Kowabon – Episode 7
This episode hit a little closer to home, probably because of the environment in which it took place. I know I can’t speak for everyone, and certainly not for all women, but I know I’m not the only one who’s been concerned about someone creeping behind me at night, or someone following me home. Add in a nighttime environment and this episode suddenly got a whole lot scarier.
Episode seven introduces us to two friends, Chika and Nariko. Chika is trying to make her way to Nariko’s home, but can’t find her way. The two girls chat via their phones, and when Chika turns her cellphone camera on, she comments that it feels like someone is watching her.
Cue a surveillance camera video feed from a nearby store, and we can see that as she’s walking along a dark alley, a static-looking shadow appears behind her… then starts to follow her.
Nariko teases Chika, until she sees a creepy looking figure standing a ways behind Nariko, and then she’s suddenly a believer. When the spectre gets closer, Nariko gives her friend a few last details about what her place looks like, and then Chika bolts down the road in an attempt to lose whatever is stalking her. Her cellphone camera stays on, but the feed gets extremely choppy and it is difficult to tell if she is still being followed.
And that’s what’s so creepy about this episode. From the moment we sees the shadow follow Chika, there is an increasing feeling of fear. Who hasn’t been scared walking home alone in the dark, or gotten lost while trying to find something late at night? Even leaving aside the feeling of being watched, this episode’s premise is something I feel many viewers can relate to.
Chika arrives at Nariko’s front door, panting but hopeful that her dash has allowed her to evade the ghoul behind her. But when her camera pans up…!!! We are then taken back to their messenger conversation from the beginning of the episode, and it quickly dissolves into spam messages from Chika begging Nariko to open the door, open open open openopenopenopeneopenopen-!!!
My thoughts: While I think episode four is still my favourite in terms of creativity, episode seven takes the cake for its scare factor. The creators of Kowabon went with an idea which is easily relatable, and as I mentioned I think that makes this episode even creepier. I mean who knows if the next time when you’re walking home from a friend’s house late at night, maybe you’ll get a feeling like you’re being watched…? ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
As someone who virtually never watches or reads anything from the horror genre, I got a real kick out of this show, and honestly I was sad to see that sites like Crunchyroll weren’t going to be carrying it. It’s short enough that fraidycats like me get a quick scare, or some creepy feelings, and then it’s over. As someone who’s picky with graphics and animation, I really enjoyed the rotoscoping, and had no major complaints that I can think of.
However, as much as I’ve enjoyed this show, I’m going to be dropping it. As I mentioned in my author’s note a couple of weeks ago, for whatever reason the online release for this show has been really sporadic. I have only two sources for this show and both of them don’t have a working video past episode seven, even though we should be nearing the end of the series by now. I’d love to keep covering it, but without a definite release schedule, I feel like I’d be treating this show like an afterthought during later seasons and that’s not fair. It’s an extremely creative series in my opinion, and if you’re a horror n00b like me who is easily scared then I recommend you check it out.
It’s really unfortunate that literally the only reason why I’m dropping this show is because the release schedule is so screwy. Otherwise I’d be happy to continue covering it until its end. ;~;
Show status: Dropped