 11 and 12 twice more, then watch the final fight again. Then i watched the final fight uncensored. suffice it to say, I really enjoyed this series right to the last drop of blood.

Studio Peirrot had announced a second season and there was some chatter about the Chinese distributor pulling the listing for the anticipated January release. I don’t know any more than the casual fan, but it really mustn’t mean a thing. A series that is still coming out in Jump Live and is so wildly popular then had a very successful first season run is likely not going anywhere. Don’t Panic.

So, yes, I was getting a little bored with the stall during episode 7ish and thereabouts, but got extremely excited once the series continued with better pace. At times though I was tired with the investigative Commission of Counter Ghoul, or CCG storylines, but the way they finally converged left me pretty happy.

Everyone was trying to get back to normal while the CCG investigation swirls around them and  Mados ex partner swears revenge after  some flash backs that solidify their partner relationship for the viewer.

Meanwhile, Kaneki realizes there is more of the ghoul Rise left in him than he thought. Before she came to the 20th ward Rise was in the 11th and both wards are now being targeted by the CCG.

More flashbacks teach us more about Touka and her little brother (Ayato). Yay for flashbacks. So, enter the thugs from 11th ward and Banjo Kazouichi who is a pretty hip thug with cool gasmasked and hoodied thug sidekicks.  They are hunting for Rise. So is Jason. enter Toukas brother again, who is incidentally on his way to the ward to hunt Rise as well and from his introduction, surrounded by dead bodies, a bit of a binge eater himself. he demolished the entire 11th ward CCG contingent and seems a little nuts.

It seems Tatara, one of the leaders of the Agori Tree and Eto, his sidekick are heading there too. So tension? Sure. Let’s just pile on tension knowing all y’all prolly hate one another and only one of you is going to get hold of Kanekei or even figure out what happened to Rise and that’s bound to piss one of you off. I like Eto. Remids me of Keyop from old Gatcaman, or Battle of the Planets cartoons I used to watch when i was a kid.

Here we get the first mention of the Agori Tree which is basically a ghoul gang. An organization that is willing to wage war against the CCG and all humans. We also hear the first mention of the One Eyed King, the ghoul equivalent on He Who Walks Behind The Rows,

So it begins as the thugs demo the cafe. They can smell Rise in the air and on Kaneki.He bullshits them as best he can, and discovers Banjo came to warn Rise that the Agori Tree is after her. Enter the super sexy Ayato, Toukas brother. Followed by Yamori Jason and Nico. The cafe is getting mighty crowded by this point. This is also where the storyline really compresses and you may feel, as I did, that too much is happening.  I kind of feel like that right now.

So, to chill out a bit, they skip off to the CCG storyline who have now become wise to the Agori tree. They figure a wicked war between ghouls and humans is coming fast so they begin to enlist some pretty interesting characters as ammo in this fight.

Back at the cafe, we get a taste of how much torture Kaneki can withstand, and how much violence Jason can dole out while the other thugs basically watch and his friends are powerless to help. He is beaten to a pulp. Once the cafe is literally coated with blood, Kaneki is whisked away by Jason who is a true sadist and takes him to a not-so-secret torture chamber in the 11th ward. He reportedly plays with his food before eating it, and at this rate Kaneki is properly tenderized.

The ghouls of the 20th ward vow to rescue Kaneki. Right off, it seems foolish. Up against the Agori Tree, Jason, and Ayato? Yikes. The gourmet returns miraculously bent on saving Kaneki and even the sexy smexy Uta is in on this, as he says Kaneki is one of his best customers. Odd, when really, every ghoul seems to have one mask so… um… i think they are all equally his best customers? I didn’t really get that remark, but I will pretend he meant something overtly sexual yes. Anyway. aside from letting you know that the maniacal Jason actually dons a hockey mask type mask as his ghoul persona, which is totally cool for Friday the 13th fans, I’ll let you watch the rest. Knowing that I watched from here on in maybe four times within as many days must say something. Where the first episode hooked me, the 11th episode satisfied all I’d come and stayed for. The second last episode is brutal. Blood and psycho horror with a little action to keep it tense, the last episode is nearly a trippy beautiful sublime counter to that – up until the last few scenes that is.

