Horror


you can't beat me Battler 

        This episode begins with Kinzo waking up in the morning to find out that he’s still alive and wondering who Beatrice chose as her first six sacrifices. Meanwhile, we see some of the others gathered in front of the blood sealed chapel, and we find out that Krauss, Eva, Rudolf, and their spouses are missing. Later, we see Rosa inside the guest house going through Marie’s handbag, and inside the envelope that Beatrice gave her Eva finds the key to the chapel. Battler awakens to see Rosa with the key, and Rosa tells him and the kids to stay in the guest house.

 which six pieces did you takethe blood sealed chapellooking inside Maria's purse

        Once Rosa returns with the key they enter the chapel to find the missing people seated at a dining room table, murdered. But this time, instead of their faces being mutilated they have massive damage to their chest areas, and soon George, Battler, Jessica, and Maria wander into the slaughterhouse. As the kids are screaming in horror, the scene freezes and Battler and Beatrice (the ghost/real ones) appear, Battler calls Beatrice tasteless but Beatrice says that this time she left their faces alone reducing the number of possible suspects for Battler to consider. Beatrice dares Battler to explain these killings logically, they both disappear, and time moves again.

now you can see their faces battler 

        Jessica yells that this is all Beatrice’s fault and runs out of the chapel to confront Beatrice, and Rosa sends Kanon and Gouda to follow her. Then George notices that there are some bars of gold inside the pumpkin located on the dining table, and Maria goes into her crazy girl mode saying that she wants Beatrice to take her to the golden land.

there's the gold bars 

        Jessica makes it to Beatrice’s room to find it locked, and she uses Kanon’s pass key to open the door. Once inside, Jessica finds Beatrice missing but she left a note taunting Jessica and mocking her parents. Jessica experiences an asthma attack and Kanon has to help her to her room where her inhalator is located. After Jessica starts to feel better, Kanon gets ready to leave but it seems like Jessica wants him to stay with her, and at that very moment Beatrice appears and starts mocking Kanon about not understanding women because he’s furniture.

Open up Beatrice, nowthe letter mocking JessicaJessica and her inhalator

you're supposed to stay by a woman's side

you can understand a human heart

        Beatrice tells Kanon to show his power to her, and she materializes several monsters. Kanon then summons an energy blade that covers his right arm, and he tells Jessica that he’ll protect her. Kanon easily defeats Beatrice’s minions, and Kanon goes after her but she easily dodges him. Beatrice tells him that furniture should know its place, Jessica sticks up for Kanon and tells Beatrice that he’s not furniture, he’s human. Beatrice laughs at her and summons One of the Seven Stakes of Purgatory, a female creature called Lust. Beatrice tells Lust to carry out the second twilight and Lust goes to fight Kanon. It quickly become apparent that Lust is much too fast for Kanon and soon Lust transform into a dagger/stake saying she’ll pierce him. As the dagger flies all around Kanon, and is about to stab him, Jessica blocks the dagger with her back. As Jessica is dying in Kanon’s arms Beatrice mocks Kanon about not being able to protect his lady.

I'll protect miladyJessica dying in Kanon's arms 

        Then Beatrice summons another Stake of Purgatory called Wrath. When Wrath appears, Beatrice tells her to kill Kanon, and Wrath turns into a dagger and flies towards Kanon striking him the chest. As both Jessica and Kanon lay dying, Jessica reaches out to Kanon, and Kanon reaches out to her. Jessica tells Kanon he’s not furniture and she asks him is real name, and Kanon tells Jessica, thanks to her he’s not furniture, but he dies before he can tell Jessica his real name. Beatrice mocks Kanon telling him that she can still humiliate him even in death, and she uses smoke from her cigarette holder/pipe to make his body disappear.

I want to pierce you're chest

 the dying lovers

I can still torment you in death

       Kinzo having been informed by Shannon and Genji about the six deaths tells Shannon to get the stuff ready for him to prepare his will. Back with Battler and the others they find out that they are unable to reach the police or authorities. As Battler and the others are trying to figure out how the murderer got into and out of the locked chapel while the key was in Marie’s purse, the scene freezes and Battler and Beatrice appear on the scene again. Battler says not another locked murder scene again, and Beatrice tells Battler to explain how the locked door was opened and closed with out the key. Battler tells her that’s there’s not enough information, there could be a extra key or a hidden door, and Beatrice makes a rule saying that every time she speaks the truth her words will appear in red letters. After Battler tries to make some additional arguments Beatrice amends the rule by saying if her words speak the truth Battler has to take them at face value and not ask for proof, he reluctantly agrees to this.

explain the chapel door

this way you have no excuses battler 

       After a little question and answer between Beatrice and Battler, he comes to the conclusion that during the night the murderer took the key from Marie’s purse and put the bodies inside the chapel and then returned the key to Maria’s purse, so he refuses to affirm that magic exists. Beatrice laughs at him saying if it wasn’t magic then he’s fingering one of the remaining living people, prove it. Time flows again, and we see the group continuing to discuss Beatrice’s letter, and George wonders if she wants them to find the gold. Maria goes creepy again saying Beatrice wants them to solve the riddle, Battler asks her if she can solve it, and Maria says who cares, she just wants to go to the golden land. Soon, Rosa, Genji, and Shannon enter the room with Rosa carrying the gun saying she’ll protect everyone. Well, that’s all for this episode.

