Take heed, dear readers! All Hallow's Eve is upon us, and on this most spooooky and scaaarrry of nights, things that go bump in the darkness ride out, be they on city streets in search of delicious candy, on videogame discs in search of delicious revenue, or on fun-loving Japanese culture blogs in search of delicious traffic *cough*.
Even we at Japanator are not immune to the Halloween fever, and in our delirious state, we've come up with eight things that put the fear in us. Our little fears run the gamut, from secret phobias and pet peeves turned frightening to disturbing societo-cultural trends and, well, random crap we thought was kind of creepy. Mostly the last bit, to be perfectly honest.
All ye of faint heart and jelly-like constitution (assuming you are not normally a monstrous slime or jelly-based lifeform), be warned! The rest of you can click on below to check out eight things that scare Japanator's hardiest writers, and perhaps take to the comments and tell us about your fears as well.
Glorious Nippon's propensity for generating bizarre, disturbing imagery
In part, this is likely just a function of my being exposed to Japanese pop culture more than others, added to the usual exoticism of anything foreign, but truly, there really something uniquely "Japanese" about the nightmare fuel Nippon's artists are capable of thinking up. Perhaps it's most apparent when you see a bad western adaptation of Japanese horror, or simply compare the earlier, Japanese-developed Silent Hill installments with their later western-developed sequels.
Or, perhaps one could just look at the portfolios from the likes of artists such as Masao and Sakkan, or the gruesomeness of work by Junji Ito, and to lesser extents, even anime like Elfen Lied, Another, or Lychee Light Club. There's something distinctive at work in the Japanese psyche, and I'm not entirely sure I want to learn what it is.
Having ladies see my sick figurine collection
Fellas, I'm about to paint a very scary, spooky, familiar scenario:
It's happened to us all before: we get home a bit late from the community college Anime Club midnight screening of Another Lady Innocent with a certain special lady cosplaying as Revvy from Black Lagoon, when suddenly she stumbles across your wall, stocked with clear, plastic shelves donned with Figmas and Nedoroids of the Ox King from Dragon Ball Z and whatever other cool obscure anime figure you have that makes you feel happy. Pretty romantic scenario, right?
Except, no, it's not... because instead of that Revvy chick, it's always a normal American woman who makes it extremely hard to make physical contact with you after seeing all of your "action figures of naked women". Can you understand how hard it is to sleep with someone after they've seen your maid outfit-clad Asahina Figma. An obvious solution to this might start with the question: "Hey Marcus, why don't you just take down your lame figurines in the first place?" and it'll end with me knocking your teeth in for insulting my anime figures like that. I'd take strapping my half-naked Major Motoko Kusanagi over my chest and die before I EVER take down my figures.
Now it's not the thought that I'll die alone and be ridiculed for the rest of my life as a result of my exaggerated stance for pro-figurine policies that scares me. Nah, I'm cool with that. Rather, it's the thought that no matter how hard I try, I still can't get over how goddamn scary that little boy from Ju-On looks! Forget figures and all that, I mean, look at that kid! What's up with his eyes?!
I have no idea what I'm talking about anymore...
If, in the time I'm living in Japan, a sweet friend or more than friend decides to take me out, he'll probably be remiss to learn that the romantic date he planned at that nearby park to ride the Wheel with some frozen matcha or something is definitely not going to work out well. I'm talking straight-up feet planted on the ground, arms crossed, no way no how. I'll gladly take some pictures of the thing though, and hold his bag or eat his snacks while he rides solo. I don't care if it's the Mickey Mouse or Hello Kitty Wheels of epicness, or the 15-foot kiddie Wheel at the local fair. You won't get me on it.
It isn't because it's cosplay. It isn't because of the characters. It isn't because of those creepy masks and extra padded arms and legs. What truly terrifies me about these people, is that you have absolutely no idea who or what is inside. Is it a man? Is it a woman? Are they even wearing anything under there? Then there is the matter of where the costume was obtained. Who sold it? Who would work in such a shop? Who invented them? You could track this all back to see a conga-line full of humanities worst people.
But then, why would you dress like this in the first place? Surely you are going to have a better time with traditional cosplay. Hell, I'd give you more credit for just slipping a hugging pillow cover over your body. The only possible reason is that they enjoy doing so, and enjoy meeting up with others that do so. This is what truly terrifies me. Kigurumi cosplayers are like walking Kinder Surprise eggs, except there is no treat inside. Only pain, misery, and an extraordinary smell.
Discovering that I actually like K-On!
Deep inside me sleeps a a fear that one day I'll watch K-On! and actually enjoy it. You see, Kyoto Anime productions typically fill me with all sorts of happy sauce. But when I look at K-On!, all I can see is horror and pain. The kind of pain that you have a nightmare about and wake up from in a cold sweat. I don't like sweating.
Having recently watched The iDOLM@STER and enjoying it 4 trillion times (accurate number) more than I expected to, my heart freezes whenever I see the moe blobs of K-On! bouncing around in joy. The show goes against all of my personal and moral beliefs as a human being, and the simple thought of enjoying it makes me want to dump a bucket of cats on my head. Cat buckets people, that's how serious I am.
If that day ever comes, I want you to promise me something. I want you to promise me that you won't try to bring me back. Don't keep me alive in a shed somewhere. Don't even come close. Just end me right then and there, before I hurt any other people. Until then, I'll keep fighting the good fight and screeching in terror whenever I see my junior high school girls giggling over K-On!.
This is less a fear and more of a PTSD moment in my anime/manga fandom. Back when I started going to my university's anime club, I befriended a girl who was a huge fan of the boys. I'm not talking about a casual fan, no, this girl loved her some pretty boys. So much so that she shipped people and, in some cases, frogs.
People may remember that Kristina reviewed Gravitation, so if you don't know what it is, check out her excellent review. In short, it's a shounen ai show, not a hardcore bonefest. That's important, as REMIX was...uh...rather extreme. So much so that since then, few doujins can bother me. It fundamentally broke me. After that, NOTHING can compare. Well, there might be something out there, but I'm sure as hell not going to find out.
When you can't tell the robots from the humans anymore.
This is getting pretty freaky really quick. To be honest, it is down right scary. They are also impressive when they are not moving. Once you see them moving and talking thou, you grab for your nearest shotgun to shoot it in the face. This is the stuff of nightmares people!
Kids, especially of the British variety.
I'm scared of really serious, little British kids. You know every time there is some crazy ghost, or master control program, or something trying to kill you... It's some blank faced kid. Perhaps it's their accents, but the British ones always seem to know way more than they are supposed to, and are so damn serious. Man, when they all start chanting together... it's the worst!
Put a punch of kids in a room, put a dead serious look on their face and get them chanting. They might even start putting hand prints on the wall. Pure horror!
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