Many moons ago, I decided to pick up Bougyakusareta Tamashii no Jukyou because it seemed like it would be a good change of pace from the stuff I was watching at the time. It was. It was dark. It was visceral. It was, for the most part, a bloody good time.
The OVA is based on the Corpse Party survival horror game. I’m not familiar with the source material; nonetheless, this original video animation holds up fairly well in its own right.
Bougyakusareta Tamashii no Jukyou begins with nine or so high school kids who critically fail in an attempt to ensure they remain friends forever. What follows is a supernatural horror story intertwined with themes of sacrifice, redemption, and forgiveness. It offers a couple of nice twists and turns, but is awkwardly strung together at times, and may be slightly confusing to viewers unfamiliar with the concept of being “spirited away”.
Director Akira Iwagana and cinematographer Satoshi Fujita came up with an interesting assortment of angles and perspectives. Some of them are genuinely stylish; others seem unnecessarily suggestive. The series is animated by Asread, a studio not known for a whole lot other than Mirai Nikki. That’s a shame, though, because they deliver a pretty good-looking series here, particularly when it comes to the on-screen violence and viscera.
While the imagery itself is sometimes gruesome, the sound design is what really helps to make it cringeworthy. All of the squishing, all of the crunching, all of the screaming, it’s nicely concocted over top of an eerie-sounding ambiance. For this, we can primarily thank Katsunori Shimizu. Shimizu has a well-rounded resume as a sound director. More notably, he’s worked on Elfen Lied—more recently, on Citrus.
Ultimately, Bougyakusareta Tamashii no Jukyou isn’t a great series, but it delivers a type of horror we don’t often see in the west, and it does so in a way that makes just enough sense to keep you engaged throughout.
The Weeabros don’t own the image used in this review, bro.