the murdered snuck in and took the key

I don't need magic

      Well, I found the format where Battler and Beatrice watch events unfold as invisible observers and then argue back and forth about whether or not these crimes could have occurred with or without the use of magic very interesting. But, I wonder if anything will ever be settled since Beatrice has the ability to rewind events and replay them in a different order so I wonder if it would be possible of Battler to catch her in a mistake? I also found the fight between Kanon and Beatrice’s minions pretty strange, I never would have thought that Kanon would have been able to materialise a energy blade, so what the hell was Kanon supposed to be, a magical butler? I found Beatrice’s stealing of Kanon’s body to be a great move, now the suspicion will probably fall of Kanon since he’s missing. Oh-well, all I know is that I’m really engrossed with this tale and can’t wait for the next episode.

Beatrice could fix this

      This episode begins with us seeing Maria and Rosa together before they head to the island, Maria acts quite bratty and Rosa overreacts by slapping the crap out of her. Then we see that servants getting ready for all the visitors that will be showing up and we see most of the family gathered together waiting to head off to the island. Later, we see everyone walking up the path to the house when time freezes and Beatrice and Battler appear off to the side, Beatrice says that this is a game that we can repeat over and over again until Battler admits defeat and accepts the fact that witches do exist. Battler tells Beatrice that he’ll never give in, so Beatrice tells Battler let the pain begin.

I want to dress like a witchhave some candy girl001 give it back to me 001

I told you to stop saying that

this will go on forever

let the game of pain begin

      The scene picks up with everyone walking towards the house and Maria mentions the witch again, Rosa stops her, and starts beating the crap out of her, Maria cries out for her mother to return and defeat the witch. Later, Kanon goes out to check on Maria asking her if she’s alright, Maria goes into crazy Maria mode and babbles about knowing Beatrice and that she’ll even play with her later. After a few minutes, Rosa realizes what she did to Maria and rushes outside to get her, she apologizes to her and Maria says it’s not her fault because she was possessed by the evil witch.

why won't you listen to me

please come back mommy 

      A few seconds later, Beatrice appears before Maria and Rosa looking different from how she appeared in past episodes? Beatrice fixes Maria’s broken candy and hands Maria a letter and tells her it contains her invitation to the golden land. Then Beatrice hands Rosa a letter and tells her to open it and read it to everyone once they’re all gathered together.

001 a letter for you, Maria 001 the letter 

       Inside the house, we see Beatrice messing with Kanon by making him kiss her boots or she’ll kill Shannon. Then we see Beatrice messing with Shannon telling her that she only sparked the love between her and George so she could twist it. Shannon tells Beatrice that she’s not going to let Beatrice control her fate any longer, she controls her own future. After Shannon leaves the room Beatrice says that she’ll kill both Shannon and her lover.

Beatrice and Kanon 0001I just might kill ShannonI control my own fate

       As the family is enjoying dinner Gouda gets asked if the special guest will be joining them, and he tells them that she wishes to eat alone. When someone demands to know who the guest is Gouda tells them that it’s Beatrice. This answer causes quite a commotion between the family members and they demand that Genji comes and answers some questions. The adults excuse the children and the doctor to retire to the guest house where the doctor tells them that Beatrice was once Kinzo’s mistress but he’d never met her, and he’s sure she died long ago. Then we switch to the garden where George gives Shannon the ring and proposes to her and this time she immediately accepts his proposal.

I promise we'll be together forever 0010010001

shannon wearing george's ring

the eternal promise

       Back inside the main house we see all the adults meeting with Beatrice, they all accept and acknowledge that Beatrice does exist and she is a witch. Well, that’s all for this episode.

 they believe in Beatrice 0001they believe in Beatrice 0002they believe in Beatrice 0003

I believe in Beatrice 0004

you are the famous Beatrice 0001 

       Well, this was quite an amusing episode, it looks like Battler’s and Beatrice’s test of wills has begun in earnest. After, a few moments of back story showing Maria and Rosa before the island, and seeing George preparing to ask Shannon to marry him, it seems that Beatrice has hit the reset button and changed how things progressed from pretty much the moment everyone left the boat. If this is truly a battle of wills between Battler and Beatrice, with Beatrice trying to convince Battler that she and witches do exist, I don’t know how this method of attack will settle anything. I think that if Battler truly doesn’t believe/or refuses to believe in witches it really won’t matter how many times Beatrice forces Battler to relive the events of the past couple of days. I think that in the end Battler may win this fight because no matter how many thousands of times Beatrice replays the past you can’t convince someone to believe in something they refuse to believe in.

In closing I’ll offer Battler a little wisdom from one of my all time favorite novels, Dune.

I must not fear.

Fear is the mind-killer.

Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.

I will face my fear.

I will permit it to pass over me and through me.

And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.

Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.

Only I will remain.

