Everyone loves Yamishibai, the horror anthology series that features short spooks that pay homage to the art of paper theater. There was a time where I thought that I could just cover episodes of that show and call that a year of spooks but…I got bored and jumped ship. Don’t get me wrong Yamishibai is fine but is too short and too competent. Now this show on the other hand is more my speed.

The World Yamizukan takes more risks and creative ideas on the table and it suffers because of it. But it makes a more interesting of a review subject. I would rather talk about episodes that are terrible and surprisingly alright than a show that is just a full season of….meh. You clicked on it so you know you want it, so let’s take a look shall we.

The Black Shadow of Temptation

Sekai no Yami Zukan (World of Yamizukan) Episode 1 ReviewImpressions Still  Horror - video Dailymotion

David Hasselhoff has spooky dreams and wakes up to find his wife leaving in the middle of the night. It’s the first episode and boy does it set you up for everything to be criticized about the series. It’s stylized to feel like Kamishibai or paper theater shows but the animation is just so crude. It always feels like any movement is a detriment. There’s some nice visuals here, just let my imagination fill out the rest, please don’t PowerPoint presentation slide the dude to the left. As underwhelming at it is, it is one of the better examples of intrigue propelling the story.

It turns out that his wife is getting it from some well-endowed aliens twice his size. Yamizukan likes to do this thing where they like to over explain everything, and don’t really know when to end their tales. Just let it turn out to be aliens and abduct the couple. Why it goes on for another minute to set up nothing is beyond me. It’s a nice mystery as it could have been ghosts or vampires or the fabulous low prices at Costco drawing her out there.

The Fairy in the Snow

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A boy builds a snowman only for it to be ruined by his abusive and strict father. The next day the Snowman returns and beckons the boy outside. Yeah, I don’t know how I feel about the one with child abuse being absolutely hilarious. Not the child abuse part but it is such a strange one and I feel like a story like this can work but there’s no detail to these that it’s not going to flesh it out enough.

I’m sorry but a snowman chest bumping someone off a cliff is one of the funniest things I’ve seen in a while. I don’t know how I feel about abusive dad being right, also not dying after falling off the cliff. I don’t know why they have to force that line in here, it doesn’t cause a chase scene, maybe it was supposed to show that the dad cared about the son deep down. In fairness the underneath snowman is a creepy reveal and I like horror antagonist that prey on people’s weaknesses or insecurities. False promises are a scary premise. It’s very rough and too unintentionally funny. However, I will probably remember it more than any of the other ones on the list.

The Reaper Racing Across the Plain

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A hitchhiker gets picked up by a smoking hot blondie. However, big shocker things might be more than they appear. Hitchhiking stories is maybe always a fascinating plot for horror. There’s a lot of strange people to pick up, or be picked up by, or even strange anomalies could appear on the road in the middle of nowhere. This time we do get something different.

I like that the short had to tell us at the end that the car uses people for fuel and that the blonde woman was an unsuspecting lure to nab people. Like it wasn’t obvious. I mean some slight body horror with the hole machinery plugging into the guy element. It’s just kind of dumb. The worst part is that there’s rarely any build up since the protagonist falls asleep almost immediately after entering the vehicle.

What the Mysterious Circle Really Was

Sekai no Yami Zukan (World of Yamizukan) Episode 4 Review/Impressions -  YouTube

Wowie, crop circles sure are weird huh? What could be causing them.

Oh wow, Tornado of weird metallic alien lotus that sure is bizarre. I’m not going to pretend that this premise is unique and original. It’s a good mystery with a very off the wall answer and I like that in horror. The swarm sort of reminds me of the King Ramses curse from Courage the Cowardly Dog. This idea can be frightening, and the art is I’d argue the best the series has to offer. It’s a good episode but doesn’t grab my attention as much as other ones here.

The Mechanical Men Come

Animating Halloween: Sekai no Yami Zukan Review | The Anime Madhouse

A man goes to dinner to find that something strange is about to begin. It is such an abrupt and jarring change of art style, and that just might be why I love it. This is the best one to me, and it is not only for its visual distinctiveness. These cogs from Toontown looking robots invade and there’s a sense of prevail and questions to what exactly is going on.

In fairness I think this short is really dumb. It sort of is the one that owns the dumbness and makes something truly entertaining. I got to the twist and of course the man, somehow this suburban dad became leader of the resistance only to be an inside plant from the machine men. It’s impractical and raises questions of how this robot has a human daughter but, it was a nice twist and betrayal would be terrifying in a global takeover situation. It is one that feels like a journey starting from a restaurant visit to the machines taking over. Maybe it is the gear VR design or the art design, but it feels like its own story and not too cliché in the technophobia or AI scare sub-genre.

The Nightmare That Disappeared into the Sand

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There’s something wrong with this BEacH. NO it doesn’t turn you old. Something washed onto shore, but what could it be.

How else in the world is this supposed to end. There’s no suspense this is such an obvious conclusion and is maybe the worst in terms of very rudimentary movement. I guess you could argue that this is maybe the episode with the most moving pieces and most in line with the show’s premise. It’s just too short to be anything other than mind-numbing. Big monster washes up on the beach, it eats people. Not much to it.

