448th G-View: Shadows House

Interesting, fascinating, compelling and intriguing are all words used to describe the following story. I will do my best to explain why as we take a look at an anime Noob Saibot wishes he could have been in, Shadows House.

Shadows House

Genres: Mystery, Suspense

Number of Episodes: 13

G-Rating: 8/10

Plot Summary: In a Western-style mansion on a cliff lives the aristocratic, faceless Shadow family. They live together with lifelike doll attendants who serve as their faces.

Shadows and Dolls prepared for the debutAs I said in the introduction Shadows House is a fascinating series. It tells the tale of shadow like beings of noble status, the mansion they dwell in and of course the human like dolls that serve them. Throughout the show besides meeting the main shadows and their loyal dolls viewers will not only learn about the various relationships of each pair but also the rules, structure, hierarchy and some of the numerous mysteries within the house. One example, the names given to the dolls. They serve a significant purpose. Every single event, moment and occasion has meaning. This is one of those series where the world building is as intriguing as the cast of characters. Basically the mansion is as much of a character as the shadows and dolls. I do not mean it is alive (or maybe it is?) but it has as much depth as the cast. Everything that happens in the house has a purpose that is slowly revealed.

Kate haunted by the sootA viewer unfamiliar with the series may assume it is horror. Kind of. It is more psychological horror than the “BOO! Jump scare.” though at times it can be quite disturbing. The real terror is revealed as the story progresses and viewers pay attention to the happenings within and purpose of the house and its inhabitants. To some what happens is not unheard of in this setting of “nobles and commoners” in a medieval Europe setting or something like that. It is the presentation and revelations that may amaze and/or scare certain viewers who think about them.

Louise's sootSpeaking of the presentation, while the dolls are all straightforward in their motions and mannerisms the shadow nobles and everything else that goes around the titular house are where the animation shines.Without spoiling anything get ready for some pretty cool stuff at several points on the show. Stuff I did not expect to see in a story like this, such as action scenes. I am serious. The OP is one rarely seen in anime nowadays, instrumental. It is one of my favorites of 2021. The ED does feature vocals and is very fitting too. The rest of the soundtrack is a mix of chill, fun and suspenseful. Good stuff.

Shadows HouseEach of the Shadow Nobles and Doll Servant pairs have interesting dynamics. Some start off cumbersome (one male pair comes to mind) but as I suspected I ended up liking all of them by the end. Basically some take time to become endearing but by the end all 5 main pairs are likable. Side-pairs are mixed in a good way, meaning some are likable and others annoying but not in the “Get these characters off my screen!” way. Pretty good cast. That being said I will of course focus on the main pair of Kate and her doll Emilico as, being the protagonists, become the catalysts of slow change in the Shadows House. But first the change must come in their relationship, which is where part of the yuri comes in. Emilico is a bundle of joy and one of my favorite characters of 2021. Her boundless curiosity and devotion to become the best servant she can be for Kate may seem weird at first but is quickly made clear she genuinely wishes to grow closer to her along with making as many friends as possible with other dolls. Some quickly warm up to her cuteness and charm while others take some time to understand her. Kate meanwhile is quite studious, cautious, observant and strict but by no means mean. She is the first to have her life changed for the better thanks to Little Miss Sunshine Emilico as they each become the most important person to the other, going beyond the intended purpose of shadow and doll pairs. The other four main pairs have different relationship dynamics and developments but for the most part become close too in their own ways. However, not all pairs on the show have a positive relationship as shown with some side-pairs. I mentioned an intended purpose. Keep this in mind while watching.

In short there is some yuri to work with, yes.

Overall Shadows House is a story where not only the cast of characters but the setting are all equally fascinating with the rules within, its infrastructure, hierarchy and twists and turns in the story. The presentation, especially the animation of the shadows and house are all quite nice and the cast are all endearing and serve a purpose. While I personally did not find the show scary there is an element of psychological horror and some very disturbing scenes. Do not know who exactly to recommend this to but to viewers looking for a different kind of “European” mystery story with some effective suspense thrown in for good measure.

PS: One last thing worth mentioning is the last arc covered on the show. As the source is not yet over the anime went with an original arc to set up its “manga lure” finale as there is plenty more to tell. Having said that I am certain the anime ended in a way similar to the Kakegurui one, meaning that when it got its second season the end of the first one did not affect plot progression very much, if at all. Hopefully the same can happen for Shadows House should it get another go. Fingers crossed.

About OG-Man

Yuri and Slice of Life are my anime passion.
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6 Responses to 448th G-View: Shadows House

  1. cirno9fan says:

    A really enjoyable show, but the debut arc was overstaying its welcome. It ended out fantastically, and I really enjoyed the anime original arc, but it was testing my patience, to say the least.

    I was worried a great deal that they’d push John x Kate and Sean x Emilico, but by the end I didn’t really worry anymore.

    Emilico was both super adorable, and able to pull off quite the things at the same time. Kate herself as well. While they are very different, they do share some similarities.

    I very much so hope for a season 2, but I’m not as disappointed by the ending as I’ve seen most were.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. yurimylove says:

    Series with interesting mysteries that rewards observant viewers,

    Liked by 1 person

  3. K says:

    I wasn’t sure what to expect going in but I was very impressed by the end of it all. I really loved Emilico. She’s such a boundless well of optimism and happiness. Also, underestimate her at your own peril, as Edward found out.

    The relationships between the ‘dolls’ and their shadow masters were interesting indeed. Emilico/Kate aside, Shaun/John were my next favourite pair.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Palimia says:

    Eh this isn’t really Yuri. Good show but it’s probably going to be Emiliyko and Sean (hopefully).


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