—Bene Gesserit Litany against Fear, Dune

Beatrice and Shannon having tea 

      This episode begins with a flashback of George and Shannon enjoying their first date together, George asks Shannon of he can call her by her real name, Sayo, and he tells he that magic must have brought them together. Then we jump back a little bit in time and we see Shannon walking up to the island’s shrine in the middle of a storm, she opens the inner door and removes a mirror and smashes on the ground, and she says now that she’s kept her promise it’s time for Beatrice to keep hers. Then in little further in the past, we see George briefing the family on what he’s been studying and who’s he’s been studying with. After hearing this, Jessica’s mother tells her that she needs to be more like George, and she storms out of the room.

 Shannon and George on a date

001-Shannon smashing the mirror

       After Jessica leaves the room Shannon begins to serve tea and makes a mistake, Natsuhi jumps all over her, and George makes small talk to cover for her. Outside the house Shannon talks with Jessica about George, and since she can tell that Shannon likes him she teases her a bit. Eva sees George talking with Shannon and Jessica and goes out and tells him that Grandfather wants to talk with him about a marriage meeting. As Eva walks past Shannon she whispers to her to not forget her place.

you really like george 001001-Shannon wants to talk with you001-thank you for helping me out-001

001-know your place woman 

       Later, we see Shannon standing in front of Beatrice’s painting saying that before, she wasn’t human, she was a piece of furniture, but why was she given a heart that loves. Then Beatrice appears before Shannon and tells her that before she had a heart or knew love she wasn’t human, but now that she has a heart, she’s human. Beatrice compares Shannon’s situation to Adam and Eve inside the garden of Eden, they tasted of the fruit and left the garden because they knew they desired more than the garden, and she tells Shannon that if she smashes the mirror inside the shrine she’ll regain her powers and help her out. At first, Shannon refuses, saying she wants the peaceful days on the island to continue. Yes, things will stay like this forever, but if you change your mind I always keep my promises, Beatrice tells her. Kanon walks in on the scene and yells at Beatrice, and when Beatrice threatens to hurt him, Shannon begs Beatrice not to hurt him because he’s still a child. Before Beatrice leaves she gives Shannon a butterfly hairpin/broach and tells her the pin represents her wish, and if she smashes the mirror her dreams will come true, but if she does nothing everything will stay the same.

 001-Beatrice's offer to Shannon-001

001-this my offer, your wish

       Then we jump forward about two years where we see Shannon telling Jessica about her date with George, and Jessica teases her a bit then she tells Shannon that she wants her own boyfriend. Shannon asks her, doesn’t she already have someone she likes? Then we see Shannon having lunch with Beatrice, Shannon thanks her for her help and tries to return the pin to her, Beatrice refuses saying that it’s very seldom that someone thanks her for her help, and Beatrice tells Shannon that only her and Kanon see her. They go on to discuss how she was summoned by Kinzo for the gold, and how Beatrice’s power was blocked by the mirror.

001-Jessica wants a BF too-001

001-think of it as a gift of friendship-001

       Later, that night, Shannon tries to give the pin to Kanon but he refuses. Then Shannon tells Kanon that she wants to talk with him about Jessica, and this catches him off guard. Then we seen that the scene switch to Jessica’s high school where we see Kanon meeting her there during cultural festival, and some of Jessica’s girlfriends go all gaga over him. Jessica thanks him for pretending to be her boyfriend, and she tells him that she’ll be busy but will try to make time for him, so enjoy yourself. We see Kanon watching Jessica while she’s doing her cultural festival activities, Kanon wonders what the hell he’s doing here, I hate crowds, then he notices that Jessica is much different from how she acts at the mansion.

001-Jessica's BF is very cute001-thank you for coming-001

        Back on the island Kanon tells Jessica that she sings very well, and he can’t sing at all. He calls himself furniture, and Jessica tells him to give it a rest, they’re both human after all. Jessica tells him she doesn’t even like living on this island, let alone being a heir to this family, it’s a pain, so she created another self, one in which she can be the person she wants to be and do the things she wants to do. She tells Kanon that even you can create another you, one in which you like yourself. Basically, Kanon tells her thanks for thinking of him as human, but there can be no love between humans and furniture, so they could never work, and even George and Shannon will fail.

001-we're both human after all-001

001-their can be no love between humans and furniture-001

        On his way back to the house, Beatrice appears before Kanon and tells him that she thought her magic brought another pair of lovers together. Kanon takes the pin out of his pocket (it looks like he took it after all) and smashes it to the ground and tells Beatrice to stop messing with people, and begone from here. Beatrice just laughs at him, and says that nothing can stop her revival, she’s the true ruler of this island. After Beatrice vanishes we hear her say that now that she’s planted these seeds she wants to see how they grow, and it’ll soon be time of the banquet. Well, that’s all for this episode.

I thought that I had brought more lovers together

001-you do nothing but toy with people-001

        This was quite an interesting episode because we did a little time travel and got to see how Beatrice got semi-released from bondage, and I never would have thought that it would have been Shannon that did it. My, my, Eva seemed quite worried that her son might consider slumming with a servant girl, and Eva was really a little bitch for going after Shannon instead of talking with her son. It was very enlightening to find out that Beatrice’s spirit was still hanging around the island for who knows how many years just waiting for the right time to appear. So, it was to Shannon that Beatrice first chose to appear to, Shannon was offered a deal with the devil, I’ll help you with love if you help me with freedom. I found it very interesting that Beatrice never threatened Shannon, she just offered her a straight forward deal, help me and you’ll get your love or do nothing and every stays the same forever.

