Only one show jumped out at me as potentially serious adult horror.
I don’t think it’s going to meet my strict standards for my specific definition of “horror,” but it’s definitely got some horror elements, and I think I’m going to love it.
The show is Mayoiga and it nicely seems to bridge the gap between “young adult fiction” and “adult fiction.”
The premise initially seems quite dark.
The notion is that there is a mysterious village, and strangers will gather there, if it even exists, spooky stuff.
The initial premise looks like very mature adult fiction.
And then you watch the first 20 seconds and you realize, no, this is not dark anime, this is viewer-friendly anime.
There are lots of recognizable stereotypes. Main Character and Best Girl practically have neon signs floating over their heads. Likewise Jerkass With A Heart Of Gold and Little Miss Snarker are obviously sympathetic characters.
I am glad that there are some characters above the age of 20. I sympathize with them much more than I do with the main character. Sorry, Japan, I need protagonists who are older than 16, at least.
About half of the characters are highly recognizable stereotypes, and they will probably be played straight. With a show like this, they will try to pull some twists and turns, but they can’t twist the audience up too much, or people will just stop watching. The audience is going to be kept rooting for a happy ending. The audience is going to want to have Main Character and Best Girl live happily ever after.
The obvious twist is – the Best Girl could turn out to be a morally innocent conduit for Cosmic Evil. That way, she could be the epicenter for mass murder, and it wouldn’t be her fault. (How many anime shows have given us a sweet, pure, innocent, virginal girl, and made her kill lots of people, but kept her sympathetic, because it’s not her fault?)
Let’s list some of the stereotypes.So how many times have I seen the subtropes of this trope?
I will use spoiler concealment with white-on-white text. See if you can spot the examples just from the description. Highlight with your cursor if you can’t
SubTrope A – The Best Girl has Super-Psychic powers. With Great Power Comes Great Insanity. She has the emotions of an innocent virgin, the body of an ultra-sexy woman, and she needs the main character to love her and lust for her, even though she keeps killing people.
Subtrope B – She’s a medium and evil ghosts love to haunt her, but it’s the ghosts that are causing the problems, the little girl is actually innocent and has no superpowers.
Honorable Mention, but it doesn’t fit exactly: Blood-C. The heroine is innocent, and it’s physical monsters instead of ghosts who kill the innocent victims, but the heroine ends up remembering that she has superpowers. And anyway, the heroine of that show isn’t the real heroine of the movie sequel…
Subtrope C – She’s a secret murderess herself, and the main character should love her anyway, because the people she kills are jerks.
There are a couple of twists or trope subversions, but I can only think of one:
Subversion 1: The people are really dead, but it’s no problem because Best Girl is an Action Girl with a license to kill! (This is pretty much just Subtrope C with more action and less horror.)