We come to our final night of our “Seven Nights of Halloween Anime”. I’ve had a lot of fun sharing my favorites to watch during Halloween and tonight’s film is one of my favorites.

Project Itoh was a renowned Japanese Science Fiction writer. Sadly, he passed away in 2009 before he could see his stories some to life on the big screen. Between 2015 and 2017, three novels of his were adapted into animated films: The Empire of Corpses, Harmony and Genocidal Organ. While all three are great films in their own right, for our last night I am going to discuss the  first on that list. While still pertaining to the Sci-Fi genre, The Empire of Corpses has many elements of a classic horror story.

The story starts in an alternate, steampunk version on 18th century England where scientist Victor Frankenstein has discovered the method for bringing a corpse back to life. This method also gave the corpse a soul so they may be able to think, feel and speak. After Frankenstein’s creation was destroyed and notes lost, a new method was discovered in reanimating corpses and replacing a real soul with that of an artificial one called a “Necroware”. In the 19th century, corpses are more common than ever as the living utilize the soulless creatures for everyday tasks.

Dr. John Watson has illegally created his own Necroware to resurrect his “friend” Friday. After he is discovered by the British Secret Service, Dr. Watson must embark on a mission for the Service to find Frankenstein’s notes or go to prison for illegal reanimation. He chooses the former and sets off with Friday and his bodyguard Captain Burnaby. Watson meets many allies along the way and discovers what it truly means to have a soul. It’s an emotional and gory roller coaster packed with tons of action and complete with beautiful animation by powerhouse WIT STUDIO; the same studio behind series such as Attack on Titan and The Ancient Magus’s Bride.

I have BARELY scratched the surface of this film because there is so much to it. While some, myself included, were a little confused by the ending, this film is absolutely gorgeous in writing and looks. The character interactions, particularly John’s obsession with bringing Friday back to life, are what keep me coming back over and over again. The Halloween elements of Frankenstein monsters and walking corpses along with plenty of blood makes this film the perfect Halloween viewing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.