For many anime fans, Adult Swim acted as the gateway lớn the world of Japanese animation. Introducing Western audiences to lớn the likes of InuyashaOutlaw Star, and Yu Yu Hakusho, offered a more mature selection of anime as opposed khổng lồ the "family-friendly" lineups of Toonami và 4Kids. Every once in a while, they would even show movies or OVAs. One of these OVAs was a title called Kakurenbo: Hide & Seek.

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Premiering in 2005 as part of The Tokyo International Anime Fair and airing on Halloween of that year on Adult Swim, Kakurenbo is a 25 minute horror OVA that focused on a group of kids playing a game of Hide and Seek they call "Otokoyo" in a run-down thành phố said to be inhabited by demons. The leader of the group, Hikora, is playing in hopes khổng lồ find his lost sister Sorincha. One by one, the children are hunted down by the inhabitants of the abandoned town, eventually leaving Hikora as the last one remaining. Five demons are featured, with four chasing down the children và one acting as "it." The ending of the anime is rather dark for a child-centric feature with the demons are collecting children that play Otokoyo khổng lồ power their city, using them as power-cells.


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The film won several awards at different film festivals, such as the Notable Entry award for the General Category at the Tokyo International Anime Fair và Best Film at Montreal"s Fantasia Festival. The film was written, directed, và produced by Shuhei Morita, who would later go on to lớn direct the Tokyo Ghoul anime adaptations. Kakurenbo was released through YamatoWorks & featured the voice acting of Junko Takeuchi (Cure Rouge of Yes! Precure 5) & Akiko Kobayashi (Nyanmi from Onegai My Melody). In the English dub, Dan Green, Michael Sinterniklaas, and Veronica Taylor lend their voices to the characters.

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According lớn Morita, the story is based around the idea that Tokyo"s children have had to give up on the playful nature of games like Hide và Seek so that the city can expand & grow industrially, essentially feeding on the joy that these games brought khổng lồ the generations before. The ever-expanding đô thị continues to lớn grow each year, & there are few natural areas that children can run around và play in besides parks. Even these small havens of nature don"t offer much in the way of hiding spots & large areas for kids khổng lồ truly run around in, with people walking their dogs & relaxing on benches usually proving to be obstacles. There are some places that have designated sports parks, but they are large xuất hiện areas with no hiding spots lớn be found. It seems that in the bigger cities, children have a harder time playing games lượt thích Hide & Seek than those who live in the country.


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Throughout its runtime, Kakurenbo features a dark, gritty cityscape with neon lights & towering skyscrapers. There are specific rules phối for the movies version of the game, such as every child must wear a fox mask & the game doesn"t start until seven children arrive at the starting point. The way to find the starting point is by following the neon signs that spell out O-To-Ko-Yo. Once the trò chơi has begun, four demons will begin chasing down the players: Kimotori, the Liver Taker; Chitori, the Blood Taker; Aburatori, the Oil Taker; và Kotori, the Child Taker. Once there is one player left, the final demon will reveal itself as the eighth player, being Oshira-sama, the Great white Lord, who is a kitsune that leads the group of demons. Oshira-Sama possesses the remaining player once they win. It"s assumed that the previous winner will go on to lớn help power the đô thị with the rest of the children, who are hooked up khổng lồ a machine that sucks their life force & converts it into electricity. The trò chơi then goes on in a continuous cycle, with a new group of players plus the previous winner.


While it doesn"t feature overt horror, Kakurenbo plays more into atmospheric horror, focusing on the cramped feeling that the dark alleys of the đô thị give off. It creates a sense of claustrophobia that suffocates the viewer, with the only real xuất hiện space being that around the battery tower. Watching the children try lớn escape the creatures that chase them adds khổng lồ that tension, with the final reveal showing that there are no real winners of Otokoyo. There are only victims.