「昏黒乙女」 (Konkoku Otome)
Finally, we get some “real” horror/mystery.
The supernatural used to be something to fear. Witches and warlocks? Burn ‘em. Vampires? Stake ‘em. Werewolves and zombies? Shoot ‘em. Ghosts? “Bust” ‘em (no doubt, Yuuko isn’t lacking in the bust department). Seriously, though. What happened to the respect we used to have for the supernatural? Nowadays, everything is just some sparkling/glittering sex-toy. As much as I’m sure the folks enjoy hot chicks and dudes, all of this sexualization has really trampled upon the former dignity of the creatures that have long been traditionally feared. I’m sorely tempted to claim that Supernatural is one of the last bastions of proper supernatural depiction, but even that has a certain degree of sexualization. If you want to do supernatural right, take a page from The X-files‘s book. That was the last supernatural show that really made my blood run cold, put me on the edge of my seat, and made me see things out of the corner of my eye.
But that’s enough about non-anime stuff. Despite my gripes about Yuuko’s appealing portrayal, I can understand why they didn’t just make the creepy version of her the “regular” one. I don’t think I’d be able to watch Tasogare Otome with a straight face if they did that. I suppose, then, the exception is if the supernatural being is a main character, just for the sake of the viewers’ sanity.
This episode brings us yet another revelation about Yuuko (I’d be more surprised if it didn’t). Her death was definitely confirmed not to be an accident. The obvious question, then, is why was she left to die in that basement? The underground shrine sticks out like a sore thumb, so I’m guessing the founders managed piss off something more sinister by building the school over it and left Yuuko there as a sort of sacrifice to appease its wrath. From the look of things, it worked, since nothing serious has happened short of a bunch of exaggerated rumors being spread around. But of course, all of this could just be false and the shrine is just one big red herring.
In other developments, we also get confirmation that Kirie is in fact related to Yuuko. There never was an indication as to the timeframe of things, but Kirie’s story finally gave us a bit of perspective. Granted, it was obvious that quite a bit of time had passed since the students now wear a different uniform, but we now know that Yuuko is from the same generation as Kirie’s grandmother. That would mean she’s been haunting the school for at least, say, 60 years, and would also make her around 70-80 years old. The concept of people’s imagination changing their perception of her is also demonstrated quite vividly again. This brings up the issue of what her “true” form looks like (if there even is one), but that is a trick question; the “real” answer is her skeletal remains.
In any case, I like the increased focus on horror/mystery. That’s really the reason why I picked up Tasogare Otome in the first place.