       It was also quite interesting to find out that at one point Shannon was just like Kanon, she felt she was furniture, not human, and didn’t deserve to love or be loved. I think that Beatrice knew she had her once poor Shannon’s heart felt the slight warmth of love, she knew that once Shannon had a taste of that warmth she couldn’t go back to being a piece of furniture, and she knew that Shannon would have to risk leaving the unchanging but not satisfying safety of her island garden, game over. I also found it very interesting to find out that Kanon’s heart was much harder than Shannon’s heart, he was offered the chance of becoming human and tasting love, but he refused. I kind of thought that Beatrice was playing the role of the snake by getting Shannon/Eve to taste the fruit then she gets Kanon/Adam to also eat of the fruit, but it seems like he refuses. I really feel sorry for Jessica it seems like her love for Kanon was pretty one sided and unrequited, unless more information is forth coming in future episodes.

       Beatrice; my reaction to her in this episode was all over the place, at times I really liked her, and at other times I despised her. At the point when Shannon and Beatrice where sharing tea and snacks it seemed to me that Beatrice almost liked having someone to talk to, and might I say even having a friend. Shannon expresses gratitude towards Beatrice even though they made a fair exchange, and Beatrice seemed to appreciate her gratitude. But, at the point when Beatrice raves about getting ready to sow the benefits of the seeds she carefully planted I found myself hating her. I would like to think that even though we supposedly have seen both Kanon’s and Shannon’s dead bodies that they’re in one of Beatrice’s rooms having tea and enjoying the show  hoping for a good end to the game that Beatrice is playing with everyone.   

the bruce campbell right hand 2

       A few quick notes about this film, Stacy takes place in a Japan of the near future where all the girls aged 15-17 throughout the world begin to die and return as flesh eating zombies. As the girls approach their deaths the girls experience a period of overwhelming joy and bliss known as Near Death Happiness (NDH), and once they return from death their bodies attract a bluish powdery substance known as Butterfly Twinkle Powder (BTP). A Stacy can be killed by most standard zombie killing methods but it takes several hours for a Stacy to die if she’s not “Repeat Killed”; To repeat Kill a Stacy and end her existence at once, she must be hacked into 165 pieces. Under UN and Japanese law a Stacy may only be killed by her loved ones or killed by the Romero Repeat Kill Troops (a group of government soldiers who travel around taking care of Stacies who aren’t disposed of by their families or loved ones). A single undead girl zombie is called a “Stacy”, and the plural of a Stacy are called “Stacies”.

Near Death HappinessButterfly Twinkle PowderThis is a repeat kill 

        This film begins with a group of young boys placing flower on a young girl named Kana (age 16) and asking when she’ll wake up, and when a lady stops by to thank Kana for watching her kids Kana awakens as a “Stacy” and begins to chow down on the kids. As all this is happening another cute schoolgirl who is holding a wind chime watches from a distance. Just as the police pull up and proceed to gun down Kana the scene switches to a television show where a mad scientist type explains to the audience about NDH and BTP. The interviewer tries to get the scientist to explain the cause of the Stacy condition and he tells the doctor that many people say that the UN and other experts have no idea what’s going on. We also find out that if you hack the Stacie up they’ll die after a few hours but if you perform a “repeat kill” and hack the bodies into 165 pieces they’ll die right away.  Soon, the interviewer and scientist get in a fight over whether the repeat kill method is moral or proper.

the boys with KanaKana is coming back to lifeKana is chowing down

the girl with the wind chime

the crazy sciencetist

      Then the scene switches to a puppet shop that contains three guys and a woman who might be their mother or some other friend are watching television reports of the growing Stacy problem, and how the government might soon have to start drafting citizens because they’re not getting enough volunteers for the Romero squads. As the guys get ready to head off to work, the woman comments over and over that this is the apocalypse, and the apocalypse is here. Back at the Kana scene, one of the older soldiers comments on how in just 10 short years all the men in the world are gloomy and depressed because the only beautiful things left in the world are girls who are about to suffer NDH and become Stacies, and in those 10 short years the world population has been cut in half and dropping rapidly.

kill your own daughter now

 the end is near for usthe messed up Stacythis is all that's left

       Then we see the one of the men from the puppet shop walking down the street listening to a neighbor yell at a young man for disposing of Stacy trash on the wrong day and the guy going off on the woman calling her a bitch and saying “I just had to kill my girlfriend and I don’t care what day trash pickup is”. Also, people are grasping at straws tying to save their daughters, even resorting to using unproven drugs on their daughters to try and arrest puberty. Later, the man hears a wind chime and see the young girl from earlier looking at him, and when he turns his head to see if she’s looking at someone else she disappears.

the girl with the wind chime is back 

       When the young man returns to the puppet shop where he works, he finds it empty and soon the girl from earlier enters his shop and starts talking with him. Her name is Eiko (written as eternity) and she’s going to become a Stacy in about a week and she’s chosen him to repeat kill her. She looks at his puppets and says they’re just like her wind chime, beautiful but sad. The man introduces himself to Eiko as Shibukawa, and Eiko decides to call him Shibu-san. Eiko says she can tell that because he makes puppets because he’s never comfortably with someone sleeping next to him so if he agrees to repeat kill her she’ll make sure he’s comfortable with her next to him.

