Housing Complex C Ep 1 Review
When I was in college, I took a class on the subject of American Gothic. one story I vividly remember reading in that class was Lovecraft’s The Shadow Over Innsmouth. Essentially, it was a story about a New England fishing town that the Deep Ones occupied, immortal, humanoid fish people disguised as humans. One of Lovecraft’s most famous works, its legacy can still be felt today. And now, Toonami’s offering their take on it. Just in time for Halloween is their new horror miniseries, Housing Complex C, and if the first episode is any indication, then this will be very dark.
Welcome to Kurosaki and Housing Complex C
In the Japanese seaside town of Kurosaki, there’s a low-cost apartment complex, Housing Complex C. Most of the tenants consist of adults and the elderly, with the sole exception being Kimi, this bright and happy 9-year-old that everyone dotes over. Housing Complex C seems like a peaceful place, until the day some new tenants move in, interns working for a fishing company.
The upside is that one of the new tenants is a family with a daughter Kimi’s age, Yuri, and the two seem to become best friends. It feels like a nice, peaceful, slice-of-life story.
Don’t be fooled. That’s just how the story wants us to think so it can lull us into a false sense of security. It’s made clear early on that there’s something afoot in Kurosaki, and Housing Complex C stands at its center.
The Facts of the Case
Exhibit A: the flashback. In the first few minutes, we’re treated to this flashback to events centuries ago. This group of warriors attacks the island and slaughters everyone, until all that’s left is this young girl around Kimi and Yuri’s age. Then this girl screams, and all the warriors turn to ash. That’s a pretty big indication that Kurosaki’s hiding a dark and bloody past.
Exhibit B: The Adults and Kimi go inside this old storeroom that someone built and kept stuff in years ago. Now, this isn’t really evidence, but seeing a mummified dog is pretty messed up. What is evidence is this little stone that has this broken star drawn onto it; that’s got to mean something.
Lastly, we have exhibit C: some of the residents of Housing Complex C are weird, and I mean in a creepy way. There’s this long-time resident that’s this shut-in guy. He spends all his time researching the Cthulu mythos and making drawings of what he learns. It’s almost like he knows that something bad’s about to go down.
Lovecraftian Themes Already Shown
Then there’s the interns themselves, and how they’re all foreigners. Now, on the surface, that shouldn’t be much of a problem. However, those who know H.P. Lovecraft should understand something important about the man: Lovecraft was racist. He wasn’t subtle about it, either. A lot of the monsters in his stories were racist caricatures or metaphors for it. It seemed as though Lovecraft had a massive fear of the Other, and this bled into his stories.
In recent years, writers have made strides to separate Lovecraft’s racist portrayals from Lovecraftian lore, but it can still show. Case in point, one of the elderly tenants of Housing Complex C confronts the interns when she hears them making strange sounds. It turns out, they were just doing their morning prayers. Or, that’s what it seems like.
Don’t Expect a Happy Ending
Look, I’m pretty sure that those “Interns” are going to be Deep Ones in disguise, so the old woman’s paranoia is justified, just not in the way she thinks. I have no idea what’s going to happen in the next episode of this month-long miniseries, but one thing’s for sure. I’m now hooked on Housing Complex C, and I can’t wait to see how it ends. I doubt that it will be a happy ending, though.
I Give “Optical Illusion” a 4.5/5
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