我輩はブリートである。

The chronicles of Burrito's bizarre adventure into Japanese.

H.P. Lovecraft, EN JAPONES!

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I had a goal last weekend. It was a simple, yet ambitious goal. Maybe not quite as ambitious as the time I spent two straight hours searching in vain for Japanese dubbed Pee Wee’s Playhouse episodes, but I wasn’t going to stop until I had found at least a fragment of what I had set out to find, this time. I would be successful in my hunt for H.P. Lovecraft stories translated into Japanese – this, I would make certain of.

Not ten minutes later, I had struck gold. To my surprise and delight, Lovecraft has quite a cult following in Japan! A quick search for ラブクラフト on Google, Nicovideo or Youtube will turn up all manner of interesting, bizarre and downright hilarious results. As a big fan of Lovecraft’s stories, this was totally rad.

One of the funny things about Lovecraft’s works is that they rarely make the transition to film successfully. The horrific, insanity-inducing eldrich gods and bizarre creatures he describes in his stories just don’t lend themselves very well to visual works – at least, not often. It takes some considerable talent to adapt the creepy atmospheres and foreboding sense of the unknown (and the unknowable) to film. And then, we have this.

【クトゥルー神話】家の中の絵 (part 1 of 2) and 【クトゥルー神話】家の中の絵 (part 2 of 2)

One of the creepiest retellings of Lovecraft I’ve seen yet, and in Japanese, no less! Something about the crudeness of the puppet figures sends shivers up my spine, and the dark, sinister settings and surroundings fit the mood of the original perfectly. Japanese horror, from what I’ve experienced, tends to play heavily on the elements of unknown, creepy atmosphere and those little psychological mindファック moments, so perhaps the successful combination was always meant to be. At any rate, consider me impressed! The same puppet series, this time of one of my personal favorite Lovecraft stories, The Dunwich Horror (ダニッチの怪), can be found in two parts on Nicovideo here and here (you’ll have to register an account if you haven’t already, but I highly recommend doing so – Niconico is packed with awesome).

家の中の絵

Sweet dreams.

On the other end of the spectrum, there’s… well, this retelling of The Shadow Over Innsmouth, albeit creatively set in modern (80s) Japan. Camp is this movie’s business, and business is good.

And finally – is anything truly complete without the Niconico otaku mashup treatment? Exactly. Unfathomable horrors indeed!

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Written by ritobito

February 16, 2010 at 7:01 am

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