The Innocent Clown

The World YAMIZUKAN Episode 7, The Innocent Clown, - Watch on Crunchyroll

Excuse me sir, is there a clown in your mirror. Well than you better get the hell out of there that is bad news. This time we use live-action photography to capture the action. It is by far the best sound design, there’s little reactions in the voice performance and the clown cackling is really absurd and unnerving. There’s such a surreal terror to this clown that can practically do anything, and you might be able to solve a way to avoid him or he might be too much, and you are kind of screwed.

The clown is creepy, at least facially. It does sort seem makeshift in terms of the entire costume. Paranormal terror always works for me at least. There might be other attempts of reflective surfaces and avoiding them, but it is somewhat of an omnipresent thing that does feel unescapable. There’s some fun photo editing at the end, overall, I felt that this one might be one of the more charming ones even if the creepy clown feels done to death.

The Mysterious Natives Who Never Get Sick

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Man looks for his wife and crew that was investigating a strange phenomenon of primitive natives that never got sick. This is an A tier hook at least; it definitely feels reminiscent to older spooky tales of investigating bizarre cultures from around the world. It’s an alright for me, it’s one that needs proper build up and foreshadow and that just doesn’t exist in a 4-minute episode.

We are cells at work! I mean got me, I guess. This moronic twist is just so silly that it wins me over. How would any of this work. How do they defeat the viruses with spears, I feel like they would just die immediately? Especially with the fact that humans couldn’t breathe in the bloodstream I would think. This is too much thinking; this is kind of xenophobic with all the unga-bunga men in this one. How many unexpecting travels come by this remote location that it is able to fill an entire tribe with antibodies. Would they really earn renown status from not getting sick? Like it’s not immortality right, this is just preventing them from contracting illnesses, I would just assume they’re just on some healthy diet or something. It’s stupid, but I got to admit it is a new one.

The Box

The World YAMIZUKAN Episode 9 - NWAnime

What’s in the box!

It’s just bad, I don’t even care to talk about it much. What if there was a box and bad things that seem unconnected happen because of evil box. Seen it before, it is what it is.

The Strange Mask That Sees the End

The World YAMIZUKAN Episode 10, The Strange Mask That Sees the End, - Watch  on Crunchyroll

It’s an antique shop and a man walks in a sees a spoopy mask on the wall that grabs his attention. One of the better art styles it’s a wild enough concept that I can get on board with. I like the build up in this one, and it’s unique and surreal. Easily top 3 I think. It has a good mix of different effects to make it feel special from the bunch.

It’s interesting to get lore about the mask, even if it isn’t concrete or to much and of course being locked in and unable to take it off is always unnerving. Simple but works and that is what this series should be. At the very least it is a hit in what I consider a barrel of misses so good job. Smokin’.

The Call from Beneath the Earth

Animating Halloween: Sekai no Yami Zukan Review | The Anime Madhouse



The Red Eyes at the Bottom of the Sea

The World YAMIZUKAN Episode 12, The Red Eyes at the Bottom of the Sea, -  Watch on Crunchyroll

A couple on vacation are captured by a mad scientist.

Ocean man, take me by the hand. Lead me to the land that you understand. Ocean man, the crust of a tan man imbibed by the sand. Soaking up the thirst of the land. We are doing so well in providing legitimate thoughts and criticisms up to this point but I can’t help myself. I see freaky fish guy, I’m gonna post Ocean Man lyrics and call it my review. Nothing I can say is going to be more potent than that.

The Tree Shrouded in Fog

Animating Halloween: Sekai no Yami Zukan Review | The Anime Madhouse

A girl lost in a foggy forest is confronted by the presence of something spooky. One of the best the series has to offer and I like it sort of shifted to tragedy for the final one and one that has some what of a wholesome yet horrifying end as well. It shows the lengths that horror comes in degrees, and it doesn’t always have to end in straightforward demise.

It is one that you definitely think about after it is done. I found nothing special in the presentation, but it is acceptable none the less. A sympathetic protagonist, an eerie ordeal and a satisfying twist is all you need. It feels unique and almost feels of different quality of the rest of the shorts. Even if I don’t rank it the highest it certainly is up there and one you should watch if you only watch a couple.

Final Standings:

  1. The Mechanical Men
  2. The Innocent Clown
  3. The Mask
  4. The Tree Shrouded in Fog
  5. The Fairy in the Snow
  6. What the Mysterious Circle Really Was
  7. The Mysterious Natives
  8. The Black Shadow of the Night
  9. The Nightmare That Disappeared into the Sand
  10. The Red Eyes
  11. The Cursed Box
  12. The Call from Beneath
  13. The Reaper Racing

Of course what do you all think, which one is your favorite. Let me know and of course, stay spooky.

3 thoughts on “Every Episode of ‘The World YAMIZUKAN’ Ranked From Spooky to Stupid

    1. It is hardly a show but it is….show. Each episode is like 4 minutes so you could breeze through it but I can only recommend the snowman one because I found that one funnier than I should have beside that yeah it is forgettable and not great.

      Liked by 1 person

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