Follow TV Tropes


Anime / Kakurenbo

Go To

In the game of O-To-Ko-Yo, kids will disappear.

A 25-minute short about a game of Hide and Seek? That has to be fun for the kids, right? Wrong.

Children wearing fox masks gather in an abandoned city after dark to participate in a ritualistic game of Hide and Seek. One boy has come looking for his younger sister, and a silent player in this round sure looks a lot like her. The rules are simple — if you lose, demons will take you away. And, as the night wears on and the streets light up, it becomes clear that the chilling rumours are not exaggerated...

This film provides examples of:

  • All Myths Are True: Despite the characters' skepticism, all the rumors about the city being haunted by demons who play hide and seek with groups of eight people are completely true. It makes sense; the leader of the demons was spreading the rumor to attract more kids to come and investigate it.
  • All There in the Manual: The official website is the only place where you'll learn everyone's names— only four (Hikora, Yaimao, Sorincha and Suku) are revealed in-movie.
  • And Then John Was a Zombie: Hikkora becomes the host of the Nine-Tailed Fox and starts the next game of Hide and Seek.
  • Asian Lion Dogs: The poster naming the demons depicts the Blood-Taker as one of these. In actuality, it only vaguely resembles one, being mostly covered in cloth and lanterns and having a uncannily human-like face despite its animalistic features.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: The twins grab improvised weapons and stand back-to-back when they're about to throw down during their Last Stand against the demons.
  • Beast in the Maze: The five demons hunt the group of children through a maze-like Ghost City in a twisted game of Hide and Seek until only one child is left. Four are straightforwardly monsterous in appearance and methods of hunting; their leader, the fifth, is far more subtle and horrifying.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Yaimao wants to find out what happened to the kids who disappeared in the city. Hikkora wants to find his sister. They find out in the worst way possible, by suffering the same fates. Yaimao and the others are turned into batteries to power the city, while the fifth demon possesses Hikkora.
  • Becoming the Mask: A slightly more literal case here; when the host of the fifth demon takes off its mask (which it only does when it reveals its true nature to its victim), you see that there's nothing remotely human underneath anymore.
  • Big Bad: The fifth demon, the Nine-Tailed Fox.
  • Big Brother Mentor: Yaimao seems like the oldest or at least the most mature of the participants, and makes sure to keep an eye out for Sorincha and protect Hikkora, who clearly looks up to him.
  • Break the Haughty: The most obnoxious player who acts all high and mighty? Reduced to a blubbering, terrified baby who actually faints in his final scene alive.
  • Cool Mask: The fox masks that the kids need to wear to play count, as well as the complex (though frightening) masks worn by the demons.
  • Creepy Child: A few of the players (cough cough the twins, cough cough), including the Sorincha-imposter, and Hikkora at the end.
  • Creepy Twins: Subverted. Despite their creepy silence and glowing eyes, they never do anything evil at all.
  • Cute Mute: It's hard to say if she can really be called "cute," since her face is covered by a fox-mask, but the lone female player doesn't speak, and her mask/costume is pretty cute...Neither the muteness nor the cuteness lasts.
  • Demonic Possession: What the Fifth Demon is doing to the player who survived the longest. Which happens to have been Sorincha.
  • Dirty Coward: Noshiga, who abandons his friends to certain death in order to try and save his own skin when the Blood-Taker demon attacks them.
  • Downer Ending: Not only does (nearly) everyone die, but The Bad Guy Wins and the cycle continues.
  • Evil Mask: The fifth demon is a mask that possesses the Sole Survivor of each game. Sorincha was actually the last "lucky" winner.
  • Evil Is Not Well-Lit: In the city the game is played in, the darkness is a constant backdrop to the events that take place. Of course, light isn't exactly any better...
  • Evil Sounds Deep: The reason why the girl doesn't speak until the end of the game.
  • Exact Words: Yaimao told Hikkora to find Sorincha. Well, he did end up finding her. Just not the way he expected to.
  • The Fair Folk: The demons have shades of this in their reason for the game: it's to keep the city lit, because it doesn't last for long without it.
  • Ghost City: Where the game takes place; despite being well maintained (even the electric signs work!), there are no human inhabitants.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Subverted with the twins, who look evil but aren't. Played straight with the demons.
  • Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: The five demons hunt down the human children in the city.
  • Ironic Nursery Tune: Well, it's not a nursery rhyme, but it's a common children's phrase said in a creepy sing-song voice.
    "Reeeaady or noooot...Here I come."
    • And right before poor Yaimao is skewered!
    “Who will play hide and seek with me?”
  • Last Stand: The twins make one against the demon pursuing them, choosing to go down fighting when they're cornered.
  • Living Battery: The machines use the children that they captured for this.
  • Mecha: The demons' designs are partly based on this, looking like living wooden machines.
  • Oh, Crap!: When Hikkora realizes that Sorincha is the fifth demon.
  • Ominous Fog: Appears at the end, at the start of the next game of hide and seek.
  • Parental Abandonment: Seriously, do any of the kids' parents know where their kids are going, what they're doing? Do they even have parents?
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: What happens to the children who play the game and lose? Their bodies are taken to the center of the town and are plugged into strange machines- their Life Energy is used to light up the town.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Subverted with the twins; despite looking evil, they never doing anything remotely harmful. Played straight with the demons, whose eye are also a glowing red.
  • Scenery Porn: To the point where the other wiki's article postulates that the theme of the work has something to do with the urbanization of Tokyo. Also, the city seems to be based off Kowloon Walled city that used to be in Hong Kong.
  • Schmuck Bait: The children at the start of the movie are told exactly how to reach the arena and all about how the demons kill the children who go in there. The kids naturally don't listen and go there to play the game anyway.
  • Senseless Sacrifice: Yaimao attempts to buy time for Hikkora near the end as they flee. Senseless in that Hikkora then chooses not to run.
  • Sibling Team: The twins, plus Sorincha and Hikkora... kinda. He doesn't know it's her when they team up (since her face is hidden and she doesn't talk), though he realizes there's something familiar about her.
  • The Speechless: It's left unknown whether the twins can actually speak at all.
  • There Are No Adults: No adults are seen or even referred to in this short— no, no one even mentions having parents. (Early concept art shows that originally, there were going to be adults in the town, but any adult who came in to find their children was turned into a featureless, mindless zombie.)
  • Too Dumb to Live: All the kids, but especially Noshiga and co. for not listening when the Nine-Tailed fox tells them explicitly about all the dangers, which they promptly disregard as fairy tales until it's too late.
  • Vicious Cycle:
    • The losing children are used to light up the city. The light is used to attract new children to the town to play the game.
    • The "winner" of the game - basically, the last one standing - is possessed by the final demon, is made "it", and is used to lure in more children, as we see with Hikkora in the end.
  • Voice of the Legion: What the Fifth Demon sounds like.
  • Youkai: The demons' designs are based on traditional youkai, for instance the Fifth is meant to be a Kitsune.