「猿温泉を突破せよ！」 (Saru Onsen o Toppa Seyo! )
“Break Through the Monkey Hot Spring!”
The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of blacks seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The arts have long cast their rods into those unfathomable waters to bait the fish of inspiration, not knowing that what they reeled in was not the touch of a benign muse, but the feverish grip of madness. For by their greed for crude entertainment have they set free a doom that before now we have been blessedly shielded from catching a fleeting glimpse even in our most deranged nightmares. In my research I have collected a trail of scattered clues and the testament of witnesses now confined to asylum that when summated point to an incomprehensible darkness that sets upon man.
My journey started when I a met wild-eyed Oriental who, as desperate as a drowning man for air, sold me an old text for a mere tuppence. It was the ancient Nekonomicon, bound in pure black and disturbingly warm to the touch, and my wiser half was loathe to even open it. Alas, my curiosity took the better of me. I could only decipher some scraps of its writings, for the horrors of its revelations proved too much for my mind and I turned my eyes away. With only that, there was one word that stood out clearly to me from all the pages of that tome: anime. At the time I knew not that name save for the primal fear it stirred in the cold of my spine. Now I know far too much, and can only take pen to warn those who will come after. Even now my hand wavers, for the very thought of my ordeal freezes the marrow in my bones, but while I still hold to my last shreds of sanity I must write, so that no other shall follow to where I have been.
To learn more of this anime I knew that I must track down a sample, and for this I assembled a team for an expedition into the unknown. They were all men good and true, accomplished scholars and renowned adventurers, and in our hubris we thought ourselves prepared for whatever was to come. We would challenge the eighth episode of Musaigen no Phantom World and win for ourselves international acclaim and enough material for a quick blog post. What fools we proved to be, for we lost three men immediately from the outset. The episode began with a lecture on hot springs, and at first we were confused, mistaking it for a tourism commercial and not knowing the episode had actually started. And then those in our number started to fall asleep, one by one in sudden fits. Three we could not rouse; the lull of boredom had taken them into its pacifying embrace, and from there none return. They proved to be the lucky few, for the rest of us determined to struggle on. What we saw shall haunt me in waking dreams. Be they visions of prophecy or delirium, I do not know, but we spied upon what must have been some manner of secret cult, men and women misshapen in both mind and body performing bizarre rituals that seemed witless perversions of our own culture. They prostrated themselves before a great beast, and we concluded that it must have been their object of worship. For the cultists were each masters of blasphemous magicke, and if they but banded together the beast could have been easily defeated. Instead, they approached it few at a time to display their lavish obeisance, and even offered up their womenfolk as sacrifice, valuing them as no more than objects. In time the purpose of their barbaric rites became clear. Their apparent leader, who had refrained from showing his own powers for reasons we could not discern, transmogrified into a hideous creature, twisted and bizarre beyond the words of mortal tongues to describe, and was dragged away to some nameless place for some nameless purpose to the chorus of damned screams. At that point my mind buckled, I fell into unconsciousness, and remembered no more.
When I awoke I learnt that of my expedition only I had survived. Others may have returned, but only in body and not in mind. My poor colleagues could only foam and gibber in their beds, unable to tell me of the final horror from which I was solely spared. Their nurses tell me that on occasion they could make out from them some disjointed and senseless words—‘What’, ‘Why’, ‘Stupid stupid stupid’, ‘Yog-Shothoth’—and none but I, who bore the secrets that I had held to my breast until today, could guess at their terrible meaning.
It is clear to me now that the dark rite of anime had but one purpose. It is preparing us. Its toll on the mind is so great that all those who witness it will wish for the sweet liberation of madness instead. Rather to gaze upon the dread creatures from beyond time and space, to lose one’s wits and bowels to the dark outside the dark, than to confront the numbing puerility of anime. And so when the old gods awaken once again, they shall find humanity not unwilling subjects, but grateful servants.
I can hear the call already.
Iä! Iä! Cthulhu fhtagn!