Yamishibai: Japanese Ghost Stories: Episode 4 – “Hair”

Yamishibai: Japanese Ghost Stories is a series of anime shorts, and the shorts run for about five minutes each. They feature an old man who shows up every week at a children’s playground at 5:00 p.m. to tell Japanese ghost stories.

This short takes place when an elementary teacher has to stay at school late in order to finish working on the school newspaper. When she goes to make photocopies, she discovers that the copy she made has strange hair-like lines. When she investigates the copier, she sees the head of a girl inside the machine; however, after double checking, she sees nothing. The teacher decides that she’s fatigued and is seeing things.

When the teacher goes to make copies again, the copier behaves erratically and each copy that is made becomes more and more obstructed by hair-like lines. When the copier refuses to stop, the teacher unplugs the machine. When she checks the copier again, she sees messy black hair being sucked into the paper loading tray. When she looks inside, though, she sees nothing. However, right when the teacher closes the lid at the end of the short, a figure pops out,

Of the four shorts I have seen so far, this one relied very heavily on dark colors due to the fact that it was taking place at night in a dimly lit school. Unfortunately, this made it very hard to see some of the details in regards to the copier when I watched this short on Crunchyroll; in fact, I only figured out some of what happened after finding a synopsis for the short online. Unfortunately, not being able to see some of these important details very clearly affected my ability to truly enjoy the horror and story of this short.

Even with not being able to see all of the important details clearly, I got enough of the gist of this particular ghost story to at least get creeped out a little by it. I will continue to watch Yamishibai: Japanese Ghost Stories to see what other kinds of ghost stories will be told throughout this series of shorts.

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