「Sトンネル」 (S Tunnel)
Dark Gathering’s latest episode aims to start the story off on the right foot as Keitaro is now fully established into Yayoi’s supernatural ghost hunting quest. But if she wants to grow stronger, they’ll have to make sure that their first main target, a malicious tunnel ghoul, doesn’t invite itself over to Keitaro’s home.
It’s pretty exciting to see how eager the show is to head towards this direction given how the first few minutes act as a thorough recap of Yayoi’s dilemma now that Keitaro is more interested in joining her and his new girlfriend Eiko. I can tell from the reaction that many of the manga’s fans have that the next batch of episodes will be where the scares and haunts become freakier and freakier.
The tunnel ghost is no exception as it looks impressively grotesque to see her face sprawled out on the screen. Each time she took up a close-up shot, it was very unnerving to say the least. The show does a great job at setting up bait-and-switch moments as the ghosts are cunning enough to catch Keitaro and the girls off-guard at the worst possible moments. The immediate cut to Keitaro’s home as soon as the girls find out they captured the wrong ghost is as menacing as the instant jump-cut to her face being plastered across their windshield right when they were so hyper-focused on the rear-view mirror.
The only thing I can see being a bit of an issue is the anime art’s limitations. The cutesier designs for the characters works well with many of the comedy bits, but tonally, it can be odd to see a comical reaction to something truly spooky. Sometimes, the ghost can come off as flatter, less detailed, and less impactful because the art is more focused on retaining the human character models than making the ghosts look brutal. Still, I can’t help but enjoy some of the Scooby Doo campiness that the art helps to bring out as our main trio stumbles into one ghost after another.