Michael Myers, Freddy Krueger, Leatherface and Jason Voorhees, these are names you should know if you love slasher horror movies. The idea of slasher movies is simple, get an overpowered killer who lusts for blood and have them attack and kill anyone who stands in their way. It’s a simple premise for horror movies but people still love it and we love it too here at Honey’s Anime. As Halloween approaches—and we don’t mean "Halloween Kills", the newest Halloween franchise movie—we wondered why there aren’t more slasher horror series in the world of anime. Let’s see if we can make some theories and hypothesis on why there aren’t more of them!
Japanese Horror is Different
In the West, violent horror is what reigns supreme. The more blood, the better and it's why series like Saw and IT have always found popularity in America. In the East, Ju-On—aka The Grudge—and Ringu—The Ring—usually excel. Slashers are violent and the Japanese horror element usually goes for scary over mindless bloodbaths.
In the world of anime, this is reflected in series like Ghost Hunt and Another. Yes, Another—and shows like it—have a lot of blood and guts but those deaths come from supernatural hands. Japanese don’t really rely on main antagonists killing for sport and even in the case of Paranoia Agent—which had the Bat Boy—his attacks were more psychological and not physical.
History of Bad Deaths
Another potential reason for the avoidance of slasher anime could be Japan’s bad history with violent killers who brandished knives and sharp weapons. If you’re a die-hard anime horror fan, you no doubt know of the Nice Boat meme. This meme was in response to Japan removing a scene in School Days where the main character was killed by a dagger. As silly as this sounds, earlier that day, a young girl brutally murdered her father with a hatchet and this led TV networks to censor the final episode by having a video of a boat sailing.
Now, we aren’t saying Japan doesn’t have a ton of hyper-violent horror anime—we’re looking at you Corpse Party and Parasyte—but maybe they try to avoid overly realistic horror in their anime. Michael Myers in the Halloween series is a person who might be “pure evil” but is still a person. In anime like Parasyte, the killers were people but now are alien-like beings that morph and feed off humans. Clearly, there is a difference in form and it is why Japan seems to focus on fictional crazy entities rather than realistic ones.
Oh Look, He’s Chasing Us…Run…
Thanks to the power of Japanimation, horror has a lot of freedom. You can do millions of special effects seen in series like Elfen Lied, High School of the Dead and Parasyte. Most of these series couldn’t be exciting if they stuck to real-life editing and that is why they are so chilling and exciting. Now imagine for a moment a slasher anime…would that really be exciting?
Imagine for a moment a guy wearing a bloody mask chasing a young girl in an anime and don’t add any special powers or movements, just an old-fashioned chase. Would that be exciting and scary? Not particularly, if we really think about it. The slasher genre just doesn’t seem scary in the world of anime because there’s no real fear behind it. In real-life films, a young girl running from a man with a butcher knife is scary—even more so if you’re a young woman—but in anime, it would just come off as boring and stupid. Now, if the killer was Naruto running and the girl was jumping on trees to escape…no…that would still be silly.
Could a Slasher Like Michael Myers Be Animated?
So far, it seems like a slasher anime wouldn’t be that enjoyable. Yet, here’s a side question. Would Michael Myers work in the anime world? In our minds, it could be done!
Myers has always been one of the best go-to slasher threats for embodying evil but being semi-human. If Michael Myers was given an anime design and some anime abilities—super-speed and special knife abilities—maybe a slasher anime would be fun to watch even if it was over the top. The problem, though, lies in if it could still be considered horror. Realistically speaking, the idea above doesn’t sound scary but does sound pretty fun.
The slasher genre really only works in Western horror movies, not in anime. Japan has made some of the coolest horror franchises and some of the scarier threats but their type of horror just won’t allow slashers to be scary. Even for this article, we really didn’t find a single slasher-like anime and we doubt one will ever be made, sadly…
Do you think a slasher horror anime could be possible? Create some interesting ideas and share them with us via the comments below! Be sure to keep stuck to our spooky blood-covered hive here at Honey’s Anime for even more Halloween-themed articles!