my mane is Eiko

please promise to repeat kill me

      Then the scene switches to a television commercial advertising the Bruce Campbell Right Hand 2, a lighter, more efficient tool for taking care of your Stacy problems. Then we see the two other guys who were with Shibu-san (Matsui and Arita) at a recruiting office for one of the Romero squads, they don’t seem too sure of joining the group but they do so anyways. Matsui gets assigned to the medical team and Arita gets invited to become the female commander’s assistant.

this can solve your Stacy problems 

         Then the scene switches to three cute girls (around age 16) who are wanted by the police for committing illegal repeat kills, it seems that they’re trying to earn enough money to be able to pay someone who’s cute and famous to repeat kill them when the time comes. They earn money by intercepting after hours calls to the official Romero squads and doing the jobs for money.

the girls from the bad hit squad 

        As we see Matsui performing his duties with the medical disposal team (burning Stacies), and we find out that the last couple of soldiers assigned to this duty committed suicide, we see Arita performing more pleasurable duties for the commander. She asks him why he joined the Romero’s , he tells her that his only sibling (Kana) became a Stacy and killed some kids and had to be put down by the Romero’s. Upon hearing this, the commander starts laughing at him and Arita gets flashbacks of him and his sister and a girl (Momo) she sets him up with. A few months ago Arita and Momo became pen pals and more, and now we see that Momo is a Stacy being held for experimentation at the medical facility. When Arita matches a picture of Momo and her friends to a Stacy in the medical facility all he can to sit and hold his head.

burning the StaciesArita, Kana and Momoa picture of Momo and her friends

        Then the scene switches back to Eiko and Shibu-san who’s putting on a puppet show just for Eiko that deals with love, loss, and reunion. When the play reaches the reunion part we can clearly see that there’s more to the play but he stops because Eiko very emotional over the reunion and wants it to end on a happy note.  We now switch to the group of Romero’s who had to kill Kana cleaning up another job and one of the soldiers snaps and threatens the others soldiers saying how can you kill these young girls. Just as violence is about to take place, Eiko shows up and thanks the Romero troops, she tells them that we love you, and we would like you to love us, and when Shibu-san shows up she wants him to hack her up like they would. The one soldier completely breaks down, and another one says so this is what NDH is like? Yes, Eiko tells them, because we’re not angry, we forgive you, and we want to be killed by the ones who love us the most. Then Eiko and Shibu-san are sitting in a park with Shibu-san writing a play based on Eiko words, when she asks about this, he tells her that since her name is written as eternity once he finishes this she really will live forever, as they’re walking away Shibu-san and Eiko’s steps are in sync.

Eiko watching the play

please hack me up like those girls

your name means eternityI'll make a puppet of you

        Back with Arita and Matsui we see that Matsui is working with the mad doctor from the TV show, and we also see that Matsui completely lost it, he says he’s in hell now, this is a living hell. The sick doctor has been able to tell that the Stacies do still have some brainwaves working, but the most interesting thing is the BTP. When the doctor begins to perform an experiment on a new Stacy with Arita’s assistance her vital signs and her BTP begins to react when she see a picture of Momo and Arita together. Her reaction also affect the other nearby Stacies, and it stops when the picture leaves her sight. As a Stacy that’s gotten free is about to get the doctor the commander steps in and kills her, the doctor tells Arita that the commander joined the Romero’s to kill girls who are younger and prettier than her, and the commander requests Arita’s services  after he’s done in the lab.

this place is a living hellhell's all full and now there hereremoving the head of a Stacy

this is really sick

       The next morning Shibu-san wakes up next to Eiko, and he quietly watches her but becomes worried that she’s dead. Eiko soon wakes up to see a worried Shibu-san looking down at her and she asks him what’s the matter, and Shibu-san says he thought he lost her. Eiko looks up and smiles at him and asks Shibu-san to go shopping with her. When Eiko return to Shibu-san she’s carrying a wrapped box, he asks Eiko what’s in the box, and she says you shouldn’t make a girl tell, it’s a present, but she does spell out B-r-u-c-e. Eiko asks Shibu-san to take her to the nearby botanical garden and they head off together only to find the gardens closed.

Eiko and Shibu together 

      Back with the other groups, we see that the Romero Repeat Squad is on the trail of the three girl illegal repeat kill squad, and we also see that Matsui has totally lost it and is heading towards the Stacy holding room. He says that we’re just all puppets and god is the puppeteer, changing the girls into zombies to make us suffer. Matsui uses a pass key and unlocks the Stacies; they swarm him and eat him alive.

a whole lot of Stacies coming for Matsui  

         The Stacies soon begin to overwhelm the military facility, Arita and the commander are trapped in her bedroom fighting off the Stacies, and at that very moment the three girls from the illegal repeat kill team arrive on the scene, it seems that they were hired by Momo’s parents to kill her because they feel sorry for their daughter. As the repeat kill team makes its way through the center the other survivors are cornered in a hallway, Arita and the commander leave to retrieve more ammo but she tries to runoff. Arita wants to help Momo so he fights with the commander and he shots her but he’s wounded in the process. In the hallway one soldier tells the other soldier (the brother of the commander) that he’s knows that the other guy loves his sister (the commander) but he really loves him, the brother says that he embarrassed but he grabs the other guy’s hand as the Stacies breach the barrier.

