Is it bad luck if you don't read this horror article on Friday the 13th?
It's Friday the 13th! It's a harvest moon! Spooky fun shall be had by all! And to kick off the good times we have a collection of blatant horror movie references hidden inside your favorite anime. And the best part of all? Not only does horror anime include Easter eggs paying homage to classic horror movies and tropes, but comedic family-friendly fare has even gone the way the of the darkness from time-to-time. You know what they say: We all go a little mad sometimes.
Shiki And Salem's Lot
When you think of horror, you think of Stephen King, especially in this modern resurgence full of remakes, reboots, and brand new adaptations of the horror master's prolific body of work. So, it makes sense that horror anime would be influenced by the writer and rumor has it, that's exactly how Fuyumi Ono got the inspiration for the vampire manga Shiki having reportedly dedicated the story "To Salem's Lot." The similarities are hard to ignore. Both take place in small towns that battle a mysterious illness following the arrival of new residents. The illness, of course, is vampirism, and the battle between humans and vamps can only end in flames.
Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex And Silence Of The Lambs
One of the scariest horror stories ever conceived of? Yes. Inspiration for an anime episode? Also, yes. Season 1, Episode 10 of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex "Jungle Cruise" features a serial killer that skins women just like Buffalo Bill in Silence of the Lambs. And if you're thinking that's enough evidence of the obvious homage, the episode makes it even more clear. One scene shows butterflies or moths on a corpse (moths were a huge theme in Silence of the Lambs,) with the killer collecting them and even placing a cocoon inside the mouth of one of his victims. Even more telling is that, in the anime, the skin is cut off in a design similar to a t-shirt, directly referencing Buffalo Bill's skin dress.
Sailor Moon R: The Movie And Tons Of Zombie Stuff
Zombies are everywhere these days and with good reason. They have always stood in for the existential dread we face as a species. They also make a great blank slate for whatever happens to be eating us up as a society at any given time. Modern zombies are created in labs or contract some terrible mutation of a disease. But we all remember the old school zombies thrusting their hands through the dirt over their graves as they crawl out to feast on our brains. And Sailor Moon R: The Movie delivers that last one in spades.
Another And Final Destination
If you've heard of a bunch of teenagers being chased by a supernatural force that wants them all dead and is willing to try any manner of convoluted traps and triggers to make it happen and your first thought was Final Destination, you would be correct. And if it were Another, you would also be correct. Both series see an unworldly force (a curse in Another, death in Final Destination) that employs complicated, Rube Goldbergian traps to kill off classmates in increasingly intricate ways.
Kirby: Right Back At Ya! And Psycho
Many of these series are creepy and spooky in their own right. So, while it's fun to hunt down the horror movie Easter eggs they contain, these homages may not come as a total surprise. But Kirby is such a sweet, innocent, pink blob. Who would suspect the godfather of slasher films to be directly called out in such a kid-friendly show? Bonus points for replacing Norman Bates' knife with King Dedede's iconic hammer.
Rosario + Vampire And All The Slasher Movies
Girls. Can. Be. Villains. Too. Stealing each other's clothes, gossiping about boyfriends, dressing up like classic slasher movie villains and trying to fight each other. Sister stuff. In Rosario + Vampire, we see that Kokoa held good on her word to hunt down and fight sister Moka ... and she made sure to add some Halloween flair by dressing up as all kinds of iconic killers in the process from Freddy to Ghostface.
JoJo's Bizarre Adventure And The Shining
To be fair, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure references practically everything. And the show is, well, weird enough all on its own. But the reference to Stanley Kubrick's adaptation of Stephen King's (again!) The Shining is impossible to ignore. After Polnareff turns into a child and tries to hide from Alessi in a bathroom, Alessi breaks apart the door with an ax, shoving his face through the newly made hole to perform his best Jack Nicholson impersonation with an eerie, "Polnareff, I'm here."
Zombie Land Saga And The Godfather Of Zombies
Before there was Robert Kirkman, there was George A. Romero. Romero is directly responsible for -- by both writing and directing -- many of the zombie movie classics horror fans have come to know and love. Night of the Living Dead, Day of the Dead, Dawn of the Dead ... basically all of the deads. So, of course, Zombie Land Saga, a series crawling with zombies, had to pay their respects to the man that started it all. This adorably decaying puppy's name is, you guessed it, Romero.
Soul Eater And Twin Peaks
Twin Peaks! Pretty much every type of fan is obsessed with that show, right? Horror geeks, sci-fi nerds, mystery lovers. No one can get enough of the small town supernatural series. Maybe that's what makes Soul Eater the perfect anime for such a relatable reference. The show has some supernatural elements, sure, but it's also chock full of comedy and action. Whatever the reason behind this Easter egg, there's little doubt most viewers instantly recognized Twin Peaks' memorable red room.
The Promised Neverland And H.P. Lovecraft
Right in the very first episode, The Promised Neverland lays all its horrific cards out on the table as the characters' worlds are torn apart when they learn dark, mind-shattering truths throughout the episode. The creatures that plague The Promised Neverland characters are big, grotesque, and have an air of extraterrestrial-ness about them, perfectly recalling H.P. Lovecraft's unique style.
Hope we didn't spook you too much with these creepy horror movie shout-outs because it's time to go watch your favorite scary anime in honor of this ominous day!
What's your favorite horror moment in anime? Let us know in the comments!
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