Are you scared of the dark?

Have you ever been so spooked out by a dark passageway you ran down it to get into a lot area? Or have you ever walked down a dark road, covered in dry leaves and have the extreme paranoia that something or someone is following you when you hear leaves cracking behind you?

That is the human emotion of fear, a survival mechanism built into us (and most animals too) to safeguard our sorry arses when we’re in the middle of a s**tstorm.

For today’s post, I will be having the usual “surgical” dissection of a topic with brute force ideology and for today, we have the topic of “The compelling power of Fear” and I will be referencing Tasogare Otome X Amnesia.

There will be many various posts in the near future where I speak of various aspects of Tasogare and similar manga/anime (like Sankarea).

Warning: Spoilers for TasogareAnd pic spam

Obligatory Yuri picture :3

I started reading the Tasogare manga 2 months ago, just shortly before the anime was released for the Spring season 2012. Rather surprisingly (or unsurprisingly since it was rather highly recommended), I got addicted to it quickly. Which is surprising as one of its genre is Horror and I’m a wuss when it comes to Horror (shocking revelation!!).

One of the most interesting incidents (where there are many incidents but I’ll use this one since its a rather strong and vivid example) where the power of fear was demonstrated was in the chapter (and anime episode): Akahito-San. A supposedly benevolent spirit that sacrifices humans to appease the gods, there is a ghost story that Akahito-San is exploring the grounds of the school and attacking students, rendering him red from the blood spilled. The main link of this story to all the other ghost stories of the school is that Akahito-San is supposedly looking for Yuuko-San as his sacrifice (Yuuko-San is related to every ghost story of the school. Just a snippet for those that have yet to read/watch Tasogare).

The main complication of this chapter/episode is that it also follows the story of another individual, Kirishima Yuuko, who had the poor luck of having a name that is infamous on the school, for which she gets teased off endlessly, tormenting her. Henceforth, she despises all ghost stories and doesn’t belief in them. As it turns out, she was the one who hatched the story of Akahito-San to scare the other students and to convince them ghosts don’t exist by dressing herself as this supposed monster.

This plan backfires in spectacular style when the other students, mortified by their fear, decide to follow the story fully and offer Yuuko-San as a sacrifice for Akahito-San. Which means Kirishima was captured and tied up, about to be killed by her now illogical classmates.

Her name is also Yuuko, so yeah…she’s kinda screwed

This demonstrates the power of Fear rather aptly. There are few emotions that can effect human behaviour to this extent. Greed and Anger would be 2 other I can think off and they too, bring about drastic and sudden changes when the right buttons are triggered.

Just a lil something to brighten this morbid looking post

The human emotion of fear has been utilised throughout the ages to reach many varied aims. One of its more profound effects is to make the unseeable, visible. In other words, to “see” what isn’t there, like ghosts or spirits. It boils down to our human imagination and the media, which influences our thoughts, That we think we’re being chased by a restless sprit when walking down a dimly lit alley. Combining these irrational fears with the right prods and you can create mass hysteria, subverting huge numbers of people to your control. The medieval ages would be a good example, where they burnt “witches” for many years in fear that they were the ones bringing peril to the land.

Hold back the mindless horde!!

There are many other uses of fear And worries to being benefit to those who incited the fear. Climates of fear by rulers can keep the population in line, punishment is used to deter criminals and rumours, myths and other supernatural stories can be used to influence the naive, like children. (if you’re Chinese, I’m sure your parents have probably reprimanded you for pointing at the full moon and many other little tales).

I’m sorry, I pauses at this point and this face is too funny to not use

It might even extend to the manipulation of the human fear of death that the medical industry reaps in huge profits.

Yes, I do know the pictures do not relate to the post at all.

So fear has many usages and influences. I think I’ve run off a tangent for long enough now. Either way, I just find Tasogare an immensely intriguing manga/anime and I’m really enjoying it and it’s little psychedelic moments.

About Manfred Tham

Manfred can typically be found hiding from people behind his computer screen or a tall pint. However you can easily contact him in any given video game where he will either insult you or be really nice to you. In addition his nerdiness transcends the digital plane when he partakes in the arcane rituals of rolling dice in both table-top and board games. Disregarding the countless hours he has logged into games, Manfred loves nothing more than cooking food to satisfy his craving for Northern European cuisine or to sip away from the many bottles of whiskies he fondly defaults to. Manfred is also what is commonly known as a “metalhead” with a penchant for both symphonic and power metal. Manfred summarises his life philosophy with a quote by Samuel L.Jackson, but it has been redacted for being far too vulgar.
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8 Responses to Are you scared of the dark?

  1. TRazor says:

    I don’t think you need pictures to break every paragraph (some of which are only 2-3 lines), even more so if the pictures are irrelevant…

  2. Valence says:

    Good old CyborgCommunist with the irrelevant yet aesthetically…pleasing pictures.

  3. I don’t watch horror other than in anime and not once have I found it scary. I’ve been reccomended Ghost hunt and will get to it at some point.

    Even if the pictures have nothing to do with the post, they’re still worth having for us fans.

  4. Persocom says:

    I find anime horror much more tolerable than bland B movies. I just really had to say though, I’m not afraid of the dark, I used to go for walks in the midnight hours just because it can be the most peaceful time, in a small town at least. Here, it’s not safe to go outdoors thanks to idiot gangs that like to mug people for fun and bragging rights, so I’ve started to fear the night, not so much for the supernatural, but unfortunately realistic horrors. Aside from that though, I’ve developed an irrational fear of things over time that I didn’t have before, and it sucks. I’m just glad I can handle these types of anime, though sometimes scenes can stick with me (like the umbrella in Another).

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