ufggreblgtuphg4hugArita has the gun on the commanderI love you man 

          Meanwhile, Arita hears Momo’s voice calling to him as a group of Stacies approach, one of the Stacies (Momo) begins to emit BTP when she see’s Arita. The commander is soon caught and eaten by the Stacies, and Arita grabs Momo’s hand and flees with her to the medical lab. Arita muzzles Momo and is about to runaway with her when the repeat kill squad catches them; they tell him to step aside but he refuses. One of the girls makes fun of him for trying to save a Stacy, and he tells her Stacy or not, she’s still Momo.  This causes some dissention in the repeat squad with one of the girls still wanting to kill Momo and another girl saying  why does it matter we’re all dead soon.

 Momo is calling to AritaArita is taking Momo away from the labArita is protecting Momo from the kill squad

       Just as the group is about to kill Momo, the leader of the real Romero squad catches up with them and tells them to drop their weapons.  Next, the crazy doctor also steps in telling everyone to be quiet because they’re disturbing his important work, he’s almost got it. The illegal hit squad changes its mind and decides to protect Momo and Arita but are all mortality wounded by the leader of the real squad. When he asks Arita what the story with his Stacy, Arita hugs Momo tight and tells him that Momo is his lover and the leader shots both Arita and Momo down. The only remaining mortally wounded repeat kill squad girl says that she always wanted to be held that way when she was dying, and she takes her gun and shots the other leader.

the real squad leader is herethe girls vs the real squad leadershe not a test subject she's my lover

I always wanted to be held like that 

      The wounded leader sits down and lights a smoke and tells the dead girls, the serial killer story he’s been speaking about throughout the whole movie, and one of the dead girls speaks to him in Eiko’s voice saying you did it, didn’t you? You must have been lonely? Did you love them, or did you want to love them? It’s OK, nobody blames you, and those girls probably loved you. Then all the dead girls tell him that they love him, and he goes insane, screaming and crying.

 sitting in the middle of the carnage

I love you so much

      At that moment, the doctor has managed to survive the carnage; he grabs some computer printouts and says that he now understands what brings the Stacies to life! It can’t be this, but it has to be true. The Stacies are brought back to life not because of a murderous intent but a craving for love, and they devour people because they crave their love. A few seconds later the Stacies break into the lab and eat the leader than they turn towards the doctor, and he tell them that he loves them, he calls them his lovers and his beloved daughters as they emit BTP before eating him alive. He dies laughing and seemingly in pleasure as they tear him apart.

the stacies search for lovecome to me my lovers my daughtersthe good doctor being eaten alive 

        Back with Eiko and Shibu-san, we see that they have broken into the gardens and Eiko says they can stay until tomorrow, she says she used to come here with her twin sister (the girl who always wanted to be held at death), who was kind and beautiful, but no one noticed or understood her, she lived in a society where you couldn’t share your feelings or pain with someone. Eiko tells Shibu-san that he understands, he has to understand.  Shibu-san and Eiko dance in the garden then Shibu-san hugs Eiko and doesn’t want to let her go. A voiceover asks if society has intimated you (man), you need to tell them what you want, tell them how beautiful her soul is, Shibu-san is a missionary, and he needs to teach them to tell each other their true feelings. All this is going on as Shibu-san is finishing a sketch of Eiko, then the voice of Eiko’s dead sister and the other Stacies tell Eiko it’s OK to walk around the park until dawn because the loneliness has melted away.

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why will this picture not fucking upload 

      Then we see a glowing image of Eiko standing over the carnage in the medical lab where she leads the dead girls in saying that right now I’m at my prettiest, all the dead girls repeat this as tears flow from their eyes.

Eiko is floating above the carnage of the lab 

      The next morning in the garden, Shibu-san looks down at a dead but stunningly beautiful Eiko, Eiko has cried tears of blood that sharply contrast with the white gown she’s wearing. Shibu-san is finally able to read the inscription the Eiko placed on the paper strip attached to the bottom of her wind chime, it says “thank you, I’m sorry, I love you”, earlier Eiko told Shibu-san that she wrote her wish on that paper.

Eiko is lying dead in the park at the dawn

thank you, I'm sorry, I love you 

      Shibu-san carries Eiko out to the center of the park where he sits down and finishes penning in Eiko’s final words in the play he was working on. A few seconds later, Eiko begins to revive as a Stacy. Shibu-san opens Eiko’s gift, a Bruce Campbell right hand 2. Shibu-san tells Eiko that it was sad saying goodbye but they met again, he also tells Eiko “thank you, I’m sorry, and I love you”, and he keeps his promise to Eiko.

