C Danchi C団地
“Housing Complex C” centers around Kimi, who lives in a small, low-cost housing complex located in the seaside town of Kurosaki. Trouble seems to follow her wherever she goes, and horrific incidents begin to occur. Is an ancient evil stalking the residents of Housing Complex C?
I’m fairly generous towards Adult Swim originals. I’m a long time fan of the block and I want to see them succeed in these final years of cable. Overall, I love FLCL Progressive even though no one else does, FLCL Alternative was alright, Fena: Pirate Princess started off strong but didn’t go anywhere, and I watched one episode of Blade Runner: Black Lotus before deciding “yeah I’m not interested in this one”. Finally there’s Shenmue, which as someone who’s never played the games, I really enjoyed. And now we have Housing Complex C, which can only be described as Adult Swim’s plan B if Uzumaki wasn’t ready in time. I applaud that we got a new horror anime but this was way too short.
God, what was the plot? A bunch of middle easterners move into a seaside housing complex, the old Japanese residents are racist, there’s a mystery going on underneath the housing complex, and also one of the residents is really into the Cthulhu mythos. This is 4 episodes long and that is all I could remember about the plot. This is written by amphibian, a visual novel writer, and you can REALLY tell. Most of the dialogue is expository, which for a visual novel that goes on for several hours is fine to have. But for a 4 episode anime, essentially a 90 minute movie? Yeah it comes off more as wasted time. 80-85% of this show is exposition, let that sink in.
The first thing I noticed when watching the credits is that the character designs are by the great Yoshitoshi ABe. His designs are far closer to that of RErideD (a hilariously bad sci-fi romp that goes on for far too long) than any of his late 90s/early 2000s works, but his presence is a welcome surprise and one that I think would have generated more interest in the series had it, or for that matter any of the Japanese crew besides the director/writer/producer/studio, been revealed prior to episode 1’s drop. Honestly while we’re on that subject, it IS kind of weird that they bothered to reveal the director and studio since both are pretty unknown. The director is a complete mystery, so much so that it could be a psuedonym, and the studio is mostly known for in-between animation. I don’t mind them being unknowns, I appreciate new faces, though the direction is pretty meh. The use of negative space was probably to build suspense but it comes off as really lame shot composition. Can’t say I cared for any of the storyboarding, but the animation itself is fine.
In the sound department, I have nothing to say about the music because there is nothing noteworthy or memorable about the music. That’s perfectly fine, not all scores need to be bombastic and catchy. In the case of Housing Complex C, being atmospheric and lowkey is fine. To address the elephant in the room, the series is currently only available in the English dub. It releases on HBO Max three hours after broadcast but the HBO Max version only includes the English dub, which is strange but not surprising. Part of the reason Adult Swim partnered with Crunchyroll for their last three shows was because Adult Swim is incompetent with providing the Japanese sub. Nevertheless, the dub is good and is only going to piss off the die-hard sub elitists who would probably never give this show the time of day.
A lot of my criticisms with Housing Complex C are negated by how short it is. If this were 12 episodes long and none of the problems fixed itself this would be an easy 5/10. But it’s 4 episodes! I have to give this anime props for not wasting my time. There’s no sunk cost to be had, it’s the length of a movie. That being said, if this were a movie it wouldn’t be that good of a movie. It’s over an hour of exposition followed by a really anticlimactic (but fun) last 15 minutes. Do I recommend it? Well, it’s 4 episodes long, you likely decided if you were going to watch it before you read this review. It’s alright, there’s significantly worse horror anime out there. One thing I will give Housing Complex C is that it didn’t anger me, it did not make me despise the choices that are made. This is not a bad anime, it just also does not have anything exemplary either. The last episode is neat but didn’t build up to it very well. I would love to see these guys make another Adult Swim anime. Just one that’s either longer or makes better use of the 4 episodes.