Category Archives: podcast

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.

 

Dead Air Podcast ~ Episode 1

The idea for the Dead Air Podcast has been cooking well before I’d been on any other podcast to date. Since I had helped as teaching assistant after graduating journalism for many classes including broadcast journalism for three years, and had a placement at CBC Radio, it seems natural. The first time the idea of being part of a horror podcast came about  I was opposed. I knew the technicality behind production. I could write a script maybe. I sounded okay. Yet, I felt I had nothing to say. Also, I figured podcasts involved having a brand to attach a good show to and had to be hours long since that is what it seemed the hardcore horror fans wanted.

Then I had a few pints with Wes ‘Dead Air’ Knipe.

We didn’t even need an audience.

Wes also has a background in broadcast that morphed somehow into horror journalism. So it was all horror talk, all the time. We veritably needle one another along with filmmakers, then lead one another into laughing so hard we may choke on our drinks. In between, somehow, lies very serious horror discussion. All we needed do is hit record. Honestly. The most fun part is the lack of hard research and us relying solely on our adoration of this vast genre we have immersed ourselves in since elementary school.

The story of how we came to have six episodes in the can is long-ish and maybe we will tell you sometime. For now, here is a fresh pot with another served up each week this October. More will come as we never stop watching movies and talking about them. Let us know what you think on the soundcloud or wherever you hang out online.

ReAnimeTion – S01E04 – Another – on the Dead As Hell Horror Podcast

Catch me on the latest Dead As Hell Horror Podcast Where I go on about a favourite horror anime, Another.

 

Join the conversation by leaving a note on facebook, twitter or call the voicemail at 513-580- HELL and leave your thoughts. As always, iTunes reviews are more than welcome~ email the show at deadashellhp@gmail.com

Listen to this segment on the Dead As Hell Horror Podcast

 

 

 

Today we are going to talk about the 2012 horror anime entitled “Another”. This is a take on a haunted high school ghost story with really devastating consequences. That is one thing I have to say about this anime right off, is that after a slow build up, the devastation and violence is really quite surprising. You may find that there are a lot of horror anime that take place in schools. I’d have to speculate it is because our Eastern counterparts spend more time there than we do in the West? Also, there are many ghost myths and demonic beings within Japan and China that do reside in schools. If you have more to add, let me know, but rest assured I don’t go seeking this theme. There are many more high school anime to come on ReAnimeTion, and for each one I feel like I pass on ten others. There just happen to be a lot of horror anime that take place in schools. There is a lot of mainstream anime that takes place in schools too.

Before I get into “Another”, there was a news item that caught my eye. In Quebec this week, a man was sentenced to 60 days for possession of hentai. It was viewed as animated child pornography under the Canadian law, and he was sentenced under the Canadian Criminal Code which prohibits any depiction of a minor in a sexual act. That’s fine. That makes sense. In fact, the criminal code prohibits basically everything that depicts any crime at all, when it comes to entertainment. I became familiar with the Criminal Code while writing. Someone alerted me to a short story I had written years ago that might be illegal. So I read up on it a little bit. Flash forward to a few years ago, interviewing horror filmmaker and special effects artist Remy Couture after he was charged with Corruption of Morals. He’d made a brutal and realistic horror film. He was charged under the same law. On one hand, I’d agree with anyone who says our laws governing what is moral or decent or art are outdated but on the other hand… the guy had a few hundred videos… and hundreds of links. For a moment, let us equate his fandom with any porn and I’d have to say he had quite a collection. Now, take into consideration he admitted to watching videos at work which was a Canadian Armed Forces base. Perhaps 60 days of incarceration to think this over is just what he needs. If only our Supreme Court would take that kind of time to think over our obscenity laws.

anotherAnyway, back to less rape-y anime for a moment. Another is refreshing in that it has no huge overtones of love, infatuation, dating and all that trash. The one male-female relationship is nice and innocent. Even the one really awesome and thoroughly wrong chance they had for an epic panty shot was artfully avoided when a girls skirt obeyed the laws of gravity during her death. Amazing, I know. Then again, these are 15 year olds we are talking about!

