Horror is a very strange and peculiar word to describe to people despite how simple of a definition it holds. For example, horror at its base means something scary, unsettling or downright frightful. Where it becomes complicated though is that in those three words lie a more complex problem. What do people consider scary, frightful and or unsettling? When we here at Honey’s Anime came to this thought we also had another question arise from it. Does Horror Work in Anime?
Different Faces of Horror
The reason why we typically think horror works in anime is that just like what we explained above—about the different sub definition of horror—anime horror has a plethora of genres to use to scare viewers. There’s gore horror where in an OVA like Corpse Party the fear comes from seeing people viciously ripped to shreds by ghouls and various other monsters. Then you also have psychological horror—example Mirai Nikki—where the concepts of fear attack the mind to keep you in constant thought of what could happen next and what is real? Horror anime works in reality thanks to these different sub genres it can rely on to make sleeping at night just a tad harder to do at the end of the day.
Horror in waves
Horror movies are great for those who like to be scared several times in a 1-2-hour movie yet horror anime has another strength going for it, length. Shiki, Another or Higurashi no Naku Koro ni all have 12-24 episode runs meaning you’re getting your dose of fear in waves rather than bit sized portions. So what would you prefer? A horror movie that hits you fast but eventually will end or an anime that can last for several hours stretched out to scare you daily or even weekly?
No One Design
In the horror movie world, we have come to know some great fear thanks to enemies like Jason or Freddy Krueger, and we owe a lot to their ability to make us grab onto our chairs tightly and praying for the lights to come back on. Ultimately though, when you think of horror movies, you realize that often they rely heavily on overly cliche themes and concepts done hundreds of times before. The reason why horror in anime works better is because creators can get more creative with their scares due to the ability to animate different things. Case in point, the Junji Ito Collection worked well for some because no episode was the same in its unsettling theme and would often keep you guessing what to expect in the next episode. Horror works best when it can keep its audience guessing and horror anime can accomplish this task easier than other mediums.
Good Old Classics
We mentioned a few moments ago that horror movies typically rely on the same old scares and themes. However, this isn’t a bad thing, folks, because sometimes the classic scares work the best on us. Ghosts seen in series like Ghost Hunt still haunt us with a concept that many believe can be seen in reality, and zombies excite us in series like HighSchool of the Dead. These over used bits of horror aren’t bad and can be cliché as heck but still work wonders on keeping viewers drawn into the show and not wanting to look away. Well, you might look away once in a while. Ghosts can be pretty spooky after all…
Does Horror Work in Anime? In our minds, it does without a doubt. Yet, we also know that like any genre there will be people who claim otherwise. That’s why we turn the floor to you readers now to state your opinions. Do you think horror works in the anime world or should it be kept to movies? Tell us using the comments section down below and let us hear from you readers out there! If you happened to love this article be sure to keep an eye for more like it at our hive written by us here at Honey’s Anime.