Gregory Horror Show is a CGI anime series produced by Naomi Iwata of Milky Cartoon. What can be agreed on is that it takes place in some sort of purgatory world which includes a Hell Hotel. The creator of this world is an old anthropomorphic mouse, Gregory, who also owns and runs the hotel, "Gregory House." (No, not that one.) There are three seasons, a fourth half-season on the DVDs as a side series, a PlayStation 2 game, and a manga.The first two seasons take place in Gregory House, and take place from the perspective of the season's protagonist, known as the "Guest." The season then shows what happens to him/her after finding themselves lost and finding the hotel, checking in, and eventually trying to escape back into reality and away from the Ax Crazy locals. The PS2 game makes use of these seasons as a base, as it has the player control a Guest trying to escape.The third season features no Guest character, but instead follows Gregory as he takes a ride on a sentient train to who-knows-where and comes across many familiar faces along the way. This season is a little lighter with a noticeable increase in comedic tone.The sub-season focuses on one of the more recurring characters, Catherine, as she works as a nurse in a hospital and engages in self-deliberation about what she wants in life.The manga, Gregory Horror Show: Another World, was created by another author and many details of the setting are so different from the anime aside from the Art Shift to the point where it seems like a Gaiden Manga (although given the nature of Gregory's world, it seems appropriate). Our guest has a name this time, Tooru Takenozuka, a 22-year-old freeter (a.k.a. NEET) who takes a room at the only apartment complex that would take him, Gregory House.The series has a minor cult following.Not to be confused with the Rocky Horror Show.
This series provides examples of:
Abusive Parents: Gregory Mama is both emotionally abusive (can't go a single conversation without insulting Gregory) and physically abusive (she tends hit him in the head with her staff). She's also the only character Gregory is actually afraid of, and in The Second Guest,he briefly considers letting her die.
Art Evolution: In the first season, while they did squash and stretch, the shapes that made up the characters' bodies (torso and legs) didn't bend, making them all seem stiff. From Second Guest onward, the characters were able to fully bend and twist like actual bodies could, making them much more life-like.
First series: The Guest manages to, with Death's help, escape Gregory House and return to reality. However, then he sees the world as gray and returns, becoming Haniwa Salaryman, who would appear at least once in every season thereafter.
The Second Guest: Neko Zombie goes fire-kamikaze to destroy Gregory's world, and tells the Second Guest to throw herself into the flames to complete the process. She doesn't, and the hotel quickly resurrects itself, with the Second Guest becoming a member of Gregory's family.
In the game, Neko Zombie burns the hotel down like before. The Player Character escapes back to reality, but then returns for good immediately after.
Whether any of the endings is a Downer or a Bittersweet one really depends on your perspective of the guest's adventure and fate.
Does This Remind You of Anything?: Catherine gets what can only be described as "orgasmic pleasure" from blood-drawing...and the episode of The Second Guest when she draws blood from Gregory, ignoring his pleas for her to stop, carries quite a few rape undertones.
Hotel Hellion: James causes much trouble for everyone in the hotel, but especially his "Grandpa" Gregory.
Impact Silhouette: Gregory Mama's door has a Gregory-shaped hole (poorly patched up) in the second half of the second series.
Kill It with Fire: At the end of The Second Guest (as well as the end of the PS2 game), Neko Zombie sets the whole hotel ablaze in the hopes of finally destroying Gregory's world. Unfortunately for him, the Second Guest's lesson remained unlearned.
Large Ham: Judgment Boy. JUDGEMENNTTTTTTTTTTTTT!!!!
Pride: Supposedly the bane of Hell's Chef; he refuses to eat anyone else's cooking and he kills anyone who insults his even slightly.
Purely Aesthetic Gender: In the PS2 game, you control either a young boy or a young girl. The only thing that's different (besides your appearance) is Cactus Gunman's horror show: shooting you if you're a boy, smacking you with a rose bouquet if you're a girl.
Sanity Slippage: The hotel can only be found by people who have started to slip already. Prolonged exposure to the hotel results in even more of this. By the end of the first two series, both Guests have officially gone off the deep end.
Schrödinger's Butterfly: Referenced in episode 21 of Last Train. When Gregory finds himself in a landscape that's apparently frozen in time, he finds out the scene is an illusion when he touches a frozen bird and it dissolves into dust.