The wiki synopsis goes “In 1972, Misaki, a popular student of Yomiyama North Middle School’s class 3-3, suddenly died partway through the school year. Devastated by the unexpected loss, the students and teachers behaved like Misaki was still alive, leading to a strange presence on the graduation photo. In Spring 1998, 15-year-old Kōichi Sakakibara transfers into Yomiyama’s class 3-3, where he meets Mei Misaki, a strange student whom their classmates and teachers seemingly ignore. The class is soon caught up in a strange phenomenon, in which students and their relatives begin to die in mysterious, gruesome ways. Realizing that these deaths are related to the “Misaki of 1972”, it is up to Kōichi and Mei to discover the cause of these mysterious deaths and figure out how to stop it before it kills them.”
Now, the similarities to Final Destination are apparent though I feel this has a far more interesting story and better character development of course because they have more time and also because none of these classmates are entirely disposable. You really do get to know each one, and each student is perfectly distinct. The deaths are a little less insane and later on there are more deaths due to desperation. More deaths than caused by the curse itself, that is, if the curse even exists. It could really be wild coincidence to a certain extent.
The story really is about Mei. Forgetfulness, ostracization, and mob rule. Saying that all her classmates ignore her is an understatement. She really doesn’t exist. Having the new kid in class (Kōichi) not understand this, and start talking to her upsets the status quo. Not only because of the curse, but this mirrors the kind of silent bullying kids are prone to when faced with someone they don’t understand. Mei is deliciously creepy and I’m glad she develops some kind of relationship if only for a moment with the main boy lest she remain a near spectre. Let’s just pretend the Kaneki from Tokyo Ghoul and Mei from Another can hang out for a second… because really, they even look alike without the eye patch.

It is amazing how kids can get so overwrought with the idea of a superstition when at 15 you really should have more to worry about especially in a culture where you are more often overwhelmed with class work and extracurricular activities. Supposing it is like the recent spate of Slenderman related hysteria. The Extra One curse and Slendymania are maybe part of the same thing. No voice of reason stepping in to set these kids straight.
The teacher stabbing his throat is the most amazing and gory anime death that is not supernaturally influenced, that I have seen in a long while. That is the voice of reason in this anime. The librarian, an amazingly cool character; this teacher that stabs himself in the neck, so cool, so gory; and their homeroom teaching assistant, she’s no help either. Anyway, the throat stabbing? It puts all the Death Note deaths to shame. The reactions too… nice… there is a little puking in this series but it’s not a highlight. Now you all are gonna think I’m into puke or something at the rate I mention it, so I guess I’m now looking for an amine that features puking. Anyway, there are some lovely atmospheric talks between Mei and Kōichi if you are into the creepy. If you are a spatter fan you may fall asleep at first. In that case, I’d say watch the first few episodes then skip off to episode 8 as the action really picks up after that. The story is fairly well crafted though, so it’s much more worth it to let it build from beginning to end. Fans of quiet horror like “The Others” and “Don’t be Afraid of the Dark” will enjoy the story building at work here.  Old ancient crones like me will enjoy that not only do these 21st century kids not bat an eyelash when presented with a cassette tape, they also know where to find a cassette tape player then they break the ribbon, and then they repair it!  I don’t know why I’m getting so excited about this, but you should be too. This must be fiction. So many kids wouldn’t know what to do with a cassette tape. Not only does the gore ramp up, the last two episodes are probably some of the sickest, most amazingly violent and horrifyingly brutal animation that I have seen in quite some time. Others agree though a lot of people say it is too slow of a build especially if you are going there to see this gory horror. But it’s well worth it if you are really hard pressed, maybe watch episode 9 to get a taste, then the last two episodes if you are gonna be that kid of dick. I’d really say stick around for the duration. It’s only 13 episodes long. A perfectly digestible anime to watch in like, a two-day binge.

There is a live-action film I haven’t watched, but if it is done with the flair of the Wallflower live action film or “Goth” by Otsuichi, then I’ll probably enjoy it. But I can’t see it having the same impact in that short delivery. That said, this series is not without its slow parts but compressing it into a feature film length? I don’t know if it would work.

This anime is brought to us by the studio P.A. Works who also did “Angel Beats” and they seem to work to all kinds of anime in partial format and put out some really amazing work. Hence, very clean artwork really good use of sound design. All very appropriate, making the anime very easy to digest and very easy to watch.

The opening theme, “Nightmare Contagion” by the band Ali Project isn’t very memorable and doesn’t stick in my head. And the end theme, by a band named Annabelle, nothing to write home about either. You can watch Another streaming, every single episode on Crunchyroll like I have or pick up a DVD for about $30 and Blu-ray. Check Amazon as I couldn’t find an official outlet to purchase these discs. Also, you can always head to your local comic book shop and ask them to order it in for you. It’s a very popular series and it’s only like a year and a half old, so you can probably find a copy on the shelves.

Next, we are going to be talking about the sickly sweet body horror Pupa!

If there is anything you think I should be watching, let me know on twitter @typicallydia or in the comments on the Dead As Hell horror podcast website or anywhere you hang out online.