Welcome to the morning when the veil between the living world and the next is at its thinnest.
Welcome to the day when we pay homage to the old tales by borrowing their ghastly guises.
Welcome to the evening where we make our ghostly pilgrimages for sweet sustenance.
Welcome to the night where we breathe life into superstitious horrors once again.
Welcome, one and all, to Halloween.
To all our dear readers, we ask the question: How will you spend this delightfully dark festival? We at Sentai Filmworks have machinations planned. Oh yes, we do. We have six tales of terror to chill your bones this hallowed eve, and all the time to tell them.
Beware of 5 pm, dear reader. That is when the old man in the yellow mask appears at the playground. In the transitory twilight, he will offer to tell you a story. You should not listen.
Steeped in the rich history of folklore, Japan has a lost art known as “kamishibai,” or paper play. Storytellers tell the tale of the old couple who find the boy inside the peach. How the grateful tanuki rewards the poor man who rescued it.
These are not those stories. Heed the old warnings and remember that the kanji reads “yami” instead of “kami.”
These are the tales that remind us of the lurking dangers lying out of reach. The ones that are always waiting for a moment of acknowledgment to strike.
Didn’t you know? Listening attracts their attention.
So, when the old man comes, remember to run back home. Remember to never invite horror and madness.
Remember that “yami” means “darkness.”
“Wait one moment,” you ask, “is this a mistake?” Why mention a heartwarming tale of friendship and the wonders of school?
Because, for every wonder, there lies a horror. There is a dark side, a hidden side, to everything. Just ask Hanako three stalls over. If you can muster the courage, that is.
The human mind is a fragile thing, and sometimes it cannot bear the crushing weight of reality.
Quite often, the ego must construct a happy lie. To do otherwise is to shatter into thousands of glimmering shards.
Sometimes, a delusional fabrication is preferable to a traumatic truth.
Yet it is madness, all the same.
You’ve heard the cautionary tale of what happens to those who fail to heed the warnings of others. Of the dark fates met by those who did not follow the clearest of instructions.
Enter the inconspicuous pet shop. There you will meet a man who cherishes animals, large and small. He will provide you the pet you need instead of the one you want. All he asks in return is that you abide by the terms of your contract.
It seems like such a simple matter, keeping a promise. An even more straightforward case still, to abide by one.
Yet who among you have ever bent or broken your word for the sake of convenience and time?
Do you recall the tale of Death dispatching those who escaped their intended demise? It’s the reason why people no longer drive behind logging trucks.
Imagine Another as the anime version.
People wish to escape death. Survival is the most primal of all your instincts, after all. Hoping to avoid demise, people devise a system of rules to follow. These rules that are then passed down through the generations.
And now you know why superstitions and folktales exist. Now you understand why they warn of straying from the path.
Up until the start of this particular tale, the rules have been working, and the warnings heeded.
But curses have a secret. They are insidiously patient. They know that, eventually, people inevitably break these rules. It doesn’t matter how or why. What matters is that this is how these stories always begin.
Still, we ask that you do not judge Koichi too harshly for his actions. He is an outsider who does not have the contextual knowledge of his classmates. It is one matter to hear their words, but another thing entirely to understand.
From a different perspective, we can see how his classmates’ actions come across as needlessly cruel. So, he befriended the girl at school that everyone refused to acknowledge.
Who among you would do the same?
Imagine moving to a small, idyllic rural village. One filled with caring people willing to welcome strangers as one of their own. The perfect place to spend the halcyon days of youth.
That’s precisely the situation Keiichi finds himself in. Until the day he discovers his new friends are hiding something…
There is a reason why the cry of evening cicadas is a mournful one.
We must warn you all that When They Cry is NOT for the faint of heart. It is a dark tale filled with raving barbarity and insanity.
But, for all the gory brutality and chaotic madness, there is a kernel of purpose. Past the depths of psychotic intent, lies an intricate and overarching story. One that cryptically reveals itself over time. Haunting questions expose themselves, deepening the chilling mystery:
Who or what is Oyashiro?
What really happened during that sleepy summer of June 1983?
This is the story of a boy. This is the story of a girl. Circumstances result in their fateful meeting.
You would, of course, expect this to be a love story. You would, of course, be wrong.
Love may exist, but this tale does not sweeten the bitter dose of reality with honeyed words. There are horrific consequences when unstoppable beings descend into madness.
Consequences that are as tragic as they are inevitable.
The tales have concluded, and the warnings were given. Whether ruin will come is your decision, dear reader. Know that not every story can end with a happily ever after.
We do hope you enjoy your Halloween.
It is time for farewells. Please remember not to stray from the path on your way back home. If you wish to tell these tales to others, let the social media buttons below be your guide.
But what of us? Well, what would Halloween be without festivities? We must now attend our revelries. If you wish to know more, dear reader, you are welcome to subscribe to our newsletter.
We’ll do our best not to attract the eldritch things haunting this night. But no promises.
Stay safe, until the morning’s light.