Eiko has returned from the dead as a Stacy

I love you Eiko 

       Then decades later we get an epilogue from Shibu-san saying that in the many decades since the Stacies first appeared, the Stacies stopped chasing people, and men learned to love the Stacies. The first children born of their union were unlike any children ever born to humans, and he tells us that this was maybe the final stage of human evolution, they took over the world. Now there’s this bible that has his and Eiko’s story mixed together with the original puppet story, it’s a guide to the future, a story of love. We now see that Shibu-san is a very old man and that a statue of Eiko as a puppet sits in the park, and from one of her hands dangle a bronze wind chime with her wish to the world written on it. Shibu-san now says that the world is bound by love.  Well, that’s all for this movie.

a very old Shibu in the park

the story of Eiko and Shibu is a story of love

On my blog I very seldom cover anything that’s not directly related to anime or anime culture. So with that being said, in this post I’ll be reviewing Stacy (2001), a Japanese schoolgirl zombie film where the social commentary packs more bite than schoolgirl zombies do.

      Stacy is a Japanese horror film that was originally release back in 2001, it was directed by Naoyuki Tomomatsu (a Japanese AV film director who is known for having a stormy affair with one of his AV actresses who just happened to still be in high school at the time), and Stacy is based on a novel written by Kenji Otsuki (a former member of the band Kinniku Shojotai). Horror and science fiction films have always been known for taking shots at the problems and conditions in mainstream society that normal, more traditional media have been afraid to address or discuss. Examples of this are Night of the Living Dead (1968, racism), Dawn of the Dead (1978, consumerism), Them (1954, problems with atomic testing), Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956, fear of Red influence in the US), and now I’ll add Stacy to this list as a movie taking a shot at the whole Otaku mindset of Moe and all it implies.

       When I first watched this film back in late 2001, the copy of the film I saw was of very poor quality and had a poor fan translation, but I was quite shocked at the brutal attack this film launched at the part of Japanese male culture that began to value and desire the image of pure innocence schoolgirls over the reality of actually trying to meet/talk with/date/ love the real thing.

       What actually cemented this evaluation in my mind was when I read the liner notes to the 20003 DVD release of Stacy, they were written by Patrick Macias where he directly introduced the idea that the director was taking a shot at the whole concept of Moe and its followers. 

So, here we go with the review of Stacy.

           Stacy is set in a Japan of the near future where about 10 years prior to the start of the film all girls between the ages of 15-17 started suffering from a condition called Near Death Happiness (NDH), when a girl comes down with NDH she experiences overwhelming happiness and bliss that lasts for a period of up to one week. Once a girl reaches the peak of NDH, she quietly dies, and then after a short period of time she reawakens as a zombie (a Stacy) that craves the flesh of the nearest living creatures. Stacies like most other zombies in this type of genre can be killed by normal zombie slaying methods, but in order to dispatch a Stacy right away you must chop/slice/dice/shoot the poor girl into 165 pieces.

       Needless to say, the events in Stacy have caused a sense of depression and impending doom to spread throughout the population. One character in the film expresses the thought that there’s no joy left in the world because the most beautiful things in life are about to die and become flesh eating zombies. The world population has already dropped by 50% in just 10 years due to falling birthrates and the killings caused by the Stacies. The Stacy problem has grown so large that military squads have been formed just to deal with the Stacies, and under Japanese and UN law a Stacy may only be killed by her loved ones (her family or lover) or the military squads.

        While the special effects, cinematography, writing, and acting in Stacy maybe over the top, and extremely campy this film contains real social criticism of otaku/Moe culture. Moe and Moe culture as described by Patrick Macias is, “an obsessive love and devotion to imaginary characters and ideals that do not, and could not, ever possibly exist……fresh-faced sailor-suited school girls are merrily prancing through the streets. You want to talk to them, proclaim your undying love to them. But largely owing to the fact that you’ve become more accustomed to dealing with anime characters of late, you can’t do anything but stare”   So, Stacy is the nightmare tale of how young women who are entering sexual maturity are perceived by a certain segment of the Japanese male population, and while Stacy is a gory, nilelistic, and depressing it does offer a hopeful path to the future through the relationships of Eiko/Shibukawa & Arita/Momo.

       While most of the primary and secondary characters’ lives and stories are interlinked in one way or another the main thread is how Shibu-san (a man with mildly antisocial traits) learns to fall in love and accept the companionship of Eiko (a teenage girl entering the NDH phase of becoming a Stacy). The Shibu-san character in Stacy is a stand-in for male otaku society, a man who will socialize with other people, but, prefers the company of, and feels most comfortable in the presence of his puppets.  Eiko represents all young Japanese girls who are leaving their childhoods behind and are becoming young women who desire love, companionship, and sex.

         One might ask, “Where did the Stacies come from, or what’s causing the Stacy problem?” The Stacies are creatures that only exist in the mind of the otaku, and they’re born as a self-protection mechanism that only reinforces the okatu’s unnatural fear of rapidly maturing girls. Many times in the film the young girls express the thought that they’re becoming their prettiest as they approach the NDH phase of life, and at this point the young girls are shown expressing the desire to have boyfriends, be held, and be told that someone loves them. While these girls are leaving behind their childhood and beginning to feel the joy in their newly approaching womanhood, this is viewed by the male as NDH and the harbinger of doom for the girls. At moment when the girls switch over from the cherished innocent schoolgirl that the male watches from afar to a maturing young woman is the point where the girl dies in the males mind and awakens as a flesh craving Stacy.

