"Now cry, scream and beg for your life! Show me the despair on your face!"
Overall Rating - 8.5/10
Where to Watch - Netflix
Plot - 13 year old Rachel wakes up in a hospital with no memories and no idea of how she got there. While navigating and battling her way through its floors of horror with Zach, a deranged, yet comedic serial killer, by her side, she starts to uncover the mystery, but will they ever escape?
Review - In episode one, we're introduced to Danny, Zach, and Rachel and my first thoughts were "Wow, surprise another anime about grown men obsessed with a teenage girl," but as the first episode came to an end, I was desperate to see how this would unfold.
I've never been one for jump scares but I've always been into psychological thrillers and had a necromania side to me, two things that encompass the show itself. There was something melancholic about the whole show, not just its main characters, Rachel and Zach. The passively dark undertones we're appealing and refreshing because they were sprinkled in behind the comedically dark nature of the show. It wasn't just your classic main character dark past that anime writer's love, but something far more. It was two people with nothing left to be sad about, nothing left to be happy about, just existing the way they knew how and finding grotesquely morbid beauty in that. As someone with a fixation on all things gothic and melancholic, I really appreciated the main characters.
As they work the floors more characters are introduced, each divinely insane in their own way, each tragic yet manically happy. Some I loved like Eddie, some made my stomach churn like Danny, and, fair warning, if you cringe at the thought of the word "peepers," we might agree on our distaste for Danny. Although, I suppose the writers did their job well because Danny himself made me feel exactly the way his skeevy tagline did as well. The whole experience of meeting the side characters their respective floors was a psychological experience mimicking how Zach and Rachel felt on each one, absolutely terrified, but in different ways. Where one floor touched on my fear of the dark, the other on my fear of judgement, each one got my heart racing in different ways and I loved it.
Nothing was more perfect though than the ending, with all things ending as they should. The plot twist was great in that it still made sense to the storyline, tragedy and that maniacal happiness were still present, and to be honest, tears were shed. This was just one of those animes I truly wished had more than one season, but I'm also glad it didn't. It wasn't the ending I wanted, but I was satisfied with it. It was the ending that the show needed.
To date, this has been easily one of my top 3 favorite anime of all time. It was the first anime that ever made me buy fan art figurines, the video game, and it even got a re-watch. I know what you're thinking, "But Ixly, if you loved it so much, why an 8.5 out of 10?" Well, that answer is simple, I loved this one, absolutely, truly loved it, but I couldn't recommend this to anyone and expect them to love it. This anime was great by my standards, but I really am someone with a love for all things death and darkness. I'm not saying not to try it if Slice of Life is more your thing, because honestly it's like a gothic slice of life, but I can see it's not for everyone.