Kowai Yūrei Bento Buffet

Kowai Yūrei Bento Buffet

Yūrei: dark entities of the night

It is October, or to some, Spooktober as this is the month of everything Halloween. In this bento we’re going to explore the world of the yūrei, the spirits of the dead that haunts the dreams and imaginations of campfire tales, horror writers, the paranoid but also the enthusiast. October also means we start the fall season and there are quite a number of great new anime shows to watch. For our recommendations of new anime this fall season, please visit our Top 10 Fall 2019 Anime Recommendations article. 

Anime News

Cardboard Weaponsmith

One man’s trash is another’s weapon. Avid anime fanatik and YouTuber Crafty Transformer took it upon himself to recycle Amazon packaging cardboards into weapons and contraptions from anime and games. We share a few videos of his amazing work.

Clasping wrench mace from Gundam Iron-Blooded Orphans
Great sword from Monster Hunter: World
Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Disk

Hell Girl (Jigoku Shōjo)

Hell Girl is an epic anime that some may see as the ultimate anti-bullying anime, but one with high moral lessons. Why? In the anime we usually meet a person that is tormented or bullied, and that person, tired of being bullied then access the Hell Correspondence website, and put in a request with Hell Girl to eliminate the bully tormenting them. Then Hell Girl, or AI Enma appears and give the person a doll with a string, and once the string is pulled that person’s bully is sent to hell. There is a catch, the person that hires Hell Girl to take the bully to hell will also go to hell after he or she live out their lives.

Hell Girl’s first television anime series started in 2005, followed by various sequel seasons in 2006, 2008 and 2017. There also was a live-action adaptation in 2006. The series boast also with three anime adaptations and a stage play. This year on November 15th a live-action film will premiere in Japanese theaters. The cast includes Tina Tamashiro as Ai Enma, Manami Hashimoto as Hone Onna, Akaji Maro as Wanyūdō, Nana Mori as Miho Ichikawa, Sawa Nimura as Haruka Nanjō, Mina Ohba as Sanae Mikuriya, Kazuki Namioka as Kudō and Tomu Fujita as Maki.

Picture Element

Visual Effects Studio Picture Element Filed for Bankruptcy. The bankruptcy proceedings started on September 18th through the Tokyo District Court. Picture Element owes 194 million yen (about US$1.80 million) to 64 creditors. Founded in September 2011, Picture Element worked on visual effects and CG for various live-action movies and television series such as the live-action Library Wars films, the live-action Space Brothers film, Helter Skelter, Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo, the live-action Kiki’s Delivery Service film, Stand By Me Doraemon, the live-action Rurouni Kenshin films, the live-action Parasyte films, the live-action Attack on Titan films, the live-action Terraformars, and Shin Godzilla. More recently, it worked on such films as Dragon Quest Your Story, and the live-action Kingdom and Archimedes no Taisen films. 

Pokemon Sword and Shield series

Recently, after the latest episode of Pokémon the Series: Sun and Moon, a trailer was released for the upcoming new season. Showcasing new designs as well as hints of the new direction the anime-franchise is taking. Once again, Ash has a new look, a blend of the more serious style used in Pokémon the Series: XY and the cartoony style of Pokémon the Series: Sun and Moon. Another big difference is that the series now has another main character, Ash’s new companion Gou, who dreams of finding Mew and also to catch many Pokémon.

The new season is to have a lot of Pokémon from the Galar region, the setting for Pokémon Sword and Shield but hints that Ash and Gou may visit other regions as well. But that is speculation as not a lot of information has been revealed about the Pokémon Sword and Shield series, which accompanies the game that will be released in November. The Pokémon Company is keeping any spoils and big reveals under their hat, atleast for now.

Kawaii Kulture - The chilling lore of the Yūrei

Ghost. The word resonates with everyone differently. To some ghosts are the stuff of legends, campfire tales, horror movies and many Halloween costumes. We all know someone that swear they have seen a ghost or someone that knows someone. We all have listened to stories that made us shiver and wonder if that sound we just heard was not maybe a ghost. Chances are you, reading here can tell us a ghost story… or maybe right now feels a chill down your spine because you have met one… Ghosts are a global belief, from the Afrikaans ‘spook‘ or ‘gees‘ to the Japanese ‘yūrei’ we all have words and lore about these paranormal entities.

