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6 Times Anime Went Full Halloween

by Lynzee Loveridge,

Christmas and Halloween are easy themed go-tos for Western television programming. The former is also common in anime where Christmas is synonymous with "romantic date." Halloween, on the other hand, has only recently caught on in Japan. So while there are plenty of horror anime to get you in a spooky mood, ones that directly refer to the holiday are few and far between. The short anime The Melancholy of Haruhi-chan Suzumiya poked fun at this when the titular protagonist wants to celebrate the holiday but has no idea how. So far the holiday is mostly regarded as a day to dress up in costumes and party, sans the trick or treating.

6. Dirty Pair OAV It's the eve of Halloween and a criminal crash lands his spaceship letting loose a stolen combat robot. The Lovely Angels are tasked with recovering it but it's hard to locate a robot in a city full of people in costumes. The robot, on the other hand, is set on causing destruction. It begins launching missiles into the crowd who, again, think nothing of it since there's a firework show going on at the exact same time. Kei and Yuri take their namesake route in dealing with problems by firing back until the threat is neutralized.

5. Ouran High School Host Club The Ouran High School Host Club Halloween episode combines the spooky holiday with the Japanese summer tradition of Tests of Courage. The latter usually entails couples venturing into a cave or a wooded path while disguised staff (in some cases, teachers) jump out and scare the kids. It's similar to a haunted house but out in the open and often there's an item to retrieve and bring back. The Host Club decides to dress up as classic horror film characters and renovate their salon for the event. Meawhile, Umehito Nekozawa joins in and takes things a little too far while Haruhi and the twins attempt to set up Kazukiyo Sōga and Momoka Kurakano.

4. One Piece Thriller Bark Arc The Strawhat Crew find themselves on a haunted ship in the midst of the Florian Triangle. Their first encounter is with very tall, very skeletal "gentleman" Brook but are quickly apprehended by the giant Thriller Bark pirate ship which is capturing people's shadows and turning them into zombies for its demonic-looking captain. The entire arc ran over the course of a year, and while it's not technically a Halloween episode, the arc is filled so many classic horror tropes from mad scientists to ghosts that it bears a mention.

3. Our Home's Fox Deity The 19th episode of Our Home's Fox Deity gets points for being the only show I could find that strongly featured trick-or-treating. The show again blends in Japanese tradition, in this case a god of poverty. Noboru ends up taking one trick-or-treating with the rest of the kids. The is a fortuitous mistake as poverty gods are usually in the business of financially ruining the people they come in contact with. Noboru's choice to bring the god along to receive candy flips the effect, and instead he ends up with a surplus of good luck.

2. Cowboy Bebop: Knockin' on Heaven's Door In the midst of a Halloween parade, a crazy ex-soldier has decided to wipe out life on Mars with a deadly disease. One earlier attack left many Martians hospitalized or worse, so the government places a huge bounty on the perpetrator's head. The Bebop crew catch wind of the woolong prize and begin investigating Vincent Volaju, the mastermind behind the plot. They come to find out that the upcoming Halloween Parade is much scarier than it appears. Meanwhile, Ed spends some of the movie trying out trick-or-treating with a pumpkin head.

1. Blood: The Last Vampire The original film that would spawn spin-off anime series and manga originally took place on a U.S. Air Force base in the sixties. The solemn vampire hunter Saya heads there after she receives word that "chiropterans," vampiric bat-like humanoids have infested the base. Like many U.S. military bases, this one also contains a school for children of the enlisted and they're organizing a Halloween party. Saya finds herself hunting shapeshifting monsters in a room of costumes with time running out.

The new poll: What was your favorite work by the late, great Satoshi Kon?

The old poll: The last poll asked which female heroine from the Dragon Quest franchise is your favorite. Here's the full results:

  1. Jessica Albert (Dragon Quest VIII) 38.9%
  2. Bianca (Dragon Quest V) 16.9%
  3. Alena (Dragon Quest IV) 10.1%
  4. Princess Medea (Dragon Quest VIII) 8.4%
  5. Maya (Dragon Quest IV) 5.7%
  6. Erinn (Dragon Quest IX) 5.4%
  7. Aira (Dragon Quest VII) 5.1%
  8. Milly (Dragon Quest VI) 4.7%
  9. Ashlynn (Dragon Quest VI) 4.4%
  10. Debora Briscoletti (Dragon Quest V) 4.1%
  11. Maribel (Dragon Quest VII) 4.1%
  12. Fleurette (Dragon Quest Swords: The Masked Queen and the Tower of Mirrors) 3.7%
  13. Meena (Dragon Quest IV) 3.7%
  14. Princess of Moonbrooke (Dragon Quest II) 3.4%
  15. Mädchen (Dragon Quest V) 2.7%
  16. Nera Briscoletti (Dragon Quest V) 2.4%
  17. Isla (Dragon Quest Heroes: The World Tree's Woe and the Blight Below) 2.0%
  18. Patty (Dragon Quest IX) 1.7%
  19. Sellma (Dragon Quest IX) 1.7%
  20. Tara (Dragon Warrior Monsters 2) 1.7%

When she isn't compiling lists of tropes, topics, and characters, Lynzee works as the Interest Editor for Anime News Network and posts pictures of her son on Twitter @ANN_Lynzee.

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