Yamishibai: Japanese Ghost Stories Season 4!

Yamishibai: Japanese Ghost Stories is a horror anime series animated in 5 minute shorts.  Each short is based on a tale from Japanese urban legends or myths.  What makes this series stand out is the unique animation style drawn to mimic Kamishibai style of story telling; street story telling using drawn scrolls/boards and simple theatrics. It was really popular in the 1930’s.  This one of those series where you gather your friends together, sit in a dark room, and see who screams first.

What I enjoy the most about Yamishibai is the pacing and flow of the stories.   The lack of in-depth animation and the simplicity of the dialogue create some wonderful moments you will be thinking about before you turn out the lights. With each season, we experience a different director’s take on Hiromu Kumamoto’s stories. Each season carries its own pace, tone, and method of story telling -pretty darn close to the original stylistic roots of Kamishibai!

Moving into to season 4, another style change is being implemented.  So far, only the first three episodes have been released on Crunchyroll.  What viewers will notice is that the stories have gone back to the roots of season 1, however, the episodes are heavily narrated; the story is told rather than shown through the animation and short dialogue.  So far, I really enjoy the stories of season 4 since it traces back to the roots of season 1. I haven’t picked up on a theme quite yet (Season 3 was all about monsters), but I’ll just have to wait until a few more episodes are released.

I have a lot of hope for the rest of the season.  Keep an eye out for a review on the first three episodes (coming soon)!  Have you had a chance to watch this series? What do you think of Season 4 for far? Let me know in the comments.

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3 thoughts on “Yamishibai: Japanese Ghost Stories Season 4!”

  1. I did not like the 4th season as much as the other three. The live action scenes did not fit in with the anime and the stories did not have as many suspenseful, except for one episode towards the end of the season (episode 11, I think?).
    I really like your review! I definitely agree if a lot of your pros and cons about the season.
    If you want, you can check out my Yamishibai review from my blog. It’s a review of all the seasons so far.
    https://geekygirlwritesblog.wordpress.com/2017/04/12/review-of-yamishibai-japanese-ghost-stories-seasons-1-4/

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    1. I thought the live action scenes were pretty unique. I actually enjoy the diversity of story telling methods. I will agree that the season did feel lacking. I think it was the narrative pacing and build up that was off the mark.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, the narration felt a bit off. Although Kamishibai stories are supposed to be narrated, it just felt weird because the viewers get to know more about the characters in the first few seasons and not just hear the narrator’s voice throughout the episode.

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