Brief Thoughts on “Corpse Party: Tortured Souls” (Spoilers)

Another piece I threw together that I feel I could squeeze something of value out of, maybe. Since it’s a short OVA series, I may revisit in the future and examine to see if there’s anything worth writing about. At any rate, here are the brief thoughts I had on “Corpse Party: Tortured Souls” this year:

(From previous blog, unedited)

Akira Iwanaga and Shoichi Sato’s four-episode adaptation of Makoto Kedōin’s survival horror, adventure game is one of the more gruesome and disturbing anime I have seen, exceeding the violence and gore of such contenders as Elfen Lied and Ninja Scroll. For a show with only four episodes, each with a runtime of approximately thirty-minutes, how it manages to push its brutality far past the inhumane is an accomplishment worth commending. If it weren’t for the striking imagery, haunting atmosphere, eerie allusions and clever use of animation, it wouldn’t have had the same effect.

While I don’t have any experience with the games the anime is based on, I couldn’t help but be reminded of Fatal Frame as I was watching it. Probably because the setting and atmosphere is so reminiscent of the game that it’s practically indistinguishable from Himuro Mansion.
When I say this anime is violent I mean it gets viciously brutal and keeps going. The animators really went into the detail of making the blood and gore truly unsettling. There is a lot of eye-gouging and tongue-cutting scenes, or characters who appear to have injuries that imply those sort of inflictions. For instance, one of the ghost characters is literally floating around with the top of their head missing, so all you see is the circumference following their lower lip. And when I say this show gets brutal, I’m talking merciless levels of torture, I mean none of these characters deserve what’s happening to them. They all seem pretty friendly, fun-loving kids until they get sucked into this other dimension and tormented by the souls of the damned because they just happened to end up in the wrong place after doing a fun little chant. Like, when one of the girls is having a good time with the decapitated ghost and her ghost friend, they then decide to drag her by the legs through the hallway where her face rubs against the floorboards in such a way that it leaves a trail of blood, until reaching the end of the hall whereby the ghosts pull her so hard that she becomes paste with pig-tails poking out of the wall. If any of this sounds too gruesome or horrifying for your liking, that should be a fair assessment to tell you not to watch the show.
Though, I have to give props to the animators for being able to make such a dark and gloomy anime in only a short few episodes. Something else worth noting is the effectiveness of how they use the little time there is in the anime. Unlike in a lot of horror films, where you might insult the intelligence of the characters for doing something stupid, here you feel sorry for them and just want at least one of them to get back home, even knowing that they’ll be permanently psychologically scarred, unable to live a normal life ever again. Like, there’s a scene where one of the characters is strapped to a table and her eye stabbed out her body is gutted and if memory serves correctly, one of her limbs was chopped off. And you just feel terrible watching it, and even more so when you notice she’s still alive and trying to talk afterwards. I was really taken aback that she managed to survive all of that even for a few more minutes. At that point, I felt so sympathetic and kind of angry I was just exclaiming at the screen for her to be put out of her misery. It was mildly heart-wrenching to say the least.
What else can I say, other than if you’re not a fan of seeing children being brutally murdered in animation with graphic detail, maybe “Corpse Party: Tortured Souls” isn’t for you?
~ Ace

2 thoughts on “Brief Thoughts on “Corpse Party: Tortured Souls” (Spoilers)”

  1. That was a tough series to watch. There were atmospheric moments that I liked, but overall it was a brutal series. I think one of my favorite scenes was in the first episode. One character was alone in a room, and there was this growing sense that something bad was waking up and gradually coming into the room to claim her. It wasn’t gore, it was anticipation and fear of the unknown, and it worked well.
    Sadly, the series ultimately chose a much more graphic form of horror.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I might come back to it someday and have more to say on it, but it’s so short and… I don’t know what else to say about it other than it does certain aspects of horror and violence really well, while also not being that good of a story with characters simply there to be sympathetic because of the horrifying stuff that happens to them.

      Liked by 1 person

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