In Japan, spirits or ghosts are known as yūrei. Traditional Japanese belief insists that all humans have a soul or spirit called a reikon. When you die, the reikon leaves the body and enters a type of purgatory, waiting for the proper funeral rites to be performed for it so that it can join its ancestors. If the funeral rites are done properly, it is believed that that spirit becomes a protector for its living family and that spirit will come and visit during Obon in August to receive thanks, much like beliefs in Hellowe’en are in some cultures.

If the funeral rites have not been observed properly, especially if the person died in a violent or sudden manner like suicide or murder, or is influenced by powerful emotions like love, revenge, hate or sorrow, the reikon transforms into a yūrei, giving it the ability to manifest in the physical world, our world. According to yūrei lore, once a thought enters the mind of a dying person, if he or she dies, and the rituals were not properly done, the yūrei will come and complete that action be it a good or bad one. Only when a yūrei finds peace it can return to the cycle of reincarnation.

The lore also dictates that they are usually dressed in white, maybe this myth is based on the white burial kimono that the Japanese used in the Edo era. The colour white is the colour of ritual purity in Shinto beliefs, reserved for priests and the dead. Usually, the hair of a yūrei is long and black and their hands dangle lifelessly from the wrists, which they hold outstretched with the elbow close to the body.

Some types yūrei are known as the Onryō (they are vengeful ghosts returned from purgatory to avenge a wrong done to them when they were alive), Ubume (the ghost of a mother who died during childbirth that left young children behind. The ubume returns to take care of the children and even brings them sweets.), Goryō (The vengeful ghosts of the aristocratic class), Funayūrei (the ghosts of those who died at sea. They can be fish-like in appearance or look like mermaids or mermen), Zashiki-warashi: (the mischievous ghosts of children), and earth-bound spirits or jibakurei. Ghosts come in many shapes and forms. They can have grudges, haunt objects like videos, and haunts houses and forests. If they are real or superstition is in the beholder’s eye.

Spread the Word & Word of the Month: Ghostly Words

There are many words that describe fear and fright, and Japan has quite an arsenal of words to learn. Ghosts and spirits are kowai, which means scary, and not kawaii (which means cute). To be a victim of fear can be osoroshii which means to be devastated. Osoroshii is best used, objectively, to denote the intensity of a calamity, natural disaster or other event; osoroshii denotes something highly destructive or traumatic. Zotto suru means to shudder, especially when you hear a nocturnal scream somewhere in the dark or the sound of sharpening knives… You can feel your heart go doki-doki (Doki-doki is the Onomatopoeia for a beating heart and can actually be used to indicate excitement upon seeing something or someone or that feeling you get when you feel something creeping up on you… Doki-doki… doki-doki… It is spine tingling (spine tingling means sesuji ga kooru in Japanese), yup, that creepy feeling you get when you walk past a haunted house (obake yashiki) alone at night. It can be blood curdling too (In Japanese chimo kooru). Kyoufu (or fear in English) can be you best survival technique or worst enemy. Sometimes things are so kowai and you are so filled with kyoufu that you may get goosebumps (torihada ga tatsu means “to get goosebumps”). Or you get so scared that you get what the Japanese call ashi ga sukumu (feet frozen in fear). It may sound to some people as a cliche but it is a paralyzing reality…

To fight these imawashii (ominous) feelings, some people may carve a kabocha (pumpkin) on Hellowe’en to keep evil at bay, or visit the ohaka (grave) of a scary aunty that passed on and leave flowers, hopefully it may keep her at peace.

Here is a list of scary creatures that may visit you this Hallowe’en, but don’t worry, maybe it’s just a friend in a costume (kosuchuumu) … right?

Akuma – Demon

Gaikotsu – Skeleton

Koumori – Bat

Kumo – Spider

Kuroneko – Black Cat

Kyuuketsuki – Vampire

Majo – Witch

Miira – Mummy

Obake – Ghost

Ookami otoko – Werewolf

Zonbi – Zombie

Useful phrases for Harowiin (Halloween)

Akumu ni unasareru. – I have a nightmare.

Horaa eiga o miru. – I watch a horror movie.

Kabocha o horu. – I carve a pumpkin.

Majo no kasou o suru. – I wear the witch’s costume.

Rousoku o tomosu. – I light candles.

Word of the month

Yūrei – The name consists of the kanji for yū meaning ‘faint’ or ‘dim’ and rei meaning ‘soul’ or ‘spirit’.

Here is a video that explain more about some of the words we have learned.

Recipe of the month: How to carve your pumpkin

Since it is Halloween this month we have something very special that fits Halloween as well as the ghostly theme of our bento. In especially America is has been a tradition to carve pumpkins for Halloween and it seems Japan is also carving pumpkins for decorations. Let’s see how to carve your Kabocha in Japan!


