Going into watching ‘Housing Complex C’ (or ‘C Danchi’ in Japanese) I was extremely nervous. After all, I typically love all types of anime, horror included – Junji Ito’s manga comes to mind as a favorite – but on MyAnimeList, at the time of writing, it has an mediocre 5.41/10. What sort of shenanigans does a horror anime have to pull to warrant a 5.41?
In addition, I typically watch my anime with subtitles rather than an English dub. I find that especially with horror anime, a poor dub can break the illusion quite fast; however I was disappointed to find that I couldn’t locate a subtitled version anywhere.
So, dub it is.
The studio behind ‘Housing Complex C’ is known as Akatsuki, and scrolling their catalog shows a few troubling things. Firstly, their highest rated credit is as a co-producer for ‘Hinamatsuri’ alongside four – yes, four – other studios. Other than ‘High School Fleet’, every other ‘producer’ credit has below a 6.0. The same goes for every ‘Studio’ tag (except for one – ‘Kirameki Inokori Daisensou’.)
But, scores aren’t everything! There have been times I’ve watched an anime, loved it, then went to add it to MyAnimeList and saw it had a poor score. So moving forward, I made the decision to try and watch without thinking about the general consensus.
The Most Confusing Opening Ever. Cool.
We begin with a strange chase scene that makes very little sense. So do your best to stay with me here. A big guy is chasing two small girls through the rain with some sort of ancient chant in the background.
When he has them cornered, one of the small girls hits him with a piece of wood or something. He stumbles, knocking into a shelf where a jar of liquid had been, knocking it over. Then, rainbows appear from the liquid as it pools onto the floor:
and causes the man to have visions from some sort of ancient time. In the past, a group of – soldiers? Military men? Civilians with swords? – also corner two young girls. One is murdered, and the other screams so loud the rest of the military men turn to dirt or dust or something.
Back to the present, an adult comes to the aid of the two girls, hitting the large man with some sort of blunt object.
Now we timeskip to seemingly before this incident occurs.
The show is taking place in a coastal, rural area in some sort of apartment complex. It’s owned by an old woman – Wada – and everybody is an adult except for a nine-year-old named Kimi.
The elderly all talk amongst themselves as if Kimi is their pride and joy. As they talk, one of the elderly men spots some sort of creature along the shore:
He’s startled by this, but doesn’t tell the others what he saw.
We get a lot of backstory and setting-building about this apartment complex. Firstly, we learn that a large group of people are going to be moving in; foreigners that will be working as interns around this area. We also learn that Wada, the building owner (and by the way others talk about her, probably the eldest person living here), is pretty xenophobic.
We also learn that the man who spotted the creature is a professor, and he’s pretty close to Kimi. They both seem to have an extremely adventurous and curious spirit.
Here are some other important facts you need to know about this area:
- It seems to be built next to some sort of ancient group or area with “important traditions” (this is not elaborated further)
- Among the foreigners moving in is a Japanese family. The daughter of that family is Yuri, who is 10 years old.
- A woman who lives in the building has a shut-in son named Hideo who draws a lot of creepy stuff.
- There’s a basement area where apparently somebody from the past was storing things he stole (including a mummified dead dog).
- Kimi will absolutely not stop touching this freakin’ dead dog.
Got all that? Good!
Friends By Association
Kimi and Yuri quickly become friends due to their ages. Kimi excitedly tells Yuri she’ll show her “something cool” and immediately takes her down into the basement where she was advised not to go.
After pranking her using the dead dog, Kimi and Yuri are startled by a noise and a presence in the room. After walking deeper, they discover a bunch of drawings.
We cut to Kimi and Yuri at Hideo’s house, asking his mother if they could return a pen they found in the basement, which they believe belongs to him. His mother reluctantly allows this. Yuri and Kimi speak to Hideo through his door, return the pen, and all seems well; they leave.
The next day, Kimi notices some tension between Wada and the foreigners after she is irritated because of their group prayer. Kimi decides the best way to make everyone get along is shaved ice. She runs to Hideo’s house to speak to his mother about the shaved ice, where she sees the room, torn up and in disarray, with what looks to be Hideo slouched in the corner.
We end on a cliffhanger for the next episode.
Opinions / Analysis
To be honest, I was expecting the first episode to be worse! While the presentation of the opening scene seemed a bit out of nowhere, I suspect we’ll come to understand it later. I’m alright with being left in the dark… for now.
Kimi is an extremely annoying character, but I suppose I can’t expect much more from a nine-year-old. I suppose what irritates me more are the elderly people around her constantly coddling her.
Also…. Kimi, please stop touching the dead dog.
I truly have no idea where this show is going to go. As of right now, I’m not seeing a lot of horror elements, but there is a lot of potential for horror. We’ve got the creature spotted on the coast, creepy drawings, dead dogs, ancient rituals, and a shut-in whose mother seems to be slightly afraid of him.
I’m still waiting to see where the show starts to go downhill.
For similar Anime, check out our other reviews!