A note about the red spider lily, which is used as a metaphor in the final episode. Apparently in Japan, they  bloom near cemeteries in autumn. They believe the flowers herd the dead from afterlife to reincarnation. I had been interested in adding them to my garden at one point for this reason myself, so was especially pleased to see them in this anime.

You already know what i think of the music in this and how much i like the title track but during the end fight scene, as lame as it sounds, i was kinda galvanized. There is a full length or extended version of the opening title song and it is used to great effect at the end.

There is heavy censorship. You can pop on youtube and see some fan rendered reversals of the solarized gore scenes, but some of the worst body horror and weapon insertion remains blacked out. All the more reason to buy the Blu Ray or DVD. The second volume was recently released, with two more volumes on the way.

All in all, i am looking forward to the second season. I may snag the manga in the off time, but really, i could wait until it comes out with the second volume of anime by the time January rolls around. Now that Kaneki is consolidated both human and ghoul, and his mind has snapped entirely, I can see the narrative becoming quite sober.

What Is Up Next: the Devil is a Part Timer maybe, in snippets. I won’t cover it proper since it really isn’t horror, but I am enjoying the hell out of it. The Devil gets trapped on earth and has to get a job, and dammit, he decides ruled hell, he will rule the hell out of that job. It’s something to watch until 24 episodes of Parasyte start streaming on Crunchyroll. There is a live action Parasyte coming, as well as jewelry,  and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, the band, performs the opening track which sounds pretty cool. Not heavy enough for me, but good. So wow. It better live up to all that! In the meantime, I’d like to talk about Wicked City or some nice classic OVAs before Parasyte sinks its teeth into me.

If there is anything you think I should be watching, let me know on twitter @typicallydia or tumblr, youtube, wherever you hang out. This has been Re:Animation on the Dead As Hell Horror Podcast.

Addendum: Also on Dead Cells, part of splatterpictures.net.

 

Dead Cells horror anime podcast – Pupa

Today we are going to talk about Pupa. This is the story of a girl who is infected with a virus after encountering red butterflies in a park. A horrible human flesh eating monster inhabits her body, but luckily her brother is also infected, but differently. He now heals really fast. She craves human flesh which he can eternally provide, so they are a match made in heaven. There is a very strong undertone of incest, obviously, though they do come about that relationship somewhat honestly. Well as honest as incestuous cannibalism can be.

In the news, Death Note the musical. That there is a Death Note musical may be news alone, but they have been releasing casting pick photos, beginning with the illustrious L and most recently Ryuk, Rem and Misa. I can only hope that this will come overseas to us in some form.

www.crunchyroll.comFrom Crunchyroll: “A stage music adaptation of Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata’s Death Note will be staged in Japan and South Korea. After opening at Tokyo Nissay in April 2015, it will be playing in Seoul over the summer with a different cast.

American composer Frank Wildhorn will be writing the music, with Jack Murphy writing the lyrics and Ivan Menchell the script. Tamiya Kuriyama directs.”

So, it seems to be done by an international team so there is hope yet. I have seen a few really cool and semi-cool cosplay versions of Rem and Ryuk and I can only dream of how these sets and costumes will look. The music was a driving force in the tone of Death note. Not only the title track, notably the second season open and closer by Maximum the Horomone with “What’s Up People” and “Zetsoubou Billy”, but ambient and incidental music was well chosen too. I can definitely see some of the major soliloquy’s being set to dramatic music. It’s a dramatic horror after all.

Now back to Pupa, From the pupa wikia – This is  “the “life-and-death sibling” story following Utsutsu and Yume Hasegawa, a boy and his little sister who find themselves all alone. One day, Yume sees a mysterious red butterfly and her body undergoes a strange metamorphosis—into a creature that eats humans. Utsutsu struggles to find a way to restore his sister.

Pupa (ピューパ Pyūpa) is a Japanese horror anime adaptation of the manga and is produced by Studio Deen.”

Studio Deen has been around since the 80s and done some other horror, action, and harem stories. The Beyblade OVA and the Vampire Knight series stand out among their projects. They have a large body of work, so the animation style is clean with a default colour palette, all in all easy to watch. They remain in a very realistic if not slightly simplistic rendering, until the last episode, where they draw in a chibi or childlike form with brighter colours and bold black line work.