        The males in the film see the girls in NDH as a source of infinite sadness while the girls experience the condition as joyful. There’s a point in the film where Eiko comes upon a Stacy killing squad where many of the members are experiencing a almost PTSD reaction over their latest dispatch of a Stacy and she merrily prances around the group laughing and chatting away with them, and when one of the soldiers asks her if this is what NDH is like? Eiko responds with yes, we’re not angry (her and the Stacies), we’re happy, we love you, and we know that you really love us too or want to love us. Eiko answer confirms to the viewer that while a Stacy wants to love, and craves love, the males view the Stacies as horrible monsters. The reactions of the males to the Stacies is quite similar to the reaction that General Jack D. Ripper from Dr. Strangelove has towards  a woman’s sexuality, he feels that women are trying to rob him of his life essence, so he views women as life sucking monsters, OPE, POE.

       There’s at least two points in the film where the director takes shots at the otaku habit of collecting and cherishing statues/figurines more than the real deal. The funniest one is when a television infomercial crew is pitching the Bruce Campbell Right Hand 2 chainsaw and one of the additional special bonus items is a free special edition figurine of the pitch girl holding the chainsaw and one of the pitch guys says that he’ll just take the figurine and the pitch girl gives him a dirty look that basically says you’d rather have the figurine over the real deal that’s standing next to you. The other shot the director takes at the figure culture is when Eiko sees Shibu-san’s puppets and makes the comment that she can tell that he’s more comfortable around the puppets than real people. Eiko then goes on to comment that she can tell that Shibu-san has never been comfortable with the thought of having someone (real) sleeping next to him.

        While all this discussion of doom and gloom might discourage you from watching the film, don’t be totally depressed, the film does end on some hopeful notes. The film does show the males the way out of their self-created nightmare world. Firstly, Arita seemed to have cracked the riddle of the Stacies, when Arita first saw Momo as a Stacy he was repulsed by her appearance and Momo acted like a normal flesh eating zombie, but when Arita comes to the conclusion that he still loves and cherishes her, Momo is drawn to Arita and her TWP reacts to his love, it seems that Arita’s love for her has quelled her flesh craving. Arita also shows his love for Momo when he chooses to stand in the way of the military officer who wants to shoot her, he tells the officer that he doesn’t care if she’s a Stacy, she’s still Momo and he’s her lover, Arita and Momo die together in each other’s arms under a shower of bullets. A dying girl who’s in her NDH phase (Eiko’s sister) witnesses the couples’ death and comments that she always wished she could be held like that, in a lovers’ arms.

      Also, males are shown the path out of the darkness by the relationship that Eiko and Shibu-san develops. Both Eiko and Shibu-san have needs that can only be filled by developing a relationship with each other, Eiko who’s in her NDH phase needs Shibu-san to love her, she needs to be repeat killed by a lover when she becomes a Stacy.  Shibu-san as Eiko can recognize is more comfortable with puppets and he needs to learn to how love and enjoy real human contact with a woman. So, Eiko makes a deal with Shibu-san by getting him to agree that she’ll make him comfortable with having another human sleep next to him and he’ll do her the honor of being the loved one that’ll repeat kill her, thus begins their dance of life, love, death.  At first, Shibu-san is put off and somewhat perplexed by the strange creature that’s now filling his life, and as Shibu-san begins to listen to Eiko’s hopes, dreams, feelings and joins her in conversation he gradually loses his fear of her. At this point Shibu-san still views Eiko as a creature beyond his reach, he’s always several steps behind her, more like an observer of a rare object than her lover. But, as times passes, Shibu-san and Eiko spend more and more time together and a strange thing happens Shibu-san is soon walking next to and in step Eiko. By the next morning we see that Eiko has kept her promise to Shibu-san, he awakens next a sleeping Eiko and she’s no longer an object of mystery but a beautiful young woman that he touches and caresses and doesn’t want to lose. Eiko in her short stay with Shibu-san has taught him that while human contact might be scary and uncertain it’s much better than being surrounded by puppets.

       While things might be looking up for Shibu-san we can see that this isn’t going to end well, Eiko kept her promise to Shibu-san, and he’s going to have to keep his promise to her. But, this wasn’t a simple love story of boy meets girl, Eiko chose Shibu-san because he’s a puppeteer, a storyteller, she acts as Gabriel to Shibu-san’s Muhammad, she came to teach Shibu-san how man and the Stacies can coexist and save the future. She asks Shibu-san and society as a whole what happened to create this perverse system, has society intimated man? The answer is simple, tell them how beautiful their souls are, and tell them how you feel, tell them what you want, tell them that you want to love them, because they want to love and be loved. After Shibu-san keeps his promise to Eiko we see that he’s spread to word, man’s learned to love the Stacies, and the Stacies no longer chow down on people. The children born to the union of men and Stacies now are the dominate population; the circle of life goes on.

         The main message in this film is when you see the real thing sitting there by herself don’t just stare and run back to your room and frap to the latest Moe anime, get some courage up and walk over and say hello, chat with her for awhile, because Stacies may be scary but they want to love, and be loved too.

Save the future by loving a Stacy.

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