Sekai No Yami Zukan

I wouldn’t exactly label this as anime even though it is categorized as such. Each episode is 1-2 minutes and it features different art styles to portray each story/case. It reminded me of an auditory fairytale/comic book.

What is it About?

A series of bizarre tales ranging from UFOs,spiritual experiences, cryptids, curses, ancient civilizations, supernatural powers, alternate dimensions, and urban legends among other things.

Season 1 contains 9 episodes and I was able to watch it in one sitting when looking for something to kill the time with. Below are each of the episodes, containing my personal opinions and I’ve attempted to keep them spoiler-free.

Episode 1: The husband follows after his wife, frustrated and tired that she always leaves at the same time of night no matter what. What he finds is more than he bargained for, as this is no simple affair his lover is having.

Episode 2:
Michael, the boy, yearns for a kind friend, but both Michael and the problematic, stern father meet a nasty end.

Oh! The twist in this story was a refreshing surprise. The dangers of not listening to your parents, of being filled with curiosity and innocence and how easy it is to especially target sad children as they are often on the lookout for miracles and magic.

Episode 3:
Noel is hitchhiking given the fact that he can no longer go on. There are no specifics as to where he came from or is headed. A blonde beauty stops by to pick him up. They say every beauty has a dark secret and this story also ends with a refreshing twist. You begin to pick up hints as the episode nears its end, and while you know something is coming, I wouldn’t say it’s the predictable end you thought it would be.

Episode 4:
Jack and John hope to meet the mysterious occurrence behind the circles left in their crops. Neither aliens not robbers, what they meet is a bizarre monstrosity.

Episode 5:
Robots. No. It’s not what you think. This isn’t a simple human versus robots apocalypse, but a twist within a twist. I was ready to sigh with disappointment at the end but I was indeed surprised and delighted by the little twist added. It certainly got me thinking if the passing by folks we meet are entirely human or if it is indeed a clever disguise to infiltrate society.

Episode 6:
A mysterious creature is washed ashore on the beach with a nauseating odor, and a mucus like membrane covers its body. Glassy eyes reflecting nothing. Brooke and Mike decide to photograph the creature thinking it’s a never before seen specie that they can get money out of. Although Tom is the more sensible one in this story, he also meets a grisly end by attempting to look for his missing companions. Predators come in many forms, and sometimes even if we can sense the warnings, the unavoidable is met.

Episode 7: Features Japanese characters and more photograph like realism. It greatly deviates from the familiar art style we’ve seen until now.

During cloudy days, a clown will take people through another world via means of the mirror. My only complain was that the sudden photograph like realism made the story, which was supposed to be scary seem …silly and out of place. It is also a huge contrast from the previous stories which focused on a more animated atmosphere. The story was predictable, dull, and unsurprising. It seemed to be a lazy attempt compared to the other tales. This case was probably my least favorite.

Episode 8:
A mysterious tribe in Africa suffers from no sort of illness. This story was not shocking or very revealing and it seemed shorter than the rest. It was a bit silly and dull but in the end made somewhat sense. If one were to think outside the box, being stuck in such a place seems like hell itself.

Episode 9:
The final story was certainly of the type we are used to. A cursed music box that ends up killing those who are unfortunate to cross its path, but unlike the many horror stories out there, this one doesn’t end well. It’s not only that it doesn’t end well, but the tale focuses on the fact that while the unexplainable exists, we are powerless to stop it and the best that we can hope for is to be fortunate enough not to meet it in our lifetime.

Final Thoughts:  ~It was refreshing, bizarre at times, and there must have been 2 rotten apples out of the 9. The art style it’s not meant to be detailed but more like the illustrated pages of a story tale at best. Only 1 case features Japanese characters while the rest seem to focus on typical American folks. It is a great time killer, and perfect for those that are looking for something quick to binge on.