Kakurenbo: Hide & Seek(2005), Is This Short Film Worth Your Time For The Weekend???


Kakurenbo: Hide & Seek is a spooky short film that runs for only 25 minutes. If you are someone like me who dots on anime content then my take on Kakurenbo: Hide & Seek is specially prepared for you. Now, even though the anime movie seems quite simple from a distance, but when evaluated at a dedicated proximity it talks louder than typical words.

So on that note, let us get going with-

Things I Liked About Kakurenbo: Hide & Seek

The Narrative

The story of this short piece is beautifully presented when the movie just begins. Just for you readers, the plot is all about playing Kakurenbo which means Hide and Seek. The movie quotes an excerpt from one of the literary works of Kunio Yanagita titled “Yama no Jinsei” which clearly talks that, to never play Hide and Seek at night even in the bustling streets of Tokyo. If you do, you will be taken away by Demons.

Now after the introduction placement, we hear a conversation between two or three kids narrating the entire game but with some alteration that defines the actual plot of this short movie precisely. Here, there are no bustling streets of Tokyo but a dark town instead. Also, the conversation offers the impression that though the game appears interesting it’s dangerous. And concerned adults advise to not go near the dark town.

Evidently, kids find the topics more alluring when it’s under the restricted section. Similarly, these kids too, grow more suspicious about the situation and assumes that adults are saving themselves some fun stuff, hence they don’t want the kids to find the real deal.

Now, one of them says that Demons live in the dark town. They smell kids playing around which makes it easier for them to snatch them away. They have already heard about lots of kids going missing, and a kid even saw a massive shadow lurking near the town. But still, they decide to find an answer to their question all by themselves by visiting the town.

Kakurenbo: Hide & Seek(2005) Source YamatoWorks
Kakurenbo: Hide & Seek(2005) Source YamatoWorks

This game of Hide and Seek requires only seven players wearing the Japanese Fox mask. However, in the narrative and even in the movie poster we can see that there are 8 children playing the not so recommended game. Therefore we can assume that something is definitely not right from the beginning itself.

Now, when the movie jumps start finally with the children playing Kakurenbo, the eerie BGM finely adds depth to the context. And the dark atmosphere along with information constantly being shared with the audience was so refined. It was making the plot appear too interesting. Also, I loved the Neon light
placement in the content which helped the kids with direction. It was giving me a cyberpunk vibe but with a vintage touch to it.

So the 8 children are divided into three groups where each of the candidates is playing for their personal agenda. However one of them is a demon for sure.

See, this was the brief on the game Kakurenbu. Now, as the movie progresses we are made aware of the agenda with which the kids are playing this round of hide and seek. The entire story of the short anime has the capacity to hook you into the narrative. And with the demons being introduced one by one, it becomes more riveting to watch.

The story actually talks about the idea of Tokyo losing its natural elegance that includes children’s games such as hide and seek. Since Tokyo is all about industrial development these days it’s losing its beauty costing the lives of the children living there.

Once you finish watching the piece you will understand this insightful explanation for sure.

The Characters

Let us now talk about the characters of the movie, Kakurenbu.

The Kids

  • Hikora– The young boy who plays the game to find his missing sister.
  • Sorincha-Hikora’s sister went missing when she played the game with the other children.
  • Yaimao-Hikora’s best friend plays the game to lend a hand in finding Sorincha.
  • Noshiga-The leader of his little gang who claims that he is not afraid of demons.
  • Tachiji-One of the members of Noshiga’s gang. He has blond hair and wears glasses
  • Suku-Another member of Noshiga’s gang. He is short and has a large, red scarf.
  • Inmu & Yanku– Twin brothers and their reason for playing is a mystery.

The Demons

  • Kimotori(Liver Taker)-A three-armed, four-legged, red humanoid demon that holds a mechanical wheel on its back.
  • Chitori(Blood Taker)-A horned komainu demon that wears a tarp over its back.
  • Aburatori(Oil Taker)-The twin child-like demons. One is sitting on a menacing-looking cart, while the other pulls it.
  • Kotori(Child taker)-A spider-like demon with eight arms.
  • Oshira-sama(Great White Lord)-A nine-tailed fox who is the leader of the demons. It possesses the last child who wins the game of “Otokoyo”, and wears a fox mask that changes into an oni mask that the person who is “it” wears.

The Music

The music which accompanies the sequences in Kakurenbo is superb. The BGM beautifully establishes the profoundness of the situations and where the characters are leading into the story. I personally was entertained incredibly by the eerie playlist that affirms the darkness of the narrative neatly.

The Ending

Now the ending is so mysterious that you might feel like giving another 25 minutes of your day to come to clarity or peace of mind. So, when you rewatch the movie you will be thrilled for sure. It was a satisfying ending for me, and I am sure, with the ending you will be mesmerized too as well.

The Direction

I thoroughly enjoyed the direction of Kakurenbu by Shūhei Morita. The minute details shared throughout the plot which you might miss in the first watch will definitely come to your notice the second time, which is fascinating.

When you watch the movie for the second time, you will be amazed to find out that everything was spread in front of you on a plate, it was served hot, and you just have to grab and enjoy the content.

The direction of this short movie is accurate to the point that serves the purpose of engaging the audience from the beginning till the end. I loved every second of the short movie.

TOTT’s Take On Kakurenbu

So, these were my thoughts and opinions on Kakurenbu. It is a dark movie that has a deep meaning to the plot. You should definitely this movie a try.

And I give the movie-

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Well, it’s time for me to know your thoughts and opinions on Kakurenbu: Hide & Seek. If you have already watched the plot do we match, or not? And if you haven’t watched the narrative yet make sure that you pick 25 minutes from the upcoming weekend to finish watching the content.

But, this is it for today, hope to meet you all very soon for my next publication coming straight next Monday.

Till then, go through Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead Live Action Review, Was The Live Action A Good Consideration To Watch On The Weekend*SPOILERS*

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BYE BYE, my TOTTers.