Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Horror themed mini-review: Corpse Party

It's getting really close to Halloween, and I'm a fan of October as a whole being horror themed. With that in mind, I thought I'd do a mini-review of some horror-themed anime. The following is a mini-review of Corpse Party: Tortured Souls - Bougyakusareta Tamashii no Jukyou, and thus not fit for the squeamish or those with a heart-condition.

First things first. A lot of people might not know about this series, so I'll give you a quick introduction. Corpse Party started off as a PC game made with RPG-maker software back in 1996. It got a remake, named Corpse Party: Blood Covered back in '08, and Corpse Party: Blood Covered Repeated Fear for the PSP in February last year (which was when I discovered this gem).
Screenshot from the Playstation Portable version
 That's right, the game was deemed so good, it was not only remade once, but twice. It got a pretty big cult-following, so it's not to be unexpected. I mean, it's why we're here, talking about the recent anime adaption!

Hang on Kishinuma, let's save our progress first!
Having played the PSP version, I can't help but draw comparisons between the PSP version and the new anime version. This is however not a bad thing. The scenes are faithful to the game, they got the voice actors from the game to voice the anime, and they even threw in the save points (lit candles on the floor) at the same places! One thing the anime-series does very well is making sure the story flows along, not too fast, or not too slow. This was a problem I felt the PSP version had. The third and fourth chapters dragged on a bit and I wasn't as tensed up because of it. Making this a four episode OVA was definitely the right thing to do, as even if you watch all four of them continuously you will not get bored.

No quick deaths here. Massive pain ahead
It may be a bit late to mention, but if you want a horror story with a happy ending you've taken a wrong turn somewhere along the way. It's quite similar to the series Another in that respect. Half the tension is from figuring out who will make it, who doesn't, and how do the ones that don't survive, die? This is another place the anime mixes it up a little. The game has a ton of "Dead Ends" (or bad endings, if you will), and the anime version tried to get quite a few of those presented for the viewer. However, since it is a limited character pool, and they can't kill off the same characters multiple times, they change the Dead Ends slightly, so that the character survives (but not always, to keep you guessing).

Spoiler: He's not talking to his sister
Another thing to remember is that people surrounded by death, ghosts and constant fear, tend to end up somewhat unstable after a while. Even the living may end up being an enemy out to end your life!

When all is said and done, this is seriously a great anime, no matter if you've played the game or not. Give it a try, at most you've only spent two hours, which is nothing compared to the characters in this anime. Heavenly Host Elementary School awaits...

Final Verdict: 9/10

Pros:                                                              Cons:
- True to the games                                        - Some deaths are slightly changed (only matters if
- Great story                                                     you played the game and are super-loyal to it)
- Doesn't drag out, keeps the flow going
- Keeps blood/gore levels realistic
- No "sunshine and lollipops" ending

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