Top 5 Anime: Ghost Anime

Did we put you in the mood for ghostly anime? We have a list of great anime that will cater to all your ghostly needs. We have paranormal investigators, revengeful girls that will take you to hell, a strange dimensional witch that grants wishes at a price and more to spice up your ghostly anime needs!

Disclaimer: The following videos contain graphic scenes of violence, gore and blood. Viewer discretion is advised.

Corpse Party
Ghost Hunt
Hell Girl

And that is not all, we also recommend two more special anime since we’re in a… hauntingly festive mood.

Yami Shibai

Special Article: Recommended Japanese Horror Movies for your Halloween.

Looking for a live-action Japanese horror for your Halloween? We have decided to share some of our kowai favourites to keep you on the edge of your seats this Halloween. Make sure to watch with a friend or too, getting scared with friends are so much more… fun.

Disclaimer: The following videos contain graphic scenes of violence, gore and blood. Viewer discretion is advised.

Ichi the Killer
Ju-on: The Grudge
Tetsuo: The Iron Man

Birthday of the Month: Orochimaru (Naruto)

It’s the month of creepy so we celebrate a very creepy birthday boy this month, Orochimaru from the Naruto-franchise whose birthday is on the 27th. For many of us, Orochimaru needs no introduction. He is one of Konohagakure’s legendary Sannin and it was his life’s dream to know the secret to immortality so that the can learn all the secrets in the world. He is known for his inhumane unethical experiments and it was during one of those he was caught red-handed, and that caused him to defect from Konoha.

For years he plotted revenge and even went as far as execute one of his plans during one of the Chunnin exam. He is also known as the person that took Sasuke on as apprentice, promising the shinobi that it will help him with his revenge plans. All this happened in the first Naruto series.

(This paragraph contains spoilers). In the time of the Fourth Shinobi World War, Sasuke revives Orochimaru and our creepy villain become a very important asset during the war, and key events thereafter. He is also very active in the Anime Boruto, which is set after Naruto and Naruto Shippūden, where he seems as if he is one of the good guys, or is he? We will not spoil his story for you.

Orochimaru shares his birth month with Silica from Sword Art Online, whose birthday is on the 4th and Naruto Uzumaki (Naruto) on the 10th.

AMV of the month: Horror Double Play

We’re not finished with you, we want you to scare some more, thus we bring you two AMVs of horror. Our first video, ‘Let the bodies hit the floor’ by Drowning Pool, features various anime, try and see which ones you can recognize. Our second video show scenes from the horror anime Another, which happens to be one of our recommendations for series to watch on Halloween. Be warned, if you think anime is just for kids, these videos will proof that some are just for adults.

Disclaimer: The following videos contain graphic scenes of violence, gore and blood. Viewer discretion is advised.

Let the bodies hit the floor by Drowning Pool
Another AMV

Anime Challenge: Supernatural The Animation

This month we bring you a very special anime challenge. If you don’t know of the series Supernatural, which is entering their 15th and final season this year, you need a whole lot of catching up to do. The series is about two brothers, Sam and Dean Winchester who grow up to become demon hunters after a demon murders their mother. There is much more about the series’ plot but it is up to you to discover.

Our challenge is Supernatural The Animation, an anime series based on the American hit horror series. Supernatural The Animation was announced in 2010 by the official Japanese Warner Bros. Website. The anime debuted in 2011, was produced by Madhouse and ran for 22 episodes. The series was co-directed by Shigeyuki Miya and Atsuko Ishizuka, with Eric Kripke credited as the project creator. The series executive producer was Madhouse co-founder Masao Maruyama, Takahiro Yoshimatsu designing the characters. The same voice actors Yūya Uchida and Hiroki Touchi, who voice Sam and Dean for the Japanese dub of the live-action series, reprises their roles for the animation. The series covered the first two seasons of the live-action American series but also included original content exploring the Winchesters’ childhoods and expanding upon secondary characters.

Anime Meetup: Yūrei to Oni!

This meetup, we will bring you spine-chilling anime horror series and movies but to help you catch your breath we will also show select Fall Season openers. Expect the unexpected, the thrill of the scare, the rise and or fall of heroes and monsters alike. Entrance is free! Grab a friend and come join us for a super sugoi horror day.

When: 19 October

Time: 12:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Place: Cool Runnings, Centurion (120 Ivan Str , Hennops Park Centurion, Pretoria) The anime day is at the back of the club in the anime screening room

Be sure to look at our event page on our website as we may update with more news on events.