So – how much people hate Pupa. I was braced for it after seeing the first episode when it was streaming on Crunchyroll. I took a break to watch other things, then came back to it after having read some reviews. Not sure why in all of the hate notes these shows received why the teddy bears weren’t mentioned. I loved every scene with the teddy bears. So creepy. So menacing. Such a fun plot device to have them relate the story. Some of the torn off eye and menacing fanged grins the bears give are real nightmare fuel.

My favourite character by far is Maria. She seems to be the one behind the pupa infestation… or experiment… or whatever the reason these kids are infected. Her lady-goth look, calm demeanour and kingpin style tempts me to pick up the manga. Maybe it is also that she is the least developed of the characters and I would like to know more about her origins and what the hell she is doing. It’s all really barely explained.

See, it’s only 4 minutes per episode and there are only 12 episodes, making it basically a 48 minute show- so less than feature length – and most of that is intro/outro music for fuck sakes. I wish it were longer, and like so many others I can do without the last episode. it must be seen to be believed. And not to set you up for the ultimate gore fest…. the last episode is the polar opposite! if you want to have several ‘what the fuck’ moments followed by a ‘what the actual fuck’ moment, this one is a fun ride. Deep down in my girly girl core I do enjoy the last episode on it’s own, but it seriously has no place in this story.

That said, for those sensitive to the sexualisation of what could be younger people engaged in sensualised cannibalism you should steer clear. The censored version is even worse actually, as noted by many in anime forums and similar discussion spots, the censorship leaves too much to the imagination. The sisters head may be placed in a spot that since obscured, takes on the look of a sex act instead of one feeding on live human meat. Seeing is believing in this case. It is really super bloody no matter which version, but the censored version is heavily censored at point of entry, actual flesh eating and tearing with the mouth, and penetration by weapons with large black shadows.

It is interesting to see a study in cannibalism taken as seriously as this in the wake of the bath salts craze and Luka Magnotta. Well, semi seriously. They don’t make light of it and it seems the siblings make no secret of their behaviors either. At one point, a thug recruits them… or more like kidnaps them… to have some fun with.

Through the story, you discover that they are near orphans as both parents have left them. This is not all bad as their parents were both mentally and physically abusive, explaining the large scar on Utsutsu’s face. The parents abuse not only primed the siblings for such a surreal existence as those infected with pupa, but provide some lurid backstory as to how these two are nearly ‘chosen ones’ for this apparent experiment. You learn a lot about this while they are dealing with being abused by this kidnapper.

So others in their world seem to know that this brother and sister duo are indulging in cannibalism. The first big feeding scene takes place in bed and is highly sexualized, certainly with Yume breathless chanting of his honorific, big brother, “Onii-chan” over and over. Unsettling. There is also a rather gory scene of her eating her brothers flesh in a school locker room. Apathy is just not how polite society would react upon discovering such a situation.

And why does Utsutsu wear a pretty hair pin? Because he’s super hot, that’s why, and he can do whatever he likes. Also, with the amount of time he spends protecting and being fed upon by his sister, I don’t think he really cares what he looks like.

The music is kind of amazing. It subtly sticks in your head. In fact, the theme song and end song are as infectious as the red butterflies are. The sound design of this anime is superb with the glaring exception of the over use of the characters honorific. Bleh. Annoying. Otherwise, the foley work is a real treat, considering how much time she spends eating flesh and making such delectable little flesh eating sounds. Fans of body horror that hits all these squelchy squicky gross out notes may like that.

I give Pupa 3 out of 5 Human Centipedes for horror, since it certainly exists in that place where there are no stars. Highly recommended if you want to see something not quite tentacle porn, but makes you think nonetheless. It is also super short, so why not?

You can get this on BluRay and DVD or stream it on Crunchyroll. I suggest you get the uncensored version of course, as the streaming version will be censored. You can seomtimes find the bloody version on Youtube. Look for the Pupa Unrated Complete edition and it will pop up on Amazon, ebay and cdjapan for about $55.

What Is Up Next? Berserk. Not really horror, but bloody as fuck with a little bit of a bonus hell-ride. I’ll get into a little of my definition of horror and horror in anime then too.

If there is anything you think I should be watching, let me know on twitter @typicallydia or tumblr, youtube, wherever you hang out online. This has been Re:Animation on Dead Cells, part of splatterpictures.net.