There are lots of potential candidates for scariest-sounding anime of the season, like Beautiful Bones and Dance with Devils. Heavy Object also sounds morbid. Imagine suffocating under the weight of a thousand fridges.
However, the anime I will feature in my post today is even scarier than all of those…
The premise: A boy is sold out by his parents and forced to attend a school full of dangerous women, one of whom wields a sword. He must pretend that he is a homosexual, otherwise his privates will get chopped off.
That’s right, it’s Ore ga Ojousama Gakkou ni “Shomin Sample” Toshite Gets♥Sareta Ken, known in English as “Story in Which I Was Kidnapped by a Young Lady’s School to be a ‘Sample of the Common People'”. Let’s just call it Shomin Sample.
This story freaks me out. It might bill itself as a harem, but there is not one single thing that is enviable about this boy’s position. Shomin Sample plays into a very, very deep-rooted human fear, which is what all good horror stories do. Was it Freud who said that castration anxiety is an integral part of early childhood development? Whatever the case, the fear of castration never leaves you.
Moreover, genital mutilation is a universal fear. It can happen to any unfortunate mammal: dogs, horses, humans. Why, you don’t even need to be male to live in fear. Imagine a shady doctor chopping off your clitoris in order to prevent you from having a decent sex life.
The guy in this Shomin Sample show (I can’t remember his name even though I’ve seen four episodes) faces a similar dilemma. He lives under constant fear of having his genitals tampered with for reasons completely beyond his control. He’s not allowed to love whomever he wants. Poor guy. Although to be fair, getting into a relationship with any of the girls in this show would arguably be a worse fate than castration.
Besides the premise, other parts of the show sent a chill down my spine. I could not believe that these girls did not even know what a selfie was. They are so sheltered and incompetent at basic human interaction that I found myself wondering if there was a conspiracy behind it. Maybe these girls are actually being raised to become killing machines or something.
Then there’s the loli, who undresses for no reason at random points in the anime, and made me feel scared that the cops would come knocking at my door.
I found myself wondering what had become of my life. How would people see me? Would I ever be able to show my face in public again?
Or is it too late for me? Is it now impossible for me to be redeemed?
I was scared. When the black-haired chick started waving her sword around and magically causing everyone’s clothes to turn to shreds, I could feel my brain cells slipping away. I wondered if this would lead to an early onset of Alzheimer’s in later life.
When the two heroines had a dramatic fight at the climax of the first arc, the camera focused more on their thighs than on their emotions. Just like the MC, I was at a loss about what to do with myself.
And the scariest thing about this show was… I liked it.
All in all, I was in a constant state of fear while watching Shomin Sample.